Karen Gentles

Karen Gentles

Work History

Work History
Aug 2004 - Jun 2009

Director, Membershp/Acting Director, Meetings/Education

International Order of the Golden Rule
  • Built annual conference focused on growth opportunities for owners in today's economy and beyong and aligned with the association's brand/mission to advance members' professional business deelopment, resulting in 200 participants.
  • Constructed one-hour audio seminar series focused on timely topics for owners/managers/staff that provided cost-savings in time, travel and fees for members.
  • Shaped fall forum concept More Than A Funeral Home, resulting in top-notch speakers addressing WEB 2.0 communication strategies, leadership development, staff development towards creating a winning customer service culture and positive client family experiences; balanced with best practices of member firm and participant/suppliers' great idea exchange breakout sessions.
  • Spearheaded acquisition of $100,000+ web-based association management system that included researching, interviewing and evaluating vendors, conducting internal needs assessment of organizational functions; managed team collaboration for conversion process that resulted in centralized data housing of entire association records and accounting functions; improved staff efficiency and reduced response time for member inquiries; increased member engagement with self management of firm's profile, education/purchase histories, online registration and product purchases.
  • Orchestrated $30,000+ market needs assessment project that included vendor research, evaluation and selection; developed content for member and nonmember survey instrument to explore member needs and market; project resulted in revealing untapped opportunities for membership and buying group expansion, repositioning educational programs, and new brand attributes for board of directors' strategic planning.
  • Introduced president to Seven Measures of Success: What remarkable associations do that others don't and provided insight regarding its findings that resulted in board review and decision to retain the author to assist in steering the reorganization.
Aug 1998 - Aug 2004

Manager, Membership

National Wood Flooring Association
  • Directed membership recruitment and retention activities for wood flooring trade association of manufacturers, distributors, retailers and contractors resulting 86% average annual renewal rate and nearly 3,000 member companies.
  • Guided volunteer steering teams for manufacturers, distributors, retailers/contractors and member services team that resulted in business information tools and training/information manuals for strengthening profitability and specialized job skills for members.
  • Increased affinity programs that resulted in cost-savings and business efficiencies for members, e.g. shipping programs, fleet services.
1997 - 1998

Owner

Gentles Research
  • Co-developed and processed more than 10,000 leadershp surveys for top executives that resulted in leadership coaching to guide them through culture change for their companies.
1993 - 1997

Manager, Research & New Business Development

CooperComm Training and Consulting, Inc.
  • Identified best practices in leadership, sales skills, quality management and process improvement through business research, integrating information into practical knowledge for various training seminars.
  • Conducted content research for Effective Competency Modeling and Reporting, responding to client's need for effective employee training assessment tool.
  • Co-developed and executed Climate and Leadership survey programs for top executives of 200+ small businesses and expanded program to corporate sales executives for national beverage firm.

Education

Education

Masters

University of Missouri - St. Louis

BA

University of Missouri - St. Louis