Testimonials

“I2M was the best conference I’ve ever attended - bar none. Must be that you are from outside the beltway, but your approach to things is very much more relaxed and engaging. I enjoyed everything, especially the first night reception which I always hate! Well done!”–Anna Wagner, Government Affairs Representative, Eastman Chemical

“The quality of I2M’s speakers and topics is top notch! I manage PAC and grassroots, so it is a natural fit for me to attend a conference that has a combined curriculum that also includes a professional development component.”–Meaghan Killion Joyce, Manager, Political Affairs, International Paper

“I2M is a conference given for the pros by the pros. Unlike other conferences, you aren’t constantly “talked at.” You are actively encouraged to contribute in a peer discussion and share best practices.”–Christopher Kemm, Vice President, Political Affairs, Mountain West Credit Union Association

“Without a doubt, my fellow attendees are what sets I2M apart from other conferences. Amy is dedicated to achieving the ideal balance between attendees and vendors, insisting upon an environment for maximum partnership between the two groups, while consistently protecting the extremely valuable peer-to-peer experience that is my favorite part of I2M.”–Kelly Knowles, Senior Director, Political Affairs, American Bakers Association

“I2M is a conference for those who are serious about our profession. Amy and her team strive to challenge Government Relations professionals by integrating hard science into what used to be considered a “soft skill.” I2M is fun, but ‘hard’ conference, not for someone looking for a ‘junket’ trip.”–Shaun Flynn, Director, Government Affairs, New York State Nurses Association

“I2M is a conference for pros, given by the pros. Being able to attend only one conference, it is a no brainer to come to I2M. The hosts and conference leaders are just absolutely marvelous...full of good ideas backed up by factual science.”–Greg Norton, Area Manager, External Affairs, AT&T

“Thanks again, Amy, for the wonderful experience. The Showalter Group and the conference you put on is impressive, and nothing short of first-rate. I saw in you a quality that brought out the very best in the people you interacted with. No wonder Susan thinks so highly of you.”–Patrice Dell, Southwest Airlines

“Chinese philosopher Lao Tzo said “to lead the people, walk behind them.” I can’t help but think of this quote when I reflect on past I2M conference experiences. Unlike others who claim to be leaders, Amy and her team don’t pretend to have all of the answers. What Amy provides is an opportunity to interact with and hear from highly qualified, strong caliber, experts in an unintimidating environment. Staff and attendees alike are very professional and willing to share their successes and shortfalls all in the spirit of helping other colleagues learn. Attendees are in the driving seat; what and how much you take away from this conference is all up to you. I have never heard anyone say, they wish they wouldn’t have wasted their time and money attending this conference, but I have heard many people say that they could kick themselves for missing it. Whether you are a rookie in this field or a veteran of this industry, you won’t be disappointed...the benefit and added value that attendees receive is priceless!”–Carrie Schneider, PAC / Grassroots Manager, CMS Energy

“I’m hooked. This is definitely my crowd of professionals. The conference was awesome. There isn’t a working day that goes by that something from the conference doesn’t cross my mind. I came away with renewed effort and enthusiasm in recruiting more grassroots advocates. In fact, I’m launching our new Key Contact program next week!”–Jeana Hultquist, Vice President, Legislative Affairs, U.S. AgBank, FCB

“I especially liked Dr. Rhoads’ “Telling a Better Story” session and the ideas presented on how to communicate the human side of our advocacy activities.”–Wendy Funk Schrag, Fresenius Medical Care North America

“I got insights on new ways to use technology to organize our members that’s not just about email.”–Amber Stoner, HCA Healthcare

“I attend Innovate because the people, the quality of the conference, and the breadth of information presented. The only improvement for 2011? No snow storms!”–Jenny Boese, Wisconsin Hospital Association

“Of course I liked Kelton’s sessions, I think I could listen to him about a variety of topics. The ethics discussion was really good, too.”–Leann Fox, American Osteopathic Association

“I really like the session on “taking on the white hats.” It made me squirm a little and made me think strategically. As always, I loved Dr. Rhoads and Dr. Sagarin - they’re just so interesting. I really thought this year all the sessions were top notch and engaging. I2M provides the absolutely the best mix of faculty - great sessions and diverse people. There is so much to be gained by networking and sharing!”–Betsy Vetter, American Heart Association

“Dr. Sagarin’s “Preventing and Defusing Stakeholder Hostility” workshop can be applied nearly everywhere, including overcoming cynicism which we all deal with. Nora and Amy turned some lemons into (being stuck due to the blizzard) lemonade with professionalism and poise!”–Natalie McNair-Huff, True Blue, Inc.

“I2M helped raise my motivation and confidence levels. It got me thinking about things like getting folks to tell better stories, and not get too down about the public perception of the lobbying profession.”–Leslie Nolen, American Society of Civil Engineers

“I thought I knew how to tell a good story until I listened to Dr. Rhoads. Now I know how to make it even better!”–Gerry Swanke, National Vice President, AFGE

“Best conference I have ever attended. Ever.”–Sheila Goffe, Director, Government Relations, American Kennel Club

“I love the informality and size of this conference. The mix of professional development speakers was great.”–Wendy Schrag, Director, Advocacy and State Government Affairs, Fresenius Medical Care North America

“I really admire your passion, enthusiasm and your drive for positive results. You bring together people who share that enthusiasm and you challenge them to be better.”–Ann McCulloch, Director, External Affairs, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association

“Innovate to Motivate® is not just about how to run better PACs and grassroots organizations. For me, the conference is about helping us become better people via the professional development sessions.”–Patroski Lawson, Director, Government Affairs, Solvay Pharmaceuticals

“The Innovation Idol” session was fun. It worked well and it was not over “gimmicky” where real ideas do not surface.”–Kristine Kilbride, PAC and Grassroots Leader, Genworth Financial

“We would come out of every session and say, “That is the best session of the conference!” The problem is, that kept happening after every session. It just kept getting better and better.”–Rizza Hermosisima, Director, Public Policy and Advocacy, Centocor-Ortho Biotech, LLC

“Dr. Rhodes’ “Online Chatters to Doing What Matters” presentation rocked. I come to innovate because of the reasonable cost and the reputation of the conference.”–Terri Broussard, Vice President, Advocacy, American Heart Association

“I really like the sessions on flawed PAC fundraising conclusions and distinguishing hype from reality relative to PAC fundraising. These sessions gave me great suggestions on rolling out different recruitment programs and creating excitement around our PAC. Also, I participate in several conferences but I felt that Innovate to Motivate® offered a broader selection of learning opportunities gauged to my PAC operations.”–June Pennell, The Williams Companies

“All the sessions were great - I really liked the diversity of programs and presenters. I found Dr. Rhoads’ “Going Negative” workshop to be very valuable.”–Christopher Kemm, Credit Union Association of Colorado & Wyoming

“It’s fascinating to hear how motivational a good negative campaign can be. I also liked the “Driving Forces of Association PAC Success” workshop.”–Stacy Moye, SmithBucklin

“Scott Eblin’s message was clear, well presented and relevant. I loved both of his sessions. Also, Dr. Rhodes’ presentation was very interesting. Not to mention, my mentor, Ann Clayton, was awesome!”–Kimberly Mayes, The Westfield Group

“Everyone at Innovate to Motivate® is so nice and willing to share. It’s so nice to have such a great flow of ideas! Dr. Rhodes’ session was great. His session was really fascinating and I will definitely share this knowledge and science with my counterparts.”–Betsy Vetter, American Heart Association

“Peter and Amy’s pre-conference discussions and after session involvement goes to show they are dedicated to the program. This is my first time at Innovate to Motivate® and after this I and others from my company will be attending in the future.”–Greg Gonzalez, El Paso Electric Company

“I was referred to this conference by a friend in another company who had attended other conferences in the past. She felt that Innovate to Motivate® was the best use of our time. I like the combined PAC and grassroots topics in one conference.”–Tiffany Jones, Symantec Corporation

“I love Amy and Peter - even if we see them just once a year, they are like your wise uncle or aunt visiting with great advice. This conference could be called “Interact to Motivate.” The best time is spent with peers listening to best practices and lessons learned. It’s an impressive gathering of politically bright minds.”–Mike Egan, Microsoft

“I believe in Innovate to Motivate®. Amy and Peter just don’t have book knowledge on the subject, they actually work and live in the field.”–Elizabeth Bartz, CEO, State and Federal Communications, Inc.

“Amy and Peter make the time to interact with all attendees and make us feel part of the family. They are also very good at ensuring that everyone is comfortable and getting all they can out of the conference.”–Carrie Schneider, Consumers Energy

“Innovate to Motivate® is much more of a community learning approach and less of being talked at.”–Clarissa Garcia, American Heart Association

“Dr. Rhodes’ presentation on negative campaigns was great! They are a reality and I appreciated his explanation of the conditions and nuances of such campaigns.”–Kelly Campbell,Property and Casualty Insurers Association

“I found the grassroots and PAC performance measurements session by Amy and Peter extremely helpful. It was so specific about what works and what doesn’t. Dr. Rhodes’ session on “Going Negative” and Scott Eblin’s “Life GPS” were both fantastic as well.”–Lucy Culp, American Heart Association

“I attend Innovate to Motivate® because it is the only conference that is conscientious of an attendee’s time and money. Innovate to Motivate® always presents the latest and greatest and I feel it would be an injustice not to invest in my own future success.”–Carrie Schneider, Consumers Energy

“By far, the reason I attend Innovate to Motivate® over the other conference is due to the professionalism and innovative ideas of Peter, Amy and Tony. In addition, I know that Peter, Amy and Tony will secure only quality, top notch speakers. The quality of the participants also distinguishes I2M from the other conferences.”–Emily Foster, Cummins, Inc.

“This was my first conference of this kind, although I have been doing grassroots for years. I am glad I chose the first one because this was exceptional.”–Randy Leffler, The Ohio Manufacturer’s Association

“I previously attended a conference in which Amy spoke. She was great. Once I saw she was a presenter, I knew I had to come.”–Michael Becker, Consumer Healthcare Products Association

“I came to this conference because of its reputation. It was highly recommended to me from some vendors and contacts I have in the industry.”–Chuck Jorgenson, Care Mark

“The combination of PAC and grassroots content along with the motivational and personal developments sessions make I2M stand apart from other conferences. I attended the conference two years ago and had a terrific experience then, as well.”–Luke Harms, Maytag Corporation

“I usually go to conferences hoping to get one or two nuggets of information that I may use five or six months down the road. Here, I picked up about a dozen, most of which I will try to implement immediately.”–Mike Ruzicha, Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors

“Amy, Peter and Tony are a real “hands-on” team. Not only do they contribute significantly to the sessions, but it’s also very evident that they are genuinely performing a quality control function to ensure value to participants.”–Mike Tuesto, PSEG

“Tony, Amy and Peter were unbelievably helpful! They made me feel so welcome, answered any questions I had, and they made me wish that I could work with them constantly!”–Sherri Pursel, Pennsylvania Bar Association

“I really appreciate the in-depth information at Innovate to Motivate®. It’s more than just people getting up and talking about observations or hearsay about their grassroots programs. Your conference provides real substance that involves research and numbers to back up major assertions. It’s so much better than other conferences we attend.”–Bryan McGannon, Senior Consultant, Issue Dynamics, Inc.

“I have been to tons of conferences and have been around a while in the government relations profession. I, indeed, learned new things at Innovate and Motive that I can apply immediately. In fact, you can teach an old dog new tricks.”–Pamela Phillips, Director of Government Relations, Society for Vascular Surgery

“I liked Mike Egan, Ann Clayton, and Ann Fickel’s workshop on PAC communications, the social media sections and how to maintain PAC fundraising longevity.”

“Dr. Rhoads’ session on telling a better story was the best. It helped me understand the need for me to revamp our messages.”

“Fighting the good guys was the most valuable workshop. It was great advice on how to develop messages and how to be on offense.”

“I like Ginger Sawyer because she had a lot to offer and just a wealth of experience in the field.”

“Dr. Rhoads’ “Telling a Better Story” was something I’ve been thinking about a lot in the past year so it was good to hear his thoughts.”

“The “Grassroots Town Hall” was excellent - it’s always therapeutic to know that I’m not alone with some of my challenges.”

“Amy said something that intrigued me and I’d like to see her expound on it at some point: “Let me see your calendar, and I will tell you whether you’ll reach your goals.”

“I loved the smaller group and ability to really get to know folks and share information. It felt like a safer environment in which to admit challenges.”

“The plenary session with J. David Cox and Chris Kemm was very valuable. David was very dynamic and really made me think differently about grassroots.”

“I loved Kay Cannon’s keynote. I learned a lot about myself as well as all the people I work with and for! I definitely feel that I am better equipped to “tango with type As.”

“The PAC and Grassroots Town Halls are always a favorite of mine. Amy covers so much, so fast.”

About the Team . . .

“Amy’s enthusiasm is contagious. I will use this information in formalizing our PAC member appreciation program. It’s a great topic. I wish we had more time.”–Callie Jill Denton, Kansas Trial Lawyers Association

“You did a great job! First class all the way. And fun!”–Brian Raymond, IBM

“Your energy is amazing. Overall, this conference is a winner!”–Caroline Rowe, DuPont

“You are my stars and my heroes. Thanks for taking this meeting to another level!”–Cassi Baker, Vice President, State Government Affairs, Cardinal Health

“Tony, Amy and Peter always stay steps ahead of the crowd. Keep up the creative work. Looking forward to next year’s event!”

“This was a great conference. Thanks for your hard work.”–Carter Headrick, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

“[They were] always working, asking questions and people’s opinions. Nice touch.”–Darrin Klinger, Strategic Public Partners

“Every time I turned around, Peter, Amy and Tony were skulking around, asking for feedback, offering suggestions and talking to participants. This was such a welcomed change from other meetings where the staff congregates in a dark corner at the registration desk.”–April Demert, American Veterinary Medical Association

“Amy is an excellent, entertaining, and informative presenter. She showed me the importance of being positive in showing progress, even though we are talking to our members about the same issue year after year.”–Jeanne Little, Society of American Florists

“Amy provided great professional insight.”

“Wonderful, supportive, responsive.”–Laura Feldman, NCPSSM

“Peter made me feel the conference was worth the trip after one session!”–Geoff Simon, MDU Resources Group

“Tony, Amy, and Peter were extremely helpful. They were all full of energy and put together wonderful sessions. Great conference!”

“Each was accessible, friendly and impassioned. A great team!”–Linda Lucas, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

“Very friendly — considerate. Great to meet you.”–Anne Feleppelle, KeyBank

“The conference proved to be invaluable for me as I get my PAC up and running. Thanks again for sharing your wealth of knowledge.”

“Peter is awesome!”–Lisa Ludwig, JUNO (formerly)

“Extremely helpful and kind.”

“Absolutely helpful — as always! You all did a great job.”

“Delightful.”–Bob Ambrose, Great River Energy

“They were the BEST!”–Cathy Taylor, Timken Company

“Amy is great — very motivational and inspiring!”

“You guys are the best! Great conference.”–Mia Masten, Grocery Manufacturers of America (formerly)

“Great! Thanks for all the hard work.”–Linda Lucas, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

“Our hosts were the most valuable speakers. You know how to keep the audience interested and motivated. When I left all three of your sessions, I was energized.”–Cathy Taylor, Timken Company