2016 NiUG Discovery Conference Wrap-Up

The 2016 Discovery Conference was a very special one. It was the 20thanniversary of NiUG and 25thanniversary of Advanced Solutions InternationalIn addition to celebrating, the 2016 Discovery Conference was an amazing three-day event, packed with everything iMIS and an exemplary lineup of presenters.

Check out the terrific photos taken throughout Discovery. In addition, we will be posting recordings of the recorded sessions shortly, but in the meantime, here’s the rundown from the 2016 Discovery Conference.

Nearly 350 iMIS users, solution providers, consultants, and vendors gathered at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor  on Baltimore, Maryland’s Inner Harbor to Become iMIS Superheroes at the 2016 NiUG Discovery Conference held on September 26-28.

With over 40 partners and exhibitors, this year’s conference featured over 45 educational sessions, training classes, demonstrations, exhibitor showcases, and networking events. It all started on Monday morning with over 130 iMIS users participating in either full and half day training classes.

The full conference opened on Tuesday with our keynote speaker, Ron Rosenberg, a nationally recognized expert on marketing and customer service presenting one of the top-rating programs across the country,Double Your Memory in 60 Minutes! This fun and dynamic session taught attendees how to double their memory and create lasting impressions.


The 2016 John Howarth Memorial Award winners were announced Tuesday morning during the Opening Session. This award, named for John Howarth, recognizes individuals who represent NiUG’s mission with passion, persistence, optimism and grace under pressure.

Each year in remembrance of John’s spirit, the Board of Directors and JHMA Committee recognize two individuals who have distinguished themselves in service to the iMIS Community. The 2016 recipients of the John Howarth Memorial Award are:

Brian Schramm, CAE • Chief Financial Officer at the Society of Critical Care Medicine
Brian has served on our Board of Directors for nearly six years and has been key in helping our organization become more strategic, ensuring a solid financial future. Brian volunteers as NiUG Treasurer and provides uncountable hours of his personal time to ensure NiUG is physically and financially sound.

Mark Jones, CAE • President at enSYNC Corporation
Not only does Mark present at NiUG conferences, he also volunteers as both a mentor and a moderator. His organization, enSYNC Corporation, has been a NiUG member dating back to 2002.  In addition to promoting the importance of a NiUG membership, he encourages his staff to volunteer with our organization and to always give back to the community.

“The award recognizes individuals who reflect the passion John always displayed for the iMIS Community in his life and career, said Michele Morgan, Executive Director of NiUG International.  “I was pleased to learn of this year’s winners, I have known both Brian and Mark for many years and they both have a passion for NiUG to be successful and are continually strong advocates for NiUG.”


We couldn’t be more grateful to our lineup of volunteer speakers who made this conference an exciting one. We’d like to offer a special thanks to each presenter who shared their experience and knowledge:

Alan Atwood • Texas Medical Association

Allison Kinney • Computer System Innovations

Amanda Iverson • Intuitive Business Concepts, LLC.

Beth Arritt • American Association of Airport Executives

Brenda Barnhart • RSM US LLP

Brent Sitton • Association Technology Solutions

Christine Smith • Association Technology Solutions

Connie Ferraro • PA Bankers Association

David Cook • 501 CiO Consulting, Inc.

David Riffle • Advanced Solutions International

Deirdre Brooks • American Association of Airport Executives

Jaime Draper • Get Efficient

Jake Robida • Association Technology Solutions

Jeff Spring • Advanced Solutions International

Jodi O'Toole • formerly of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity

John Nicoletta • (C) Systems Global

Jon Guenther • Business Systems Consultants, Inc.

Keith Stoute • Visual Antidote

Keith Williams • Irrigation Association

Keither Hunter • Armstrong Enterprise Communications, Inc.

Mark Breland • Advanced Solutions International

Mark Jones, CAE • enSYNC Corporation

Melissa Mack • Intuitive Business Concepts, LLC.

Paul Rushizky • Executive Director, Inc.

Sarah Hoddinott • Lab Rescue of the LRCP

Shelea Pride • Society of Critical Care Medicine

Stephanie Tisch • ePay Resources

Suzanne Baase • Frontline Association Management

Tim Riley • MemberPrime

Tina Haglund • InterDyn BMI

Tom Walker • Association Dynamics


It was evident throughout the conference that a major highlight of the event was not only the NiUG App but also our game, NiUG Go. In addition to earning points for a variety of conference activities including visiting exhibitors, submitting session evaluations, uploading photos to the gallery, testing their knowledge of NiUG history, attendees also had to seek out superheroes hidden throughout the conference venue. Winners were announced on Wednesday afternoon during the Closing Session and included:

1st Place ($200 Amazon gift card):

Randy Mayes • Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada

 2nd Place ($100 Amazon gift card):

Kristina Haley • Texas Medical Association

3rd Place ($20 Amazon gift card):

Cara Bracamonte • National Recreation & Park Association

Cathy Marchand • American Institute for Economic Research

Connie Ferraro • Pennsylvania Bankers Association

Deborah Most • Grain Elevator and Processing Society

Jenn Waugh • National Home Infusion Association

Kat Nagasawa • Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Melissa Byrne • American Institute for Economic Research

Michele Cherry, CSM • Compass Rose Benefits Group

Sheryl Ashley • Mississippi State Medical Association

Suzanne Baase • Frontline Association Management, Inc.

Wednesday’s Closing Session offered additional fun and games. Hosted by Doug Morris of Computer Systems Innovations and Melissa Mack of Intuitive Business Concepts, two teams of five competed head to head in a NiUG style game of Family Feud.  All participants were awarded $10 Amazon gift card and included:

Cathy Marchand • American Institute for Economic Research

Christopher Bradley • AOAC International

Jenn Waugh • National Home Infusion Association

Jordan Sowders • Intuitive Business Concepts, LLC.

Joy McDerment, CPS • Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia

Melissa L. Byrne • American Institute for Economic Research

Michael De La Rosa • Texas Land Title Association

Randy Mayes • Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada


There were so many ways to network in Baltimore and attendees took full advantage of the opportunities. Discovery kicked off on Monday evening with Welcome Reception hosted by NiUG partners and exhibitors to celebrate 25 years of iMIS and 20 years of NiUG at the Hard Rock Café.

Tuesday night, attendees again celebrated both NiUG and ASI’s anniversaries at the Top of the World, located on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center. With large, expansive windows that framed the Inner Harbor, the surrounding city, and beyond to the Chesapeake Bay, the Top of the World offered a beautiful backdrop for dinner, drinks, mingling, and of course, dancing.

By popular demand, Speed Networking returned to the agenda with great success. This fast paced session enabled iMIS users to meet as many people as possible within an hour period.

Caitlin McDanels, Marketing & Research Specialist at the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals attended the second Speed Networking session and loved it. She said, “it was great to chat with attendees one on one in a structured environment.”


Social media again played a role at this year’s Discovery. Along with the NiUG App, Twitter was a popular way to share conference thoughts, images, and information. Below are some Twitter highlights from the 2016 NiUG Discovery Conference. Follow @NiUG_iMISUsers and #NiUG16 for more conversations!


I told my coworkers I went to #NiUG16 and an elephant drove a car into a bank. They don't believe me.


Did you know that there is a naming convention for iParts? #NiUG16 #iMIS20


Congrats to my good friend #twitterless Mark Jones for being the 2016 JHMA award winner! #NiUG16 That's 3 of 4 LBI members now.


@dougcsi is working on his iMIS ninja skills. Thanks @ensync1 #NiUG16 @csiinc


Wishing you all a great @NiUG_iMISUsers Discovery Conference from Aus! I'm looking forward to the tweets #niug16

Experience the best of the Big Easy with NiUG International. Our Spring Conference is moving to New Orleans! Join us May 22-24, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, located in the heart of downtown, next to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Smoothie King Center and Champions Square.

NiUG New Orleans Conference | May 22-24, 2017 | New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Our 2017 Discovery Conference is returning to Arlington, Virginia in 2017.  Join us October 2-4, 2017 at theCrystal Gateway Marriott, located minutes from downtown Washington, D.C and less than 1 mile from Reagan National Airport.

NiUG Discovery Conference | October 2-4, 2017 | Arlington, Virginia, United States