2017 NiUG Discovery Conference Wrap-Up

2017 NiUG Discovery Conference

Nearly 300 iMIS users, solution providers, consultants, and vendors gathered at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia on October 2-4. Check out the terrific photos taken throughout the three-day event by the attendees. We’ll be posting recordings of the breakout sessions in the Learning Center shortly, but in the meantime, here’s the rundown on from Arlington.

With nearly 40 partners and exhibitors, this year’s conference featured over 50 educational sessions, training classes, subject matter expert pods, product demonstrations, and networking events. It all started on Monday morning with nearly 150 iMIS users participating in either full and half day training classes. Soon Yu, innovation, design expert, author, and conference emcee, kicked off the user’s portion of the conference on Tuesday morning with a keynote kickoff and introduced Michele Morgan, NiUG International’s Executive Director.

Our keynote speaker, Rory Aplanalp, took to the stage next. Rory’s presentation, Connections Make the Difference, taught conference attendees real, tangible ways to better connect with those who matter the most. Highlighting that no matter how busy or hectic life becomes, Rory stressed we all have the unique power to make a difference in someone’s life.


Michele Morgan announced the 2017 John Howarth Memorial Award winners Tuesday morning during Opening Session. The award, named for John Howarth, recognizes individuals who through their passion, persistence, optimism, and grace under pressure, have dedicated their time to the iMIS community while representing the mission of NiUG International and mirroring the quality of John Howarth’s character.

Each year in remembrance of John’s spirit, the Board of Directors and JHMA Selection Committee recognize two individuals who have distinguished themselves in service to the iMIS Community. The 2017 recipients of the John Howarth Memorial Award are:

Keith Williams • Database Administrator at Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)

Not only does Keith serve on our Board of Directors, he also volunteers as a speaker and moderator. An iMIS user since 1999, Keith provides a wealth of knowledge to the entire iMIS community and helps to further the organizational goals and objectives of our organization.

Bob Lane, Ph. D • CEO at Lane Services, LLC.
An authorized iMIS solution provider since 2003, Bob gives continually as a volunteer for various nonprofits including not only NiUG International but also NiUG Canada, NiUG Europe, and NiUG Asia Pacific. In addition to speaking at various NiUG sponsored events, Bob is committed to the success of NiUG International's domestic conference series via Event Partnership.

“The JHMA award recognizes individuals who reflect the passion John always displayed for the iMIS Community, said Michele Morgan, Executive Director of NiUG International. “I was very excited to learn of this year’s winners, both Keith and Bob have a passion for NiUG to be successful and truly want iMIS users to succeed with iMIS.”


We couldn’t be more grateful to our lineup of volunteer speakers who made this conference an exciting one. We’d like to offer special thanks to each presenter who shared their experience and knowledge during Discovery 2017:

Alan Atwood • Texas Medical Association
Amanda Iverson • Intuitive Business Concepts
Andy Weaver • Land Trust Alliance
Bob Lane, Ph. D • Lane Services, LLC
Brenda Barnhart • RSM US LLP
Bruce Wilson • RSM US LLP
Christine Smith • Association Technology Solutions
David Riffle, Advanced Solutions International
Deirdre Brooks • American Association of Airport Executives
Doug Morris • Computer System Innovations
Elizabeth Wojcik • Computer System Innovations
James Harrison • Visual Antidote
Jeff Baker • EXPO Logic
Jeff Spring • Advanced Solutions International
Jennifer Case • CompTIA
Judy Zatz • C Systems Global
Jyoti Hull-Jurkovic • Zentso
Karen Hartsuff • Michigan Farm Bureau
Keith Hunter • Armstrong Enterprise Communications
Keith Williams • Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation
Mark Jones, CAE • enSYNC Corporation
Marty Rabenovets • Advanced Solutions International
Meghan Curtin • Informz
Melissa Mack • Intuitive Business Concepts
Michele Cherry • Compass Rose Benefits Group
Randy Richter • Association Technology Solutions
Roger Abram • C Systems Global
Ryan Gullum • Western Payments Alliance 
Stacey Mueller • enSYNC Corporation
Stephanie Harms • Association Technology Solutions
Stephanie Tisch • EPayResources
Steve Wooton • C Systems Global
Suzanne Baase • FrontlineCo
Tina Haglund • enSYNC Corporation
Tip Ramsay • Association Technology Solutions
Tom Walker • Association Dynamics
Tresse French • Association Technology Solutions


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 the Greater Washington DC area, attendees also had to seek out hidden flowers throughout the conference venue. Winners were announced on Wednesday afternoon during lunch and included:

1st Place ($200 Amazon gift card):
Ellen Turner • Irrigation Association

2nd Place ($100 Amazon gift card):
Renita Gross • International Liquid Terminals Association

3rd Place ($20 Amazon gift card):
Kristina Haley • Texas Medical Association
Kaylie Bahnsen • Special Districts Association of Oregon
Amanda Mitchell • Professional Tennis Registry
Barbara Kincaid • American Council of Life Insurers
Heather Clemons • CPAmerica International, Inc.
Cara Bracamonte • National Recreation & Park Association
Gwen Butler • International Liquid Terminals Association
Alan Atwood • Texas Medical Association

Thanks to the support of our exhibitors and partners, attendees were also able to win additional prizes thru various raffles. Special thanks to the following exhibitors and partners for their participation:

Computer System Innovations
C Systems Global
Data Impact Solutions
Expo Logic
Higher Logic
Intuitive Business Concepts


There were so many ways to network during Discovery 2017 and our attendees took full advantage. The conference kicked off on Monday evening with a Welcome Reception hosted by our partners and exhibitors at the Crystal City Sports Pub.

On Tuesday evening, attendees boarded the all-glass Odyssey and enjoyed live music, fine dining, and mingling with fellow iMIS users, while cruising down the Potomac River.

The Speed Networking Hour, developed to connect iMIS users with each other in a non-intimidating way, also returned to the agenda.


Social media again played a role at this year’s conference. Along with the NiUG App, Twitter was a popular way for attendees to instantly share conference thoughts, images, and information. Below are some Twitter highlights:

@SarVinc: How did I not know about the filter expression part of building a BO? That would have saved me SO much frustration recently. #NiUG17
@TanessaBusch: #NiUG17 is off to a good start- nothing like a plane ride to get thoughts out of my head and onto paper!
‏ @thejamesjones: Getting a glimpse of the future with #MachineLearning at #NiUG17 with Predicting the Future with Data and #iMIS20
@debbieawillis: Wow. Almost half of US companies have had a data breach. #NiUG17
@NathanSlovin: Do you want me to slow down or do you want me to stop? #NiUG17

Follow @NiUG_iMISUsers and #NiUG17 for more conversations!


The 2018 Discovery Conference is returning to Arlington, Virginia in 2018. Join us October 10-12, 2018 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, located minutes from downtown Washington, D.C and less than 1 mile from Reagan National Airport.

NiUG Discovery Conference| October 8-10, 2018 | Arlington, Virginia, United States

Visit our Calendar of Events for a full listing of NiUG International events.