News from the Top

Retreat? No, Propel!


We all hold them with our respective teams and board – retreats. I’m not certain why we call them that, since we are in no way pulling back, evacuating or withdrawing. If you have spent any time with Priya Parker’s The Art of Gathering then you know that when we meet, it should be purposeful and that starts with why we meet and even what we call it. So, I propose that we call them PROPELS. But I’m open to suggestions.

Last week in Memphis, the IDA Board of Directors gathered the day before the Southeast Urban District Form to propel IDA forward (aka we held a Board Retreat). We spent half the day digging into the value of IDA to its members. Why does IDA matter? What do members need? What are the new and evolving demands being placed on our organizations that will drive members to seek guidance from IDA? How do we grow membership appropriately and sustain the growth? It was a robust conversation around the demands on our places and how IDA can respond as an increasingly meaningful resource. The afternoon conversations focused on the needs of today’s place management CEOs. Where are we professionally challenged and what are we seeking to do our jobs better?

I love these sessions – they feed my soul. I leave each PROPEL (retreat) feeling not only more knowledgeable but also understood by colleagues. We’re asked to build better cities with what seems like diminishing resources. Our cities are places where diverse people come to make their homes, find meaningful work, and recharge in our civic spaces. The demands on us to build these incredible, thriving, equitable places are only expanding. And that’s where our membership association comes in, our fuel for success.

We are reciprocally connected to IDA. You, the members, make IDA great. Get connected, get involved, share your needs. Join committees, nominate board members, attend sessions. In return, IDA will equip you with the tools to build a great city and the support of a professional family.

Now is your chance to get more involved in our membership association! IDA is searching for engaged and talented professionals to serve on the IDA Board of Directors. Download the letter seeking nominations for Board candidates which is followed by “Expectations of an IDA Board Member” and an “IDA Board Nomination Form.” Please email the completed form to David Downey at by Thursday, May 23, 2024.