The Value of In-Person Networking
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
by: Chris D. Daniels, MPA, CAE

Section: Executive Director's Remarks

I recently attended the  American Society of Association Executive’s CEO Symposium with AJA President Elect Louis Quinones, Jr., MS, CCE, CPM, CJM and AJA 3rd Vice President Anthony Yeber, MPA, MSCJ, CJM. The symposium explores how elected officers can best work with the chief staff officer (me) to effectively carry out the association’s mission and enhance future success. The content that was presented was exceptional, and AJA will no doubt reach even greater heights in 2023 due to us attending.

What I was most struck by though was the richness and depth of the conversations that ensued at our table and during breaks. It really drove home the importance of networking in person, and all that is gained from it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not discounting the value of iConnect, AJA’s online discussion forums. In fact, we had a lively discussion about what a tremendous resource iConnect is when you need quick feedback from others working in local corrections. However, there is real value in the spontaneity of in-person conversations—the twists and turns, the probing for more information brought on by inflections in the voice, etc.

A key topic of discussion during the symposium was the value that associations such as AJA deliver to their members. At the top of 
the list were: (1) providing a community for shared experiences, and (2) being a trustworthy aggregator of content that enables members to be successful. AJA delivers on both! What I consistently hear and observe is about the networking opportunities AJA provides.

Ask anyone who works in local corrections, and they will invariably attest to the fact that the AJA Conference & Jail Expo is simply the best. The best networking activities. The best training. The best expo hall. Our members are easily approachable and knowledgeable. You will pick up on that vibe in the corridors, the elevators, with the best workshops, and the many networking events we offer. When you are the best, you attract the best and this really shines through when you meet our presenters. Not only are they highly respected subject matter experts, but they deliver content in a powerful way that leaves you inspired, knowledgeable and motivated. The best expo hall is filled with vendors that offer solutions to help you do your job effectively and safely. And our expo hall has a lively buzz about it that sets it apart from other conferences.

Please join the best in Omaha for the AJA  Conference & Jail Expo, May 20–24. Why Omaha, you may ask? That question will be quickly answered after you arrive there. Omaha is a clean, modern, and easily accessible city that will leave you wanting to arrive early and leave late. Register now at, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Executive Director
American Jail Association
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