5 Books to Inspire Leadership and Innovation

5 Books to Inspire Leadership and Innovation

In the spirit of today being World Book Day, we have compiled a list of some of our staff’s top book recommendations for e-learning leaders. These books fulfill different needs in our lives, whether it is to inspire or inform.

Through reading, we can learn skills, adopt new perspectives, and experience personal growth. Books embody themes that translate to our everyday lives, and additionally, convey new ways of thinking that can strengthen organizations. The five books we listed provide core strategies for empowering leadership and inspiring innovation.

I hope you enjoy our recommendations and learn something new!


CP Recommended Reads:
Competitive Advantage – Tracy King, CAE

In her debut book, Tracy highlights common mistakes associations make with their learning programs, and also provides a strategy that will take your association to the next level.

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box – The Arbinger Institute

Is your leadership style effective? Are you inspiring those around you? This book forces an interpersonal examination to combat self-deception and encourage an environment of trust, teamwork, and enthusiasm.

Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs is an icon and an inspiration whose drive for perfection revolutionized the technology sector with an emphasis on user experience. His life and work are a source of inspiration for not just those in the technology sector, but also those who aspire to pursue innovation, push boundaries, and lead a purpose-driven life.

Mastering Leadership – Robert Anderson and William Adams

Unlike other leadership books, this one provides a comprehensive model for leadership development, not just for yourself, but for the entire organization. By recognizing leadership is a collective effort, the authors outline strategies to become a mindful leader who can drive personal growth within the entire organization.

Don’t Make Me Think – Steve Krug

For those who work in web design, this book is a must-read for developing a common sense approach to web design and functionality. The author argues good web design begins with understanding the instincts of the user and should be so simple that users barely need to think to operate it. This is an excellent book to encourage approaching design in new ways.

We’ll see you in Chicago for ASAE Annual!

We’ll see you in Chicago for ASAE Annual!

CommPartners is excited to once again be exhibiting at the 2018 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition from August 18-21, 2017 in Chicago, IL.

This event is the highlight of our year as we are able to connect with thousands of associations, clients, and friends.  CommPartners will be showcasing all of the new features of Elevate LMS, as well as our services related to Webinars & Webcasts, Livestream Events, Virtual Conferences, and Content Recordings.

We hope you are able to connect with us…here are a few options:


Visit Our Booth #234

Learn more about CommPartners and our offerings from our onsite staff, Aubrey Mellos, Meghan Gowen, and Sam Hirsch. We have launched some pretty amazing learning sites over the past year and will be spotlighting our latest initiative with Tracy King of InspirEd and Aaron Wolowiec of Event Garde, Engaging Learners, on Sunday August 19th, 12:15 – 1:15pm live from our booth. They will even be sharing a few tips and best practices for training your speakers and engaging your event attendees. If that wasn’t enticing enough, we will also have games, prizes, and chocolate so be sure to visit us at Booth #234!


Schedule an Appointment or Demo

We will be on-site for one-on-one meetings to further explore our services, simply catch-up, or to view a demo. You can arrange a meeting by visiting the Attendee Service Center or contact us directly at info@commpartners.com.



Celebrate With Us at Adler Planetarium
Sunday, August 19th 7-10pm


Are you ready for a night with the stars? We are co-hosting an exclusive party with Higher Logic and other leading industry partners on Sunday, August 19th, from 7-10pm at Adler Planetarium. This event also features drinks, light hors-d’oeuvres, and access to two exhibits, Mission Moon and Our Solar System.

Learn about America’s first steps into space, the women behind Hidden Figures, and the planets, moons, and asteroids that orbit the sun. Your colleagues are welcome, so bring them with you!



We look forward to connecting with you in Chicago!


CommPartners Celebrates 25 Years of Service

CommPartners Celebrates 25 Years of Service

This summer marks CommPartners’ 25th year in business. The year it all began (1993), was the same year the World Wide Web was born, Intel launched the Pentium microprocessor, Jurassic Park and Mrs. Doubtfire hit the box office, and Beanie Babies became an overnight sensation. Looking back, a lot has certainly changed, but a few ideals established in the beginning have withstood the test of time: we embrace evolution, we are dedicated to serving associations, and we aim to provide meaningful e-learning solutions.

What started as a fax broadcasting business has evolved into an all-encompassing e-learning hub. With clients at the helm, CommPartners has adapted and evolved from fax broadcasting to email marketing to audio seminars to webinars, livestreaming and beyond. This dedication to innovation led to the creation of Elevate Learning Management System, an all-in-one learning platform.

We will continue to cultivate relationships with our clients, provide an all-encompassing, seamless approach to e-learning, and forge partnerships with industry leaders. We are excited for the future of CommPartners, but for now, enjoy a look back at our most notable milestones!





Rich Finstein, CEO, founded CommPartners, and shortly thereafter hired the first team member, Mary Golden, who still works at the company today. 




The first office space opened in Columbia, MD. 





Our webinar platform, Event Center, was launched.




We updated the logo to the one still used today.



Our event team produced our first live-streamed event in Washington D.C.






We produced our first virtual conference, NHPCO’s Ignite, an event we still produce today. 








Our learning management system, Elevate, was launched. 


The CommPartners family welcomed new, young members as our growth continued.


Greek Food Truck Fridays became a weekly (and delicious) tradition.


In March, we launched our first user conference, Peak, which thanks to its success, will become a biennial event.


When CommPartners began 25 years ago, the path was not determined, but we love the journey our client-centered focus has taken us on and look forward to our future developments.

Q & A with AILA: A Look Into Their Education Evolution

Q & A with AILA: A Look Into Their Education Evolution

We sat down with JJ Area, the Education Programs Manager at AILA, to understand their educational programs and how they have developed over the years.

Who is AILA?

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is comprised of more than 15,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. Our mission is two-fold: to increase the level of knowledge and professionalism of our members and to encourage advocacy before Congress, the Judiciary, the Federal Agencies, and the media, for immigration-related interests. The association was established to promote fair and just immigration policy, advance the quality of immigration law, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Where does education fit into the overall structure at AILA?

All of AILA’s members have to be licensed to practice law in one of the US jurisdictions, and most of the jurisdictions require continuing legal education (CLE) courses. This means we have a built-in audience. Additionally, a large portion of our members are solo practitioners, so they aren’t members of large firms that have a large financial backing. Therefore, anytime we can offer quality education and save them a bit of money, they appreciate it.

One of our strategic goals is to increase the knowledge and professionalism of members so our education program is one of the main ways we accomplish that. We want people to have the most current information available. We offer a podcast feed as a way to disseminate information that we want to get out quickly and at no cost. These tend to be niche topics that we don’t feel our members would necessarily see a big return on investment for, therefore, our podcasts are a way to provide the information without a price point.

Can you describe the evolution of your learning programs?

I’ve been with AILA since 2010, and there have definitely been some ebbs and flows. When we began our distance learning offerings, there was a big rush initially since our members hadn’t seen this from us and found it as an easy, affordable way to earn CLE credit. As time went on, other organizations also began offering CLE courses and the market was saturated; our numbers dipped a bit, so we had to adapt. We have done that in a number of ways.

We started offering live webcasts of some in-person conferences to provide something a little more polished and technologically savvy. Also, rather than listening on the phone you can see somebody there in front of you on your computer and ask questions live, so you have that interaction. This is a new way for people to participate, earn CLEs, and save on travel cost. Plus, we have the recording of the webcast, which we sell and offer to participants to view anything they may have missed.

We heard from our members that they wanted more on-demand content considering their busy and unpredictable schedules. The webcasts and seminar recordings can be done at their own pace and have proven very successful.

How has CommPartners aided in the evolution and growth of your learning programs?

We have worked with CommPartners since 2007. We began with audio seminars, then webinars, and now livestream events. When Elevate was released, we found it a very attractive option, but weren’t sure how to implement it in our organization. At the end of the month we are excited to launch new offerings through Elevate.

Additionally, we’ve found everyone at CommPartners to be responsive, professional and dedicated to ensuring we provide exceptional educational programs to our members. It’s great to see that no matter where someone is in the organization, straight up to Rich, everyone is very professional and great to work with.

What’s next for your education programs?

We saw other associations hosting courses entirely online and we viewed that as the future of learning so we wanted to offer that to our members. At the end of July we will be hosting an online course using Elevate. Ultimately, we want to put together AILA University which will offer micro-learning opportunities for the busy, unpredictable schedules of our members. We want these to be specific, 5 minute videos that can address the questions of our members. These are topics that don’t need to be addressed in a 60 minute webinar, but can be a quick answer so our members can get back to their clients. We are starting this year and hope to keep building upon it and adding a robust curriculum that we can update as needed.

We also eventually want to get into digital badging with these offerings. We see it as an engaging way for our members to advertise their learning track. We see this as an essential element in the future of continuing education, especially with the new generation of lawyers graduating. Our team is always looking into the future and assessing what we need to do to accommodate our members.

To learn more about AILA, please visit: https://www.aila.org/

CommPartners and BadgeCert Announce Strategic Partnership

CommPartners and BadgeCert Announce Strategic Partnership

Columbia, MD – July 17, 2018. CommPartners, a leading provider of Learning Management Software, webcast, and livestream solutions, and BadgeCert, a leader in digital badging/credentialing announce they have formed a partnership to fully integrate BadgeCert’s digital credentialing services with CommPartners’ Elevate Learning Management System. Through this integration, digital badges or credentials can be automatically awarded based on participation or achievement in education programs offered through Elevate LMS.

Digital Badges have become increasingly important as a verifiable way to measure competency and share levels of expertise. Through the integration with Elevate, host organizations will be able to offer digital badges with detailed metadata for stackable or micro credential programs. Badges can be custom designed through standard templates or organizations can upload their own designs. Each learner will have a universal portfolio to manage and share earned badges.

“Validation through digital badges has become critically important as a way to verify achievement,” states Richard Finstein, CEO of CommPartners. “We have known the folks at BadgeCert for many years. When we searched for a partner, we wanted a company that is as committed to customer service as we are.”

“We are thrilled to partner with CommPartners as they have consistently exceeded their clients’ expectations with respect to high quality customer service and technology innovation,” says Ginger Malin, Ph.D., Founder and EVP of Business Development at BadgeCert. “This partnership will provide organizations with a seamless administrative experience, while also delivering significant value to learners as they can now digitally share their verified credentials across the web.”

About BadgeCert

BadgeCert enables your organization to recognize stakeholders’ accomplishments with 100% verifiable digital badges. The company was founded by expert educators, technologists and entrepreneurs on the premise that recognizing effort, participation, contributions and accomplishments is important to motivate people to develop, progress and achieve. To learn more visit www.badgecert.com.

 About CommPartners

CommPartners is a leading provider of online education and event solutions. At the core of the company’s solutions is our Elevate Learning Management System. To extend the value of Elevate LMS, we provide a wide range of online education services including curriculum design, instructional design, fully managed webinars, webcasts, livestream programs and virtual conferences.  To learn more about CommPartners and Elevate LMS visit www.commpartners.com or contact Meghan Gowen at mgowen@commpartners.com.