Titles vs. Roles

All of my trade and professional association clients track titles. Your title is what you put on your business card.

But titles vary broadly. For example, the senior staffer at an organization might be President, CEO, Chief Executive, Chairman, Executive Director, or even Principal. So if I want to pull a list of all these Chief Staff Executives, how do I do it? That’s where roles come into play.

Roles are the position, as defined by your association, that the individual is serving in. So if you want to track the chief staff position of your members, you create a pick-list field called “role” and you categorize titles into different roles.

For example, you might have a role called “Primary Marketing Executive” and in that role would be titles like Director of Marketing, Chief Marketing Officer, Vice President of Marketing, and so on. When a new individual is added with the title of Director of Marketing, you also give them the role of Primary Marketing Executive. Now when you want to pull a list of all the primary marketing executives, you simply query on that role.


About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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