Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the questions below to view the answers:

  • Roughly 70% of the attendees are association CEOs, many with decades of experience. There are usually newer CEOs as well, which enables everyone to have a fresher perspective at the issues that associations face. 10-15% of the attendees are experienced senior association executives, often holding number two positions in their organizations. Another 10-15% is association consultants who wish to explore strategic questions with other association executives.

    Prometheans come from the full range of professional, trade and philanthropic associations and association environments, from small staff and budgets to larger ones. Prior to the retreat, you'll receive the roster of attendees.

  • Executive directors face complex and often sensitive issues, as do many senior executives. Prometheus was created to enable them to explore these issues with peers in a safe and knowledgeable environment. By limiting attendance to those with higher level positions, participants know that they will be talking with others who may have faced similar situations and can offer perspectives that have been informed by their wider and deeper experience. Prometheus provides a unique venue for this purpose. After all, "it's lonely at the top" and being an association CEO or high level executive is a tough and multifaceted job.

  • Prometheus attendance is intentionally kept small to enable participants to explore their Big Questions more deeply in simultaneously scheduled small groups, which typically have 3-8 attendees. The smaller size of Prometheus also allows attendees to get to know everyone on a more personal and trusting level. It is designed to help make connections, get to a level of understanding you can't achieve in larger groups. Because everyone is invited to pose their Big Questions for the agenda that is created on Friday morning, there are usually many choices for the smaller group sessions that are planned for Friday and Saturday. This enables participants to explore what matters most to them throughout the retreat.

  • Prometheans frequently comment on the trusting and generous climate of the Retreat, wherein participants are able to discuss the issues that most concern them in an environment where confidentiality is a given. The environment is relaxed and intimate, with discussions held in open circles to encourage interaction. The culture is one of inclusion and acceptance, focusing on your needs and helping others. Dress is very casual and the pace is one that enables contemplation, as well as connection, throughout the retreat. Discussions are held throughout the property, inside and out, to take advantage of the beauty of the surroundings and to create the feeling of being 'away from it all.'

  • The Big Questions that are raised are most often of a leadership nature, meaning that they are often strategic in nature and usually deal with major association issues. There's a list on the web site of sample questions: they run the gamut of association issues, focusing on strategic, organizational, staff, volunteer and member topics, as well as ones that focus on personal leadership development and renewal.

    All topics are welcome; people choose what they want to discuss with people who share the same concern and want to have authentic, peer-to-peer conversations with each other. The discussions are often ones that association executives really can't have with staff or the board. Being able to explore difficult and sensitive issues with people who understand the context because they live it is invaluable.

    It is not unusual during a small group circle for an issue to gain high level clarity for the person who asked the Big Question.

  • You will earn you 12 CAE credits for this unique professional development experience.

  • The Thursday session that begins at 5:00 is important to attend because it sets the stage for the days to follow and begins to create the community of the participants. This session is followed by a reception and dinner to further the connections among the group. For you to get maximum benefit, Thursday really plugs you in to the retreat and the attendees.

    On Friday morning, the agenda is created by the participants for the six small circle sessions that will take place Friday and Saturday, with the final small circle session scheduled for after lunch on Saturday. The discussions build upon each other throughout the retreat and continuity for everyone is best maintained if everyone stays until the retreat officially adjourns at 3:15 on Saturday afternoon. The final 'closing circle' is always a time that participants are able to bring closure to the experience by sharing what they've learned from each other.

    We strongly encourage people to arrive the day before the opening session so they can begin to unwind before the retreat begins. Even more strongly, you are encouraged to spend at least Saturday night at the facility so that you can maximize the experience with others, or in contemplation. Most of the participants avail themselves of this opportunity and those that don't usually regret that they didn't. The retreat is scheduled in a fabulous facility that typically includes spa, exercise and golf opportunities, so it's not at all unusual that this is where many participants will plan for additional time together late Saturday afternoon and Sunday!

  • Because of the unique experience that Prometheus creates, often as many as two thirds of the attendees have attended one or more retreats in the past. Prometheans often want to return frequently for the rejuvenation that meaningful conversations with trusted colleagues from a variety of association backgrounds offer.

    The Promethean community, which numbers more than 230, welcomes 'newbies' for the freshness of perspectives and diversity of new questions. New Prometheans are offered the opportunity to connect with a Promethean 'buddy' prior to the retreat to get a more personal sense of the experience and what to expect.

  • No! There is usually an optional tour of the facility and often the facility welcomes everyone at Thursday's reception.
    That's it!

  • We have some good news to report. In order to ensure the continuity of the Prometheus Retreat, recently we incorporated the event under the name Prometheus Consortium, Inc. and have filed for charitable status under the Internal Revenue Code. Keeping with the Prometheus philosophy, we designed a streamlined governance structure and crafted modernized bylaws.

    Using the same low cost, high value model that the Prometheus Retreat has engaged for years, should there be interest on the part of the association community, we are now positioned to organize other events and activities for senior association professionals that promote effective practices, peer consultation, collaborative problem-solving and the exploration of emerging issues in association management.

    Being incorporated also allows us to put in place appropriate financial and administrative policies and practices to help ensure that Prometheus is as stable and successful for the long-term future as it has been in the past. The goal is to preserve the special experience that 15 generations of Prometheans have all found so valuable.