PULSE: Meet IAOP’s New Strategic Advisory Board Chair: Moving Ahead with Maura

Meet IAOP’s New Strategic Advisory Board Chair: Moving Ahead with Maura

IAOP’s new Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) Chair Maura Hudson is on a mission to make every interaction with the association valuable and she’s already enlisting other members to become “force multipliers” to propel the industry group forward.

With over 16 years of involvement with IAOP, she’s uniquely positioned for the leadership role having witnessed both the evolution of outsourcing along with the changes by the association to best serve its members’ needs.

Hudson, Colliers Senior Vice President, Brand, Insights & Innovation Group, brings a broad industry perspective with two decades of experience in global marketing, operations and competitive solutions in professional services industries, including commercial real estate, outsourcing, and financial services. 

Before being named SAB Chair in May at OWS23 in Chicago, Hudson, also a Certified Outsourcing Professional (COP), served as its Vice Chair. Over the years, she has co-chaired the Women's Empowerment, Leadership & Diversity, and Real Estate & Facilities Management chapters. For her outstanding volunteer service and leadership, she was voted IAOP Member of the Year in 2018 and also was recognized with the Red Ladder Unstoppable Woman Award in 2022.

Hudson succeeds Neil S. Hirshman, COP, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, who now serves as Chair Emeritus. Michael Nacarato, COP, Senior Director, Transamerica, is the new Vice Chair.

PULSE talked with Hudson about the SAB, her aspirations, and the exciting future IAOP and its members can look forward to. In this dynamic industry, one thing is certain, this dedicated leader will keep moving IAOP fast forward…so get ready!   

P: How do SAB members contribute and gain value from their position?

M: Our board is balanced between customers, providers, advisors and leaders of strategic initiatives within the outsourcing space. Given today’s evolving business climate, it is essential to reimagine the who, what and why of outsourcing, and redefine parameters for its success. The SAB is in a unique position to advance the association’s mission by building on its foundation with new thinkers, enablers and active contributors. Our SAB members are leaders within their fields and also benefit from the interaction and relationships developed among its members and IAOP's executive team. Through serving in this vital position, they help shape the direction of the industry's leading professional association.

P: Explain the shift over the years to the Centers of Excellence. Is there something for everyone at IAOP?

M: In my 16 years being involved with IAOP, I have been part of an engagement shift of our membership base from a regional and specialty topic focus into more concentrated topics. This has also tied to the way our members tend to engage with the organization. Long before the start of the pandemic, it became more important to rally subject matter experts across global and local regions on key topics more virtually or as part of our annual conference events, versus trying to engage in key market hubs where members were based. Some topics would fit well in some markets and receive a lot of attention, especially when some of our strongest leaders were driving the process. But more often than not it was hard to show the value of a live connection for a laundry list of topics that ultimately would ebb and wane with time and changing talent.

After some study and feedback from members, IAOP determined that three areas of topic strength resonated the most with the majority of the active IAOP population, buyers, suppliers and advisors alike: Digital Technologies, Future of Work, and Collaborative Supplier Governance. These areas are where most of our subject matter experts and thought leadership drive the strongest conversations and solutions. In addition, the Center for Social Impact is a knowledge area that resonates across IAOP’s membership, especially in these times with a growing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) focus by all organizations.

P: What value have you gotten from IAOP membership and volunteer service over the years?

M: When I first joined IAOP, I was also relatively new to commercial real estate (CRE) and its outsourcing function. Being able to learn about my company and the outsourcing industry inside and outside real estate at the same time benefitted my career journey in so many ways. I quickly learned the relative rigor and value of becoming a Certified Outsourcing Professional (COP) to help demonstrate industry credibility and insight when working with clients or even in my own solutioning function within Corporate Services. The IAOP Global Outsourcing 100, of which all of the companies I’ve worked for have been recognized, showed our validated strength among a stellar list of complimentary peers. Indeed, all of IAOP’s award programs create awareness and pedigree of a continued burgeoning function that more and more people are becoming aware of.

And where do I start with all of the live events, either in person or virtual? Every time I get involved, I gain more knowledge and “aha” moments, discover new ways of delivering service and measuring results, enhance my collaboration skills, and learn how to leave the industry better than we found it. I have been fortunate to contribute to panels, mentor other members, and, most recently, participate in workshops to create tools and resources needed to improve our business and its place in society. Incubating something brand new from the ground up is a thrilling experience, and there are countless opportunities for motivated people to take part at IAOP.

P: What are your goals as Chair and what is the focus for the board looking forward?

M: One of my favorite phrases, and way overused, is “moving the ball down the court.” I am honestly not quite sure why I gravitate to it, as I am more of a tennis player and, these days, a long-distance runner. But I find that we cannot afford inertia at this pivotal point in our association’s history, and “moving the ball” is critical.

My mission as chair is to make every meeting and interaction count, and connect the dots among all outsourcing professionals who have shared interests and drive to improve and evolve this space and their place in it.

Our first board meeting of the year was this month, and I am already so thrilled by the individuals in the room and their shared passion for driving new levels of membership growth, leadership and expertise via an updated COP program and thought leader platform, and driving real progress through strategic development and awareness initiatives including those identified by the Center for Social Impact, among other activities.

P: How are in-person events like OWS and Center of Excellence meetings of the minds valuable and why should people attend?

M: It’s hard to replicate the value of in-person events, large or small. Both types offer their own special value, as we have learned most recently with the reimagined OWS in Chicago this year. Having a more focused, intimate group of several hundred professionals versus over double that created a new, unprecedented level of connection and active engagement, one where everyone stayed together, challenged each other, and introduced new opportunities to absorb and celebrate.

There are so many new ways we can deliver content and opportunities to build exciting things together through our Centers of Excellence and annual events, activities that with funding or in-kind support will create incredible spaces for these partners to share their unique messages and help us all become force multipliers.    

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