Section 2: Corporate Relations

The purpose of these corporate relations policies is to document the policies and procedures governing the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s chapters, affiliates and regional volunteer committees. These policies and procedures establish guidelines for achieving business development goals and objectives including:

  • Increasing the number of HBA corporate partners and sponsors
  • Engaging current corporate partners
  • Selling chapter and regional sponsorships
  • Working with chapter and regional committees to satisfy venues/space needs for events
  • Providing platform for industry visibility and exposure
  • Managing and safeguarding the association’s funds

Policy authors

Ken Burris, corporate relations, senior director, global business development and sales 

Lauren Peck, senior manager, corporate development

Kathleen Rietzl, corporate relations, account manager

Jeanne Piceno, corporate relations, coordinator

Policy users

Corporate relations center of excellence (COE) president, regional director business development, regional director corporate engagement, regional director ambassador program, regional director operations and insights, HBA regional leadership, chapters, committee volunteers responsible for business development (sales of sponsorships and corporate partnerships) and corporate engagement (engaging corporate partner companies and their employees with HBA, and development/management of ambassador programs within HBA gold and purple corporate partners).

Policy details
Customer definitions:

  • Corporate partners (CPs): companies purchasing HBA corporate partner packages
  • Sponsors: companies who purchase sponsorship packages for HBA events
  • Prospects: any company who is a potential new corporate partner or sponsor

HBA staff

  • HBA central: Refers all to the HBA’s association personnel
  • HBA corporate relations team: all staff managing corporate customers (corporate partners, sponsors, prospects and the HBA volunteer leadership interacting with those corporate stakeholders)

HBA Corporate relations volunteer leadership

  • Corporate Relations Center of Excellence (CR COE) president: leads the regional CR COE and provides corporate relations expertise to the region. Involved in engagement/sales strategy development and managing other CR leaders
  • Regional directors: the CR COE has up to four regional directors who manage their function in the region and oversee regional committees:
    • business development - required
    • corporate engagement - required
    • ambassador program - optional
    • operations and insights - optional
  • Corporate relations COE leadership: refers to the CR COE presidents and CR regional directors
  • Business Development: serves HBA sponsor companies (non-corporate partners) and prospects
  • Corporate engagement: serves HBA corporate partner locations within their geography
  • Ambassador program: a specific HBA program offered to high-level CPs only, building HBA within a particular CP site
  • Committee chair: reports to a regional director and leads a committee overseeing a specific geography* within the region, liaising with the chapters within that geography as needed
  • Liaison: a volunteer who reports to the committee chair and either:
    • liaises with one or more corporate customers for the purposes of engagement and sales
    • or is an employee of a company acting as the direct liaison for their company, a “corporate liaison,” bringing company information to HBA and feeding HBA information into their company 

*Note: a regional CR committee oversees a particular geography within the region. Specific geographies are defined as needed by the CR COE president and regional directors. If a particular regional geography happens to coincide with a chapter’s geography, it is important to note that the regional committee is responsible for serving the corporate customers within that chapter area, not for serving the chapter needs.

Sponsorship rules

HBA regions, chapters and affiliates must abide by the sponsorship package rules created and distributed by the HBA corporate relations team. Sponsorship packages are available for both year-long sponsorships and event-based sponsorships. Packages cover both cash and in-kind sponsors and include registrations, online recognition, and in-person sponsor recognition. Sponsor type definitions and additional guidance can be found here

CR regional directors and committee members must work together (with programming and local chapters) to develop plans for contacting current HBA corporate partners to request additional event sponsorship support. 

Event sponsors must be called only “sponsors” and not “corporate sponsors” or “corporate partners” and corporate partner benefits are not to be provided to event sponsors.

All sponsorships must be reported to HBA Central using the HBA Invoice Request and Sponsorship Agreement Form.pdf  properly following the procedures listed here.

Corporate partnership sales

All regional representatives must abide by the corporate partner packages provided by the HBA. Corporate partners receive certain benefits for their level of commitment to the HBA and these benefits are managed by the HBA central corporate relations staff. 

Request for changes to the standard package offerings must be discussed with and approved by the HBA central corporate relations team. 

Corporate partner package sales must follow the appropriate procedures as outlined in our sales processes.


Each region should keep up-to-date a list of all prospects, sponsors and corporate partners within their geography. Corporate relations leaders and liaisons should update this list as needed to track revenue for past and upcoming events, prospects for sponsorships and corporate partner packages, local sponsorship agreements from corporate partner companies within their area and other major engagement developments. The HBA central corporate relations team provides the format these templates should follow so that data may be imported into the HBA CRM system for tracking and reporting. 

Corporate relations organizational charts

Responsibilities, communications and reporting

Corporate relations (CR) center of excellence (COE) presidents will be required to:

  • contribute as thought leaders to global COE and corporate relations expert on the Regional Council
  • integrate COE global strategies and priorities to the regional planning
  • coordinate all functions within/across their region’s CR COE committees; ensures all activities are addressed
  • primary liaison with regional leaders and other CR COE leaders 
  • ensure focus on HBA corporate customers, existing and new

Regional directors will be required to:

  • contribute as thought leaders to global COE
  • integrate COE global strategies and priorities to the regional planning for their focus area
  • manage regional COE committees to provide COE expertise and/or offerings to region as needed
  • ensure alignment of plans internally within the COE and with the programming COE 
  • ensure liaisons properly report interactions and adhere to procedures and policy 

Corporate relations committee chairs will be required to:

  • participate in regular calls with their regional director to understand regional corporate relations strategy/priorities and programming needs
  • Communicate regularly with chapter(s) in their given geography to understand chapter sponsorship needs and engagement opportunities
  • Transfer chapter and regional knowledge and information to their committee liaisons through regular touch points
  • Provide input on strategic decisions made affecting their geography

Business development liaisons will be required to:

  • find venues/space/sponsors for local events for chapters and regional committees
  • secure new sponsors for the HBA
  • seek out new corporate partners in region (working in conjunction with company assigned account management team)
  • be “the” volunteer pool who approaches companies on the HBA’s behalf 

Corporate engagement liaisons will be required to:

  • find venues/space/sponsors for local events for chapters and regional committees  
  • liaise with local locations of HBA corporate partner companies to engage them and their employees with the region and chapter, matching company needs with chapter/regional needs and vice versa as needed
  • seek out prospective Ambassador Program companies (currently Purple, Gold and select Silver corporate partners only)
  • be “the” volunteer pool who engages companies on the HBA’s behalf, working to entrench the HBA inside that local site.

Business Development Policies

Business development as a focus requires additional tools and resources to be successful. HBA allows Business Development regional directors access to two tools, a BD prospect code and Membership/Event reports, but strict adherence to the policies below is required for continued usage.

HBA New Business Development Prospect Program:

To help our regional Business Development teams better demonstrate the value of HBA to potential prospects, HBA offers a program to encourage individuals from new prospect companies to attend one HBA event at no charge. Currently there is no option available to prospective companies to experience the value of HBA programming and learn all HBA has to offer before entering into a formal sponsorship or Corporate Partnership agreement. This will be reviewed regularly to measure success and adherence to the policy guidelines to avoid code abuse.

Company Qualifications:

  • Company must have not been a Corporate Partner in the past three years. 
  • Companies should be in one of our Tier ½ focused targets:
    • Medical Device 
    • Medical Technology (Healthcare Software Companies/Technological Advancements)
    • Biotechnology Companies
    • Start-ups Healthcare Companies 
    • Small Pharmaceuticals
    • Universities
    • Healthcare consulting companies

Program guidelines

  • Each regional CR COE will be provided one prospect code annually to be used for business development purposes to demonstrate the value of HBA to specific companies and encourage their sponsorship or new Corporate Partnership 
  • The business development team can invite individuals from a prospect company to a local educational event, providing them the code so they can register at no charge for that particular event and get a taste for HBA
  • When a code is given to a prospect company, CR COE must alert the Programming event leader of its usage for that event
  • A CR COE representative must attend the event to serve as the prospect’s host, demonstrating radical hospitality and further expanding on the benefits of HBA


Prospect codes can only be used:

  • for business development purposes 
  • no more than 4 times for any particular educational event (i.e. no more than two individuals from two prospect companies at any particular event)
  • only once per company in a given region and only by two individuals maximum
  • for local educational events only

o   Code does not apply to flagship events, affinity group programs, networking or engagement events.

o   Exceptions can be made to this rule for webinars if request is made in advance to HBA Central*

  • Failure to adhere to these rules may result in revocation of code.


  • Code usage must be tracked by the region: which companies are being targeted for code usage, who from those companies was given the code, who attended from that company, which event and any other information necessary for follow up
  • The CR COE must report to HBA Central* no more than eight weeks post-event on the status of the sponsor/ partnership agreement and what follow up steps will be taken if needed
  • HBA Central* will monitor code usage on a monthly basis for misuse or abuse. Codes suspected of misuse will be turned off.
  • If the region notices any code abuse, please alert HBA Central who will turn off the abused code and issue a new one to the regional leadership

CR leadership - access to reports

CR presidents and regional directors have access to real time membership and event attendance reports for their region to better inform their strategy. Compliance by these leaders on the below guidance is required.

Membership reports: personal information shared in membership reports cannot be used for personal reasons. If planning to do any direct outreach to members for any reason, the BD RD must first coordinate with the Engagement COE to avoid any conflicts with current outreach campaigns, to see if the two teams can coordinate their outreach and/or to see if the outreach fits into any other overall Engagement strategies currently ongoing.

Event reports: personal information shared in event attendance reports cannot be used for personal reasons. Information gleaned from these reports should inform BD and CE strategy and in-person conversations, but not result in any direct outreach to attendees via email or phone. 

Reminder: mass emails should never be sent to large groups so we remain compliant with federal laws and retain the ability to communicate with our members

Corporate Relations Functional calls

Corporate relations functional calls will be held each month and will be arranged by the HBA central corporate relations team.. These calls will be required for the CR COE leadership and will include the opportunity for sharing information on best practices, news and updates in business development (new accounts, new sponsors and won/lost corporate partner opportunities), corporate engagement and more.