CLC appointed the Resource Center for Associations in Wheat Ridge, CO, as its new management firm at the meeting in November, the first under the new CLC's governance structure.

The Resource Center, headed by Francine Butler, was selected from among six finalists. One of its strongest points was Butler's understanding of the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program, says Craig Smith, CLC chair. Butler was one of the founding board members of the CMP, and has been involved with the certification programs in other industries, including healthcare, as well.

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) had been managing CLC for many years. CLC was not at all dissatisfied with ASAE, clarifies Smith. Rather, CLC adopted a new strategic plan last year that changed its governance structure, and the new board of directors decided to separate the administrative side of CLC from its governance side. Since ASAE is a permanent board member, along with the other three large meeting planner associations, the board felt it was better to bring in another firm, Smith explains.

The first big project Butler will tackle, in conjunction with consultant Hugh Lee of Fusion Productions, is the creation of the CLC Forum, to be held April 27 to 29 at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New York, Smith says, to which 250 industry representatives and government representatives will be invited. It may be an event similar to the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism. However, unlike that conference, where, Smith says, the meetings and expositions industry was "blown over," this conference would impress upon government the importance of the convention industry. The four high-impact issues already identified: the impact of technology on all segments of the industry; the financial future of the industry, including the impact of consolidations; industry leadership in local political issues; and the impact and high value of meetings, conventions, and exhibitions on local economies.