Leonard “Buck” Hoyle, CAE, CMP, a 36-year veteran of the association and meetings industry, passed away on Saturday, July 17, after a brief battle with prostate cancer. He was 71. Hoyle was best known as the chief staff executive of Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, serving from 1981 to 1994. Before that he was director of conventions and executive vice president at the American Society of Association Executives.
In the 1990s Hoyle founded Accolade Communications, Silver Springs, Md., and became a frequent writer and speaker on meeting management. He wrote a book called, published in 2002, which is available on amazon.com. He often gave courses at Affordable Meetings, which he launched while at HSMAI; and at the Religious Conference Management Association’s annual conventions. As past chairman of the Convention Industry Council, he was instrumental in the development of the Certified Meeting Professional designation.
“Buck was a good friend, master educator, and a major presence in the meetings industry,” says DeWayne Woodring, executive director, Religious Conference Management Association. “He was the type of person who always made one happy to be in his presence. His tutorials at RCMA conferences were consistently among the most popular, as he related so well to our members. I treasure memories of the long and sometimes challenging times we spent together in helping develop the CMP certification. Buck will be so missed!”
Hoyle served as an adjunct professor at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He was also named a Fellow of ASAE, a program that recognizes individual accomplishments and contributions to the association community. The headquarters of HSMAI moved from New York to Washington, D.C., under his leadership.
Hoyle worked with both former HSMAI Marketing Review Editor Ilsa Whittemore and Susan Sarfati at ASAE in the 1970s. He convinced Whittemore to follow him from ASAE to HSMAI in 1982.
He hired Sarfati, CEO of High Performance Strategies, formerly executive director of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives, and founding CEO of The Center for Association Leadership, while at ASAE. “I will always remember Buck as a rare person–caring, kind, decent, bright, interested in others, and committed to his work, family, colleagues, and friends,” says Sarfati. “Buck was the person who got me started in the association profession. As soon as I came on board, I quickly saw how much the volunteers, members, and staff absolutely loved working with him and admired him greatly. His passing is so sad and he will be missed.”
Among his work with HSMA (“International” was added to the association name in 1983) was its close partnership with the Insurance Conference Planners Association (now Financial & Insurance Conference Planners). Longtime insurance meeting professional Jim Getscher of Mutual of Omaha says, “I had the opportunity to know and work with Buck during my days with ICPA and his with HSMA. Buck was a true hospitality professional and a good partner to the insurance industry. He had a good understanding of who he represented and the value that the relationship with ICPA brought to both organizations. This partnership provided early recognition of the responsibilities of the meeting planner position and how to best partner with the hotel industry.”
Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI, says, “Buck had many accomplishments while at the helm of HSMAI, the biggest of which was the launch of HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings in 1990. The show continues to be one of the largest assets of the association.”
Hoyle is survived by his wife, Judy, and their two children. A memorial service is planned on Saturday, July 24, at Donaldson Funeral Home in Odenton, Md. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to your local humane society or cancer research.