The theme for our 2005 annual conference, Be a Part of It!, could not be more appropriate. Never has our association presented more opportunity for its members to participate than we do today!

There are many ways our members can contribute toward our future. Committee-level options include, but are not limited to, membership, education, nominating, design teams, and numerous other committees under consideration. We encourage you to get involved in your association! It is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve a work-life balance and we at the association realize the challenges.

We need you! If you are interested in volunteering for a committee or becoming a Board candidate, I encourage you to let us know. Speaking from personal experience, I can honestly say that my involvement on the Board has been one of great reward and personal achievement.

Through the association's proposed name change and an effort geared specifically to financial services, we've generated a great deal of interest and realized a net membership gain of 7 percent over the same time period last year. Our ongoing commitment is strengthened by the addition of numerous educational programming sessions tailored specifically to the needs of financial services meeting professionals.

I am grateful to John Touchette for his leadership over the past year. Upon his election to president, John outlined specific goals. I am proud to report we have achieved them with great aplomb, properly aligning our association for the future. These achievements include the following:

  • Improved communication to members
  • Helping members to understand the need for change
  • Preparing ICPA for a strong future, both financially and through membership initiatives
  • Developing committees and volunteer opportunities to further involve more of our members
  • Creating new educational opportunities through webcasting and other methods
  • Demonstrating our commitment to, and appreciation for, the HP community

In addition, we remain committed to our HP community with the re-evaluation of our current sponsorship model and the desire for equity for all in the future. Our sponsors are the financial life-line of our association. If you have any ideas about how to improve member relationships with our loyal HPpartners, please let me know.

The 2005 Annual Meeting design team, under the leadership of Debbie Boschee, worked hard creating a conference to meet all the educational and networking needs of members and hospitality partners — and achieved record attendance. The results of our bylaws ballot, which included the association name change, was shared at the conference, while we also welcomed the newest members of the Board.

It has been a very busy year, and the one ahead looks as if it will be too. I look forward to these exciting opportunities and to working with the Board, our members (current and future), and Hospitality Partners alike. I remain grateful to all of you for your support, and I encourage you all to get involved, stay involved, and Be a Part of It!

Michael S. Burke, CMP
ICPA President