Meeting Professionals International (MPI) announced on Thursday that it has appointed David DuBois, CMP, CAE, as interim chief operating officer, effective May 1. DuBois is already executive vice president of the MPI Foundation, MPI’s nonprofit research and education arm. The appointment buys the organization additional time to fill the shoes of departing president and chief executive officer Edwin L. Griffin, Jr., CAE, who is leaving MPI at the end of April after more than 12 years in the post. Griffin announced his planned departure last year, and a CEO search committee, led by MPI chairwoman-elect Terri Breining, CMP, CMM has been seeking a permanent replacement since the beginning of 2003. A first search committee was disbanded in February over a breach in confidentiality, but at that time MPI officials said the search would go on as scheduled with a reconstituted committee. On Thursday, Breining explained that more time was needed. "Because this is one of the most influential positions in the meetings industry, we are taking adequate time to ensure the most qualified leader is appointed in the best interest of the MPI membership, volunteer leaders, staff and the industry," she said.

George Aguel, 2002-2003 chairman of the board for MPI, expressed his faith in both DuBois and the committee’s efforts. "David DuBois is very respected in the meetings industry and has the knowledge and experience to ensure that MPI moves forward and successfully fulfills all of its plans during this time of transition," Aguel said.

As interim COO, DuBois will oversee all staff operations at MPI's international headquarters in Dallas, as well as offices in Europe and Canada. He will continue his role as executive vice president of the MPI Foundation. DuBois served as MPI's chief operating officer from 1995 to 2000, and returned to the association in February 2002 as executive vice president of the MPI Foundation. He brings more than 25 years of hotel marketing and association management experience to the position, including serving as president and CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) from 2000-2002. For more information, visit www.mpiweb.org http://www.mpiweb.org.