CLC Chooses New Leader Association Management Group, which has 18 association clients nationwide and a strong expertise in certification programs, has been contracted to manage the Convention Liaison Council, the conglomerate of industry associations that runs the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program. Garis Distelhorst, CAE, is CLC's new president and CEO. Distelhorst, president of Association Initiatives Inc., is a past chairman of the American Society of Association Executives and former CEO of the National Association of College Stores.

Distelhorst says he would like to bring more focus to the economic impact of the convention industry, to improve the recognition of CMPs, and to expand the program.Jump-starting the recertification program and "getting his arms around APEX" are two other goals. APEX, or the Approved Practices Excellence Exchange, is an initiative that CLC, with its more than two dozen constituent associations, is "uniquely positioned to tackle," Distelhorst says. His office will present a business plan and a five-year implementation timeline to the CLC board in October.

The day-to-day administration of the CMP program will be handled out of AMG's McClean, Va., office, but the office of the president will be located in Westlake, Ohio, where Distelhorst lives and where he will work as CLC 's full-time CEO. CLC had been managed by the Resource Center for Associations in Wheat Ridge, Colo.

Outreach: Help Turkey Quake Victims The meeting and incentive industry has rallied support for victims of Turkey's devastating earthquake, which killed and injured tens of thousands of people. A fund, Incentive Partners for Relief, has been established. You can send your donations directly to the fund, using the ABA wire number 122101706. The account number is 0046703315. Your funds will either go directly to the Red Cross or to a relief agency in Istanbul.

For more information, contact Echo Farrell, Destination Echoes, USA Representation, at (480) 607-9990, or send a fax to (480) 607-9995. If you have a meeting scheduled in Turkey, you don't need to worry about it, says Patricia Fisch, U.S. Office for Istanbul, Turkey, Conventions and Conferences, Washington, D.C. "We are trying to let meeting planners know that nothing that has been there for 1,500 years has been damaged." Istanbul's hotels, as well as its historic sites, are also unhurt.

Not one convention has canceled because of the earthquake, Fisch says. She adds that she received a call from a staffer from the International Skeletal Society, booked for a 2001 conference, who told Fisch that the society was still coming to Turkey, and contributing money to alleviate the horror. "They really had a heart," says Fisch.