- Better Together
In welcoming attendees to the Financial & Insurance Conference Planners Annual Conference in Toronto last November, outgoingPresident Cindy Wheaton, CMP, of Nationwide Financial Network, said, “I applaud you and your companies for making the commitment to be here.” She was talking to both planners and hospitality partners, all of whom had been deeply affected by a year's worth of canceled programs, layoffs, budget cuts, and overall scrutiny of the business of meetings. “We are all survivors,” she said. “We are coming out of the down cycle and there is optimism for the future.”
She noted that FICP ended the year financially healthy, and reviewed the year's accomplishments, including a re-engineered Web site; a restructured system of FICP regions; and the Online Exchange, a way for planners and HPers to share information and experiences electronically.
- New Leadership
On the closing day of the conference, Wheaton officially handed over the FICP president's gavel to Dan Young, CMP, CLU, ChFC, LLIF, of Thrivent Financial. Even though, as Young commented, “doing less with less is the new normal,” he said he considers it “an exciting time to be connected to this industry.” Tough times spark new types of partnerships between planners and HPers, challenging their abilities to trim budgets without diminishing attendee experiences.
FICP also introduced three new board members: Koleen Roach, Securian Financial, serving as VP, finance; Jana Stern, ING, as VP, education; and Florine Edwards, CMP, CMM, FM Global, as VP, regions. Continuing on the board are Jan Hennessey, CMP, CMM, of Jan Hennessey Events, as VP, communications; Kelli Livers, CMP, ForeThought Financial Group, as VP, membership; Nancy Farmer, CMP, The Hanover, as VP, sponsorship; Cindy Wheaton, CMP, Nationwide Financial Network, as immediate past president and 2010 annual conference chairwoman, and Steve Bova, CAE, executive director. Todd Zint, CMP, CMM, of National Financial Partners, was announced as the association's president-elect.
On the Hospitality Partner Committee, Bill Hopkins of Hopkins Entertainment handed over the chairmanship to Brent Centlivre, Disney Resort Destinations. New HP Committee members are Bob Beach, CMP, Destination Hotels & Resorts; Colleen Brzozowski, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa; and Katy Gettinger, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Remain-ing members are Bill Hopkins; Kathy Fort-Carty, Destination Services Corp.; and Dan Tavrytzky, Southwest Conference Planners.