The Green Meeting Industry Council's search for a new executive director has ended. The Portland, Ore.-based organization appointed Tamara Kennedy Hill to the role, effective May 15. Hill comes to GMIC from Travel Portland, the city's convention and visitors bureau, where she was co-founder and team leader of the bureau's International Green Team.

Hill succeeds Shawna McKinley, who had held the position since October 2006. McKinley resigned in August to become a project manager at Meeting Strategies Worldwide, also in Portland, but had been acting as interim executive director while the association looked for her replacement.

GMIC has also opted to hire an association management company to take over day-to-day operations. Association Management Systems — which manages The National Renewable Energy Association, among other groups — will begin working with Hill and GMIC this month. Among other initiatives, AMS, based in Wheaton, Ill., has been charged with updating GMIC's Web site and forming North American and European chapters, which the association hopes to roll out within a year.

“We have doubled in size over the past few months,” says Nancy Wilson, CMP, co-founder of the organization and executive board member. “It was time for us to develop the infrastructure to support our growth by appointing a full-time executive director and an association management company.”

As a result of the new appointments, “GMIC will be more active in industry events and [members] will receive more correspondence and information,” said Amy Spatrisano, CMP, GMIC board chairwoman, in an e-mail to members.

One way that the organization is already expanding its reach is by helping to set standards for green meetings as part of the Convention Industry Council's Accepted Practices Exchange initiative. (The GMIC was accepted as a new member of CIC in April.) Among Hill's first responsibilities as executive director will be to sit on the APEX committee and work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop those standards.

In other GMIC news, the association has selected Pittsburgh for its 2009 annual conference, to be held February 15 to 19. For more information on GMIC, go to

Strategic Reading

If you're not sure if your attendees could benefit from open space meeting design, the highly participatory process that allows attendees to decide on the issues to discuss, you're not alone. The revised and expanded third edition of Open Space Technology: A User's Guide, by Harrison Owen, aims to help you answer that question. Owen, the originator of the open space method, details what planners need to do before, during, and after an open-space event to ensure a productive experience. The new edition includes expanded material on how to work with clients, an updated list of resources, and a section on new technology applications for report writing.