On April 30, 2003, Edwin L. Griffin, CAE, will leave his post as president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International. In late October, Griffin and MPI reached a mutual decision not to renew his contract. At the end of this tenure, Griffin will have served 12 years.

At press time, MPI's board of directors had not finalized plans or set a timeframe to find a new CEO.

In a statement, Griffin noted a number of accomplishments during his term, including MPI's growth from 9,000 to 19,000 members, its increase in chapters from 40 to 60, and the addition of offices in Luxembourg and Ottawa. Additionally, Griffin noted the development of the Certified Meeting Manager senior-level certification program.

He also spoke about international growth during his tenure, as MPI membership in Europe grew from 100 to 1,200 members. MPI has also ventured into Japan, Australia, and, most recently, Mexico, in the past 12 years. Griffin met with prime ministers from the U.K., Scotland, and Canada, and with Mexico's president to raise industry awareness.

Griffin spoke highly of his staff, calling them “underappreciated and over-achievers.”

At MPI's 2002 World Education Conference in Toronto in August, Griffin noted the organization was “rebounding well in a year of crisis,” having lost nearly 700 members, but regaining more than half by the meeting. He expected to regain the final 300 members. A short period of relaxed rules allowed suppliers to join without a matching meeting planner, although those suppliers would have to add a matching planner within a set time frame to retain membership.

He also saw MPI move toward what he called a “personal touch” with members, using new techniques and ideas to show members that MPI cares, personally and professionally, about their goals and objectives.

“I believe that I have demonstrated my commitment and dedication to improving the industry,” he said.

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