Sharon Chapman, CMP Meeting Planner Berkshire Life Insurance Co. Pittsfield, Mass.

Years of Service: 3

Responsibilities: (1)Oversee logistics of all sales incentive and training programs; (2)Assist in the design of the annual budget and manage expenses

Interests: Reading, playing golf, and walking. Until recently, I also enjoyed being a "swim-team mom" for my two children. Fifteen years of driving to pre-dawn practice sessions was great preparation for my current profession!

Family: Doug, a wonderful husband and best friend of 24 years; two children, Shaun (20) and Kelly (18)

Challenges for ICPA: (1)Continuing to produce a high level of educational value during the annual meeting. With ever-increasing time constraints in everyone's work environment, we need to present new ideas and educate more with fewer resources of time and money; (2)Increasing membership and attracting more members to both the Educational Forum and the Annual Meeting; (3)Preserving the feeling of "family" within the organization while increasing the number of members to relieve some of the economic issues

Reasons for becoming a candidate: (1)Education is the most valuable resource we have. If a person walks away with one new piece of knowledge from a meeting, the meeting has been successful. Being fortunate enough to have an employer that is supportive of my personal development, I would like the opportunity to give back some of the learning experiences in order to help my peers succeed. (2)The CMP is not without controversy, but I would like to help other planners and suppliers understand the process and benefits of obtaining a professional designation. (3)I would welcome the opportunity to help increase ICPA's resources by helping to increase membership, which is important to the success of any organization.

Other comments: ICPA is a unique and wonderful industry asset. I came from the retail world, where planning meetings means throwing something together during free time in your workday. There was no networking among peers, no educating during a coffee break, and no one to turn to for advice on a property, speaker, or content of a meeting. I am honored with the nomination to serve on the ICPA Board and hope I gain the opportunity to be part of the infrastructure that makes this organization so successful.

Barb Giesbrecht Asst Conference & Event Planning Manager Great-West Life Assurance Company, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Years of Service: 25

Responsibilities: (1)To act in a consulting capacity for all aspects of conference planning; (2)Planning, coordination, supervision of a number of large company programs and special events

Interests: Golfing, crafts, and heading to our cottage in lake country for a little "R & R"

Family: Husband, Warren, and one adult son, Regan

Challenges for ICPA: (1)Keeping ICPA as an educational resource for financial planners; (2)Keeping the ICPA membership interactive; (3)Attracting new members as well as retaining current membership; (4)Ensuring that the ICPA Code of Ethics is followed

Reasons for becoming a candidate: It is an honor to have been asked to run for the Board. ICPA has played a very important role in my career in the area of support and guidance. It is always easier to be on the outside looking in and I would like to give back to ICPA a little bit of what the association has given to me both professionally and personally.

Ken Juel Manager, Sales Incentives and Recognition Programs Mutual of Omaha, Omaha, Neb.

Years of Service: 16

Responsibilities: To plan and direct the development and execution of promotional programs and communication related to the company's incentive travel programs, incentives, contests and/or recognition programs. This position also includes setting the qualification requirements for the above programs and the development and execution of the business programs conducted at the above.

Interests: Tom Clancy novels, Stephen King novels, coaching baseball/soccer, and my acreage

Family: I have been married to my wife, Suzette, for 20 years this October. Most people say she is a saint to put up with me and my position. I have two very active boys, Devin, who is 12, and Jared, who is 9. Both are involved in baseball, soccer, basketball, and Boy Scouts.

Challenges for ICPA: The Internet and the selling of hotel space will be a challenge as well as a benefit. I feel the auction concept of space, both individual rooms and room blocks, may create conflict for both meeting planners and hoteliers. Rate clauses in contracts will further complicate the issue.

Also, I feel ICPA needs to assist meeting planners in promoting the importance of the position and the role that a meeting planner can play in a company. ICPA could provide tools for meeting planners to educate management in their companies that the position is a professional one, that it adds value to a company, and that planners can have a positive impact on the bottom line by controlling expenses.

Reasons for becoming a candidate: To learn from others - It is a tremendous opportunity to interact with other members, and a position on the board would exponentially compound the number of opportunities to learn. To serve others - It is easy to become isolated from meeting planners from other companies and the issues facing them. I would dedicate myself to understanding the concerns and issues other planners face and share those issues with board members to see if ICPA can be an asset in addressing them.

Other comments: I want to thank Brett Barrowman and the ICPA board for the opportunity. In the last couple of years, I have learned just how valuable an organization ICPA can be to both planners and suppliers. Through my dedication to the spirit of what ICPA represents, I feel I can add value to the board and the organization as a whole.

J. Michael Key Director, Meetings & Incentives Monumental Life Insurance Co. Durham, N.C.

Years of Service: 25

Responsibilities: Planning, budgeting, and designing meetings, award and incentive programs, and sales support activities. My meeting planning activities include negotiating contracts, selecting sites, and organizing all arrangements for three major meetings per year ranging in size from 300 to 2,400 attendees.

Interests: I enjoy my job because it allows me to travel to wonderful destinations and make new friends. For fun, I collect wine, attend spectator sports, work on my lawn and garden, and most of all, help raise a 12-year-old son.

Family: Married to Connie; one daughter, Allyson, 24; one son, Andrew, 12

Challenges for ICPA: I see opportunities for ICPA in the 21st century. These include increasing our membership by recognizing additional financial institutions that have insurance divisions as part of their operations; enhancing networking opportunities between planners via the Internet, conference calls, educational forums, and chapter meetings; continuing to expand educational opportunities for all members; and further promoting the benefits of membership in companies without members.

Reasons for becoming a candidate: I have been a member of ICPA for eight years and have been very pleased with what the organization has achieved over those years. The education I have received has been invaluable, especially since my meetings have grown from 200 attendees to now over 2,000. The friendships I've made and the advice that I've received from fellow planners has helped me grow as a professional and expanded my career opportunities.

I was flattered to be nominated and have received enthusiastic support from my boss, who has served our industry as president of the Life Communicators Association. And finally, my family gave me permission to be away from home a few more nights. Simply put, I believe owe our organization something back.

Other comments: When I first joined ICPA in 1992, I got the impression that a "we/they" attitude existed between planners and suppliers. In recent years, this barrier has begun to diminish.

As a member of the ICPA Board, I would attempt to continue strengthening our relationships with our Hospitality Partners. I recognize that, as a unified team, we have a better chance of achieving our joint goal of planning productive meetings. Finally, I would like to suggest that we planners communicate more among ourselves. There is a wealth of knowledge among ICPA members. We need to share that knowledge with each other.

ICPA planner members will elect two new members of the Board of Directors during the ICPA Annual Meeting, November 5 to 9 at The Broadmoor.

Planner members will receive proxy ballots soon. If you will not be at the Annual Meeting, you may vote in the Board of Directors election by faxing or mailing back your proxy ballot. Didn't get a ballot? Contact: Karen or Helen, ICPA (604) 988-2054/phone