Like other meeting industry organizations, the Insurance Conference Planners Association (ICPA) has approved a code of ethics for members. "We took the association's original mission statement and revised it," says ICPA President Dale Huff, vice president at Amica Mutual Life Insurance in Providence, RI. "We wanted to make the promotion of high standards part of our mission. Now we have a single document that says this is the association and this is how members act."

Huff says the code of ethics was not created to correct abuses; rather, "we wanted to be on record as acknowledging that our members do act ethically. We've had discussions and breakout sessions [at annual meetings] on ethics. We felt we'd talked about it enough, and now it was time to put something down on paper."

Marcy Helechu, director of conference management at CIGNA in Hartford and vice president/secretary for ICPA, drafted the code (below) after reviewing those of other organizations such as the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives and Meeting Professionals International, along with her company's own ethics code. "This eliminates some of the gray areas," she says.

"When you belong to an association with a code of ethics, it makes you think twice before you take a wrong turn."