Dear ICPA Members and Hospitality Partners:

As I prepare to step down as ICPA President, I have been reflecting on all that has transpired in our association during my past three years on the Board. While it is amazing at how much has changed during that time period, is also remarkable how much has remained unchanged.

Ours is a relationship business and, I firmly believe, it will always be. Certainly technology has helped us to be become more efficient in the way we go about our business. I know I'm always looking for the newest and greatest tools to further increase efficiencies. There are things, however, that technology cannot replace — people!

One of the things I enjoy most about this industry is that it is so relationship-driven. Through my active membership in ICPA, I have been afforded the opportunity to meet so many people over the years, many of whom I call friends. This network of people has been there through good times and bad. We've shared ideas, learned from each other, negotiated successful contracts, organized highly effective meetings, and in the end helped each other grow and develop.

This point was particularly evident this year as the Board of Directors made the decision to relocate the ICPA headquarters to Chicago. The relationship side of this decision made it that much more difficult. All of the business reasons pointed to the fact that it was the right thing to do for the future of our association. Our membership was stagnant and the Board was bogged down in the administration of the association, which did not allow the Board the time to develop a strong strategic direction. ICPA needs to be positioned in the future to bring more value to our members. It is more important now than ever that you rally around and support YOUR association as we look forward to a brighter, stronger future.

What an exciting time for ICPA! I feel extremely fortunate to have served as your President, and look forward to my final year on the Board. Wonderful opportunities lie ahead for us all personally and for our association as we “paddle together as one.” I look forward to seeing you in Hawaii!