Message from the President

Dear ICPA Colleagues: As we enter a new year with new challenges and opportunities, we need to do so with the attitude that we can do anything if we pull together. As a prelude, the 2001 Annual Meeting held in November at Atlantis, Paradise Island showed that we can all work together with a common focus. The camaraderie exhibited by those in attendance was refreshing and much needed, particularly in light of the year as a whole and not just the terrible incidents of September 11.

Speaking of the Annual Meeting, by most accounts it appears to be a program that was on target for its educational value and networking opportunities. As mentioned in the November/December issue of ICP, there were many people who put in a lot of time to help ensure a successful program. In that issue I acknowledged those who worked very hard to put the program together. It goes without saying they did an outstanding job, especially impressive when you consider that they also have demanding “day jobs.”

It is the attendees who make or break a meeting, and the participants at the Annual Meeting really made the conference work. I am constantly amazed at the abilities exhibited by this group of meeting planning professionals and hospitality partners when it comes to helping each other. There was no “we versus they.” Everyone realized that we are, in essence, in the same business and can mutually benefit from the support we can lend to each other.

The year 2002 will be a year in which we will again need each other's support as we recoup from the events of 2001. The econ-omy, and perhaps world politics, will again dictate our actions and reactions. I hope we will never again be faced with events like those of September 11, but we will never go back to business exactly as it was before September 11, either. We need to face the reality that we will be working in a different world. We have all heard the overused phrases like “think outside of the box,” “the only thing constant is change itself,” and “you need to remain flexible.” They may sound like clichés, but these thoughts ring true for the future. The old ways will not cut it anymore.

Be safe and be sensitive to others. We are all in this together.
Brett Barrowman

American Fidelity Group

ICPA Gives Back

ICPA Gives Back ICPA brought more than its Annual Meeting to The Islands of The Bahamas: the association donated cash, children's books, toys, and clothes to the Elizabeth Estates Children's Home. “We had an overwhelming turnout from meeting participants,” says Karen Hopkinson, ICPA executive director, who presented the donations to the home. “There were 10 boxes of gifts, plus more than $1,000 in cash donations.” From left: Ingrid Bartlett, senior manager, groups and conferences, Ministry of Tourism; Cherely Kelly, administrator, Elizabeth Estates Children's Home; Karen Hopkinson, executive director, ICPA; Helen Peter, executive assistant, ICPA; Claudette Davis, director of sales, Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board; and Evamae Ferguson, manager, groups and conferences, Ministry of Tourism.

Listening, Learning, and Participating

ICPA's 44th Annual Meeting at Atlantis, Paradise Island

The theme of ICPA's Annual Meeting November 11 to 15, “listening, learning, and participating” was perfect for the attendees' post-9/11 mindset. A record turnout of nearly 500 planners and suppliers seemed eager to gather together, learn from each other, and move forward.

The importance of the insurance conference business to the local economy was made clear in an opening statement by The Honorable Tommy Turnquest, Minister of Tourism, who chose to welcome attendees to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas rather than attend the World Travel Market taking place in London the same day. Many attendees were surprised to learn that just one week earlier, Hurricane Michelle had torn through the Bahamas with wind gusts of more than 100 mph. Thanks to Herculean cleanup efforts, the visible damage to Nassau/Paradise Island was negligible.

This year's program was full of content addressing post-9/11 concerns, ranging from roundtable discussions on such issues as safety and security, to an entertaining and illuminating final keynote by Steve Rizzo called “The Spirit Lives On.”

For more news and photos from ICPA's Annual Meeting, turn to pages 13 and 52, and watch for the next NewsNet.

Your New Board Members

Lynn Averill, National Life, passed the president's gavel to Brett Barrowman, American Fidelity, and two new board members were elected at the annual meeting. They are Debbie Boschee, Prudential, and Gary Pearson, Aon Corp. Leaving the board is Shirley Mertz, Nationwide, who had been immediate past president, and Mauna Hatchett, Indianapolis Life, who had been vice president, education. Gary Pearson is the new vice president, education. Ken Juel, vice president, membership, handed that slot to Debbie Boschee and was named ICPA's president-elect.

SPECIAL THANKS

Our recent 2001 Annual Meeting, held November 11 to 15 at The Atlantis, Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas, was one of the best meetings yet! Look for more information and a listing of all the generous hospitality partner sponsors in your next issue of NewsNet. We would be remiss if we didn't personally thank the following individuals and companies who gave above and beyond to ensure that this meeting was truly a success on all counts: John Washko and Arthur Gordon, Atlantis, Paradise Island Resort; George Brice, Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion Board and The Islands of The Bahamas; Gregory Kurdian and Carolyn Chesnut, Sunbound Bahama Fantasies; Tom Capp, ESPI. Thank you all!
Karen Hopkinson, Executive Director