Message from the President

It seems as though every time I pick up a publication of any sort, I read about having to adapt to the current environment. My reaction is that being adaptable is a no-brainer. After all, we adapt to new situations every day.

When I look at our ICPA membership, I think every one of us is very adaptable. As meeting planning professionals, we have no choice but to adapt if we are to survive. The question is: What things change when we adapt? Is there a downside as well as an upside?

At the ICPA Annual Meeting two years ago, the membership agreed that we needed to expand our horizons. We examined our industry and saw that as an association we needed to adapt to changes that were happening in the traditional insurance spectrum. It was apparent that the insurance industry was evolving way beyond insurance and into financial services. Insurance companies were, and still are, absorbing competitors in their traditional markets and also merging with companies whose products complement the basic insurance product. At the same time, financial services companies are expanding their portfolios by acquiring traditional insurance companies.

This was the basis of our decision to invite meeting planning professionals who are actively engaged in the financial services industry into the ranks of ICPA. I believe this can be beneficial for everyone because the lines between insurance and financial services are becoming increasingly blurred.

So what's the downside? I really do not think there is one, and I believe that ICPA members and Hospitality Partners agree with me. The more we can learn from each other, and particularly from those who may bring different perspectives to various issues in the financial services industry, the better off we are.

Since opening up our membership two years ago, we have welcomed many members from financial services companies. The inquiries are growing as more and more meeting planning professionals recognize the value of ICPA. If you know of planners in the financial services field looking for an organization that prides itself on fostering good relationships and educational growth, send them our way.

Take care, and see you in Seattle!
Brett Barrowman

American Fidelity Group

Annual Meeting Update: Get Inspired in Seattle

It's a conference not to be missed: ICPA's Annual Meeting, November 3 to 7, at the Westin Seattle promises to be filled with hands-on learning and the unique networking opportunities for which ICPA is known.

The conference will include facilitated discussions, traditional workshops, and keynote speakers. As of press time in early June, the itinerary featured motivational speaker Keith Harrell on Attitude is Everything; Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks Coffee Company and Peter Nordstrom, president of Full Line Store Group, Nordstrom Inc., on customer service; and Mike McGavick, CEO of Safeco, on insurance industry economics. Workshops focusing on professional development include Kimball Anderson and Sam Standon on how to become proficient in streaming video and webcasting, and Rick Werth on meeting security. Personal growth workshops on topics such as wine selection and essential eating are also included. Planners can go to www.icpanet.com to get information and register for the meeting.

Union League Club Reception at IT&ME

ICPA meeting planner members are invited to a special reception being held in conjunction with IT&ME. Mark your calendars for the 3rd annual ICPA IT&ME Reception, being held Tuesday September 24 at The Union League Club of Chicago, 65 W. Jackson, Chicago, Ill. The exact time of the reception will be posted on www.icpanet.com. All ICPA planner members are invited to attend.

The Union League Club is also offering a special discounted room rate of $99, available only to ICPA meeting planner members. For more information or to book your room, please e-mail ICPA executive director Karen Hopkinson at icpa_karen@telus.net.

CIC Needs Volunteers

The Convention Industry Council is making great strides in developing its APEX (Accepted Practices Exchange) initiative. ICPA, one of 30 CIC member organizations, is contributing $5,000 to this important industry initiative, and there are opportunities for all ICPA members to get personally involved. For more information on how to volunteer, go to www.conventionindustry.org.

Another CIC initiative is an advertisement featuring In Search of Excellence author Tom Peters that ran recently in The New York Times. Peters delivers the main message of CIC's Coalition Campaign: promoting the business value of corporate meetings and travel.

SPECIAL THANKS

Many thanks to the wonderful sponsors of the ICPA Forum July 18 to 20: American Airlines: Dennis Tucker, (817) 931-5734, dennis.tucker@aa.com; Briar & Dunn: Josh Briar, (415) 345-2367, josh@brier-dunn.com; Canadian Tourism Commission: Susan Frei, (703) 323-6307, susan.frei@ctcus.com; ESPI: Tom Capp, (619) 284-8581, espiwest@cox.net; E-ventCentral.com: Mark Beythoun, (310) 645-5871, mark_beythoun@e-ventcentral.com; Four Seasons: Dale Smith, (415) 633-3498, dale.smith@fourseasons.com; Hinton & Grusich: Julie Stovroff, (888) 499-0011, stovroff@hinton-grusich.com; JPdL Destination Management: Grant Snider, (514) 287-1070, gsnider@jpdl.com; Krisam Group: Doris Dallow, (312) 654-0110, doris_dallow@krisam.com; Landry & Kling, Meetings at Sea: Ramon Santos, (305) 661-1880/25, rsantos@landrykling.com; Mana, Allison & Assoc.: Dave Mana, (415) 474-2266, dave@mana-allison.com; Palace Resorts: Jack Davito, (954) 779-3705, jkdavito@bellsouth.net; PGI: Liz Jones, (415) 433-7722, ljones@pgi.com; PRA Destination Management (San Diego): Melissa Menas, (760) 496-0540, mmenas@pra.com; Rare Indigo: Barbara Hill, (604) 661-4999, barbara@rare-indigo.com; The Westin St. Francis: Alby Gebretsadik, (415) 774-0149, alby.gebretsadik@westin.com; and special thanks to host hotel The Fairmont San Francisco: Nicole Dorfman, (415) 772-5213, nicole.dorfman@fairmont.com. ICPA also thanks

  • The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Fla., host of our January ICPA Board of Directors Meeting

  • The Westin Seattle, which hosted our April ICPA Annual Design-Team Meeting

  • National Life, Montpelier, Vt.., host of the May 2002 ICPA Board of Directors Meeting

  • American Airlines for its generous support of ICPA Board Travel.