In a move to bring about more inclusive and efficient governance, the Convention Industry Council is considering returning to a one-organization, one-vote structure. The CIC, the federation that represents 31 organizations in the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry, heard this recommendation from its strategic planning committee at an all-delegate meeting in early February, and the issue will be voted on in September, says Mary Power, president, CIC.
Today, CIC is governed by a board, which includes permanent positions from the four largest meeting planner associations, and seven rotating seats from the other 27 organizations. One delegate from each of the other organizations sits on the council of delegates. The new proposal recommends that CIC disband the board, and govern with an expanded executive committee and a council of delegates. The council of delegates will elect the members of the executive committee through a nominating committee, and the board elects its officers. The new executive committee would consist of four officers and two at-large delegates, and the council would include one representative from each member organization, giving each equal power and authority. Prior to 1997, when the CIC last reorganized, each member organization had up to three delegates, but only one vote. Under the new proposal, the council would meet twice a year rather than once a year.
"The objective is to streamline the governance and let every member organization feels there's value," says Power. "The current governance is cumbersome and we aren't maximizing people's time or CIC's value to them."
Under the proposal, one of the two annual meetings would be opened up to other than chief staff execs, primarily to chief elected officers and leadership, says Power, who adds that more issues-oriented dialogue could then take place.
Power says that the initiative was driven by the existing board, including David Kushner, CMP, CAE, president and CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association, one of the associations with a permanent board seat, who led a strategic planning committee formed last year. "He really wanted it to be more inclusive," she says. The three other permanent seats on the board belong to the chief executives of Meeting Professionals International, the American Society of Association Executives, and the International Association of Exposition Managers.
"In addition to our four main initiatives, the Accepted Practices Exchange, the Certified Meeting Professional program, the Hall of Leaders, and acting as a resource for information, we're all about synergies and providing the best value for the industry, particularly in this economy," adds Power. "In the current economic climate, we're trying to development the best business model possible and we're delighted that our members are open to change."
The new governance will be further discussed at a meeting in July, after the Hall of Leaders banquet in Denver, and will then be voted on formally at the September council of delegates meeting. If accepted, the proposed governance changes will take effect in 2005.
For more information on the CIC, visit www.conventionindustry.org.