On Wednesday, the 20,242 members of Meeting Professionals International received an e-mail announcing that Colin Rorrie Jr., PhD, CAE, is stepping down as president and CEO, as of this week. Mark Andrew, CMP, CHA, general manager of The Westin Bayshore Resort Marina in Vancouver, Canada, who is scheduled to take office as chairman of the board of directors in July, will take a leave of absence from his job to temporarily lead the MPI office in Dallas.
In a press conference held the same afternoon, Rorrie and Christine Duffy, chairwoman of the MPI Board and president and CEO of Maritz Travel Inc., said the board had concluded at a meeting in Orlando the previous week that the “organization would be taken in new directions and that we are exploring some new opportunities to advance the association.” Those new directions include reorganizing the structure of the association from a traditional, or functional organization, to “a matrix organization,” said Duffy.
Rorrie said that when it was acknowledged that someone “with a different set of business skills” was needed to lead the association in new directions, and that Andrew would be brought in temporarily, he—with the board of directors—decided to step down. He added that “it is not the best experience for the incumbent to sit around while the chairman-elect comes in.” Rorrie’sisn’t up until September.
Duffy said the organizational changes and new initiatives could be announced within the next 30 to 60 days. They are a result of the Blue Ocean Strategy, a process that began last August. Duffy added that changes would take place gradually, however, over the next six to eight months.
She will be appointing a search committee to find a new CEO, and while the organizational structure may be changing, she hasn’t ruled out an association executive as a replacement. “The new leader will be someone who has managed a large organization and introduced new solutions in a rapid time frame. Industry experience is preferred, but not required.”
Rorrie joined MPI in September 2003, having served as executive director of the American College of Emergency Physicians for many years. He was brought in “with the specific charge to recognize meeting planning as a profession,” he said. In his message to the members, he said, “We have succeeded beyond my early expectations, and I feel the time is right for me to explore new horizons both personally and professionally.”