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Welcome to the International Association of 

Conference Center Administrators

Important announcement from the board of directors

Dear IACCAColleague:                                                                                                                      September 9, 2019

This is an important letter from your IACCA Board of Directors.

For forty-five years IACCA has been the major professional association for persons serving nonprofit conference centers. In that nearly half-century, our organization has provided leadership, education, certification and collegiality. For many past and present members, IACCA is our professional home.

Today, we recognize that our world and our professional landscape has changed. As the result of many contributing factors, the essence of IACCA has changed.

Many of the centers staffed by our members are experiencing a decline in the number and size of groups served. A reduction in resources in parent bodies is resulting in declining support and centers are struggling with contraction in all areas of measure. Several parent bodies are directing their center staff to participate in their organization-specific education programs and removing support funds for training outside their boundaries. For IACCA, this is manifest in fewer supporting members and has come to challenge our sustainability. Simply and candidly put, we are running out of participants. Our membership is smaller, our annual conference size is diminishing, our classes serve fewer students and our financial capability is shrinking.

An additional challenge is before us: We do not have the leadership strength that is needed. In recent months, our president and our treasurer have resigned leaving only the five board members listed below. It should be noted that there is no conflict or rupture within our board. The simple fact is that those members who have resigned have done so because of increased demand from their work and commitments to participate fully in their family life. Those who remain are stressed to continue our work.

Chuck Lehman has contributed significant time and energy by providing leadership as our Acting President while also serving as the 2019 Conference Chair. It is, however, not possible for him to continue this level of leadership beyond this year.

Carla Odell has capably assumed, temporarily, the responsibilities of the Treasurer with the assistance of Ashley Graham-Wilcox, our Administrator. This is, however, not a long-term solution.

Charles Wallace, Education Dean and Chair of our Education Committee, will retire following the certification of those who are currently candidates.

Should we continue on our present course, our organization will soon become unsustainable.

We have made a very serious decision. Now is the time for us to celebrate the rich history of our organization and to bring our work to an orderly end.

We hosted two town hall style meetings back in September. The intent of these meetings was for the board to share with the membership the considerations we have employed in arriving at this decision, to listen and respond to your questions and comments. It was, of course, very important to all of us that our members understand our action.  

At this year’s meeting, we plan to declare 2020 a year of celebration of the many accomplishments of our organization. During 2020 your board will conduct an orderly process of concluding our organization’s responsibilities. The faculty and education committee will continue to function in order to enable those persons currently seeking certification to complete their course of study.

Then, a final event. At our traditional fall meeting time in 2020 we will gather at Seabeck Conference Center, in Seabeck, Washington, to celebrate our good work and many years together. Every effort will be made to encourage attendance by all past and present IACCAns. There will be entertainment, speakers, historical perspective through photographs,  documents and story-telling, along with great food and drink. We will celebrate, reminisce, laugh a lot, probably shed a few tears and, together, bring our half-century as The International Association of Conference Center Administrators to a proud and joyful end.

The IACCA Board of Directors

Bertha DeBastiani,

Charles Lehman,

Jamie Mielke-Mitchell,
Carla Odell,
Charles Wallace,

what is next for IACCA?

Conference center professionals who wish to continue learning from and networking with one another may want to visit the Conference Center Administrator Group in the Non-Anxious Leader Network. Below is Jack’s explanation on the purpose of this website.

The Non-Anxious Leader Network is a free online community for ministry leaders who seek to lead as a non-anxious presence. It is a place for camp and conference professionals, clergy, church leaders, and nonprofit leaders to share best practices, resources and productivity tips to maximize leadership effectiveness. It’s ideal for asking questions, sharing what’s working (and what’s not), and testing and developing ideas.

The network was developed by Jack Shitama as a resource for those who subscribe to his blog ( and his podcast, The Non-Anxious Leader Podcast. He has created a private group within the network specifically for conference center administrators. It is our hope that you can participate fully in this group to help us discern and develop what happens next for those of us in the IACCA family. Thanks in advance for your part in this important work.

Finally, please note that when you sign up for the network, you’ll automatically be subscribed to Jack’s email list. The emails come from Here’s what you can expect:

  • Leadership articles written by Jack that come twice a month.
  • A weekly "Two for Tuesday" email that shares two recommended resources to help you grow as a leader. These can be articles, books, podcasts, apps, software, productivity and health recommendations that have helpful to Jack. He doesn't make money on these recommendations, but shares them in case they can be helpful to you.
  • An occasional email to announce a new book or course, but he won't bug you about it.

Jack won't share your information or bombard you with sales emails. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Peace, Jack

Rev. Jack Shitama
Executive Director -- Pecometh Camp & Retreat Ministries

(410) 556-6900 x 101 

Job Opportunities Within Our Industry

  1. Conference Center Director, Hamner Conference Center (Part of North Carolina Bio campus)
  2. Camp & Retreat Site Director at Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center
  3. Executive Director, Shepherd's Canyon Retreat, Wickenburg, AZ
  4. Executive Director, Spirit In the Desert, Carefree AZ  
  5. Resident Director, Wildacres, Little Switzerland, NC 
  6. Executive Director, Calvin Center, Hampton GA

  7. Outdoor Ministries Director, Maine Conference UCC, West Gardiner, ME 

To learn about these job opportunities, please visit our website under Open Positions in the Welcome to IACCA section.    

2020 IACCA online courses

Registration is open for 2020 IACCA online courses

Hospitality:  January 21, February 4, February 18, March 3

Finance & Funding:  February 11, February 25, March 10, March 24

Not-for-Profit Purpose & Governance:  April 7, April 21, May 5, May 19

Facilities Management: 

June 2, June 16, June 30, July 7

While each of these courses meets one of the six requirements to become a Certified Conference Center Professional (CCCP), you are encouraged to participate even if you are not on the path to certification. 2020 will be the last year that IACCA offers these incredibly valuable courses. Sign up today to get access to deep industry insight, a helpful peer group, and a thorough text book that you'll refer to for years to come

"Being introduced to IACCA by a neighboring conference center director changed my life. I was no longer working in a vacuum confronting new problems without guidance or direction. Now there were colleagues from throughout the country who were willing to share their insights, experience, and knowledge." 
- Richard Goldman, Retired General Manager - Pearlstone Conference Center.


"The professional certification training program for Executive Directors and Administrators led by IACCA certified and seasoned professionals is an amazing journey and provides critical industry tools, tips, and techniques. The experiences in classroom lead foundation courses, conference workshops, seminar working sessions, and the more advanced Capstone training sessions having been engaging and inspire real time ideas to improve personally and professionally. Every session has provided actionable policies and procedures to improve our organization and create efficiencies that allow more time to focus on our mission and values.  Training from these professionals equals a lifetime of lessons learned (the hard way) in a very challenging industry.

After each individual training session I am equipped to teach, coach and mentor staff, volunteers, and our Board of Directors on industry standards and the best ways to be successful. Most recently I was able to use tools provided from the finance portion of our Capstone course to the Finance Committee that immediately provided a clearer picture of the future and easy way to communicate our needs. I am looking forward to additional continuing education opportunities and hope to send more of our staff to learn, grow and apply their knowledge  back to this place!"

-Tom Powell, Executive Director - Caroline Furnace



October 26-29, 2020

Seabeck Conference Center

Seabeck, Washington 




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