mportant 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,

The International Association of Conference Center Administrators

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