Samme Allen, president of the UK and Ireland chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), has proposed the possibility of employing its first paid staff member, an executive director. Allen, head of sales at the Barbican, says the step needs discussion and ratification by the board, but believes the new role is needed to take the meeting and events industry organisation to its next level.
Speaking at MPI's annual general meeting at the Gallery in the Crypt, St. Martins-in-the-Field, London, Allen told 100 assembled events professionals that “the decision to have an executive director will be that of the members”. She added that the board will discuss the idea in the upcoming months, with the issue then voted on by the chapter membership.
The proposal was preceded by a membership rally for the chapter, with several current members, including Planet Planit's Paul Cook, a past president of the chapter and currently strategic advisor for the organisation, giving testimonials of their involvement. The UK and Ireland chapter currently has approximately 300 members.
Allen also announced that the chapter would be introuducing a President’s Charity, supporting a different charity for a one-year term. The inaugural President’s Charity is Jo’s Cervical Cancer Charity, in memory of Denise Fraser (nee Harris), a member of the chapter who died in March. Allen added: “I am honoured to be working with this charity, especially in an industry that is predominantly female.”
Pictured: Samme Allen