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ICCA president: ‘New CEO should be in place by next March’

Nina Freysen-Pretorius sends message to members outlining strategy

Pictured: ICCA president Nina Freysen-Pretorius

International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) president Nina Freysen-Pretorius has issued a statement to members aimed at alleviating concerns about the departure of CEO Martin Sirk.
In it she says the board has every confidence in acting CEO Dennis Speet and is aiming to appoint a permanent replacement by early spring 2019. 

She said: “Martin has provided a great service over the span of his career with ICCA. As President, I want to personally share with you that it was only after lengthy deliberation that the Board unanimously conceded now is the right time to welcome new leadership to the organisation.

“In the years ahead, we anticipate a greater need for alliances and for more strategic interdependencies within those alliances. We know that we need to reassess not only our CRM platform, but our entire technology stack – solutions in use and those not yet in place. GDPR presents new organisational challenges, and we can be sure that laws around privacy and personal data will continue to evolve.

“We believe that best navigating these 21st century changes and many others – challenges as well as the opportunities they’ll represent – will require from ICCA a new level of organisational agility and responsiveness, and that achieving that requires from our CEO different skill sets and fresh perspective informed by different experience.

“While this was in no way an easy decision to arrive at, we know that it is the right decision for the members, partners and other stakeholders whose interests ICCA exists to serve.

“Some have expressed surprise that Martin is stepping away from his position so soon following this announcement. It was never the Board’s intention that the transition occur in the timetable now laid out. It was, however, Martin’s request, and one we felt it important to honour…

“Given this timetable, the Board also agreed – again unanimously – that Dennis Speet was the ideal candidate for Interim CEO, based on his knowledge of ICCA and our industry….As Interim CEO, beginning July 29, Dennis’ responsibility will be to ensure continuity of ICCA operations and steady progress on initiatives, events and developing relationships already in place….By October, the Board will issue a formal CEO job description and call for applicants. It is our goal to have secured ICCA’s new CEO by no later than March of next year.”

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