12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
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Both bodies to remain autonomous
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) last night announced it had formed a "progressive and innovative" strategic alliance with US meetings body the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).
It said the aim was to "leverage the strengths of both organisations to benefit their respective memberships while expanding their global brands and enhancing services."
The link up comes after ACTE refused to merge with the National Business Travel Association (NBTA), a move which led in part to three ACTE board room resignations.
ACTE's new president Richard Crum said the organisation has a reputation for change and innovation in its 22 year history.
He added: "This Alliance allows both organisations to maintain their individual character and membership integrity, while giving each organisation the flexibility to respond to more complex industry issues in a more powerful fashion."
Deborah Sexton, PCMA's president and ceo, said: "This Strategic Alliance offers our organisations the opportunity to increase the size of the pie because of the synergies that exist between us.
"The more we investigated this opportunity, the more we uncovered benefits for both memberships and our industry at large.
"The time has never been more opportune for the innovation that I think our industry needs."
An internal row erupted within the ACTE over plans for the controversial tie up with the NBTA, resulting in the resignation of its president Doug Weeks and the naming of Mr Crum as his successor earlier this week.
Mr Weeks, director of global sourcing for Booz and Co, was part of a minority in favour of the merger.
ACTE's treasurer-elect Mary Ellen George, general manager at Advito, and treasurer Brad Seitz also both resigned after its directors rejected the link up on June 8.
Mr Weeks was reported as saying the main reason for his resignation was that he was "falling behind" with his work for Booz and would be able to devote less time to the association.
But he was said to accept that the decision not to go ahead with the tie up with the NBTA was a "factor" in his decision.
Mr Weeks, who had held the post since 2008, was quoted as saying: "In my resignation letter, I said that since it was clear that I was not in synch with the board that it was best for both parties for me to step down."
Ms George also cited time as a reason why she could not take up the treasurer's post.
Mr Crum, president of Airplus International, was previously ACTE president in 2007-2008.
He said his "primary role primary role is to guide the Association forward by keeping our focus on the real issues at hand, by implementing the wishes of our entire membership, and by assuring these actions will provide advantages for the industry.
Mr Crum said he will also oversee the election of a new president with the nominating committee, which solicits possible contenders, due to meet soon.
ACTE also appointed another former president Greeley Koch to take over Mr Crum's previous role in the organisation of head of its Global Centre For Research and Education.
Mr Koch, director of strategic development for the Acquis Consulting Group, was president from 2005-2007.
Susan Gurley, ACTE's executive director, said: "Today's board action brings two strong, well-respected leaders into the forefront of the association."
A possible merger between the two organisations was first mooted two months ago but the ACTE board rejected the idea on June 8.
The NBTA unanimously approved the concept of a merger at its meeting last week.
www.acte.org www2.nbta.org www.pcma.org