by Lisa A. Grimaldi | June 27, 2018
Martin Sirk, who has served as CEO of the Amsterdam-based International Congress and Convention Association since 2002, will step down from his post next month, according to ICCA's board. Sirk joined the organization in 2002; in that time, the group has grown from 600 to more than 1,100 member companies and organizations in 97 countries. ICCA's chief value officer, Dennis Speet, will serve as acting CEO until a replacement is found. An international recruitment firm has been hired to assist with the selection and evaluation process.
 
"Sixteen years is an exceptionally long period in any role, and I'm immensely proud of the team in Amsterdam and our regional offices around the world," said Sirk. "I believe I have played a major role in safeguarding the unique culture of ICCA - genuinely global, friendly and open-minded, but always business-focused - throughout the many changes that we have gone through. I wish my successor joy and success with this extraordinary association, which I feel honored to have had the opportunity to serve."
 
A statement posted on the ICCA site reads, "With Sirk's departure, the ICCA Board will be working with new leadership to drive the association forward over the coming decade, and to identify and implement new business models that will future-proof ICCA in what is certain to be a dynamic and hyper-competitive environment.
 
A statement from Nina Freyson-Pretorious, CEO of the Conference Co. and president of the ICCA board, said, "We would like to thank Martin for his many years of dedicated service. He has laid the foundations for the next era of ICCA's development, and the ICCA board is now determined to identify the right individual to work with us in realizing our ambitious long-term vision for tomorrow's ICCA. We anticipate that there will be many challenges but also some enormous opportunities to expand our business community and to deliver new and even better value to our members, and I know that the future of our association is very bright."