by Lisa Grimaldi | July 01, 2006

Brenda Anderson

 

Brenda Anderson

The SITE Foundation, the research arm of the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives, announced in late May it was breaking with the association and relaunching itself as an independent re-search foundation.
    According to Ira Almeas, CITE, president of the SITE Foundation’s board of trustees, the foundation is pursuing its independent status to provide funding for research to benefit the entire incentives industry, rather than just the incentive travel segment. He added that the group is seeking a new name.
    At press time, Almeas denied rumors that the foundation would align with the Incentive Marketing Asso-ciation, stating that it would remain independent. He said the foundation’s current funds will continue to be used to support SITE research, including several chapter studies. (The foundation raises money via its annual golf invitational, which will be augmented by a second tournament, to be held annually in Europe; the first match will take place this fall in Spain.)
    SITE leaders said the foundation’s move caught them off guard, noting that an ongoing effort by both sides to determine how best to spend foundation funds seemingly had been making progress.
    “We are disappointed,” said SITE CEO Brenda Anderson. “We were affiliated with the foundation for 20 years, but now we need to look ahead.” She added that any changes in the foundation’s function were supposed to be cleared with SITE’s board, “but that did not happen.”
    Regarding the foundation’s funds, Anderson said, “I am sure the foundation will honor the obligations [for SITE research] that were in place.”
    As for the future funding for SITE’s research and education, Anderson said, “We are looking into a lot of things right now, among them the possibility of launching our own foundation.”