by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | May 01, 2006

Katie Callahan-Giobbi

 

Katie Callahan-Giobbi

Less than one month after the abrupt resignation of president and CEO Colin Rorrie, Dallas-based Meeting Professionals International has hand-picked a search committee from among its membership and begun the process of identifying a new leader.
    Heading up the committee is Katie Callahan-Giobbi, senior vice president of sales for LA Inc., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, and a former MPI executive member. Other members of the committee, whose names are being kept confidential, were drawn from across the association’s membership and include chapter heads, international and domestic suppliers, as well as meeting planners. The goal, said Callahan-Giobbi, is to “find a CEO to take MPI to the next level."
    Rorrie resigned on March 8, three months short of the completion of his three-year contract, saying he had accomplished his mission and wanted to move on. In the interim, Mark Andrew, general manager of the Westin Bayshore Resort & Marina in Vancouver, Canada, has been granted a leave of absence by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in order to serve as chairman-elect.
    At press time, MPI had received a number of proposals from possible candidates.
    “We are looking for a leader who has some experience managing an organization outside of the U.S., because global expansion is a big part of our strategy,” said Christine Duffy, chairwoman of the MPI Board and president and CEO of St. Louis, Mo.-based Maritz Travel Inc.
    MPI also will continue to focus on growing its membership ranks, keeping senior planners vested in the association and supporting individual chapters’ efforts in regard to educational tools.
    “Very soon we’ll be making some announcements regarding a new organization structure that will make us more adaptable and flexible,” said Duffy. “That includes looking toward establishing some nontraditional partnerships.”