by Lisa Grimaldi | January 01, 2005

Sam Thompson

Sam Thompson

Back in 1994, when Sylvia Rottman decided to switch her career from association planner to owner of a destination management company, she wanted to join a professional association for DMCs and was stunned to learn that there was none.
    Fast forward to this month, as Rottman hangs up her hat after serving for a decade as executive vice president of the Association of Destination Management Executives, which she helped spearhead. “It’s ready now to fly on its own,” she said. At ADME’s annual meeting, Jan. 19-22 in San Diego, Rottman will turn over the reins to Management Excellence Inc., a Dayton, Ohio-based  association management firm. MEI’s president, Francine Rickenbach, will serve as ADME’s new executive vice president.
    In 10 years, the association has grown from a handful of DMC owners to an organization that has made its mark with accomplishments such
as creating the Destination Management Certified Professional certification, held today by 66 people. ADME also formulated a code of ethics and now is a member of the Convention Industry Council.
    “ADME puts a united, ethical, value-added image at the forefront of destination management,” said former ADME president Terry Epton, CITE, DMCP, now executive vice president of Las Vegas-based USA Hosts. 
    Yet the organization faces challenges, including growing its membership, said ADME president Sam Thompson, DMCP. While ADME’s numbers now stand at about 175, there are many more potential members among the 2,000 DMCs worldwide.
Other goals for this year:
    " Launch chapters. “We realize the importance of having chapters and plan to have this on our agenda this month,” said Thompson.
    " Introduce accreditation for DMC firms. (The DMCP is for individuals only.)
    " Enhance the website. Plans call for an interactive bulletin board and a request for proposal link at www.adme.org.

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