Following an extensive one-year global search, Peter Stewart, president of the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC), announced the appointment of Mark Cooper of Warwickshire, U.K., as CEO effective Oct. 8.
Shortly after Tom Bolman announced his plans to retire after 30 years as IACC’s executive vice president, a summit of more than 30 IACC chapter and global leaders from around the world convened to set a path for a more globally focused future for the 32-year old association. The leaders, past and present, endorsed a series of recommendations along with the agreement to search for a chief executive officer to grow the membership base around the world.
“We believe Mark’s experience is well matched to the strategic plan of IACC as we move forward,” said Stewart. “Our plans include building strategic international relationships and to continuing to provide our members with the services and benefits they have come to value over the years.”
A task force was established to first conduct an internal review of the organization and then to present its recommendations. The resulting report, IACC’s Roadmap to the Future, supported the appointment of a CEO with global responsibilities to replace Bolman upon his retirement.
“The appointment of Mark Cooper as CEO greatly enhances our global ability to provide a more effective interface among the IACC chapters, their boards of directors, staff, members and stakeholders and to continue to increase global awareness of the IACC meeting experience,” said Stewart.
Cooper brings to IACC 25 years of experience in the global meetings industry working for both U.S. and European-based organizations. He has held a number of leadership roles with a sales and marketing emphasis and has an extensive background holding senior posts with respected conference centre operators, including Dolce Hotels & Resorts, Sundial Group and Warwick Conferences. Mark has held positions on the European and global boards of IACC and has been an active member in the association for some 15 years.
“IACC’s long-standing passion and excellent accomplishments in championing the meetings experience has created a solid foundation, and we will move to develop and expand IACC and to provide new exciting member benefits,” said Cooper. “My aim is to raise IACC’s profile and awareness and to deliver membership growth globally.”