by Alex Palmer | January 22, 2014
 The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) has named three new trustees to its board, the organization announced on Jan. 17. The new members join the 16-person panel which is charged with overseeing the group’s research into the impact of incentives and recognition, and the motivation industry overall. 

The first addition to the board is Bich-Lien Kaldahl, CTE, sales manager for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions for United Airlines, a role she has held for almost three years. Prior to joining United Airlines, Kaldahl served as meeting, incentive and group sales manager for Continental Airlines for 13 years. She has deep experience in the incentive industry, having served on the Site Chapter Leadership Council and as Site Chicago Chapter President in 2007 and 2008.

Also joining the board is Jim Kelley, director of global accounts for Production Resource Group. Kelley brings the IRF executive-level experience with his company’s tradeshow and convention production business. He currently serves on the board of directors of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events.

The final addition is Kari Vrba, senior vice president of business development for MotivAction. She has worked with the Minneapolis, MN-based incentive firm for nearly two years, having previously served as vice president of group accounts, among other roles, at Aimia (then called Carlson Marketing). 

“We’re very pleased to welcome Kari, Jim and Bich-Lien as our new trustees,” said IRF President Melissa Van Dyke, in a statement. “Each brings unique experience and expertise, as well as numerous professional achievements and talents that will greatly enhance the IRF’s mission.” 

As part of the board, the new members will focus on enhancing the industry’s understanding of incentives, including how they can be used most effectively and the benefits they provide.

The board’s work is guided by its executive committee, which this year is composed of these four members: 

  • Board Chairman Sandi Daniel, president of FIRE Light Group
  • Vice Chair Mike Ryan, senior vice president of marketing and client strategy at Madison Performance Group
  • Immediate Past Chair Matt Harris, vice president of marketing at Ungerboeck Software International
  • Secretary/Treasurer Dahlton Bennington, senior meeting planner at A+ Meetings and Motivation

“The IRF has made remarkable strides in both research output and education over the past three years,” added Van Dyke, “and we owe so much of it to the strength of our Board.  With even bigger plans for expansion in our Invitational, research, education and web components, we could not be happier with the incredible set of trustees currently serving.”