The Incentive Marketing Association
(IMA) today announced that its current executive director, Donna Chrobak, is leaving at the end of the year to take a position with an incentive house. She will be replaced by Karen Wesloh, a partner at Minneapolis-based Harrington Company, the IMA's new association management firm.
The change is a logical next step in the IMA's long search for a new association management firm, which culminated with the agreement with Harrington Company in May. Wesloh has been working with the IMA board since then to prepare for the transition.
"I believe that the IMA membership and board will all be very pleased with the level of commitment, professionalism, and ability to deliver results that Karen and the Harrington Company has already shown to those of us who have been able to work with them thus far," said Chrobak. "They have already gone far beyond what was expected to try to understand our industry and our organization, and I know I am not alone when I say to you that they 'get it.'"
Wesloh is a full partner and senior account executive at Harrington, which she joined in 1992. She has industry accreditations as a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), as well as an MBA in marketing and strategic management from The Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. The Carlson School has its own link to the incentive industry: it was named for Curtis L Carlson, founder of Carlson Marketing -- a leading incentive house since renamed Aimia.
IMA President Spencer Toomey will lead a transition team consisting of himself, Immediate Past President Richard Low, Executive Vice President Sean Roark, and Chrobak. They will be joined by Steve Slagle, an association management veteran who worked closely with the IMA during his years as president of the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). During his 16 years at PPAI, Slagle help build bonds between the two organizations as they worked to interest promotional products reps in learning about and targeting the incentive market. He received the IMA President's Award -- its highest honor -- in 2011.
Toomey noted that part of the IMA's criteria in selecting a new association management firm was the "ability to fill the critical Executive Director role," he said. "We found the Harrington Company superbly qualified by their proposal that Karen Wesloh fill that slot."