by Alex Palmer | February 14, 2017
Following the abrupt closure of USMotivation, its former president, Tina Weede, said on Feb. 13 that she would not be going forward with the planned launch of a new company, Innovative People Strategies (IPS). 

Shortly after news broke of the sudden closure of 55-year-old, Atlanta-based USMotivation, Weede -- who had left the company a month earlier and had been in negotiations to buy it -- announced that she and several former USMotivation employees would be launching the new IPS. A week later, she has reconsidered.

"After many conversations this week, with associates who saw the company that they loved cease to exist, we all shared a common thread, that what made USMotivation so special for so many years were the associates, our travel staff and clients," Weede said in a statement. "What I have also realized is that USMotivation is gone and that starting something new would not replace the old. For this reason, I have decided not to move forward with Innovative People Strategies."

Weede explained that her goal in the spur-of-the-moment decision to form IPS was "to help our associates and clients" who had been surprised by the no-notice closure of the company by its owners. But as the impact of USMotivation's closure has been felt, this has proven more difficult than it first seemed. Eighty employees were let go in the company closure, with no notice or severance, and there was a great deal of anger over the job losses and way it was carried out.

"I thought this would be a defining moment and opportunity for everyone, but now realize that the defining moment is to let her go," said Weede. Striking a reflective tone, she wrote that, "With every loss in life we go through stages of grief, from shock and denial, guilt and anger, to bargaining and finally acceptance. This held true for the associates, travel staff and clients of USM."

When it was announced last week, IPS expected to provide many of the full-service offerings previously supplied by USMotivation, including incentive travel, meetings and events, and points platforms, as well as the research tool USMotivation had leased, Clarity Research.

In her statement, Weede added that many of the associates who lost their jobs in the company closure have already received offers for new positions with other companies. 

Weede concluded: "For the associates, whom I dearly love, you are in my prayers, please take time to reflect on the good things we all shared and carry that forward on your new journey ahead."