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    mia seeks new CEO as Longhurst retires

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    The Meetings Industry Association is seeking an outstanding and inspirational new chief executive, as Jane Longhurst is stepping down to retire.

    Since taking the helm in 2004, Longhurst has been championing the business meetings and events sector, collaborating and uniting the many different parts of the industry, advocating best practice to raise industry standards launching the AIM accreditation scheme, while also celebrating talent with initiatives such as the prestigious miaList.

    Her determined approach has resulted in the mia becoming one of the sector’s fastest growing associations after taking membership from 320 to a thriving 800 plus.

    The last 18 months have been particularly intense, with Jane working around the clock leading a simultaneous government, media and member relations strategy providing insight, clarity and guidance alongside a comprehensive suite of business support tools that have been signposted by government.

    Talking about her retirement, Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia, said: “The mia board of directors has known for quite a while of my intention to commence the next chapter of my life but I decided to delay my departure to support the sector through what has been the most challenging time ever faced by our industry. I will be stepping down in December to provide plenty of time for a transition.”

    Steve Jones, chair of the mia, said: “As a board we are very grateful to Jane for her commitment to the mia and our industry and for remaining in post to lead the trade association throughout the pandemic. Without Jane’s expertise, I fear the impact of COVID-19 would have been even more devastating for business meetings and events. She has been instrumental in pushing this sector to the forefront of the minds of government in terms of economic contribution and the value it brings to people’s lives and livelihoods.”

    The mia is now seeking a new figurehead with experience of operating at a senior level in either the wider events industry or membership associations.

    Steve added: “We are looking for a dynamic, inspirational, strong, self-starting character to take over the mantle and build on the strong foundations that Jane and the team have built. We have ambitious plans, and the successful candidate will have huge amounts of autonomy to set the future vision while receiving strategic directional support from the board. We are delighted that Jane will also remain as a non-executive director to ensure we can continue to take advantage of her expertise, insight and knowledge.

    A full job description and details of the application process can be found here.

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    Lisa Carter

    All stories by: Lisa Carter