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ASTA Names Firm for Executive CEO Search

August 11, 2010 By: George Dooley


William Maloney resigned in March

ASTA announced that it has hired the executive search firm JDG Associates, Ltd. (Rockville, MD) to conduct the search for a new chief executive officer. ASTA also released the details of what it is seeking for the CEO post. The search for a new CEO became necessary following the recent departure of BillMaloney as ASTA’s staff chief.

“ASTA’s Search Committee conducted an extensive hunt to find the executive recruitment team that we feel best matches our needs,” said ASTA Vice President and Secretary Hope Wallace, who chairs ASTA’s CEO Search Committee. Based on interviews with other search firms and headhunters, we are confident that JDG Associates offers the winning combination of experience and a proven track record.”

With the hiring of JDG Associates, the search to fill ASTA’s top staff position is expected to take approximately 12 weeks. Paul Belford, a principal with JDG, will lead the search, ASTA said. He has completed more than 150 association client searches, most at the CEO level, with organizations covering a wide range of industries.

Belford is the author of Planning Your Career in Association Management, published in 2002 by the American Society of Association Executives. He has also spoken on career-development issues at ASAE meetings and those of its Allied Societies. He has also served on the CEO Advisory Council of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives, as well as on three GWSAE compensation survey councils.

Interested candidates should contact Paul Belford, principal/JDG Associates Ltd., at 301.340.2210 or [email protected]. ASTA members with specific questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Hope Wallace at [email protected].

Job Description




Alexandria, VA


Bachelors required; Masters or MBA preferred


The CEO will be responsible for the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors which is the primary policy setting body of the association. The CEO will ensure a positive effect on the Association and the industry by implementing programs that will increase funding, create visibility and develop partnerships with supporting organizations.


*    10 years of Travel Industry experience highly preferred.
*    Executive level leadership in either a trade association or business with demonstrated experience
*    Proven track record in creating, managing and meeting a minimum five million dollar operating budget
*    Experience identifying and managing the evolution and use of technology to improve effectiveness and productivity of an organization
*    Experience implementing or adapting a business strategy or re-organization to a changing business environment
*    Experience providing a work environment which stimulates personal and professional growth of its employees
*    Experience improving the financial results of an organization through development of new revenue sources or administration of expense-reduction measures
*    Experience acting pro-actively in light of an extraordinary situation or experience to protect the business

Skills and Qualifications

*    Ability to work effectively with diverse groups of people
*    Ability to think and act pro-actively and creatively
*    Proven skills in effectively communicating with various "publics" including employees, volunteer and paid leadership, suppliers, the media, or government entities
*    Ability to identify, analyze and evaluate situations and issues with a potential impact on the association and its members



The CEO is responsible for ensuring that ASTA serves the needs and interests of ASTA members as related to:

*    Promoting the value and importance of travel agents
*    Providing tools and information to aid members in operating their businesses
*    Protecting the travel agency community from burdensome regulations
*    Recommending legislation in support of the members

The CEO ensures that the programs, activities and services of ASTA directly benefit the members and their well-being.

The ASTA Board

The CEO assists the Board of Directors in fulfilling its responsibility to set policy for ASTA and to carry on its business by managing and being responsible for:
*    Developing the annual budget and operating within the budget and business plan as approved by the Board
*    Keeping the Board informed about the business climate and its likely affect on member operations
*    Communicating the shared vision and mission of the organization
*    Setting of annual strategic goals, programs to achieve these goals, and the anticipated operating budget which will be needed to meet the goals
*    Providing information and recommendations for deciding public policy
*    Overseeing all financial matters and risk management for the association

The CEO is a non-voting member of the Board of Directors and an appointed national officer of ASTA.

Executive Committee

The CEO assists the Executive Committee and the individual national officers by:

*    Keeping them informed on significant issues that could impact the conditions and operation of ASTA and its members
*    Identifying issues and policies that need Executive Committee action before the next Board meeting
*    Serving as the main point of contact between the staff and the national officers
*    Keeping the national officers informed of ASTA's positions and opportunities to deliver public messages in support of them
*    Developing personnel and office policies for the national office and staff

The CEO is a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.

President and Chairman

The CEO as chief staff officer and the President as chief elected officer serve concurrently as the executive officers of ASTA. The CEO assists the President in fulfillment of responsibilities in the following ways:

*    Preparation of agendas and reports of meetings of the Executive Committee and the ASTA Board of Directors
*    Creates reports of committees and task force chairs
*    Serves as spokesperson for ASTA
*    Provides updates on specific programs and initiatives that are part of the annual plan

Other major duties and responsibilities of the CEO include:

*    Responsible for the supervision, motivation, hiring, firing, effectiveness and evaluation of the ASTA staff
*    Advocacy in all venues to secure pro-travel agent laws and regulations and to block/modify laws and regulations that are adverse to agent member interests
*    Along with the President, the CEO is ASTA's chief spokesperson to the news media
*    Attend all meetings of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Corporate Advisory Council (CAC), Chapter Presidents (CPC), and Premium Member Meetings

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