In addition to changes in its governance procedures, ASTA’s Board of Directors authorized the association to take “certain actions to create a more balanced and equitable relationship between travel agents and the airlines.” The move was taken during ASTA’s annual joint meeting of the Board of Directors (BOD) and Chapter Presidents Council (CPC) Dec. 2-4 held in Puerto Rico.
In addition to approving the 2009 budget, the Board unanimously approved several changes. This includes changing the title of ASTA’s chief elected officer to President and Chairman of the Board and that the chief staff officer's title be changed to Chief Executive Officer. Duties as currently reflected in the Bylaws will not change, ASTA said. The decision impacts Bill Maloney, until the change ASTA’s Chief Operating Officer, and Chris Russo, formerly ASTA’s elected president and CEO and now President and Chairman.
Also approved by ASTA is an amendment stating that the International Chapter Presidents Council (ICPC)-selected Director, who also serves as the ICPC Chair, "shall serve from the end of the Travel Retailing and Destination Expo in the year of his election until the end of the Travel Retailing and Destination Expo one year later, or until such time as his successor is elected and qualifies. The maximum number of one-year terms an ICPC Chair can serve is four years."
The board also approved an amendment requiring all actions of ASTA’s Executive Committee to be reported to the full Board of Directors within 10 business days. Additionally the Board passed by a majority vote a bylaws amendment to exclude from authority the Executive Committee's ability to enter into an employment contract with a chief staff officer without prior approval from the Board.
The Board and Chapter Presidents also met with key tourism officials, namely Terestella González-Denton, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, and Hugh Riley, interim secretary general for the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). González-Denton reviewed with ASTA officials the island's new strategic tourism marketing and development initiatives, while Riley held a frank discussion of the marketing efforts and initiatives of the CTO and Caribbean Hotel Association.