Challenge: This association’s membership revenues had been flat for five years and many of its premier members were either reducing their involvement or investments in the organization. At the same time, the industry the trade association represented was facing significant pressure from global competitors, watching its market share dwindle dramatically. Senior management and the Board felt as if the global competition issue could be fixed through changes in federal public policy, but that effort would take significant funding and additional resources over a multi-year period.
Solution: To attract fresh financial investments, we would need to design a ‘blueprint’ that would alter the approach of the industry’s public affairs and advocacy efforts while completely redesigning the value proposition of our membership benefits and overhaul the annual dues structure.
Results: By forming multiple ‘segment’ task forces from within board membership, we helped members understand the objective and the logic behind the opportunity, while they helped us build ‘their’ new membership structure. We quadrupled the number of Premier membership organizations and increased our annual revenues from $3.7 million to nearly $13 million, providing the necessary financial resources to achieve and succeed at our advocacy/public policy efforts.
I have been fortunate to work with Gary for over 13 years at U.S. Travel. He successfully launched programs and increased membership that grew revenue exponentially. I was able to learn from his many years of sales and strategic planning experience and apply that to my role within the Association, allowing for great professional growth. His creative thinking, his passion for the travel industry, his optimism and his effective communication skills are just a few of the reasons I admire and respect him.
Judith Harris, VP Member Services-U.S. Travel Association