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The Latest on ACCI/HIA
Further clarification of the ACCI/HIA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FROM: ACCI/HIA TASK FORCE
DATE: AUGUST 15, 2003
To further educate all members of the craft industry on the details
of the proposed unification of the Association of Crafts &
Creative Industries and the Hobby Industry Association, the Task
Force has issued the following release.
As announced earlier, the HIA and ACCI boards of directors each
appointed three members to a Task Force to explore possibilities of
unifying the industry through the merger of the two associations.
The Task Force has been meeting for months, which resulted in a
letter of intent that was approved by both boards earlier this
ACCI & HIA: MORE Q. & A.
Q. Is this unification of ACCI and HIA a done deal?
A. No. A letter of intent has been agreed to, but that's all.
An independent accounting firm will examine the books, titles,
assets, obligations/liabilities, etc., of each association, and
lawyers will draw up the actual "merger document." Plus,
the new bylaws will be distributed to both boards who must approve
everything before the unification is completed.
Q. If I have questions or concerns, whom should I contact?
A. Any member of the Task Force or members of the boards of
ACCI and HIA. The email addresses for the Task Force: Jim Bremer, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Jim Scatena, email@example.com;
Ron LaRosa, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Mike McCooey, email@example.com;
Emma Gebo, firstname.lastname@example.org;
and Mike Hartnett, email@example.com.
The Task Force encourages all ACCI and HIA members to contact the
Task Force members with any questions, comments, or suggestions so
it can proceed appropriately.
Q. So both organizations will dissolve and a new one, the
Craft and Hobby Association, will be formed?
A. For all practical purposes, yes, but actually, no. The
Task Force learned that it would be very time consuming and
expensive. So the best course of action was to leave the legal
entity of HIA in place, in effect a "shell," and fold the
brand new association into that legal entity.
Q. What about the lack of competition? With only one
organization, isn't there a danger that the only game in town
becomes fat and lazy?
A. There's always a danger that any group, or any two
competing groups, will become complacent. As has always been the
case, it will be up to the members to elect board members who make
certain that that doesn't happen. What we will have is a shared
vision to come together to grow the industry through a more
efficient use of members' dues; speak to the world with one,
stronger voice; better coordinate educational programs; and
eliminate duplication of effort.
Q. What about my show points? Will my ACCI points get me a
better position in the HIA Show?
A. The point systems remain the same for each show. For
example, if an exhibitor had amassed numerous points at, say, the
ACCI show, the company would continue to have a priority position at
Q. Will the new association have new board members or just a
combination of the current boards?
A. There will be new members and members from the HIA and
ACCI boards whose terms have not yet expired. The nominating
committees of each organization are meeting this fall as usual.
Q. Since the new board will be so large for a while, why have
A. Every organization needs people who can bring a fresh look
to the table. It's one way to make certain the organization doesn't
Q. Is the new name, CHA, final? Why didn't we get suggestions
from the members?
A. If the Task Force and the boards waited for input on
every single detail, the unification would never take place. The new
bylaws, which include the name, are subject to change, just as HIA's
and ACCI's bylaws have always been subject to change.
Q. How did you select the current HIA Executive Director to
be the new CHA director?
A. Since ACCI's Executive Director is employed by Offinger
Management, that became a conflict of interest. The Task Force is
confident that HIA's current Executive Director was a good candidate
and has developed a great deal of forward momentum.
Selection of an Executive Director occurred during the Task Force's
study and planning process that lead to the letter of intent. The
Task Force was consulted on the criteria for the new Executive
Director and that criteria was included in the selection process.
Q. Will Offinger Management still run the summer show?
A. Yes. Offinger Management owns the summer show. The show
management will remain the same. The show, however, will have a new
name. Also, OMC will be eligible to handle other association
activities such as membership list management, additional show
opportunities, and other administrative functions. If there are
opportunities to save member funds by outsourcing, OMC will be given
the opportunity to fulfill those services.
Q. What about the money owed to HIA from Bentley?
A. Much of HIA's reserve assets were invested through Bentley
Financial Services. Because of Bentley irregularities, the
Department of Justice froze all of the Bentley's investments. Thus
far more than 60% of the money has been unfrozen and returned to HIA.
The U.S. District judge is expected to "unfreeze" and
return additional money, but there is no way of knowing exactly how
much will be returned to HIA. It's estimated that, when it's all
done, more than 90% will be returned, probably by the end of this