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Jane Longhurst

Mia seeks new chief executive as Jane Longhurst sets retirement date

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has announced it is seeking a new chief executive following news that Jane Longhurst is to step down in December.

Longhurst was appointed in 2004 and has since gone on to launch the AIM accreditation scheme and initiatives such as the miaList, which celebrates talent within the sector.

Longhurst also helped mia grow its membership from 320 to over 800.

Over the past 18 months Longhurst has led a simultaneous government, media and member relations strategy alongside business support tools that have been signposted by government.

Longhurst 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.”

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 said it is now seeking an individual with experience of operating at a senior level in either the wider events industry or membership associations.

Jones 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.”