The Board of the Irish Travel Agents Association met on 29th June todiscuss the position of ITAA President, following its decision to appoint the current President, Pat Dawson, as the ITAA’s new Interim Manager on a six-month contract as from 1st July 2011. The meeting accepted Pat Dawson’s resignation as President.
‘Beforehand, Pat told Irish Travel eNews: “The Board will look at the Articles of Association and will be legally advised by Anne Dolan. It may be that a Vice-President can be appointed to take over.”
Five candidates, including three from within the travel industry, applied for the temporary Interim Manager post and were initially interviewed by ITAA Board members Claire Dunne, Brian Inglefield and Martin Skelly, and legal advisor Anne Dolan. Claire and Martin conducted second-round interviews.
Asked about his position in Dawson Travel, Cork, and if he will be moving to Dublin, Pat added: “I will be commuting for the first six months. My son Paul, who has been with the agency for the past seven years, took over control as Managing Director on Monday 20th June and I will relinquish all shareholdings in Dawson Travel. No, that’s not a legal requirement, but I was retiring anyway and it is better to do that to avoid any possible conflict of interest.”
Asked about the ITAA’s financial position, Pat added: “The salary for the Interim Manager post is more than 25% less than that of the previous chief executive position. The ITAA’s year-end is 30th September, but last year’s accounts only came in February this year – and I acted immediately to implement cost savings.
“We have lost some big members but I have had discussions with them in recent weeks – their main reason for leaving has been financial. The ITAA needs to retain, and if possible increase its membership income and the fee structure can be fine tuned for a fairer balance as regards members’ turnover and fee level. It could also be restructured on an à la carte basis, with members choosing to pay a certain level of fee to avail of particular services.”