As Rob said last month in his “President’s Message,” the ITA Board made a number of changes in their bylaws this past fall that are designed to make the Association a more streamlined organization. What Rob did not say is that with the changes, he has concluded his two-year term as our president.
Rob is the ITA’s third president. Bill Pipp (New Sunshine) was a founding director and our first president. Dan Humiston (Tanning Bed, Inc.) followed Bill and served as president for ten years. Both of these men still serve on the Board. I believe all three would agree it is often a challenging position.
Rob was elected to the Board in 2006 and quickly threw his energy and passion into the job. Dan Humiston appointed Rob as chairman of the Regulatory Committee, where he was on the front lines of the hundreds of successful state battles the association waged in that period. Also during this time, while serving on the ITA Board and running his Tan Pro tanning salon chain, Rob was also the mayor of Kelly’s Island, OH – a position that taught him the political skills that served him so well when he was ITA’s president.
When Dan stepped down as president in 2011, Rob was elected by his fellow Board members to head the ITA. As the ITA’s executive director, no one involved with the ITA has worked more closely with Rob over the past eight years than I. Based on the close working relationship we developed, no one has a better appreciation for Rob’s many contributions to the ITA and the industry.
During his term, Rob steered the ITA through a very turbulent period. He kept the Board together when some were attempting to dismantle the organization, and articulated a clear vision for the organization’s direction when we hit some very difficult financial pitfalls. Rob got the Association through all of this with the grace and sense of humor that marks a true leader. I believe the industry owes Rob a huge debt of gratitude for his service as president.
In 2014, the ITA and industry will likely be faced with some difficult decisions and choices. I consider Rob a trusted friend and mentor and am grateful that he will continue to serve on the Board as we navigate what are truly uncharted waters for the industry.
is the Executive Director of the Indoor Tanning Association.
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