At our September Board meeting in Indianapolis and at subsequent meetings thereafter, the Board took several bold steps that I am satisfied will ensure an active and financially solvent ITA into 2014 and beyond.
In many ways, the Indianapolis meeting was a sobering experience as we discussed all the challenges the industry faces with the FDA, CDC and on Capitol Hill. This discussion impressed upon me the overwhelming need for this organization, and I left the meeting determined to find a way to meet our challenges.
First and foremost, the Board reaffirmed that Federal regulatory and legislative issues are the ITA’s top priority. This decision came about as a result of a detailed presentation by our FDA counsel who re- minded the Board that not only must we be prepared to respond to the FDA’s final action on the proposed order to reclassify sunlamp products to Class II medical devices, but also be prepared to respond to the FDA’s amendments to the performance standard which the FDA could release at any time.
Because all of the developments at the FDA directly affect our lamp and equipment manufacturers first, and because our comments to the FDA docket raise all of the legal issues surrounding the proposed order, it became clear that it is up to the ITA to be at the forefront of the industry’s interaction with the FDA regardless of what happens next.
￼Clearly, these two government actions will have a significant impact on our industry for years to come, and the Board made the decision to restructure ITA’s dues for 2014 so that the ITA has the revenue to continue a vigorous defense.
The Board also made significant changes to the bylaws, which will streamline decision-making as well as create a more even playing field for industry leaders interested in serving on the Board. The bylaw changes combined our membership categories into one sector and jettisoned the requirement that a specific number of directors come from any one industry segment. Directors will still serve a three year term, but starting in 2014, they will be elected at-large by the entire membership.
Finally, our executive director, John Overstreet, will have day-to-day decision making authority for the operation of the Indoor Tanning Association. In the past, that responsibility had been vested in the president and delegated to the executive director and staff. The Board will still have overall responsibility for establishing policy.
I am pleased we were able to reach this point. There has been a lot of uncertainly in the industry over the past year about the best way to address the issues confronting the industry. I hope these changes put that uncertainly officially behind us.
was the President of the Indoor Tanning Association.
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