Internet Association to go offline, dissolve by the end of the year

Internat Association

Internat Association

The Internet Association will close its doors at the end of the year, with the group saying the industry it represents has undergone considerable change since its founding in the previous decade.

Politico, citing anonymous sources, reported Tuesday that IA would dissolve amid financial struggles caused by the departure of tech giant Microsoft earlier this year. The association’s board confirmed that decision in a statement Wednesday, although it did not provide details about the reasons it was shuttering the organization.

“Our industry has undergone tremendous growth and change since the Internet Association was formed almost 10 years ago, and in line with this evolution, the Board has made the difficult decision to close the organization at the end of this year,” it said.

IA was launched with much fanfare in 2012. The group brought together some of the largest players in the online economy, including Google, Facebook and eBay. The association’s founding CEO, Michael Beckerman, left in 2020 to become head of U.S. policy for TikTok.

The group is currently led by CEO K. Dane Snowden. Media reports have painted IA as an organization plagued by policy disagreements among its membership and staff unhappiness with its current leadership. There have been sharp divides among the group’s larger members and its smaller members on several hot-button policy issues. For example, it has stayed out of the debate over whether larger internet-based companies such as Amazon and Google should be penalized under antitrust laws, much to the annoyance of both, Politico reported.

IA reported more than $10 million in revenue in its 2020 tax disclosure documents. It lists 42 member companies on its website. Some of IA’s largest members reportedly paid up to $1 million in annual dues, with the association focused almost exclusively on advocacy. The IA website features the names and photos of 20 staff.

“The Board is grateful to the staff who have supported the member companies,” the board said in its statement. We would especially like to thank K. Dane Snowden and his team for their tremendous work over the past year.

“IA has made great progress on its mission to foster innovation, promote economic growth and empower people through a free and open internet. As this chapter closes, member companies remain committed to advancing public policy in support of this mission and will continue to work with stakeholders in other capacities.”

ASAE21 opens with live, virtual and prerecorded events

Hundreds of association professionals networked and watched keynote speeches and awards ceremonies on big screens in D.C., other cities

DC pop upThree hundred were registered for the ASAE annual meeting’s ‘Community Pop-UP’ in Washington, D.C., on Monday, part of a hybrid event that also had in-person gatherings in four other cities during the day. Shown above, author Baratunde Thurston delivered a remote keynote address shown on several large screens.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The ASAE Annual Meeting officially got underway on Monday, with a mix of virtual and in-person events, including “Community Pop-UPs” in Washington, D.C., and four other cities.

About 300 association executives and others registered to attend the D.C. event, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center’s Studio 801, a ballroom converted to a multimedia facility to accommodate hybrid events.

In-person attendees in the five cities began the morning watching prerecorded awards ceremonies, a speech by outgoing ASAE board Chair Steve Caldeira, CEO of the Household & Commercial Products Association, and a video tribute to outgoing ASAE CEO Susan Robertson. The awards segment included the acceptance of the Key Award, ASAE’s top honor for an association executive, by Chicago Association of Realtors CEO Michelle Mills Clement.

The other pop-ups took place in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas and Fort Lauderdale. The meeting runs through Aug. 18, with additional pop-ups to be held Tuesday in Cleveland, Palm Beach, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Wednesday in Chicago and Columbus, Ohio.

Speaking with CEO Update from the D.C. pop-up, American Association for Anatomy Executive Director Shawn Boynes said honoring his friend Mills Clement was a key reason for him to attend the pop-up, along with the opportunity to network.

“I’ve come to the ASAE meetings for well over 12 years now, and I really missed it last year,” Boynes said, referring to the fact that the in-person ASAE annual meeting was canceled last year.

“Having the opportunity to come together as a community this year is bittersweet because I know the pandemic has not gone away,” he said.

Boynes noted that Mills Clement is the first African American to win the Key Award in 40 years. Both are members of a group called “Texts to Table,” which started as an informal group of four Black association CEOs sharing experiences in group texts following the May 25, 2020, murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Now, the four CEOs have been joined by others for podcasts on the topic of race relations.

Baratunde Thurston, comedian, cultural critic and author of the book “How To Be Black,” gave a remote keynote speech on racial equity shown on several large monitors in Studio 801. The speech was followed by a Q&A session.

Later in the day, virtual attendees participated in prerecorded Learning Labs on subjects such as diversifying revenue sources, successful marketing strategies and improving digital experiences for users.