The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) announces that Karen Wesloh, CAE, CMP,  of the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Harrington Company will be its new executive director effective January 1, 2016. IMA’s current executive director, Donna Chrobak, will be pursuing another opportunity within the incentive industry.

IMA and Harrington entered into an association management agreement signed earlier in 2015 that provided an option for IMA to have executive director services provided by Harrington.

“We are implementing a transition to the Harrington Company after an extensive search for an association management company best suited to support the IMA as it refines its structure to better serve membership,” says IMA President Spencer Toomey. “Part of our criteria was the ability to fill the critical executive director role, for which we found the Harrington Company superbly qualified with its proposal that Karen Wesloh fill that slot.”

Wesloh, a full partner and senior account executive at Harrington since 1992, received her MBA in marketing and strategic management from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She is has been actively involved in preparing the Harrington Company to become IMA’s association management company since its selection in May.

“Based on my experience working with the Harrington Company for the past several months, I believe that the IMA membership and board will be pleased with the level of commitment, professionalism and ability to deliver results that Karen and the Harrington Company has demonstrated,” says Chrobak. “They have already gone far beyond to try to understand our industry and our organization, and I know I am not alone when I say that ‘they get it.’”

Rounding out the transition team, former PPAI President and CEO Steve Slagle has agreed to lend his advice and guidance to ensure an orderly and effective transition of the executive director role from Chrobak to Wesloh. Slagle worked closely with IMA during his 16-year tenure as president of PPAI and received the IMA President’s Award in 2011. Slagle, who emerged from retirement in 2015 to provide critical insights and support to the IMA taskforce in its search for a new association management company, will be the 2016 inductee to the PPAI Hall of Fame this coming January.

Toomey has also announced that he will be part of an executive director transition team, along with Immediate Past President Rick Low and Executive Vice President Sean Roark, that will coordinate the transition. Efforts on the executive director transition have already begun and are expected to be fully implemented prior to the IMA Summit scheduled for July 18-20, 2016 in Houston, Texas.