Mary Milne, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Jena Hoffman, INTIX CEO, at SEVT in Columbia, S.C. (VT Photo)

Jena Hoffman, who led INTIX into becoming a virtual association, has announced plans to resign her post this year.

Hoffman, INTIX president and CEO since April 2009, told Venues Today she will stay through the search and transition, which will probably take place in July.

Hoffman is leaving INTIX with a “positive cash flow and good initiatives underway.” She is particularly pleased with the beginnings of the certification program for ticketing professionals.

Maureen Andersen, AudienceView, current chairman of INTIX, said Jane Kleinberger, Spectra Ticketing and Fan Engagement and incoming INTIX chair, and Gary Lustig, Lustix, will co-chair a seven-person search committee and seek a search firm. Andersen has been through this transition before, having stepped in as interim CEO when INTIX transitioned from Jeffrey Larris to Hoffman’s leadership. Hoffman is staying on the job to help with this transition to new leadership.

Andersen said INTIX is looking for someone with entertainment experience of some ilk. “The right candidate will appear,” she predicted. It needs to be someone who understands the commercial market as well as the not-for-profit world and is familiar with fundraising and strategic planning.

Besides certification, international growth is one of the initiatives Hoffman has been pursuing, Andersen said, noting they just returned from the first Ticketing Professionals Conference in Birmingham, England, in February where they discussed that initiative and ways of working together.

It will be business as usual during the transition, Andersen said. “Our virtual association works extremely well. Jena has built a fine team of people who manage the conference, handle logistics, do accounting, oversee education and manage the website. It doesn’t matter what city people work in now. “We could be on a boat and still do it,” Andersen declared.

Hoffman has been investigating certification programs for more than a year. She said it can cost $100,000-$150,000 to initiate one. “It might be economically more feasible to partner with someone,” she said. In fact, she had some preliminary discussions with IAVM’s Chair, Karen Totaro, while attending SEVT (Sport, Entertainment & Venues Tomorrow) in Columbia, S.C., last week.

She agreed with Andersen that the virtual association model is working smoothly. It’s a hybrid of sorts, she said, neither an association management company nor a brick and mortar headquarters, but two fulltime employees managing several contracted experts. Her original research into virtual associations occurred right when the economy was tanking, she recalled. The board did not want an outside employee reporting directly to them, thus the hybrid virtual association model. It is perhaps the new trend – a virtual association with strategic business partners, run by employees along with outside experts in their fields. She particularly likes having so many resources to pull from.

Andersen was particularly appreciative of Hoffman’s strategic thinking. “We had the chance to reinvent ourselves,” Andersen said, “and Jena is a great change manager. As a consultant, she taught that and she is walking her talk.”

Interviewed for this story: Jena Hoffman, (323) 512-2923; Maureen Andersen, (720) 425-6472