ABA: Talks with NTA and UMA dissolved over non-disclosure
Peter J. Pantuso, president and CEO of the American Bus Association (ABA), today released the following statement in regards to a proposed joint trade show with the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) and National Tour Association (NTA):
September 21, 2012
The American Bus Association will never compromise or apologize for our values of being trustworthy, transparent and open with our members. They are the foundation of ABA. ABA also has no interest in getting into a “they said, we said” debate with any association.
Last week the attorney for the United Motorcoach Association, who also represented the interest of NTA, notified ABA by email that “UMA and NTA agree that the ongoing discussions are terminated.” These discussions were very preliminary talks about the concept of a future joint show. NTA and UMA were upset over an impasse regarding two key elements in a proposed confidentiality agreement.
NTA and UMA insisted there must be no communication with our members about the discussions of a joint show or even that discussions were underway. NTA and UMA insisted on a very restrictive confidentially clause with steep financial penalties of $50,000 per violation. However, not informing our members of what’s going on behind closed doors goes against our values and your rights as a member. It would be unethical and ill-advised to move forward on a joint show without seeking your input. Surprising our members at the end, with an agreement that had been negotiated in the shadows of secrecy, is not who we are. We don’t have a list of why a joint show won’t work, because we have not yet begun the process of exploring how to make it happen.
Our door is open. We’d welcome NTA and UMA back to resume preliminary talks. There are ways to protect confidential business information, and we respect that. However, we will not compromise when it comes to keeping our members informed and aware of what you have hired and trusted us to do, and then being forced to spend members’ money if the smallest of leaks occur.
I can promise you our staff is working tirelessly to make sure that Marketplace 2013 in Charlotte, N.C., will be a huge success with a great return on your investment, much like what you experienced in Grapevine, Texas, earlier this year. Marketplace’s 30 to 1 return on investment of nearly $60,000 per delegate is what we want to focus on so that you can continue to grow your business. For more information about Marketplace, go to http://www.buses.org/Member-Resources/Marketplace-2013.
ABA remains committed to being a member-driven and inclusive organization. With your help and the contributions of our member volunteers we look forward to creating the best Marketplace yet!
Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS
President and CEO, American Bus Association