*President Says ATA Has Bounced Back From Financial Woes

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ORLANDO, FL -- The American Teleservices Association is alive and out of debt-related trouble, ATA President Gordon McKenna told its membership at the opening session of the association's 17th annual convention here on Sunday.


Last year's convention was marked by revelations that mismanagement by former ATA president/CEO J. Scott Thornton led the association into financial crisis. The controversy led to the resignation of seven ATA board members, leaving board members McKenna, Kent Stormberg and Bill Miklas to provide a solution.


The ATA faced a decline in membership and out-of-control costs, and there had been speculation that the ATA might have to disband.


Through cost-cutting, the hiring of an outside management agency and increasing individual membership to an all-time high of nearly 2,500 -- up from less than 2,100 last year -- the ATA weathered the storm, McKenna said.


Thornton was alleged to have mishandled $310,000, leading to his termination in July 1999. But the ATA is solvent again, McKenna said.


The organization's operating budget was slashed by $1.2 million this year.


According to the ATA's annual report, the organization collected $797,000 in revenues and spent $754,500 this year.
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