American Business is adopting a new business plan in which the trade publishing association will "partner with industry experts and other organizations to provide greater value."

The new approach will include industry research and actionable business metrics; education and training programs around new business models and solutions; increased networking opportunities and focused leadership groups; more robust committees and councils "focused on tangible deliveries and professional development;" and new events, including regional programs with other organizations and experts.

This is the first major move under new ABM president Clark Pettit, who succeeded longtime ABM leader Gordon Hughes last June.

The association has also tapped a new senior management team including

• Michael Burns, vice president of events. Burns will oversee ABM’s events programs and most recently served as communications consultant at Morgan Stanley.

• Claudia Flowers, vice president of recruitment and retention. A former ABM staffer, Flowers will manage outreach to current and potential ABM members. She most recently served as vice president of client solutions at Outsell Inc. and executive vice president of corporate development for Questex Media Group.

• Marie Griffin, vice president of content and programming. Griffin is a 20-year b-to-b publishing vet, including editor-in-chief at Lebhar-Friedman’s Drug Store News.

• Todd Hittle will continue in his role as general counsel and CFO of ABM. Prior to joining ABM, he served as vp and group publisher at Nielsen Business Media and COO at The Hollywood Reporter.

In fiscal 2010 (ended June 30), ABM reported $3.2 million in revenue, down 41.8 percent from total revenue of $5.5 million in 2009. Membership dues drove much of the decline, falling from $3.4 million last year to just over $2 million this year. However, the association says several former members returned to the fold over the past year, including Bloomberg, Cygnus, Quadrant HealthCom, DTN/The Progressive Farmer and SourceMedia.