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The Independent Computer Consultants Association has begun the process of shutting down due to pressure brought on by the recession and dwindling membership.

In a statement posted on its virtually non-functional Web site, ICCA announced it ceased active operations at the end of 2009 and would officially disband on March 31 at the close of its fiscal year.

“As you know, the economy has taken a toll on many sectors of industry, including ours – the independent computer consultants. Many have suffered more than the average individuals by a decline in revenue, and in many cases a total loss of their business. Many have retired, switched careers or moved back into mainstream employment,” the organization gave as the root-cause of its declining membership.

ICCA, which represented many sole-proprietors and small computer consultants and resellers, is one of the oldest channel associations – it was founded more than 30 years ago.

The organization’s membership once topped 2,000 active computer consultants and resellers. But membership has steadily declined since the dot-com bust, and the erosion accelerated as the economy faltered in late 2008 through 2009, according to board member David Nachman.

Nachman, CEO and president of Nachman Networks in Virginia, said poor economic conditions forced many of ICCA members to seek the security of full-time employment with vendors or other solution providers. Others aged gracefully into retirement.

Trade associations and communities routinely go through membership churn, in which new members are replacing departing members. The trouble ICCA suffered was the rate of departing members was happening faster than new VARs and consultants were signing on.

“I’m sure there’s a bright side to this some place,” Nachman said.

Several industry associations and communities are said to be in discussions to assimilate the remaining ICCA membership into their groups.