Hersch will remain in the role until at least September to help the trade body identify and appoint a successor.
Executive committee member James Bloom praised Hersch’s commitment to the organisation and said he would be difficult to replace.
“On behalf of the directors, we would like to formally place on record our enormous thanks to Benson for his many years of hard work and dedication to the ASTL,” Bloom said.
“Finding his replacement will not be easy but the search will start in earnest. We look forward to the appointment of a new CEO to continue the positive momentum and growth of the ASTL.”
Pleasure and vocation
Hersch said it had been a pleasure and vocation over the past seven years to assist the ASTL in its growth and prosperity financially and in terms of membership and strength of profile.
“Unfortunately, nothing is forever and I feel that now is the time to hand over to someone who can continue the task,” he said.
“I will, of course, assist in any way my successor may require in order to ensure a smooth transition.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all board members, past and present; as well as all the members for their assistance in making the past seven years an extremely pleasant experience. I also want to thank our administrator, Kay Woolley, for her invaluable experience,” he added.