On Oct. 12, the Convention Industry Council (CIC) rolled out the red carpet in Las Vegas for more than 500 of the nation’s leading meetings professionals. Kicking off IMEX America 2014 for the second consecutive year, the 2014 Hall of Leaders Gala honored the industry’s best and brightest. The event was co-sponsored by MGM Resorts Event Productions, MGM Resorts International, the IMEX Group and other partners.
“We’re all so fortunate to be a part of the meeting industry, and I’m glad we have the Hall of Leaders, acknowledging the great contributions and influence of those within our profession, as well as the Pacesetter Awards, which recognize the strength and promise of the industry going forward,” said event chair Teri Breining, CMP, CMM.
CIC Chief Executive Officer Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP and the 2014 chair of the CIC Board of Directors Bob Gilbert, opened the 19th annual induction ceremony with the presentation of the Pacesetter Awards to two young professionals for their outstanding achievements early in their careers. Honored this year were Lindsay Arell and Donnell Bayot, CHE, CPCE, CFBE.
Three individuals were inducted into the Hall of Leaders: John Christison, Patti Shock, CPCE, CHT, and Gary Sain, posthumously. They had much more in common than meetings and events—each shared a love for rock-n-roll.
The night continued with rock-n-roll themed entertainment that featured music by the band Song Division as well as a light show by Extreme Beam.
In remembrance of Gary Sain, the final song was sung by an entire gospel choir and thousands of confetti hearts fell from the ceiling.
“Each year we grow our Hall of Leaders family and have the opportunity to celebrate and honor those [who] have had such an impact on the industry” said Kotowski, CEO, CIC. “This year was no different. The MGM team did a fabulous job in providing an appropriate and entertaining evening that was enjoyed by all.”
Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, information on nominations for next year’s award recipients will be available at www.conventionindustry.org.