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Events Industry Council Announces the 2017 Hall of Leaders Inductees and Pacesetter Awardees

The Events Industry Council continues the tradition of celebrating the best and brightest in the events industry with their Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter awards programs. Three Pacesetter award winners and three new Hall of Fame inductees will be recognized at the 2017 Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter awards celebration on October 10 in Las Vegas, Nev., during IMEX America.

Established in 2012, the Pacesetter Awards recognize the valuable contributions individuals are making to impact the events industry today as well as charting the course for a thriving future. The 2017 Pacesetter award winners are recognized for their contributions for innovation, sustainability and as a young professional in the events industry.

Dan Berger, CEO, Social Tables, Pacesetter for Innovation: Dan Berger’s creative approach to creating new and innovative technology has revolutionized the events industry by changing the way meeting professionals perform their jobs. Dan’s vision was to create the first intelligent seating chart program in a cloud-based software providing seamless event execution without hand drawn diagrams or the need for expensive CAD software. That program, Social Tables, put powerful but easy to use technology in the hands of planners and their partners to ease and speed the planning process. Dan has provided his software free to numerous universities to train the next generation of professionals. This program is equipping students with the ability to diagram any kind of event, thus providing a marketable skill for their entry into the profession. Over 3,000 students have successfully completed the Social Tables Event Planner program. Most recently, Dan was named one of the most influential leaders in the meetings industry for 2016 by Successful Meetings for the second year in a row, and Social Tables has been recognized as one of the best places to work in the D.C. area by the Washington Post and Smart CEO. Some of his other recognitions and accomplishments include being named as one of Connect Magazine’s 40 under 40 Industry Leaders and receiving the MeetingsNet 2016 ChangeMaker Award.

Guy Bigwood, group sustainability director, MCI Group, Pacesetter for Sustainability: As a leader in sustainability, Guy Bigwood has worked to develop new industry best practices and solutions for the meetings, events, and association industries. Holding the position of Group Sustainability Director of MCI, Guy founded MCI’s Sustainability Program in 2007 and, since then, has helped create Corporate Social Responsibility Programs for MPI, ICCA, UFI, IAPCO and other regional industry associations. Guy created a system to benchmark destinations’ sustainability practices in the ICCA Scandinavia Chapter, which in 2016 lead to the Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index. This innovative Index helps destinations, convention bureaus, event planners, and suppliers to collaborate and drive the adoption of sustainable practices in their city and in the global events industry. The Index is now used in over 36 cities on 5 continents. Guy’s personal passion to create a better world inspired and influenced his company to create a CSR program, and MCI became the first event management company to sign the U.N. Global Compact, laying the groundwork for the company’s sustainability strategy. Guy has served as President of the Green Meeting Industry Council and has lent his expertise to the creation of the APEX-ASTM Sustainable Meeting Standards, ISO 20121 and the GRI Event Sustainability Standards. Guy has influenced and educated the industry by conducting training sessions and seminars reaching over 30,000 participants. 

Mac Campbell, deputy director, Baltimore Convention Center, Pacesetter for Young Professional: As a young professional in the meetings and events industry, Mac Campbell has not only made an impact on the industry but has also positively influenced his community through his thoughtful green initiatives and social responsibility programs. As the Director of Client Services at the Baltimore Convention Center, Mac implemented a comprehensive materials recycling program, increasing the center’s waste diversion rate by 25% within three years. With Mac’s leadership the Baltimore Convention Center was the first venue on the east coast to be certified as a Green Meetings Venue through the Events Industry Council’s APEX/ASTM Sustainable Meetings Standard. Through this ―green‖ program, Mac saw another opportunity in his community and formed relationships with local nonprofits to provide them with unused promotional goods such as hats and yoga mats. Mac has created multiple volunteering events such as building playgrounds, assisting the Maryland Food Bank, and working with Angel Tree to create an annual event hosting over 150 children and their parents from two Volunteers of America Transitional Housing Programs where each child received a gift from BCC staff members. Mac spent four years on the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Young Professionals Committee where he advocated for more programming for young members and worked to create networking opportunities for them by producing virtual interviews with more tenured venue managers. Mac currently serves as the Assistant Director of IAVM’s Region 1 and was recently named Deputy Director of the Baltimore Convention Center.

“The Events Industry Council is excited to have these three deserving professionals be recognized for their contributions in innovation, sustainability and as an emerging leader in our industry,” says Karen Kotowski, CMP, CAE, CEO of the Events Industry Council. “They have made a significant impact on our industry and act as role models and inspiration for other professionals to learn from.”

Meanwhile, the Hall of Leaders has been a symbol of industry excellence, achievement, and inspiration, welcoming hundreds of pioneers into its ranks over the years. Inductees have demonstrated the forward-thinking and innovation that shaped the events industry into what it is today.

David Peckinpaugh, CMP, was nominated by the Events Industry Council Board and is seen throughout the events industry as a passionate leader and tireless advocate. His passion and advocacy on behalf of the events industry has earned David accolades and recognition from peers and organizations including MPI Rise Award’s Meetings Industry Leadership, the Joint Meetings Industry Council’s Unity Award, Incentive Travel Council’s Advocate of the Year and one of Successful Meetings’ 25 Most Influential People. From his initial entry into the business events sector, David has distinguished himself with outstanding accomplishments in senior positions across a spectrum of organizations, from convention and visitors’ bureaus, to large event design and management companies, and he is the original co-chair of the U.S. Travel Association’s Meetings Mean Business Coalition. In all these roles, he has been focused on helping customers achieve business results through the effective use of meeting, event and incentive travel programs. David now serves as president of Maritz Global Events providing strategic oversight for both Maritz Travel and Experient. David has also been a champion in the fight against human trafficking and has contributed both time and resources to educate the hospitality industry and to raise awareness of this insidious crime.

Patricia “Patti” Roscoe, CITE was nominated by the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and has volunteered her time to SITE and the events industry for many years. Patti moved to San Diego in the mid-sixties and found a career in hospitality, spending fifteen years in the hotel and destination management segments of the industry. In 1981, she founded PRA Destination Management Company and her most significant impact has been in the Destination Management Company (DMC) world. Patti’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit led her to an expansion business model not previously seen in the DMC world. These expansion plans led her to franchise her five Southern California offices, and she was the first entrepreneur to franchise a DMC. In 2007, she sold her then 17 offices to Paris-based Allied International. AlliedPRA then became part of a global organization serving destinations throughout Europe and the United Arab Emirates. Patti has also been directly involved in educating the next generation of event professionals. She was instrumental in helping to create a four-year degree program in Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University (SDSU) and helped create and endow a professorship for their Institute of Meetings and Events. Patti served as a Trustee of San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Campanile Foundation, and has chaired the Board of Advisors of SDSU’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. SDSU has recognized Patti with its prestigious President’s medal for her commitment and in 2016 she was conferred with an honorary degree as a Doctor of Humane letters.

Janet SperstadCMP, was nominated by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) due to her contributions from over 25 years as a meeting professional and executive leader in the corporate and non-profit sectors. Janet has dedicated her career to defining the competencies and career pathways that articulate meeting planning as a discipline requiring skills in the social sciences, executive leadership, and cognitive sciences. Janet created the United States’ first Associate Degree in Meeting and Event Management at Madison College in Madison, Wisconsin, where she currently serves as Program Director. She was instrumental in the development of a graduate program in meeting management through the Copenhagen Business School, where she continues to teach today. Janet’s single most important contribution to the industry has been her work with the U.S. Department of Labor where she was a member of the US Department of Labor, Hospitality, Tourism and Event Industry Competency Model Task Force. This work led the DOL to establish the events industry as its own sector and established occupational standards identifying key competencies for those working in the profession. Janet’s volunteer service ranges from high-profile leadership roles serving as Chair of the Events Industry Council’s CMP Governance Commission, member of IAEE Faculty and Education Committees, and as a member of the PCMA Convening Leaders Content Committee. Janet has been named one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry as well as Changemaker in 2016. She is also the recipient of the 2015 Meeting Professionals International Chairman’s Award, 2015 Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership Award from International Association Exhibitions and Events, and she was named one of the top 30 CMP Influencers by the Events Industry Council.

“The Events Industry Council is thrilled to induct these three professionals into the Hall of Leaders and we look forward to honoring their legacy and leadership at the Hall of Leaders awards celebration in October,” shares Karen Kotowski, CMP, CAE, CEO of the Events Industry Council. “There are so many amazing professionals in our industry and we are excited to put the spotlight on these three deserving professionals who have helped shape our industry and pave the way for others.”

Visit the Events Industry Council website for more information about 2017 Hall of Leaders and Pacesetters awards celebration table sponsorship and individual tickets to attend the event on October 10, 2017 at the Jewel Nightclub at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Events Industry Council’s 33 member organizations represent over 103,500 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties involved in the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry. The Events Industry Council vision is to be the global champion for event professionals and event industry excellence. It promotes high standards and professionalism in the events industry with the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program and signature program initiatives. The CMP credential is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the events industry. The qualifications for certification are based on professional experience, education, and a rigorous exam. The four signature programs — Sustainability, Industry Insights, Knowledge, and Leadership — represent the key initiatives, assets, services and products for the Events Industry Council. Learn more online at www.eventscouncil.org.


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