On the evening of Tuesday, October 18, 2016, the Convention Industry Council set a new bar for awards events for more than 450 meetings and events professionals at the exciting and ever evolving Hall of Leaders & Pacesetter Awards Celebration event, commemorating its 21st anniversary.
CIC honored industry pioneers whose intelligence, innovation and influence have changed the landscape of the profession. These leaders have guided us to where we are today, and CIC recognized those whose recent contributions chart a course for where the industry is headed. This year’s celebration was set as “Club CIC” feel at Jewel Nighclub, offering a fresh take on industry awards celebrations. Jewel, a modern night club at the Aria Casino Resort in Las Vegas, provided a trendy yet luxurious setting for the magnificent evening celebrating the industry’s greatest. The night began with a VIP pre-awards reception welcoming guests up their custom video screened staircase. Building on that energy, the action-packed show began with CIC Chief Executive Officer Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP and the 2016 chair of the CIC Board of Directors, Bonnie Fedchock, CAE welcoming industry leaders, advocates and professionals to the to the 21st annual Hall of Leaders Celebration.
“The celebration was a truly exceptional occasion honoring industry pioneers in an intimate and unique setting,” said CIC CEO Karen Kotowski. “This was the perfect venue to showcase an innovative format for award celebrations.” After a heartfelt thank you to all of the generous sponsors, the celebration began with the presentation of the Pacesetter Awards to two professionals for their outstanding recent achievements in their careers. Honored this year were: Aoife Delaney and Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA. Aoife gave a heartfelt tribute as plane difficulties didn’t allow her to attend but she sent in a rather precious video instead. Next up five game changers (photos at top) added to the evenings electricity by injecting their own humor, love, passion and voice while joining the ranks of the prestigious CIC Hall of Leaders: Richard Aaron, MFA, CSEP Emeritus bringing to the stage his own confetti explosion to highlight the fun of events, Patrick Delaney, CMM, CITE, DMCP, embracing his passion through humor, Carol Krugman, CMP, CMM, M.Ed, who highlighted the support of her husband and even wrote her own song in tribute of the inductees themselves with her own version of We always go through it together.
John “Jack” Patronski an industry leader was humorous and sincere in his remarks, and Colleen Rickenbacher CMP, CSEP, CPC, CTA, CPECP closing the night highlighting her passion also outside the industry working with prison inmates. Throughout the night, guests dined on a variety of cuisines featured from various restaurants at Aria Resort and Casino such as Sage, Julian Serrano and Lemongrass along with table side service as one would experience in any top Las Vegas nightclub. With highlighted performances by the bridge cello playing duo, Mert Sermet and Jerry Pence, and the twin tap dancing sensations, Sean & John Scott, the invigorating atmosphere definitely supported the momentous celebration. There was also a surprise number in honor of the five Hall of Leaders inductees to the tune of the chorus line “one singular sensation” but adapted to the five truly unique and extraordinary sensations of the night.
“Our industry is ever-evolving and we embrace that through innovative approaches to this important celebration. This event honors pioneers in our industry and we wanted to continue to offer a fresh approach to showcase that,” said CIC Chairman of the Board Bonnie Fedchock.
After dinner, attendees were welcomed to continue the celebration into the after party, where an energetic DJ kept the electricity going along with party starters, glow batons and exotic food stations, including nitrogen frozen popcorn and mini desserts. This year’s celebration recognized not only the influencers themselves, but a new era for the industry, one CIC looks forward to being a part of for years to come.
The Hall of Leaders Award is considered the industry’s highest honor, recognizing excellence, career achievement and inspiring change in the global meetings, conventions, exhibitions, travel and events industry. In three decades, 119 industry pioneers have been inducted into this exclusive club. This year, in addition to welcoming the Hall of Leaders Class of 2016, CIC will also honor winners of the Pacesetter Award – created to salute emerging leaders and those who are making a difference in today’s marketplace. For more info, visit http://www.conventionindustry.org/HallofLeaders/2016HallofLeadersCelebration.aspx.