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MPI honored the ‘RISE’ of its members at a 2013 WEC awards ceremony


Meeting Professionals International (MPI) honored its members at the RISE Awards presentation and luncheon on July 22 during the global meeting and event industry association’s 2013 World Education Congress (WEC) in Las Vegas.

Winners of the Recognizing Industry Success and Excellence (RISE) Awards included Miguel Neves, Scott Friedman, Maria Meschi and Canadian chapter members, who were all selected for exceptional achievements in leadership and community initiatives. The awards ceremony took place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center as part of WEC, a large educational gathering of meeting and event professionals.

“The RISE Awards are confirmation that by working together, sharing our time and talent, we can achieve success as individuals and grow as a community. These recipients have influenced others by following their passions and are an inspiration to us all,” said Barbara J. Cummins, CMP, CMM, chair, the RISE Awards judging panel.

Individual achievement, community achievement and organizational achievement were the three categories highlighted during the awards ceremony that took place on the birthday of Miguel Neves.

Neves won Member of the Year for his volunteer leadership and his communications, marketing and social media initiatives for the MPI United Kingdom and Ireland chapter. Serving as the vice president of finance, Neves also assists with the development of student-focused initiatives, such as the chapter’s Young Achievers Award and Vanessa Cotton Memorial Scholarship. He has volunteered with MPI since 2008. Neves worked on technology and social media educational events and has spoken at many events throughout Europe and North America. In addition, he serves on MPI’s International Knowledge Advisory Council.

Presented with the award for Meeting Industry Leadership was Scott Friedman, a speaker and author, who led initiatives to bring the global speaking and meetings community closer together, including founding the Global Speakers Summit and Meetings Industry Council of Colorado and co-founding the International Association of Speakers Bureaus and National Speakers Association Council.

His mission is to bring about positive change through collaboration with community connectors. Friedman is also the founder of “Together We Can Change The World,” an organization that brings speakers together with communities in Southeast Asia to fundraise, promote education and build sustainability in orphanages.

Maria Meschi received the RISE Award for Young Professional Achievement for her contributions to the MPI Indiana chapter. Her leadership as director of marketing/public relations and director of Emerging Leaders has led to improved communications and networking for local members. She created the Emerging Leaders program to engage students, young professionals and transitioning professionals in career and leadership development.

Eight MPI Canada chapters received the Community Achievement in Knowledge and Ideas award for the annual planning and hosting of National Meetings Industry Day (NMID). Celebrated for 16 years, NMID draws in more than 1,000 attendees across the participating cities of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax. The primary goal of this annual day is to raise awareness of the meeting industry within the country and communicate the value of the industry to the broader business community. The program’s success has been recognized by Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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