Press Release - 24/05/2012
Five IMEX Academy Awards plus JMIC Unity Award, Site Master Motivator and new PCMA Global Executive Award make for a sparkling 2012 line-up
Nine different awards were made to various high-achieving global meetings industry professionals last night at the 10th anniversary IMEX Gala Dinner, which returned to Frankfurt’s Alte Oper for a night of special anniversary celebrations.
Following IMEX Group Managing Director, Paul Flackett’s, traditional roll of honour, Philippe Fournier, President of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), stepped up to present the JMIC Unity Award 2012. The award was made to a delighted and loudly-applauded Airy Garrigosa, founder and Director of the Barcelona Convention Bureau. Later Airy was surprised to be asked to return to the stage to receive a special, one-off IMEX Award “Recognising Services to the Industry at Large.” Flackett explained that this award acknowledged Garrigosa’s exceptional 29 years in management. “Although she steps down from her management role this year, the industry well knows that this is the lady who put Barcelona on the map – someone whose foresight and commitment has been instrumental in securing the city’s success in the meetings and conventions industry. She has left a lasting legacy,” he said.
Academy Award – Africa & Middle East
The 2012 IMEX Academy Award for Africa & the Middle East went to Adel Zaki of Egypt Incentives & Events. Gala Dinner guests heard how Zaki showed early promise in swimming, water polo and squash and also represented Egypt in the National Hockey Roller-Skating World Championships in Madrid in 1960. Following an early education in sales and marketing at the American University in Cairo, Zaki went on to work for Air India and later Alitalia. By 1980 he was working with Ittatours where he remains today as President and Chairman of the Board. He currently sits on the Egyptian Association of Travel Agencies and is Head of the Incoming Tourism Committee for 2011 – 2014.
Academy Award – Europe
Gordana Plamenac of the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia was the delighted recipient of the IMEX Academy Award for Europe 2012. As Flackett explained: “She was an offspring of Putnik when she decided to spend her first working years learning about the meetings industry.” Plamenac progressed over the years to become Managing Director of the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia and was instrumental in establishing the Serbian Convention Bureau. She remains a driving force at the Bureau where she staff appreciate the fact that she “always leads by example.”
Asia Pacific Region Award
The IMEX Academy Award for the Asia Pacific region was awarded to Indra Sukirno of the Jakarta Convention and Exhibition Bureau. This IMEX Academy Award was made in recognition of Indra’s enduring passion and commitment to her country and to the bureau for which she is a tireless and fervent ambassador.
The Americas Award
The final award, for the Americas region, was presented to Jonathan Walker of the Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau. Walker is a very well-known face in the global meetings and events industry, a constant traveller and keen golfer. He has recently announced his retirement as President & CEO of the Bureau after 18 years in post.
Site Master Motivator Award
Among the other awards presented at the Gala Dinner were the 2012 Site Master Motivator Award, which was presented by Allison Summers, Managing Director of Site and Site International Foundation. The award was made to Fukuo ‘Lucky” Morimoto, owner and President of Event Services Inc in Tokyo. Although Lucky couldn’t be at the event to accept his award, Summers described him as an “exceptional individual who is dedicated to excellence in the motivational events industry, has a collaborative spirit, and demonstrates an intense passion to keep our industry vibrant.” She said, “He has been a long-standing and tireless voice in the motivational events and incentive travel industry with not only Site but also MPI, ISES and other organisations. Lucky serves as an industry advocate and connector between officials in his homeland and the global MICE industry.”
New PCMA Global Meetings Executive of the Year Award
A new award was also added to the line-up this year. The PCMA – Global Meetings Executive of the Year Award – was presented to Ping He, Director, Global Sourcing and Partner Relations – Experient – by Sherrif Karamat, CAE, Chief Operating Officer of PCMA.
MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award
The MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award was presented by Bruce MacMillan, President & CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) - and also IMEX America’s strategic partner and premier education provider. This was presented to Shannan Scott of Ryerson University following success earlier in the day in the Future Leaders Forum International University Challenge (sponsored by Marriott). Scott was deemed a worthy winner by MacMillan who praised her for showing a real understanding of the issues of sustainability in the meetings industry. He also credited all of the students for their “enthusiasm, focus and obvious desire to make a meaningful contribution.”
- The next IMEX in Frankfurt takes place 21 – 23rd May 2013
- All IMEX show press releases can be downloaded from www.imex-frankfurt.com/press.php
- Printed copies can be obtained from the IMEX Press Centre at Messe Frankfurt until 17:00 24 May 2012.
- High-resolution photos of the show are available at www.imex-frankfurt.com/imexphotos.html
- The next IMEX America will take place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at the Venetian/Palazzo from 9 - 11 October 2012. www.imexamerica.com
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