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Achievements of global meetings industry professionals celebrated at IMEX Gala Dinner

Karolina Widawska from the University of Silesia – winner of the MPI Foundation Student
High-achieving meetings industry professionals from across the world were honoured last night at the 14th annual IMEX Gala Dinner held at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel.
At the ever-popular event, which had a fresh new look for this year, IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom and Managing Director, Paul Flackett, presented the prestigious IMEX Awards.

IMEX Academy Awards
The IMEX Academy Awards represent the very best in the meetings and incentive travel industry, honouring four outstanding individuals. Each of the winners has achieved consistently high standards within their region and are set to leave a legacy for future generations.

The award for Africa and the Middle East was given to Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Chief Convention Bureau Officer at South African Tourism. Her role is to develop the status of South Africa as a world class destination within the Meetings Industry. As part of this initiative she has worked with the Best Cities Alliance as well as partnering with ICCA.

Eric Bakerman, Marketing Manager, Meetings and Conventions at NBTC Holland Marketing, won the award for Europe. He co-founded the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe and has also has served on the board of several Association Chapters including GMIC and ICCA.

Winner of the award for Asia Pacific was Geoff Donaghy, CEO, International Convention Centre Sydney, and Group Director Convention Centres, AEG Ogden. In his role with AEG Ogden he has overseen work on Convention Centres in Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Qatar and New Delhi and is currently serving his second term as President of AIPC.

Elliott Ferguson, President and CEO of Destination DC, was presented with the award for the Americas. Elliott is a 20 year veteran of the industry and continues to grow and develop the DC region within the sector. He also serves on numerous other boards within the region such as the US Department of Commerce and the US Travel Tourism Advisory Board.

Industry Awards
Many of the leading trade associations also presented members with major industry awards at the IMEX Gala. The IAEE International Excellence Award was presented to Edward J. Krause, President & CEO, E.J. Krause & Associates, Inc, who has been instrumental in the development and growth of the industry on an international level, as well as providing longstanding service to IAEE.

Yoshihito Takahashi, IT Director at Congress Corporation, won IAPCO’s Innovation Award for his innovative app offering paperless ticketing for luncheon seminars, a popular element of medical conferences in Japan. JMIC’s Unity Award was won by Anita Pires, Partner at Pires & Associados Assessoria. An industry leader in Latin America, she has created many bridges between the events sector and numerous other areas of community activity and engagement.  

Elliott Ferguson, President & CEO of Destination DC, was recipient of the DMAI Humanitarian Award. Destination DC, through the American Experience Foundation (AEF), enriches the lives of low-income students through travel experiences and educational opportunities. 

Delighted young student Karolina Widawska from the University of Silesia from collected the MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award. MPI Student Scholarship Award – she was the winner of the International University Challenge which takes place at Future Leaders Forums around the world, with the winners of each Challenge brought together at IMEX in Frankfurt to compete for this prestigious Award.

Scholarship Award
The SITE Master Motivator Award was presented to Carolyn Dow, Managing Director of The Dow Consultancy, as a creative, hard-working professional representing the highest standard of excellence in motivational events.

Janet Tan-Collis, Chief Executive at East West Planners Pte Ltd, was honoured as PCMA Global Meetings Executive of the Year. A strong advocate of the importance of education and professional development in this industry, Janet has made a recognised impact on the global meetings industry. 

Green Awards
Jointly run by the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) and IMEX, these awards have been developed to recognise organisations within the meetings and incentive travel industry that are making an effort to minimise their environmental impact and maximise their social contribution.

Greenbuild 2014 International Conference & Expo, the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, won the Green Meeting Award.

Recipient of the Commitment to the Community Award was Banyan Tree Mayakoba for its incentive trip ‘Bee Part of the Melipona Community’ enabling delegates to work with locals to help produce honey soap from the Melipona beehives.

The Levi’s® Stadium, one of the world’s pre-eminent sport venues, won the Green Supplier Award for environmental initiatives covering energy efficiency, waste minimisation and water conservation.

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