Global meetings industry professionals recognised at IMEX Gala Dinner

IMEX 2015
IMEX 2015

High-achieving meetings industry professionals from across the world were honoured last night at the 13th annual IMEX Gala Dinner at the Alte Oper, Frankfurt, with 15 awards handed out.
IMEX Group chairman, Ray Bloom and managing director, Paul Flackett, presented the prestigious IMEX Academy Awards to five outstanding individuals.

The IMEX Academy Awards are presented to individuals to recognise outstanding service to the meetings and incentive travel industry. Each of the winners has achieved consistently high standards within their region and are set to leave a legacy for future generations.

Glen Byrom, founder of Twiice DMC Victoria Falls & Chobe dmc, received the Academy Award for the Africa Middle East region. Glen has more than 25 years’ experience in creating and delivering conferences and incentives to this “Wonder of the World” destination.

The Academy Award for Europe was presented to Henrik von Arnold, an adviser and consultant to the meeting industry who runs his own company based in Vienna. A former director of Göteborg Convention Bureau, he has also acted as chairman of the Scandinavian Chapter of ICCA (International Congress & Convention Association) and as board member of the European Federation of Conference Towns (EFCT).

Winner of the Academy Award for the Asia Pacific region was Rajeev Kohli, chairman and managing director of Creative Travel. Mr. Kohli has contributed much to the industry through his board-level involvement in numerous organisations, including PATA, SKAL, the PATA India Chapter, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) India Chapter and the South American Travel Agents Association (COTAL). He is also the founder president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), the national body of tour operators in India and is currently president elect for Site.
Judy Henrich was the delighted recipient of the Academy Award for the Americas. As director of recruitment and industry relations for Global Cynergies, Judy works with industry suppliers around the globe to develop programmes that increase awareness, new business and market opportunities. Judy has worked in the meetings industry since 2000 and has lived and worked in Frankfurt, Stockholm and London.

Academy Award for Special Services was scooped by Amy Spatrisano, CMP, for her services to the “greening” of the meetings industry. Amy is former principal with MeetGreen, co-founder of the Green Meeting Industry Council, and chair of the APEX Green Meeting Practice Panel.

Industry Awards

Many of the leading trade associations also presented members with major industry awards at the IMEX Gala, solidifying the reputation of the event. Delighted young student Anzelle Vorstmann from North West University in South Africa collected the MPI Foundation 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.

The JMIC Unity Award 2014 was presented to David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Travel Company and Experient. A new award for this year, the IAPCO Innovation Award, was scooped by Andrew Dergousoffn, director of Virtual Conferences at International Conference Services Ltd.

Managing director and founder of Conference Consultancy South Africa (CCSA) Pieter Barend Francois Swart received the PCMA Global Meetings Executive of the Year award. The IAEE International Organiser Award was presented to Edward Liu, managing director of Conference & Exhibition Management Services.

Joost de Mayer, chairman and chief executive officer of First Incentive Travel, collected the Site Master Motivator Award.  The DMAI Destination Marketing Humanitarian Award was won by Johannesburg Tourism and collected by Nabintu Petsana, head of tourism at the organisation.