Industry Planner

The Industry Planner category celebrates Canada’s top meeting or incentive-travel planner—someone who represents everything a planning professional should be.

Nominate a planner who has problem solved, trouble shot, implemented best practices and delivered a return on event/meeting investment for employer/clients.

Nominees are judged on four elements:

  1. Number/types/size of meetings/events they’ve planned (25 points)
  2. Problem-solving skills (25 points)
  3. Creation of best practices (25 points)
  4. Proven delivery of return on investment (ROI) (25 points)

Current Hall of Fame Industry Planners were selected for:

  • Serving on MPI Toronto’s board of directors (chapter president 2000-2001) and working as a corporate, independent and third-party event manager for 20+ years (Les Selby, CMM, CMP)
  • Designing and delivering seminars for the planning community, mentoring and volunteering (Helen Van Dongen, CMM, CMP)
  • Providing event marketing and incentive strategies for  some of the world’s leading brands and being a leading advocate of strategic meeting management (Nicola Kastner, CMM, CMP)
  • Developing processes and systems for her company’s meetings department, including a budget template (Angie Pfeiffer, CMM)
  •  Changing and raising awareness of disability accessibility at events in Canada  (Bettyanne Sherrer, CMP, CMM)
  • Creating standardized RFP templates and a best practices manual for her planning team as well as passion for the industry. (Julie Calvert, CMP, CMM)
  • Being equally committed to volunteering with associations and moving the industry forward as he is to delivering events across Canada. (Chuck Schouwerwou, CMP, CMM)
  • For 25 years of developing and executing exceptional incentive travel programs in locations around the world. (Heather Douglas)
  • For increasing a single event’s ROI by 50,000%, and implementing best practices across a national events team. (Arianna McLaughlin)

Industry Builder

The Industry Builder category honors an individual planner or supplier who has developed best practices, created professional guidelines and/or built a product, service or organization that has improved the way the industry conducts its day-to-day business, added to the industry’s overall foundation, and left a legacy.

Nominate someone who has developed, helped develop or launched a best practice(s), product(s), service(s) and /or organization(s) that have improved the way the meeting/events or incentive industry does business.

Nominees are judged exclusively (100 points) on how their product/service/best practice(s)/organization has IMPROVED the OVERALL INDUSTRY.

Current Hall of Fame Industry Builder inductees were selected for:

  • Building performance marketing, rewards and recognition industry in Canada (Don Brommet)
  • Influencing the writing and adoption of the Canadian Industry Occupational Standards for meeting planners (Jean Silzer, CMP)
  • Helped write and publish the textbook, Meeting & Conventions: A Planning Guide, which is now used internationally (Sandy Biback, CMM, CMP)
  • Pioneering the field of meeting site selection in Canada (Linda Genest).
  • Developing and implementing a sustainability and stewardship program. (Trevor Lui)
  • Developing industry standards for live events, creating company-wide corporate social responsibility initiatives and championing women’s rights in the male-dominated AV industry. (Johanne Bélanger, CPA, CA)
  • Consistently leading the industry towards best practices in ethics, CSR and environmental practices. (Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA)
  • For being a “sustainability solutionary” and being a leader in green meeting execution and education. (Shawna McKinley)
  • For being a key player in the development of Meeting Professionals International in Canada; chairing the Canadian Standards Committee, a Federally-funded industry task force, the work of which led to the creation and publication of the Canadian meeting industry’s first textbook. (Diane Stefaniak)

Industry Innovator

The Industry Innovator category honors an individual planner or supplier who has developed and implemented a  service, product or concept that modernizes the industry and moves it forward.

Nominate someone who has developed and helped implement an innovative product, client service or an out-of-the-box, next generation marketing or educational initiative, which elevates benchmarks and propels the industry into the future.

Nominees are judged exclusively (100 points) on whether their product, service, educational initiative, etc. has MODERNIZED the INDUSTRY.

Current Hall of Fame Industry Innovator inductees were selected for:

  • Creation of Canada’s first speakers’ bureau (Perry Goldsmith)
  • Development of Canadian Economic Impact Study (CEIS) initiative (Rita Plaskett, CMM, CMP)
  • Helping business leaders create more productive, effective organizations (Paul Marchildon, CITE)
  • Pioneering green meetings and mobile event apps (Jean-Paul de Lavison, CMP)
  • Creating proprietary systems in data cleansing, lead processing and marketing (Doreen Ashton Wagner) 
  • Developing one of the meeting industry’s first mobile apps and helping planners and attendees adopt new technologies. (Bob Vaez, CEO, EventMobi)
  • Leading by example in the war against food waste in the meetings industry. (Sandra Wood, CMP)
  • For launching Meetings Escrow, the first company to provide financial and risk management services specifically for meetings. (Grant Snider, DMCP)
  • For teaching planners about venue contract negotiation via webinars, contributions to industry publications, presentations and her business, Planner Protect Inc. (Heather Reid, ARCT MSc)

Industry Mentor

The Industry Mentor category honors an individual planner or supplier who through his or her expertise, professional influence or academic position has provided others with the opportunity, inspiration or ability to pursue excellence.

Nominate someone who you have seen reach out to and help industry newcomers on an ongoing basis throughout his/her career. The successful nominee will have provided orientation, career advancement, problem solving, coaching and/or support to junior industry colleagues and/or peers.

Nominees are judged on their answers to two specific questions:

  1. What mentoring means to them and why it is important (25 points)
  2. How they have mentored specific individuals, particularly individuals who are not in their employ. Specific examples must be given. (75 points)

Current Hall of Fame Industry Mentors were selected for:

  • Starting a company mentoring program and seeking raw talent at colleges and universities (Doug Keeley)
  • Introducing mentees to all aspects of the MICE industry and programs to help enhance and expand their careers (Gabrielle Spanton)
  • Mentoring students, new event planners and new hires from day one of her career (Julie Holmen)
  • Expanding the boundaries of mentoring to include colleagues and seasoned professionals looking for the next right step (Jill Harrington)
  • Offering advice, opening doors, assisting in job searches, sharing insights and discussing next steps with a new generation of planners (Judy Healy, MBA)
  • Guiding colleagues, newcomers, students and sometimes, bosses, throughout her career in the hospitality industry and as an instructor at Niagara College. (Janet Jakobsen, CMP, MBA)
  • Being an equal-opportunity mentor, enthusiastically coaching planners, suppliers, colleagues and competitors. (Krista Cameron)
  • For 34 years of mentoring employees and competitors, and for sharing her expertise in mentorship with other companies, associations, etc. (Constance Wrigley-Thomas, CAE)
  • For mentoring countless junior industry colleagues on both the planner and supplier sides. (Carol Priest)

Rising Star

The Rising Star category honors a planner or supplier, with a total of two to five years experience in the industry, who has demonstrated leadership and the desire to become an ambassador for the industry.

Nominate someone who has demonstrated initiative in becoming a professional meeting/event or incentive travel planner or supplier in terms of his/her training, education, internships, adopting mentors, etc. In addition, the nominee should be actively involved in the industry, serving on association committees, etc.

Nominees are judged on two major elements:

  1. Education and experience (50 points). Please note: nominees must be working in the business events industry for a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years. Employment can be on the planner and/or supplier side.
  2. Industry involvement (50 points). This means active participation on association committees, volunteering at charity events, etc. 

Current Hall of Fame Rising Stars were selected for:

  • Volunteering extensively with meetings and incentive travel associations (Vinita Borrison)
  • Receiving bursaries and scholarships including MPI International’s “Future Leader’s Forum” scholarship (Jessica Ambrose)
  • Guest lecturing at Ryerson University and helping to create a university student internship program (Natalie Ciarallo)
  • Taking advantage of every opportunity—volunteer, educational and more—to learn, grow and rise in the industry (Danyelle MacCulloch)
  • Impressive energy and enthusiasm for the industry, and working on the supplier and planner sides. (Kyra Whale)
  • Fantastic optimism, willingness to help others, and laser-like focus in achieving her career goals. (Mariella Irivarren, CMP)
  • Boundless enthusiasm, forward thinking, can-do attitude and deep desire to give back to the industry—and she’s just getting started! (Christy Wright, CIS)

Industry Volunteer

The Industry Volunteer category honors an individual planner or supplier who gives freely of his or her time or expertise in the promotion of industry associations, groups, professional industry chapters or charity work.

Nominate someone who is actively involved in the industry and/or works closely with charities.

Nominees are judged on the depth and breadth of their volunteer activities, as well as their ability to articulate what volunteering means to them. The points breakdown is:

  1. What volunteering means to nominee (15 points)
  2. Volunteer activities within the industry. Primary association (40 points); secondary associations (25 points).
  3. Volunteer activities outside the industry (20 points)

Current Hall of Fame Industry Volunteer inductees were selected for:

  • Holding key leadership positions in MPI, Site, CHMSE and more (Marsha Jones, CMP, CMM)
  • Rallying more than 300 volunteers at MPI WEC, who in turn raised money for a Toronto shelter (Danny Dobriansky)
  • Growing Site Canada membership by 29 per cent and helping multiple charities (Susan Prophet)
  • Being actively involved in industry association and community projects as well as guest lecturing (Alice Parnis)
  • Founding the Meetings Industry Euchre Tournament in support of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation (Sheila Wong, CEM)
  • Being as involved as is humanly possible in the meetings industry, sitting on multiple boards and mentoring. (Sandra Moniz, CMP)
  • Defining volunteerism within the meetings industry and in her personal live. (Hélène Moberg)
  • Holding leadership volunteer positions on industry associations as well as volunteering in her community. (Hayley Bishop, CMP)
  • Actively volunteering with CanSPEP (committees, president) and serving as CanSPEP representative and then chairperson of the Business Events Coalition of Canada, now Meetings Mean Business Canada. (Rose Timmerman-Gitzi, CMM)

The Big Idea

This category was introduced in 2014 to honor an individual planner or supplier who has come up with and helped to implement an idea that has improved the productivity, profitability, culture and/or operational systems of a specific company/business.

Nominate someone who has come up with and implemented a “big idea” that has changed the way his or her company does business. Look for ideas that have added value, increased productivity and efficiency, solved a systems problem, improved working conditions, etc.

Nominees are judged exclusively (100 points) on the uniqueness and impact of their “big idea.” Impact must be beyond an individual’s own business.

Current Hall of Fame Industry Volunteer inductees were selected for:

  • Creating a new event—”Game Changer: Meet – Mentor – Educate”—with the mandate of introducing recent graduates to the faces behind the big brands in the industry. (Patricia Brusha)
  • Playing a leading role in developing the 10 CE Hour Mobile App Certificate Program, which teaches planners why and how they should use mobile apps. (Tahira Endean, CMP)
  • Leading MPI Toronto’s initiative to measure the return on investment (ROI) of an association membership (memberTOmember). (Tim Whalen, CMP)

Industry Veteran

The Industry Veteran honor is awarded at the discretion of the judges and Meetings + Incentive Travel (M+IT). It celebrates planners and suppliers who have shaped the Canadian MICE industry over the course of their careers. To be considered for an Industry Veteran award, individuals must first be nominated in one of the seven categories above. Nominators should note on the nomination form that the individual should be considered for the Industry Veteran category.

Current Hall of Fame Industry Veteran inductees are:

  • Duff Shaw (2009)
  • Jane Wallbridge (2011)
  • Roni Feldman, CMP, DMCP, CIS (2012)
  • Ralph Strachan (2013)
  • Cynthia Richards (2014)
  • Ellie MacPherson (2015)
  • Leslie Wright (2016)
  • Michael Prescott (2017)

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