Conference Hero Award
The first recipient of the award is Shawna Suckow, the founder of SPIN – the Senior Planner Industry Network – an association of gifted and experienced event professionals. Eliz and Thom emceed SPINCon 2020 and witnessed the support Shawna gave to the human side of the meetings industry. Throughout her career as an event professional and professional speaker, Shawna has led with heart and integrity. During 2020 she made space for SPIN members and vendors to connect and be vulnerable during very trying times. She is the perfect example of a Conference Hero. Congratulations Shawna!
The second recipient of the Conference Hero Award is Crystal Washington. Crystal is a futurist, technology strategist, and author who works with organizations that want to leverage technology for increased profits and productivity. Influence in the meetings and event industry is demonstrated by the speakers she inspires to focus on serving their audience rather than getting tangled up in technology and the meeting professionals who benefit from her insight in creating effective events that create real connection and deliver high-caliber content. Crystal serves on the board of the National Speakers Association and was a key part of the association’s ability to pivot in 2020. As host of NSA’s podcast, she shelved the recorded episodes in early 2020 and refocused on helping members weather the uncertainty. Congratulations Crystal.
The third recipient of the Conference Hero Award is ATX Event Systems represented on the Conference Talk Show by Norm Lieder. ATX Event Systems is a great example of what we all hoped the events industry could do in the face of the pandemic. They moved fast and understand we were moving into a new world. Building a studio and turning events into television broadcast style experiences to serve the needs of the clients.
Our 4th, 5th, and 6th Conference Hero Awards were presented to Mary-Ann Urbanovich, Heather Seasholtz, and Shannon Majewski the creators of the Pandemic Compliance Advisor Certificate Program This is training for meeting professionals who need to ensure safe practices are implemented, communicated, and effectively carried out throughout the entire meeting cycle. The program is important now – and will be valuable in the future to plan and present events through any health and safety challenges. Not only did Mary-Ann, Heather, and Shannon develop the training program – they created jobs for event professionals as Pandemic Compliance Advisors. Congratulations and thank you for stepping up during challenging times as a force for good in the meetings industry!
The 7th Conference Hero recipient is professional entertainer and emcee Jeff Civillico. Jeff has served the events industry for years, but in the last 18 months has elevated countless virtual and hybrid events. His dedication to his clients also elevates the role of a professional master of ceremonies. In addition, his Win Win Entertainment project pairs charities including children’s hospitals with entertainers who want to give back. Congratulations and thank you for being a perfect example of what is possible with meeting professionals partner with a superb emcee!
The 8th Conference Hero Award was presented to Cindy Lo of Red Velvet Events. From the start of the pandemic Cindy Lo has been an outspoken advocate for small businesses in the meetings industry. She has lead by example in working with clients to understand virtual and hybrid- but has also been a voice for the return to face-to-face meetings. Congratulations Cindy!
The 9th, 10th, & 11th Conference Hero Awards were presented to Shannon Jones, CMP, (on behalf of the MPI Tennessee Chapter) Jessica Pettitt, MBA, CSP, MEd, and Beth Ziesenis, CSP. they collaborated to create a unique event not only filled the event professional needs for education and connection and the professional speaker needs for great video and networking, but also thrilled the sponsors. They created a $100K stage – find out why, how, and what they learned in the process!
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Is your association event relevant? If you could deliver it in January of 2020, it doesn’t fit today! Attendee engagement expert Sarah Michel from Velvet
Following a career as a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer, Eliz’s comfort on the stage serves her well as a professional speaker. Her natural charisma and work as a spokesperson, and in hundreds of media interviews make her uniquely experienced to put interview guests at ease and be quick on her feet to engage virtual, live and hybrid audiences.
Thom Singer, CSP is an engagement and networking expert with an eclectic background in sales, marketing and business development roles for Fortune 500 Companies, Law Firms, and entrepreneurial ventures. The host of the popular “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” podcast, Thom’s charm puts guests at ease.
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