IAPCO’s Annual Award recognising individual contributions to the Meetings and Events industry was announced at the association’s AM&GA in Jerusalem.
International Conference Services (ICS) Department Head of Projects & Operations Management, Yoke Chun Cheong was announced as the winner of The International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) Hero Award 2022 at the Association’s Annual Meeting and General Assembly (AM&GA) held between 6-9 February in Jerusalem.
The IAPCO Hero Award is one of 3 unique Driving Excellence Awards given by IAPCO every year for which the association seeks nominations from across its member community. The winner of the Hero Award is picked from the nominations by a colleague, a client, or a supplier from any member of the team within an IAPCO PCO company.
Supported by IAPCO Destination Partners, the Hero Award recognises a team member who has gone above and beyond during a calendar year, shown an aptitude for advancement in the meetings industry and made significant contributions from their position within the company.
As the Department Head for the Project Management and Operations Team, Yoke manages the staff for both departments of ICS’s Singapore office, overseeing the implementation and execution of departmental procedures and processes, and is responsible for training and onboarding new team members.
Nominated by her own team, Yoke has proven to be an exceptional leader by creating a positive and supportive work environment and establishing a level of trust that enables staff to come to her for advice and support. Her strong but humble presence has provided stability to the team and created a collaborative environment which was missing from previous leadership.
On winning the IAPCO Hero Award, Yoke said: “Winning this award is both a surprise and a great honour. It is a surprise as I feel there is still much to learn in my journey as a leader. I am also honoured to be recognized for my effort and humbled by the validation from peers and colleagues that I am doing something right.
“I would like to thank the leadership team for the opportunity to grow and learn in my role. To my fellow peers and fellow Heads of Departments who started this journey with me and worked as hard if not harder, all of them are Heroes in their own right.
“To my ‘immediate family’ at ICS, my talented Project Managers and Operation Ninjas, I truly appreciate each and every one of you.”
Yoke has worked as a DMC, adjunct lecturer for Hospitality Studies and a freelance tour guide for the most part of her 25-year career and was one of two employees who joined ICS Singapore in 2019. Yoke was promoted to the Head of the Department in Jan 2022.
“I am a quintessential Singaporean, who loves her city’s diversity and cultures. As a licensed tour guide, I enjoy showing the nooks and crannies of Singapore and volunteer at the National Gallery of Singapore as a museum docent when scheduling permits.”
Yoke is thankful to the ICS’s leadership for providing the relevant training and guidance on the skills to perform her role as the Department Head. Speaking about how she has put her training to use which has been instrumental in the contributions she has made at ICS, Yoke said: “One of my most vivid memories during the training was to think about how we want to show up in our leadership role and to create our own work guiding statement. Mine was ‘To stay professional, fair, and compassionate. To create a safe space where everyone respects, trusts and listens to one another’. In my daily course of work, I try to live by this mantra.”
As the IAPCO Hero Award winner Yoke received the prestigious Hero Award trophy as well as an education bursary which includes travel and accommodation to attend either the 2024 Annual Meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia or the EDGE seminar in Antwerp, Belgium.
IAPCO Driving Excellence Awards are presented annually and have long been coveted by those who seek acknowledgement for their quality and contribution to the meetings industry by IAPCO.
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