Latest News
HomeMICE IndustryBusiness TravelEvents Industry Council announces 2020 Hall of Leaders Inductees and Social Impact Award recipients

Events Industry Council announces 2020 Hall of Leaders Inductees and Social Impact Award recipients

Recognising global leaders who have shaped the business events industry and professioals delivering extraordinary effort in the areas of, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.


WASHINGTON, D.C., USA – The Events Industry Council (EIC) announced the 2020 Hall of Leaders inductees and Social Impact Award recipients. They will be honoured at a virtual celebration on 25 March 2021. EIC’s Hall of Leaders award is the premier recognition and programme in the events industry recognising a lifetime achievement for those that have had a legacy impact on global business events sector. This year’s inductees join 137 previous honourees who have had an integral role in shaping the industry. The Hall of Leaders 2020 inductees are:  

John H. Graham IV, CAE, President & CEO, ASAE (Posthumously), Nominated by ASAE
Anita Pires, President, Pires Destinations & Events Intelligence, Nominated by COCAL
Jonathan Howe Esq
., President & Senior Partner, Howe & Hutton, Ltd., Nominated by MPI.
“This year in addition to honoring our Hall of Leaders winners we have incorporated important recognition for those that have lead in a time of great uncertainty and motivating others to do so as well; We are struck by the the grace and determination and inspiration these leaders have provide our workforce,” said Amy Calvert, EIC CEO. “This year’s Hall of Leaders inductees and global award winners exemplify our shared values and their contributions will serve as a beacon and a guide for our path forward united and inspired story tellers about the impact we will have as an essential driver the global economic recovery and of a collective consciousness fostering human connections and meaningful social progress.”

In 2020, EIC introduced its Social Impact Award that recognises individuals or organisations for extraordinary effort in the areas of, diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility in the global events industry. The Social Impact Award Recipients are:

EIC Social Impact Award: Individual

  • Latoya Lewis, Founder & Executive Director, EnventU, Nominated by Andrea Liss

EIC Social Impact Award: Organisation

  • The Above and Beyond Foundation, Nominated by Tony Lorenz, HeadSail

EIC Social Impact Award: Leading in times of crisis

  • Black Tourism and DMO Leaders – Nominated by Mike Gamble, SearchWide Global
  • Cleo Battle, CDME, CTA (Chief Operating Officer, Louisville Tourism)
  • Timothy Bush, CDME, TMP (Chief Tourism Development Officer, OneSpartanburg, Inc.)
  • Julie Coker (President & CEO, San Diego Tourism Authority)
  • Gregory DeShields, CHE, CDE (Executive Director, PHL Diversity)
  • Jason Dunn, Sr., CTA (Immediate Past Chairman, National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals, and Group Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau)
  • Lorne Edwards (Senior Vice President of Sales & Services, Visit Phoenix)
  • Elliott Ferguson (President & CEO, Destination DC)
  • Darren Green (Senior Vice President Sales, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board)
  • Michael Gunn, CMP, CFMP (SVP Convention Sales, Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau)
  • Al Hutchinson (President & CEO, Visit Baltimore)
  • Charles Jeffers (Chief Operating Officer, Visit Baltimore)
  • James Jessie (Chief Sales Officer, Travel Portland)
  • Connie Kinnard (VP of Multicultural Tourism & Development at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau)
  • Robin McClain (SVP, Marketing & Communications Destination DC)
  • Angela Nelson, CTA (Vice President, Multicultural Business Development, Experience Grand Rapids)
  • Marie Sueing (Senior Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau)
  • Melvin Tennant, CAE (President & CEO, Meet Minneapolis)
  • Rickey Thigpen, MSL (President & CEO, Visit Jackson)
  • Dan Williams, CTA (VP, Convention Sales, Experience Columbus)
  • Ernest Wooden, Jr. (Former President and CEO, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board)

In 2020, EIC introduced two new global awards: the EIC Social Impact Award and the EIC Adaptation and Innovation Award. These awards recognise individuals or organisations for extraordinary effort in the areas of, diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility or extraordinary effort in the areas of adaptation and innovation to ensure our industry’s relevance as we emerge from a global health crisis now and into the future.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.