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May 23, 2016

When the Convention Industry Council gathers in Las Vegas on Oct. 18 for the 2016 Hall of Leaders Celebration & Pacesetter Awards, two leaders of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence  will be honored. They also happen to be father and daughter.

Patrick Delaney, CITE, CMM, DMCP, will be inducted into the CIC Hall of Leaders this year. He is a managing partner of destination, hotel and venue marketing firm SoolNua, based in Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland. He was also a founder of Ovation Global DMC, a destination-management-company network. In 1992, Delaney became SITE's first president from outside North America, and remains active in the organization. 

The Hall of Leaders is widely considered one of the most prestigious accolades in the meetings, incentives, conventions and events industry. Counting the five winners this year, just 124 industry professionals have been inducted over the past three decades. The award is "a symbol of industry excellence, achievement and inspiration, recognizing [leaders] who represent intelligence and leadership, ideas and innovation, influence and risk-taking," according to the CIC. 

At the same awards dinner, which takes place on the opening night of IMEX America, Patrick's daughter, Aoife Delany, CIS, currently president-elect of SITE, will be honored with the CIC Pacesetter Award, which recognizes MICE professionals "whose recent accomplishments speak highly of where the industry is today and chart a course for where it is headed," according to CIC. It has three focuses: young professionals, sustainability and social responsibility, and leadership and innovation.

Aiofe Delaney is currently director of global sales for Ovation Global DMC, which grew out from the two-man Ovation Group Ireland into the destination services division of MCI Group, with representation in more than 110 destinations on five continents. The other Pacesetter Award winner is Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA, president of Meeting Change, a sustainable business consultancy. She has held leadership roles at the Green Meetings Industry Council and is the executive editor of the Convention Industry Council Manual, 9th Edition.

"For over 34 years, Patrick has been a leading voice in and for the global events industry," said Kevin Hinton, CEO of SITE. "Credited with innovations and leadership that have formed current leading practices amongst buyers, suppliers, intermediaries and end-users of all varieties, he has also maintained humility and a signature brand of humor as he has built a global network of friends, colleagues, clients mentees and students."

As president of the SITE Foundation in 2001, the elder Delaney is credited with doing more than any other leader to expand SITE's membership beyond North America. SITE currently has 29 chapters around the world with 2,000 members in 88 countries. 

The CIC Hall of Leaders Celebration and Pacesetter Awards "is truly a unique and extraordinary evening honoring iconic leaders and future stars," said Karen Kotowski, CEO of the CIC. "We look forward to celebrating their unique talents and contributions and are excited to continue to do so in collaboration with IMEX America's growing success."

Other 2016 inductees to the CIC Hall of Leaders are: 

• Richard Aaron, MFA, CSEP Emeritus, president of BizBash;
• Carol Krugman, CMP, CMM, M.Ed, chair of the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events Management at Metropolitan State University of Denver;
• John "Jack" Patronski, executive vice president of industry development for Global Experience Specialists; and
• Colleen Rickenbacher, CMP, CSEP, CPC, CTA, CPECP, author, speaker and trainer on business etiquette.