by Lisa A. Grimaldi | September 10, 2015
Several prominent meetings industry leaders have launched The Meetings Industry Fund, a foundation designed to provide financial assistance to individuals - who are directly involved in the planning, execution, delivery and support of meetings - during times of crisis (e.g,  medical emergency costs). The fund was co-founded by David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Travel Company; Susan Sarfati, CAE, CEO of High Performance Strategies; Heather Burkee Scherer, president of ATC Travel Management; Neal Couture, director of government procurement law and business programs at the George Washington University Law School; and Chuck Fazio, industry photographer and artist-in-residence of American Forests, who originally conceived the idea. 
"Our industry is made up of amazing people and organizations that do fantastic work," Peckinpaugh explained. "The one gap we noticed was for an organized effort to help out individuals in crisis, and The Meetings Industry Fund is all about them. We know our industry will pitch in to help our colleagues who have short-term financial needs." The initial goal to raise $100,000 in the next 100 days; has details on how to donate, how apply for assistance, and frequently asked questions.