“Don’t get too big for your britches, young man!”
John J. Iannini, CIS, CTC, President, SITE Foundation 2018
You’re 24 years old. You’ve been in Kenya on safari and now you’re flying home on BA’s Concord. Is it any wonder you decide to make a career in incentive travel? John Iannini, SITE Foundation President 2018, went into hospitality straight out of college in 1980 and caught the bug straight away.
He joined SITE in 1990 and found a community of like-minded people all focused on creating extraordinary travel experiences to reward and recognize exceptional workplace performance. John’s career to date has included spells on the buyer and supplier side, giving him a unique and very useful perspective on both.
For the past 7 years he’s been with global brand Melia Hotels International, leading a team dedicated to the business travel and meetings and events market. John is extremely proud that his team has exceeded sales targets every year since he joined Melia and he attributes some of this success to SITE.
“Since I joined the company, Melia has been a massive supporter and sponsor of SITE, facilitating my own participation and that of my colleagues. We have been sponsors of a range of initiatives including SITE education and the hosting of buyers at SITE and industry events. This has allowed us to build strong commercial relationships within the association to the ultimate benefit of our company."
"SITE has also been an immense support to me in my career. I’ve made lifelong friendships there. It’s also a place where I’m challenged to think outside the box and not accept the norm."
John has ambitious plans for his year at the helm of the SITE Foundation.
“Our flagship events – SITE Classic and SITE NITE Europe and North America – are going from strength to strength and I want to elevate them further during 2018. I’m also excited by the pipeline of research projects that the Foundation is working on and look forward to launching the EU destinations survey during my year as president.”
In his spare time John volunteers with The Georgia English Bulldog Rescue, an organization that has rescued over 500 dogs in the past 10 years. A natural dinner host, John’s “table for 6” is mainly comprised of super-strong women: Jane Fonda, Madonna, Queen Elizabeth and Julia Roberts but he does balance it somewhat by including the 39th president of the USA, the peanut farmer from Georgia, Jimmy Carter!
Regarding the best piece of advice he ever received? Well that’s from his beloved, recently departed Mom: “Don’t get too big for your britches, young man!”