Convention Industry Council Announces 2015 Hall of Leaders Ceremony


Reception Honors Industry’s Outstanding Leaders and Innovators

Alexandria, VA - (July 1, 2015) – On Tuesday, October 13th,  the Convention Industry Council (CIC) will be illuminating the night brighter than the Vegas strip, as it unveils the new format for the Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter Awards celebration at LIGHT Night Club at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV.  

After nineteen years hosting an exclusive black-tie event, CIC is looking to shake things up for its 20th anniversary. This year’s 2015 celebration will be a lively cocktail reception, featuring appetizers, drinks, and cocktails, brought to you by the same award-winning entertainment team of years past, led by Lenny Talarico, CSEP, from MGM Resorts International. Unique sponsorship opportunities include exclusive table service and company branding. Individual ticket prices for general admission are also available.  

“CIC is excited to launch a new format for this year’s Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter Awards. This will be a truly unique and extraordinary evening honoring iconic leaders and future stars,” said Karen Kotowski, CEO of the Convention Industry Council.  “We look forward to growing this event by making it more accessible to attendees as well as raising the excitement to go along with IMEX America’s growing success.”

This year’s Hall of Leaders inductees include:

  • Patricia Farias Barlow CEM, CEO, Puerto Vallarta Convention Center and FIDEES
  • Larry Luteran, Former Senior Vice President of Group Sales and Industry Relations, Hilton Worldwide
  • Jane E. Schuldt, CIS, CITE, Founder and President, World Marketing Group, Ltd
  • Craig Smith Retired, Former President, Freeman Audio Visual, Inc.
  • Amy Spatrisano, CMP, Former Principal at Meet Green

In addition to welcoming the Hall of Leaders Class of 2015, the Pacesetter Awards, which honor emerging leaders for their current contributions to the industry, are being presented to:

  • Rafael Hernández, CEM, Publisher & CEO, Latin American Meetings
  • Kate Patay, CPCE, Executive Director of Sales & Marketing Creative Coverings
  • Kinga Soćko, Conference Specialist, Poland Convention Bureau

The Hall of Leaders has been a symbol of industry excellence, achievement, and inspiration, welcoming 114 pioneers into its exclusive club over the years. The Hall represents intelligence and leadership, ideas and innovation, influencers, and risk-takers, but above all, it recognizes forward-thinkers who have made a difference, shaped the industry into what it is today and acted as a catalyst for what’s possible for future generations of industry professionals. CIC created the Pacesetter Awards in 2012 to celebrate emerging leaders and industry supporters. Rather than spanning a lifetime of achievements, the Pacesetter Awards recognizes individuals whose recent accomplishments chart a course for where the industry is today to where it is headed.

IMEX America is the largest trade show and hosted buyer program in the U.S. for the meeting, event and incentive travel industry. The CIC is solidifying their partnership with IMEX America to showcase the Hall of Leaders recipients during the show, in addition to the Pacesetters at the Future Leaders Forum.

For more information on the event, or to purchase sponsorship and tickets visit:

About CIC

The Convention Industry Council (CIC) champions the economic and social value of the meetings and event profession. Our purpose is to promote a strong meetings, conventions and exhibitions industry. A resource for excellent standards and practices within the industry with more than 30 member organizations representing over 103,500 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties, we accomplish this by connecting people, forming strong global partnerships, promoting excellence through certification and accreditation programs and voluntary standards and best practices, and fostering collaboration on industry issues and actively supporting and promulgating them.


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