CanSPEP Members Are Award Winners

Helen Van Dongen, CMP, CMM
Founder & CEO
What award are you most proud of? - Induction into the M&IT Hall of Fame in the Industry Planner Category

When was it won/awarded? - 2010

What do you think made you/your event really stand out? - At the time I was honoured, I had been a planner for 20 years, and working at the Director level for fully half that time. I had held leadership positions in corporate and not-for-profit organizations, as well as worked as an independent planner for a number of years. I believe my nomination reflected my broad professional experience, together with my senior volunteer contributions, such as chairing MPI's Canadian Foundation.

Anything else about the experience you would like to share? I was inducted into the Hall in only its second year of existence, and was astonished to be included in the company of industry leaders whom I still think of as role models, and whose examples I still try to follow.
Miranda Salvatore
Lead Event Architect
What award are you most proud of? - Guinness Book of World Records Attempt I planned for Loblaw!

When was it won/awarded? - February 9th, 2016

What do you think made you/your event really stand out? - Guinness Book of World Records: The Most People Playing Hockey in an Exhibition Match for Loblaw Companies Ltd. The previous record stood at 374 people, and we beat the record with 433 people! We achieved a technically flawless record attempt; we had 433 people register to play in the match, and 433 people actually played! The attempt is featured in the official 2016/2017 Guinness Book of World Records

Anything else about the experience you would like to share? It was because of my partnership and work with Julie Peden of Ruby Sky Event Planning Inc. that I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work with Loblaw on the attempt!
Carly Silberstein
CEO
What award are you most proud of? I am most proud and honoured by my Forty Under 40 Award (details here), which recognizes 40 up-and-coming association or nonprofit professionals who are under the age of 40.

When was it won/awarded? - September 2016

What do you think made you/your event really stand out? - I have been involved in associations my entire life! I grew up in a family that really promoted volunteerism and giving back to the community or industry that provided so much to my family. I think my passion for the association/not-for-profit industry, eagerness to learn from others and drive to ensure that association’s maintain their value for years to come, made my candidacy for this award stand out.

Anything else about the experience you would like to share? The award ceremony will take place in December in Chicago. I will be accompanied by my dad and stepmother. They are very proud parents! I look forward to meeting my fellow award recipients and celebrating amongst industry colleagues.
Ellen Boddington, CMP, CMM
Owner
What award are you most proud of? The MPI Toronto Chapter ‘Planner of the Year’ award

When was it won/awarded? - 2012

What do you think made you/your event really stand out? - I received this award as a result of hard work as a dedicated meetings industry volunteer. At that time, I had served on the MPI Toronto Chapter Board in addition to many years prior of committee involvement. There are many others who also worked tirelessly but for some reason, it was me who was nominated and won and I am still thankful for the recognition.

Anything else about the experience you would like to share? I earned this prestigious award early on in my career. It was the perfect catalyst for credibility as an Independent Planner as my business was still so young. The award was a spotlight on me / my business and suddenly the industry knew who I was, what I could do, and I had developed many industry relationships through networking and volunteerism. It was a great time in my career and honour to have received the award as ‘Planner of the Year’.
Sandy Biback
Founder
What award are you most proud of? Continuing Education Award of Excellence for Teaching, George Brown College

When was it won/awarded? - December 2003

What do you think made you/your event really stand out? - Because this wasn’t an event, my response will be different. In all the years I’ve taught (& I have an award from Centennial), this came about 6/7 years into my teaching & I was already seeing some of my students doing well in their careers. I’m so proud of being a part of that success. It is about the future and the professionalizing on our profession. And if I look at some of my other awards, they too are about developing professionals and the future. I believe that is my legacy and this award made me realize this.

Karen Eluck CSEP, CMP
Founder
What award are you most proud of? Producer of the Year (Canadian Event Industry Award)

When was it won/awarded? 2007

What do you think made you/your event really stand out? The most diverse producer in Canada! Our events range from fashion to corporate sales meetings to groups coming from the United States to enjoy the sounds and sights of Toronto to Fundraisers to cross Canada tours and more. This was my shining moment! It was this award that made me feel as if I was truly an experienced event professional with lots of expertise in many areas.

Anything else about the experience you would like to share? It was the diversity of these clients that made my job very interesting and ever changing and challenging. It also provided a broad base to insure that if any one industry went into a slide that the other clients made the company sustainable.
Ingrid Norrish
Founder
What award are you most proud of? CanSPEP’s Joy Fox Award of Merit

When was it won/awarded? The Award was received in March 2016 at the 20th Anniversary CanSPEP Conference held in Windsor

What do you think made you/your event really stand out? I’ve been a proud founding member of CanSPEP since the Association’s inception in 1996. CanSPEP, has always dear to my heart. CanSPEP has and continues to be an invaluable part of both my professional and personal life. What I have given to CanSPEP, I have received back in spades.

Anything else about the experience you would like to share? I had no idea I was getting this Award, so when my name was called as the recipient of the Joy Fox Award of Merit, I was totally SURPRISED! It was such an honour to receive this recognition from my industry peers and the Past Presidents Council. The highlight of the evening was when Joy Fox, the Association Founder presented me with the Joy Fox Award. Joy travelled from Victoria, B.C. to be part of this special 20th Anniversary Conference. How delighted she must have been to see how far her vision of a Canadian Association for Independent planners had come, from that first meeting she hosted 20 years ago.