IAPCO Celebrates Founders with New Scholarship, Award

This year, the last of its surviving founders died, according to the International Association of Professional Conference Organisers (IAPCO), which this month announced a new scholarship and a new award that pay homage to its forebears.

IAPCO was founded in 1968 by four founding “fathers” — Eric Friis of Denmark, Jean Destrée of Belgium, Dr. Albert Cronheim of the Netherlands and Fay Pannell of the United Kingdom. Cronheim died in March and Pannell in September.

“The four founding fathers came together from different countries to share their knowledge and experiences as fledgling international congress organisers,” reads a press release from IAPCO. “Since those early days, both the meetings industry and IAPCO has grown and it is thanks to the selfless input by the early ambassadors that IAPCO is now recognised as the leading authority on professional congress organisation worldwide and is the universally accepted benchmark for quality and the global branding of excellence for the meetings industry.”

To honor Cronheim, who was instrumental in creating its training and education programming, IAPCO has created the Albert Cronheim Scholarship, which will be awarded every year to one meeting planner from an emerging country, providing them complimentary travel to IAPCO’s annual Wolfsberg Seminar. The first scholarship will be awarded for the January 2014 seminar, with an application deadline of Nov. 15, 2013.

In recognition of all four founders, IAPCO also has created the a new award — the Founding Fathers Award — that will be given annually to the “most promising” young professional congress organizer within IAPCO’s membership.

Concludes IAPCO, “It is with great sadness and regret that [we] say goodbye to Albert and Fay, but the four founding fathers will be forever linked to the work and quality of IAPCO.”

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