Howard F. Mills, Sr., founding member of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP), died on Dec. 15 after a long illness, NCBMP announced last week.
Mills, who celebrated his 75th birthday on Dec. 11, spent more than 25 years at the National Urban League as its chief meeting/conference planner. He helped found NCBMP in 1983 and was chairman emeritus of the organization, of which he also was current board chair.
A graduate of Tuskegee University, he received the Hall of Leaders Award, presented by the Convention Industry Council; The Spirit of Hospitality Award, given by the IACVB Foundation; numerous NCBMP awards; the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award and the Ann Tanneyhill Award, both bestowed by the National Urban League; as well as many citations and awards presented to him by cities, convention and visitors bureaus, and hotels.
"[Mills] was a tireless advocate for inclusion and the advancement of blacks in the meetings and hospitality industry," NCBMP said in a statement. "He was singularly honored for his pioneering efforts and sterling contributions on behalf of black meeting planners and promoting meeting planning as a career."
In lieu of flowers, Mills' family asks that contributions in his memory be made to the Long Island Tuskegee Alumni Association in Cambria Heights, N.Y., or the St. Albans Church Educational Fund in St. Albans, N.Y.