ISES Sydney members gathered last week for a final chapter event.
Lena Malouf was the driving force behind the formation of the chapter 25 years ago. This is an edited transcript of the speech made by Lena to the members.
As Founding President I proudly acknowledge our successes and pay credit to founding members whose spirit, support and zest brought acceptance, recognition and growth to our industry through ISES.
ISES Australia came to fruition specifically for event professionals. This initial group of volunteers remain quite special because of their long-standing contribution.
There seem no formal words that need be said and of course we do experience certain sadness in closing the doors on the Sydney and Melbourne chapters. Personally, I recommend that we don’t look back nor dwell on negativity by saying “how sad” or “what a shame” and suggest we ban those words tonight. Rest assured this is a very right decision and made with great care and foresight.
Most of us in this room have been together for a long time and I believe that when one door closes another will open. Perhaps things may take another direction, as there appears to be a desire for us to stay together as a creative group. Twenty five years have gone like that but look what we’ve achieved.
We have brought our Industry professionals together, made our presence felt in the United States, London and Canada. We have left our Australian footprints on the global stage. We have made life long friendships.
Now, an evening such as this cannot go without expressions of appreciation.
Tanya Taylor has been truly dedicated to the management of our Sydney Chapter and all members have benefited from her expertise.
Vivien Reed, an exceptional lady and most valued executive member for over 15 years. I so admire her and this Sydney Chapter has found her expertise, her experience in business and her commitment to do it right a true asset.
Glen Lehman held the positions of President/Past President 95/96 then President/Past President 13/14. His dedication to the industry is truly praiseworthy and his love and loyalty of ISES has always shone through.
Glen has also held International positions on the Board of Governors and been Regional Vice President of Asia Pacific. He has made an outstanding contribution over all these years.
Gian Blundo, through his position of affiliate chair, has opened up and maintained a strong connection with both Sydney and Melbourne Chapters providing strength in unity. His leadership has entailed national and international travel as he represented both chapters.
Finally, the success of any President is almost totally dependent upon drive, focus and persistence. Scott Bellingham, the outgoing President, possesses these qualities. Good leaders need to know when to change direction and despite the challenges, Scott took the lead and did exactly that.
Scott threw his heart into every project – in particular his introduction of the very successful Student Conference. I have loved working with him.
Importantly this special events industry is in my DNA. So finally, I want to thank you the members for allowing me to be on this journey with you. I simply love knowing you all.
To the global organisation of ISES (US), I take the opportunity on behalf of Sydney and Melbourne to wish them continued success. The friendships made through this organisation will be valued and maintained through life.