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2017 Award Recipients
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ACCED-I is pleased to announce the recipients of the ACCED-I 2017 Awards & Recognition program. Please help us acknowledge and celebrate our members’ achievements and recognize excellence in our industry. The recipients were recognized during the ACCED-I 37th Annual Conference Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 in Orlando, FL. Below you can read the nomination for the award recipients.

Trish Carlson - Jack Thornton Distinguished Service Award

Laura Bachman - Patrick Perfetto Volunteer of the Year Award

Boston College - Outstanding Institutional Achievement Award (single event)

Reed College - Outstanding Institutional Achievement Award (long-term process)

Jeremy Elmore - Outstanding New Conference and Events Professional Award

Session of the Year - Best Practices for Summer Camps and Conferences

Jack Thornton Distinguished Service Award

Trish Carlson
Loyola Marymount University

A Director of Conference and Event Services has to keep all the plates spinning! This candidate oversees the daily operations of the Event Scheduling, Event Operations and Conference Services Offices. She manages campus venues for both internal student and departmental programming, as well as external client events. She is responsible for maintaining an annual auxiliary conference revenue stream by marketing campus venues and managing rental contracts with external clients. Further, she assists in the planning, support and management of yearly academic events AND oversees all aspects of University conference programs. That’s a lot of plates to keep spinning!

When the City of Los Angeles hosted a major international athletic event and needed additional support to overcome event planning challenges, the police department put their trust in this candidate to fix the problem. Although it was a difficult situation, this candidate handled it with great leadership and poise. What could have turned into a much larger issue was swiftly handled and the delegations were taken care of.

In addition to her regular job of 40+ hours per week, this candidate is currently serving as the Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors of ACCED-I. Serving as President is a job that requires many long hours of conference calls, writing emails, and in-person meetings, outside of the work day. She is the kind of person who will go out of her way to find the time to pick-up the phone or send a note to keep the lines of communication going. Moreover, she is a quintessential spokesperson for ACCED-I, whether it’s behind the microphone in front of the entire Annual Conference or in a small group setting. She is an excellent role model for professionals in our field with her positive outlook and can-do attitude. She always has a kind word to say and promotes ACCED-I through her actions and mentoring.

Patrick Perfetto Volunteer of the Year Award

Laura Bachman
Lehigh University

Please accept Laura Bachman for the Patrick Perfetto Volunteer of the Year Award.  Laura is very involved in many events and activities during her tenure with ACCED-I. Most recently in her role as Region 4 Leader, Laura was instrumental in setting up regional activities such as drive-ins, Holiday Jingle and Mingles and other events.  Laura works diligently to promote ACCED-I events and other information so members are informed via social media.   Laura is a hard-working and dedicated regional leader who is an inspiration to others through her active involvement in the association.  Laura was a key member of the Toronto Hospitality Committee, her responsibilities included establishing  relationships with different restaurants for regional dinners, and most importantly coordinating the very successful and entertaining Toronto preview flash mob.   Laura is a responsible, respectful and pleasant individual and everyone enjoys her company.   

I cannot recommend another person more highly than Laura Bachman for this award.  She is a true asset to Region 4 and the entire ACCED-I Community.   

Outstanding Institutional Achievement Award

Boston College
Single Event: Pops on the Heights 2016

A highlight of Boston College’s Parents’ Weekend and the University’s largest annual fundraiser, the September 30, 2016, Pops on the Heights Barbara and Jim Cleary Scholarship Gala featured maestro Keith Lockhart leading the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, guest artist and award-winning stage and screen performer Kristin Chenoweth, and performances by several BC student musical groups. Sponsored by University Advancement, the sold-out gala brought in $9 million from more than 6,000 guests this year—a record-breaker for an event that had raised upwards of $35 million for hundreds of student scholarships since the first Pops gala in 1993 (which took in an estimated $770,000). This year’s event provided financial aid for 325 undergraduate students.

The University hosted Pops on the Heights on one of the busiest weekends of the academic year. More than 2,000 families came to campus for Parents’ Weekend, which featured five large events, school and departmental open houses across campus, and a football game against the University of Buffalo. A gala celebrating the successful conclusion of the University’s Light the World campaign and eight different Board of Trustee committee meetings added to the activity on campus.

Between September 26 and October 2, Event Management coordinated 240 BC employees and volunteers from 10 University departments and supervised 30 external vendors to work together to transform Conte Forum, an 8,606-seat athletic venue for men’s and women’s basketball and hockey teams, into an elegant auditorium for the Pops on the Heights dinner and performance on Friday night. Work continued to then turn the forum into an appropriate place for the Parents’ Weekend Family Liturgy held on Sunday morning and back to a hockey arena by Sunday afternoon.

• Event Management: 6 employees, 1 intern
• University Advancement: Internal committee of 10 members, 60 individual volunteers that distributed over 5,000 meals to stands in less than 45 minutes during set up, 40 hosts working the event
• Electricians: 1 foreman and 5 electricians
• Conte Athletic Maintenance: 4 managers, 15 full time staff, 30 students
• Housekeeping: 4 managers/supervisors, 50 housekeepers
• Environmental Health and Safety: 2 managers
• Plumbing: 1 foreman, 4 plumbers
• Grounds: 1 manager, 4 employees
• HVAC: 1 foreman, 3 employees
• Carpenters: 1 foreman, 4 employees
• Catering: 10 kitchen staff served 1,000 VIP meals and ran full bar service; a reception under Alumni Stadium included gourmet hors d’oeuvres, open bar, and signature cocktails. Assisted in distributing 5,000 meals to guests in the stadium seats and had bar service for general admission attendees. Two pre-prep employees.

• Guest star: Kristin Chenoweth
• Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, under the direction of Keith Lockhart
• BC University Chorale
• BC Marching Band
• Four BC acapella groups: The Heightsmen; BEATS; Against the Current; BC Dynamics

Timeline and planning
Event Management began preliminary planning for this year’s event immediately after the 2015 Pops on the Heights concert was held in September 2015, and meetings over the course of the year assigned responsibilities, verified the timeline and menu for this year’s event, and updated all vendors and internal departments on progress.

On September 23, 2016, Event Management began its on-site work in earnest, removing seven tractor-trailers’ worth of equipment from the athletic storage room, and started transforming an athletic arena into a music performance venue. Athletics crews removed the hockey glass and covered the ice with insulating flooring boards and on September 26, Pops on the Heights took control of the Conte floor space. Work began immediately to set the stage, floor seats, floor tables, sound systems, rigging, lights, linen, flatware, and glassware.

At 8:00 a.m. on Friday, September 30—the day of the gala—all of Conte Forum was turned over to Event Management. Throughout the day, the team worked on-site to manage the outstanding installation, coordinate with other University departments, and resolve any unexpected issues, such as a forecast of rain which necessitated covering stands in Alumni Stadium with tarps to keep rain out of the VIP event concourse and arranging for a last-minute coat check location and equipment. Event Management worked with the talent company and guest artist manager to assure performers’ needs were met and acceptable access to stage was in place; coordinated storage of event equipment in the athletic storage room; arranged for rehearsal time for the musical groups and guest artist; and assisted with placing 6,000 meals in the stands and on the VIP floor.

At 6:00 p.m., the doors opened for Pops on the Heights and the team resolved any issues with facilities or housekeeping. When the concert ended at 10:05 p.m., Event Management supervised the set break down and equipment removal. After a short break period around midnight, work continued through the rest of the night; from 12:30 a.m. until 7:00 a.m., teams removed staging, tables, rigging, and all Pops related equipment. At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, Event Management staff coordinated a tailgate for 2,500 people at the Recreation Complex; Athletics facilities staff moved from the Pops event to prepare for the football game against the University of Buffalo held in Alumni Stadium; and work began preparing Conte for the Parents’ Weekend liturgy, held at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 2. The Family Liturgy required installation of a stage, altar, floor-to-ceiling banner, stage carpet, choral risers, and placement of musical instruments and programs. By noon on October 2, crews were already working to break down and remove all liturgy-related equipment and staging so that Conte was ready for the men’s hockey team practice at 4:00 p.m. that day.


Reed College
Long Term Process

In 2011, Reed College celebrated its centennial anniversary. The initial celebration week was full of activities such as lectures, performances, and fanfare including a day dedicated to community outreach. On this “Community Day” the college hosted a pancake breakfast, campus tours, live music and entertainment, fireworks, and a special 5K run benefitting the five Portland Public elementary schools closest to the college. The 5K had a respectable turnout of 324 participants, and it raised over $9,000 to be split among the five schools. The event received considerable positive feedback from internal and external participants, and, of course, the schools were thrilled.

Seeing the potential of the 5K, in 2013 the conference and events team (CEP) chose to pilot the 5K as a stand-alone, community-building event and fundraiser. Over the past four years, the CEP team has refined the Reed College 5K FUNd RUN/WALK into a well-oiled machine that is simultaneously a run for serious athletes, a family-friendly community event, and a successful fundraiser for neighborhood schools. From registration and packet pickup to course signage, CEP has invested in making the race easier to access, better organized, more fun for our participants, and more beneficial to the entire community. As a result, all measurable metrics have grown dramatically in the four years that followed yielding a larger, more excited crowd that is signing up earlier to engage in a bigger and better event (see chart below).

Buy-in from the college has grown to include significant participation and support by many departments, including the Office of the President, Public Affairs, Human Resources, Building Services, Grounds, Alumni Programs, Student Services, and Community Safety in addition to several student groups. Some Reed College alumni drove over 100 miles to participate, and other alumni supported by donating to the race from as far away as Virginia. Participation by families of the benefiting elementary schools has grown significantly from a handful of students’ family members in 2013 to 296 runners in 2016.

Volunteer numbers grew significantly when the Cleveland High School Key Club joined the cause in 2015. In 2016, the Key Club returned, and significant participation was seen from all five benefiting schools’ PTAs. Reed College staff and student volunteer numbers have grown, as well as sponsoring businesses volunteering the day of the event. One PTA member said, “I just wanted to drop a line to thank you for all your hard work on the race yesterday. It was great! I ran it with some friends and we all thought it was such a great event for the community. It was my third year running it and I definitely could tell you put a lot of effort into it and it turned out so well. Thanks so much to you and Reed for supporting the neighborhood schools!” — PTA member, Sue Ledgerwood

In 2016, the sponsorship solicitation process was revamped with a polished print piece and direct solicitations to key businesses in the community. This initial improvement in communications, followed by concentrated relationship-building efforts, yielded foundational business support that garnered additional attention for the race. The growth in the race profile resulted in two $10,000 gifts being made to the schools on the day of the race, one from Reed College president John Kroger and the second from Columbia CEO Tim Boyle. These gifts took the race from nearly doubling the previous year’s proceeds to more than tripling them! Following the 2016 race, not only have many of the sponsors already agreed to sponsor again in 2017, CEP has received communications from two businesses who are ready to sponsor the 2017 race without any solicitation, just because they want to be a part of this growing community event.

Why does this person, institution, or company deserve this recognition?
As event planners, we are often tasked with turning grandiose ideas into realities. For example, the Reed College 2011 Centennial Steering Committee wanted a 5K run AND a fundraiser to benefit not one, but FIVE schools. The conference and events planning team (CEP) did just that, and the Reed College 5K FUNd RUN/WALK could have easily been a one-time event in honor of the college’s centennial. However, instead of putting the event behind them, the CEP team weighed the importance of the event as a community-builder for the college, the glowing feedback they received, and the partnerships forged with the area schools and chose to make the event the primary focus of future community days. Striving for the best possible event for the college and community, they have sought to increase participation and sponsorships and leverage marketing dollars. The results speak for themselves and show the heart and dedication of a team that cares about the big picture. This “pet-project” is now an extremely successful community fundraiser supported by more than 100 staff, volunteers, and sponsors and directly benefiting more than 1,000 elementary schools students, teachers, and staff members. The below statement from one of the elementary school principals showcases exactly why the CEP team does what they do:

“On behalf of all of us at Duniway, I want to thank the entire Reed College community for this incredible contribution to our school. One key ingredient to the success of Duniway and Portland Public Schools is community partnership. At a time of diminishing school budgets, the generosity of Reed College comes at a perfect time. The funds donated to Duniway will have immediate impact on our learning community. We have already purchased new curriculum in math, are beginning to pilot a digital literacy application, and plan to purchase additional technology for our classrooms and media center. In addition, funds will be used to provide teachers with opportunities to collaborate and access professional development. Thank you again for organizing such a successful event.” — Principal Matthew Goldstein, Duniway Elementary School, 2016

Outstanding New Conference and Events Professional Award

Jeremy Elmore
Duke University

In a relatively short time, Jeremy Elmore’s contributions to Conference & Event Services have been significant and he is deserving of the recognition and award. Jeremy has taken a leadership role in the management of both our academic conference registration/support business and summer programs.

For academic conference registration, he has worked to improve all aspect of the process. He has developed a new intake process for managing the collection of information and data needed from customers to build and manage their registration websites. He has improved the look and feel of sites by creating graphics that can be quickly and easily embedded within the sites—not only improving the visual impact, but providing conference registrants with important information and directing registration process questions to Conference & Event Services and program questions directly to program sponsors. This improves the registrant experience because when they do have questions, they call the person or office who can answer the question they have.

Jeremy has worked with academic programs that have had a need for the collection and evaluation of abstracts as an extension of the registration process. Prior to this year, we had only managed one scientific conference where this service was needed. This spring, we managed three conferences utilizing abstract submission with over 500 abstracts submitted. Conference organizers have been pleased with the service and Jeremy’s attention to detail, his understanding of the software and how it aligns with customer needs, and his dedication have made this new business line successful.

With this knowledge Jeremy has co-presented at two international conferences – our ACCED-I Annual Conference in Portland and at the Academic Event Planner Conference that was held in January 2016. He has consulted with two ACCED-I member institutions as they are looking to expand their on-line registration processes. He is proving himself as a “go-to” person for this expanding revenue opportunity.

Summer conferences provide a large portion of our fiscal year revenue and impacts revenue for both housing and dining. Jeremy has taken over most aspects of summer planning and then it’s implementation. He is confident in his decision making and has become knowledge in just a short time of “politics” with and between summer programs. He skillfully works to meet the needs of our programs while balancing that against what our partner offices can provide.

During summer 2016 Jeremy handled on his own the hiring of the entire summer staff team. He, too, revamped the training program for this staff making it more informative and developmental at the same time. Student Development is his passion and he learned this about himself as he completed the coursework for his MA in Higher Education.

Jeremy offers his service back to ACCED-I as well. As I mentioned earlier, he has shared information presenting as our Annual Conference. He services as an active member for our ACCED-I Student Development Action Team. I have found Jeremy more willing to assist and volunteer for ACCED-I. Additionally, he understands the impact our Association has on others as he shares our practices with other members.

Jeremy impacts me professionally as well. With his confident leadership I have been able to move into the role of a strategic thinker which allows me to look into the future and plan long term for our continued success at Duke. I can do this planning know the day to day operations are in his capable hands. I’m proud to have Jeremy on my team and appreciate all that he does for me as a colleague.

Session of the Year Award

Kim Araya and Matthew Olson, CCEP 

Kim and Matthew were awarded the Session of the Year Award for their session presented at the 36th Annual Conference in Portland, OR titled, Best Practices for Summer Camps and Conferences. Kim accepted the award on behalf of Matthew as he was not able to attend the Annual Conference.