Event Industry Awards 2015

Our Judges

An independent and distinguished panel of recognised and expert Judges based in Ireland and further afield, representing the event sector, will determine the winners of the Event Industry Awards.

See below for this year's Event Industry Awards judging panel.

Please note that we will be updating the website with new judges up to the entry deadline date.

Judging Co-ordinators

Alex Gibson

Senior Lecturer, School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, DIT

Alex Gibson - Senior Lecturer, School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, Dublin Institute of Technology

Alex Gibson is the Programme Chair of the B.Sc. Event Management degree at Dublin Institute of Technology, where he lectures in marketing and public relations. He hosts a weekly radio show - The Persuaders - on Dublin City FM, which addresses topical marketing issues. He has been involved in establishing numerous events including SMILE Hospitality Marketing Conference, HSMAI Annual Awards, and most recently the ARVR Innovate Conference and Expo. Alex also moderates the Irish Event Professionals group on LinkedIn.

Mary O'Rawe

Lecturer in Innovation Management, School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, DIT

Mary O'Rawe - Lecturer in Innovation Management, School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, DIT

Mary O'Rawe lectures in Innovation Management at the School of Hospitality Management and Tourism at DIT, and is a tutor and subject specialist in the Management area on the B.Sc. Event Management programme. Mary researches in the hospitality, tourism and events area, most recently in the area of virtual reality and augmented reality. Mary has convened several education seminars and conferences, and is the co-founder of the international ARVR Innovate conference.

Rachelle O'Brien

Assistant Lecturer, School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, DIT

 Rachelle O'Brien - Assistant Lecturer, School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, DIT

Rachelle O’Brien is an assistant lecturer in the School of Hospitality Management and Tourism at DIT. She lectures across a number of hospitality, tourism and event management modules including Conference Management, Event Operations, Tourism Studies, Business Tourism, Management and Marketing. She is Year 3 tutor on the B.Sc. Event Management programme and is an academic mentor to students on professional work placement. Rachelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology & English from Maynooth University and a first class honours M.Sc. in Tourism Management from the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Prior to her academic career, Rachelle worked in the Hospitality and Tourism industry for almost 20 years in senior management roles. Her extensive industry background includes Director of Sales & Marketing positions with Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International.  Her breadth of industry experience also incorporates senior sales and marketing roles for domestic hotel groups, product development for incoming tour operators and market research and planning assistance for Fáilte Ireland.

Judging Panel

David Adler - USA

CEO & Founder, BizBash Media

David Adler - CEO & Founder, BizBash Media, USA

David Adler has been a lifelong media executive as well as an expert in the event and meeting industry. He is currently the founder and C.E.O. of BiZBash Media and an advisor to the United States State Department in areas of protocol, events and diplomacy and was most recently the Co-Chair of the Patrons of Diplomacy program. Additionally he was instrumental in creating the first Global Chiefs of Protocol Conference this past July 4th with over 77 nations and led the discussion on G8 and G20 Global leader meetings.

From 1994 until 2000, Adler was vice president of corporate communications PRIMEDIA, a public company with revenues of $2 Billion. He held the same post at Macmillan Inc. from 1988 to 1990. Previously from 1990 until 1993, Adler was vice president of media relations and cause-related marketing at Cone Communications, where he was responsible for the development and execution of programs such as the initial Avon Breast Cancer Initiative, the Reebok Human Rights awards, the Polaroid Missing Children Program, and the John F. Kennedy Library Profiles in Courage awards. Adler is active in several non-profit and professional organisations. At the age of 21, Adler founded Washington Dossier and ran the magazine for the next 12 years.

Hiten Bajaj - United Arab Emirates

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Mosaic Live
Hiten Bajaj - Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Mosaic Live, United Arab Emirates

Hiten Bajaj set his heart to own an events and communications company which would be innovative and different. At the earliest opportunity, he established Mosaic Live which has grown into an impactful communications business that specialises in designing and delivering memorable live experiences. Mosaic Live has handled more than 500 events; the client list is a Global Who’s Who including Microsoft, Bridgestone, Blackberry, Standard Chartered Bank and many more. This recognisable Brand Company has stuck to its founding principle: It’s innovative. It’s different.

Hiten has been associated with various Event Production and Entertainment agencies prior to venturing out on his own. This intensive stint has given him the solid foundation of experience as well as networking and partnering with the top talent in the industry. At each of these associations, Hiten left his indelible mark and contributed to many of the success stories of these companies.

With Mosaic Live now established, and having carved out a niche for itself, Hiten has focused on new ideas. Montage live entertainment is one of the fastest growing Talent Management Agency in the region.

Maeve Buckley

Director, Line Up - Sports Media Entertainment
Maeve Buckley - Director, Line Up - Sports Media Entertainment, Ireland

Maeve has had an impact on Irish sports events over a long period, and has worked with iconic teams and major projects such as Ryder Cup, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool FC, Man City. Maeve specialises in the development and commercialisation of international sports events, as well as arts and tourism projects. She has a deep understanding of the European sport industry and the most successful events happening across that landscape.

Maeve was a Board Member of Sport Ireland from 2012 to 2015, and was voted one of the Most Influential Women in Sport in 2014 and 2015 (sportforbusiness.com). She previously worked in international marketing roles with Orange, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bord Bia, based in Amsterdam, Milan and Madrid. She holds an MBA from the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid and has a BA (Hons) degree from University College Cork, and speaks French, German, Italian and Spanish.

John Carty

Lecturer in the College of Tourism and Arts, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT)

John Carty - Lecturer in the College of Tourism and Arts, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).

A native of Co. Roscommon, John is a lecturer in the College of Tourism and Arts, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).  John has worked with tourism and event organisations abroad and in Ireland.  He regularly conducts research and provides consultancy research to the tourism, hospitality, festival and event industries.  John teaches marketing, public relations and event management modules on a variety of programmes in GMIT and has previously worked in Dublin Institute of Technology, Griffith College Dublin and Westmoreland College.

Colm Croffy

Executive Director, Association of Irish Festivals and Events (AOIFE)
Colm Croffy - Executive Director, Association of Irish Festivals and Events, Ireland

Colm is Executive Director of the Association of Irish Festivals and Events (AOIFE). He serves as a Director of the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) and serves as the Hon. Treasurer of International Festivals and Events - Europe. Formerly Co-coordinator for Ballinasloe Fair and Festival - one of the largest festival and heritage events in the West of Ireland - he now is involved with The Rose of Tralee, one of Ireland's longest running televised festivals based in Kerry in the South West. Colm was elected Chair of AOIFE in 2001 and subsequently took on executive roles leading to him becoming Operations Director in 2003 and Executive Director in May 2008.

AOIFE partners the Government and other stakeholders in developing world class festivals and events in Ireland. He was involved with the Irish Government's Task Force on the Tourism Industry and has been key in championing the role of the Festival and Cultural Events Sector within Irish Tourism, Arts and Community policies. In 2003 he was awarded the Industry's highest honour - the IFEA Miller Hall of Fame.

Claire Dumbrell

Commercial Director, EventInsure.ie
Claire Dumbrell - Commercial Director, EventInsure.ie, Ireland

Claire has worked in General Insurance for 24 years, specialising in the Events, Leisure, Arts and Not for Profit Sectors. Over the past 24 years Claire has enjoyed working and building relationships with her clients, earning their trust and delivering a level of service her clients know they can depend on.

She is delighted to be working with Eventinsure.ie. Eventinsure.ie is part of Joseph G Brady Insurance Ltd who has been in business for 57 years. Eventinsure.ie is a Coverholder at Lloyds and use only specialist insurers to place business.

She is looking forward to the busy season ahead, and meeting old and new clients.

Dr. Elling Hamso - Norway

Managing Partner, Event ROI Institute
Dr. Elling Hamso - Managing Partner, Event ROI, Norway

Elling Hamso is Managing Partner of Event ROI Institute, a leading expert on how to measure results from meetings and events and spends most of his time as a trainer and consultant to event agencies and corporate event planners across Europe. He is currently a member of the jury of European Best Event Awards (EuBEA), Middle East Event Awards, Eventex Awards and a number of national best event award programmes. Conference & Incentive Travel magazine ranked him 5th on their list of the 50 most influential people in the UK meetings and events industry, and Eventbranche magazine named him third among the 30 most influential professionals in the meetings and events industry in the Netherlands. He consults and speaks on subjects such as ROI, events industry trends and meeting design. Elling is Management Sciences graduate and holds a Ph.D. in procurement strategy from Manchester University.

Lucy Horan

Former Lecturer, School of Hospitality Management & Tourism, DIT
Lucy Horan - Former Lecturer, School of Hospitality Management & Tourism, DIT

Lucy Horan lectures in Event Management at the School of Hospitality Management and Tourism at DIT and is the subject specialist on the B.Sc. Event Management degree programme. Lucy has taken a lead role in the development of Event Management as an area of academic study in Ireland. She is also a member of MPI International and has convened several international business events, including the ATLAS conference on Business Tourism that took place in Dublin in November 2013.

Sam Johnston

Manager, Dublin Convention Bureau
Sam Johnston - Manager, Dublin Convention Centre

Sam has worked in destination sales and marketing for 16-years, starting on the leisure tourism side with Causeway Coast & Antrim Glens progressing to Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau before moving to Dublin Tourism in 2006.  In 2010 he moved across to work in the MICE sector with the Dublin Convention Bureau team where he led the conference ambassador programme, bringing association conferences to Dublin.  Since then he has worked on all aspects of the business tourism sector playing a key role in the Bureau achieving its annual targets, delivering €51m in new business to Dublin trade partners.  He was recently appointed as manager to lead the Bureau with further ambitious growth targets of €56m.  The Dublin Convention Bureau is a unit within Fáilte Ireland.

Lynn Lester - UK

Managing Director of Events, The Drum
Lynn Lester - Managing Director of Events, The Drum

Lynn is the Managing Director of Events at The Drum, the global media and marketing industry title.  She runs four teams; conferences, awards, sales and marketing and produces 30+ live events across the UK, USA and APAC.

When Lynn started at The Drum 14 years ago, it was a tiny Scottish business with a handful of events and a magazine to its name, so it’s been an honour for her to have been part of the leadership team who grew it into a multi-million pound, award-winning business.  And for it to now have global recognition and status, still makes her blush today (a solid trade of a Scot).

Before the world of events, Lynn’s background was in media and publishing, working in a variety of commercial roles.

She is also a professional emcee/presenter having fronted over 100+ events including the Content and PITCH Stages at Web Summit, Global Ace Awards New York, Doubleclick Bid Manager Awards (division of Google) and The Drum’s major award shows. Audiences range from 50-700+ individuals. Lynn is also an experienced awards judge and is very much looking forward to reviewing the best work to come out of Ireland, at this year’s Event Industry Awards.

Declan Maxwell

Restaurant Manager, Luna

Declan Maxwell

Declan Maxwell has carved a stellar career, setting the benchmark for standards within the service end of the hospitality industry, making him the perfect choice to judge the Best Event Caterer at this year’s Event Industry Awards.

In 2016, Declan won the ‘Host the Year Award’, marking another triumph in an already distinguished career that has seen him manage front of house at Chez Nico (London) before moving back to Dublin where he first established his name as manager at La Stampa, followed by sixteen years in one Ireland’s top restaurants, the multi-award winning Chapter One.

Declan manages Luna which won the RAI Best Restaurant in Ireland 2016 after only being open to 10 months.

Having recently served as a judge for the Northern Ireland Restaurant of the Year Award, Declan has had the opportunity to sharpen his judging skills and is fighting fit for the challenge ahead.

Andrea Michaels - USA

President/Owner, Extraordinary Events
Andrea Michaels - President/Owner, Extraordinary Events, USA

Winner of more than 41 Special Events magazine Gala Awards, Andrea was honored as the “Pillar of the Industry” during The Special Event Gala in 2014. This unique one-time-only achievement award, on the heels of the 25th Anniversary of Extraordinary Events, recognised Andrea for a lifetime of elevating the quality, integrity, creativity and impact of the events industry, as well as spearheading its international outreach. Andrea is also the first inductee into the Special Event Industry Hall of Fame and the recipient of the coveted Special Event Award of Excellence and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, she was honoured in 2015 with the Steve Kemble Leadership Award recognising how much she gives back to educate the entire industry. She has also won the M.P.I. Global Paragon Award and a SITE Crystal Award, among many other such honors. Andrea has planned and produced events since 1973, expanding from local LA based events to a dominant international presence.

Dr. Bernadette Quinn

Programme Chair, MSc Event Management, College of Arts & Tourism, DIT

Dr. Bernadette Quinn - Programme Chair, MSc Event Management, College of Arts & Tourism, DIT

Dr. Bernadette Quinn works in the Department of Tourism at the Dublin Institute of Technology where she is Programme Tutor for the MSc Event Management. She teaches international event management on this programme and supervises several dissertations on topics such as bidding for events; events and accessibility; events and regional development and events and social media.  Bernadette is an active researcher with a particular interest in festivals and cultural events. She produced her first book Key Concepts in Event Management in 2013 (Sage, London), and has  published numerous articles in journals such as Urban Studies, the Journal of Event Management and the Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure & Events.

Mary Weir

Co-founder, Event Industry Association of Ireland
Mary Weir - Co-founder, Event Industry Association of Ireland, Ireland

Mary works in Local Government and currently works in the Culture Recreation Amenity and Community Department in Dublin City Council. Within this Department Mary works on events/animation and customer communications strategy for Parks Division. She specialised in Event Management from 2000 to 2013. Mary successfully delivered the role of Project Manager for the largest event in Ireland in 2012 - The Tall Ships Races Festival in Dublin. Her previous experience included the delivery of Dublin City’s annual outdoor event programme and the event approval/liaison remit in DCC. In addition, she was a contributor to the Cultural Chapter of the current City Development Plan, a member of the Project Team with responsibility for the delivery of the Smithfield Enhancement Scheme 2011, a member of the Dublin Tourism Cultural Tourism Strategy Working Group and is currently a participant in the Failte Ireland Dublin Now project. Mary is passionate about the animation of public space and the provision of accessible cultural activity that enhances everyone’s experience of the city and supports the economic wellbeing of the city and its communities.

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