ILEA’s annual Spirit of Excellence awards recognize ILEA chapters which excel in chapter communications, administration, membership retention and growth programs.
What do the Spirit of Excellence Awards mean to ILEA members?
In conversation with Spirit of Excellence Awards Committee Chair, Kevin Molesworth, CSEP, Jessica Kirby, ILEA Austin President and Spirit of Excellence award recipient, shares an inside look at the benefits of the awards, as well as some helpful tips for submissions.
Why is submitting for Spirit of Excellence (SOE) important to you personally?
When I first joined ILEA, I didn't know what SOE even stood for. Honestly, until I was Secretary, I had no idea the amount of work that went in to these submissions...and I'm not just talking about the amount of writing and hours for the actual submissions themselves. I'm talking about the hours each board member spends on education topics, pushing out notifications to members, coming up with new, informative ways to make sure ILEA members are getting the most out of their membership. For me SOE isn't about the titles, but how it holds each of us to a higher standard. A standard that not only benefits us as an organization but also forms leaders within our organization and showcases why members continue to come back to this group year after year. Each year I have been involved in the SOE process, I've personally taken away tidbits of information that has shaped me, both professionally and personally. I can only imagine what that impact looks like on an International scale.
Why is submitting for SOE beneficial to the chapter?
It's beneficial for our chapter because it shows our members (and potential members) what we, as a community, are out there doing. That being a member of ILEA doesn't just mean you go to meetings and network. It shows our chapter things that happen behind the scenes and how it's benefiting the event community as a whole. I also think it's beneficial because we ask certain committee members to help with smaller aspects of the submission process. This gives them a different perspective on what the board is doing and in turn, I think it has been the cause of a few more applications come time to join the board. It's a great way to find those active committee members and guide them in to leadership positions.
Do you use the SOE submission as a road map in advance to engineer a successful year?
Yes, we use the SOE submission as a guiding point from day one. We discuss what we did the previous year at our board retreat in July. It's a time for us to think about what we can do to improve on all fronts for the upcoming year. Then, at our mid-year retreat, we discuss where we are and who needs help to make sure we stay on track for a successful year.
When do you begin working on your submissions?
We begin working on our submissions at the start of the ILEA fiscal year. We talk through high level action items at the board retreat in July. We then reassess in January and make sure we are staying the course. Each committee has a deadline for an initial draft and a final submission. The initial drafts are due end of March/beginning of April so we have time to fill in the blanks.
Are there any special tools that you use to aid in the submission process(e.g. Google Docs, Dropbox, some crazy app that only millennials know about)?
HA! I wish I knew all the crazy cool apps. We have used Dropbox in the past to ensure that everyone has access to the files, especially when we were working on programs with all the pictures. We did run in to some issues with board members not being able to access Dropbox, so we are switching things up this year. For previous submissions, Google Drive has been a great tool for when committee members are helping with certain aspects of the submissions. We are using Google Docs more this year for board documents, so we'll let you know how it goes for the our submissions this year!
Who is responsible for the submissions? Do you assign one person, do you divide and conquer?
I would say we do a little bit of both. Our Secretary/Historian works with the President to go through the submissions with a fine tooth comb. Each VP and their committee is in charge of making sure the submission has all the requirements and matches the overall voice of our chapter. The VPs will delegate a few items (screenshots, calendars, finding photos) to committee members but they, along with their directors, are in charge of the writing portion. As for the special items, like International Engagement and Special Projects, those are assigned to certain board members as well. Once the drafts start coming, the Secretary/Historian and President work to get the final submissions ready.
2017-2018 Spirit of Excellence Award Recipients
By earning one of the chapter awards below, your chapter has demonstrated their expertise and excellence in all forms of their operation. Being part of an award-winning association sets our members apart from the competition and highlights to new members the benefits of being a part of our exclusive group of creative event people.
The 2018 Chapter of the Year Award is Minneapolis-St. Paul!
Excellence in Membership Recruitment: Tiffanie Rosier, ILEA Hampton Roads
Excellence in Membership Growth: ILEA Greater Cincinnati
Excellence in Membership Retention: ILEA Greater Cincinnati
Excellence in Chapter Communications: ILEA Indiana
Excellence in Programming and Education: ILEA Edmonton
Excellence in Special Projects: ILEA Greater Washington DC
Excellence in Industry and Chapter Engagement: ILEA Minneapolis - St. Paul
Affiliate of the Year: ILEA Canada
Chapter of the Year: ILEA Minneapolis - St. Paul
J. Robert Graves Award: Lisa Marks, CSEP and Dustin Westling, CSEP, ILEA Canada
Mettle Attitude Award: Jill Spear, ILEA South Florida/Caribbean Chapter
Volunteer of the Year: Sarah Cissna, CSEP, ILEA Greater Washington DC
ILEA Chapter Awards
Chapter of the Year Award
Region/Affiliate of the Year Award
Excellence in Communications Award
Excellence in Education & Programming Award
Excellence in Special Projects Award
Excellence in Membership Retention Award
Excellence in Membership Growth Award
Excellence in Membership Recruitment Award (individual chapter member)
See past recipients >>
Individual Leadership Awards
It's no secret that ILEA members are among the best and brightest. To recognize their outstanding service and achievement, ILEA awards several honors. These individual awards are presented at the ILEA Annual Meeting each August.
Volunteer of the Year Award
Given to the ILEA volunteer who goes above and beyond the call of duty, is constantly available to assist in any way, and who has performed his/her job in a tremendous and professional manner.
Mettle Attitude Award
Given to the ILEA volunteer who is always willing to help and who gets the job done even under trying circumstances.
J. Robert Graves Pioneer Award
Presented to individual(s) for striving and reaching new heights, with the vision to see past the obstacles and the determination never to look back.
Klaus Inkamp Lifetime Achivement Award
This prestigious award is presented to a leader in ILEA and the live events industry. The criteria are:
- Lengthy contribution to ILEA and the industry
- Well-respected individual
- Individual has given selflessly to the industry
- Individual is highly ethical and above reproach
- Individual maintains participation in the industry
For more information, contact Kevin Molesworth, CSEP, Spirit of Excellence Awards Committee Chair or Marlee Honcoop at ILEA Headquarters.