Sometimes you really do know a good thing when you’ve got it. Last week, the International Association of Conference Centers honored board member Melissa Fromento, MeetingsNet group publisher, with its Pyramid Award during the IACC-Americas Conference in Washington, D.C.

The Pyramid Award, established in 2000, is IACC’s highest educational honor, and Fromento was chosen as the 2011 recipient because of her contributions to the creation of the IACC Thought Leader Summit—orchestrating the first Summit in 2008 and chairing the committee that planned the 2010 and 2011 Summits—as well as for her four years on the Annual Meeting Conference Planning Committee.

“I am completely honored to have been given this award,” said Fromento. “My involvement with IACC has been both professionally and personally rewarding. It has been exciting to watch the Thought Leader Summit grow and provide much-needed information on the future of meetings. Being part of the ‘IACC family’ has also given me the opportunity to meet people that will be lifelong friends.”

Doing Mel Proud
At IACC’s Annual Banquet last Thursday, Joan Eisenstodt, founder of conference consulting, facilitation, and training consultancy Eisenstodt Associates, also took the stage. A previous winner of the Pyramid Award, Eisenstodt was recognized this year with the Mel Hosansky Award for Distinguished Service.

IACC America’s president, Peter Stockmann, presented the honor, saying, “Joan is widely recognized for her passion for lifelong learning, meeting preparation, risk anticipation and contingency planning, ethical and inclusivity practices, and meeting excellence.”

Eisenstodt was the first nonmember to receive the Mel Hosansky Award, except for Mel Hosansky himself, who was the first recipient in 1984, before it was renamed in his honor. “This is the ultimate,” said Eisenstodt, “particularly since it’s named for somebody who had more integrity than anyone I’ve ever known in hospitality.”

Award of Excellence
IACC also recognized Robert Sanders Jr., CMP, founder and CEO of Hospitality Resources Group Inc., with the 2011 Award of Excellence. A number of Sanders’ contributions stand out, including his focus groups to get feedback on the quality of IACC conferences, his work with the board of directors on the IACC strategic plan in 2003 and 2004, and his creation of the initial stage of the Sales Tool Kit webinar that helps members sell their properties more effectively.