The Boy Scouts of America and Avaya took top honors from Meeting Professionals International for exemplifying best practices in meeting planning. As winners of MPI's 2003 Global Paragon Award, both illustrated how meetings and events can contribute to an organization's overall mission and goals.

The Boy Scouts of America's national office in Texas was named the winner of Category I, for meetings with budgets up to $1,000 per attendee. The Boy Scouts planners used a "Scouting for Solutions" mystery theme to promote four regional leadership training conferences for more than 4,200 full-time employees, as well as spouses and children.

Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Avaya and its meeting planner, Chicago-based ProActive, Inc., received honors for Category II, for meetings with budgets exceeding $1,000 per attendee. The winning best practices meeting for Avaya's external partners and internal sales teams was planned in just 50 days.

This year's Global Paragon Award categories also included three awards of excellence. The Best Themed Event was won by Washington Mutual/CRG Total Event Solutions of Seattle; the Best Promotion for a Meeting or Event was taken by Cingular Wireless of Atlanta; and the award for Best Product Launch Event was received by Altered Image of New Jersey and Incentive Connections.