What started as a two-man operation 20 years ago in Dublin is now a global powerhouse in meetings and events. And the pair who were there at the beginning, Patrick Delaney and Padraic Gilligan, announced July 9 that they are leaving Ovation Global DMC at the end of the year.

“Our intention is to stay together within the meetings and events industry and to offer our experience and expertise to a variety of clients in the areas of strategy, training, and marketing,” they said in an e-mail to their industry network.

Their small company, Ovation Group Ireland, was acquired by MCI in 2007; now Ovation Global DMC provides services to associations, corporations, and agencies at more than 100 locations on four continents.

Since the acquisition, Delaney and Gilligan have continued to lead the destination services division in addition to being vice presidents, industry relations, for the overall organization. The pair will continue at MCI through the end of 2013 to help with the transition.

The Next “Dynamic Duo”
Two current Ovation executives will take over leadership of the destination services organization beginning January 1, 2014. Aoife Delaney (daughter of Patrick) will be promoted to global sales director, Ovation, and will report to Dev Sharma, vice president, global sales organization. And Karine Buggy will remain in her current position as Ovation’s global director of operations, but will now join the MCI Global Operations leadership team as well.

“We are grateful to Patrick and Padraic for the energy, vision, and values they’ve brought to MCI since 2007,”said MCI CEO Sebastien Tondeur in a press release. “We look forward to exploring new ways of working together as they evolve into the next phase of their career journey. I am excited to work closer with Karine and Aoife, a modern, powerful, and dynamic duo of whom we can only be proud.”

MCI organizes corporate, association, and governmental meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions, and manages consulting for associations. The company operates 48 offices in cities across Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, North America, and South America.

Regarding destination services going forward, MCI President Roger Tondeur stated, “MCI started over 25 years ago as a destination management company in Geneva so [destination management] is a foundational, legacy competency within the company. MCI offers DMC services both stand-alone under the Ovation brand and as part of MCI’s end-to-end customer-service offering.”

Said Delaney and Gilligan, “Our time at MCI has been extraordinarily enriching, both personally and professionally. We learned so much from a business perspective, moving from operating a small company in Ireland to being part of a rapidly expanding organization with offices all over the world. We have been so lucky to meet so many great people and, thankfully, these friendships remain and will sustain us as we move to the next stage of our adventure.”