CHICAGO, IL – The International Live Events Association (ILEA) has awarded the 2017 Klaus Inkamp Lifetime Achievement Award to David E. Merrell, CEO & Creative Director of AOO Events. He will be honored for the award at ILEA Live 2017, Aug. 10-12 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Awarded on an annual basis, the prestigious Inkamp Award is given to an ILEA member in recognition of his or her extensive contribution to ILEA and the industry. Additional criteria include: well-respected individual; individual has given selflessly to the industry; individual is highly ethical and above reproach; individual maintains participation in the industry.
For over 25 years, it has been Merrell’s philosophy that “All special events truly demand a customized approach in order to fully achieve the client’s vision and purpose.” It is this approach that has led David and AOO Events to become one of the most sought-after producers with a growing list of Fortune 500 and international corporations for product launches, corporate events, celebrity-attended fundraisers and intimate weddings.
“I’m honored and completely humbled to be the ILEA 2017 recipient of the Klaus Inkamp Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Merrell. “When I started out in this industry, I looked to ILEA to find mentors and drum up some potential business. What I gained from it and what I continue to gain from it is a whole lot more. From my development as a business professional, to exposing me to an international stage, to securing clients, and especially the endearing friendships I have gained with so many, I attribute much of the framework of my success as an individual and a company to ILEA. For these reasons, ILEA will always be home, its members will always be family, and I will always feel a profound sense of responsibility to advance the messaging and branding of this great industry and its guardian angel, ILEA.”
“I cannot imagine a more fitting Inkamp Award recipient than David. His passion and dedication to our industry, and our association, has been unwavering,” said Judy Brillhart, CSEP, PBC, ILEA President.