UFI announces winners of the exhibition industry’s Next Generation Leadership Grant

Paris, 26 March 2019 – UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has announced the five winners of the fourth UFI Next Generation Leadership (NGL) Grant. The international jury, chaired by UFI President Craig Newman, selected the future leaders for their initiative and creativity in realising new projects for the exhibition industry. The exhibition professionals selected for the 2019 UFI NGL Grant are as follows: 

• Carolin von Tippelskirch, Protocol and Corporate Events, Deutsche Messe AG (Germany) 
• Cinzia Zanin, Research and Development, Fondazione Fiera Milano (Italy) 
• Fuad Musafir, Business Development Manager Exhibition and Live Events, Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (Oman) 
• Katie Thompson, Senior Content and Project Manager, The Design Group | Global Exhibitions Informa (USA) 
• Laura Docampo, Head of Digital Transformation, Fira de Barcelona (Spain) 

“The NGL Grant jury carefully reviewed all submitted entries,” says UFI President, Craig Newman. “We found it extremely challenging to select just five individuals. So much energy had gone into every application, and I was extremely proud to see just how many motivated, talented and ambitious individuals there are in our industry. I strongly encourage anyone who wasn’t accepted to re-apply next year.” 

Applications were received from 18 different countries, representing all UFI regional chapters (the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Middle East/Africa). As is the case every year, grant winners will investigate the future of exhibitions, and work closely with the team at UFI headquarters in Paris. Their first workshop will take place alongside the upcoming UFI European Conference in Birmingham (UK) from 15 to 17 May 2019. 

It’s the first time grantees will meet each other and will be a perfect opportunity to lay the foundation for their upcoming journey. The grantees will present their findings in a session at the 86th UFI Global Congress in Bangkok (Thailand), the main annual event for the global exhibition industry. For the second year running, they will continue their grant programme after the Congress with an executive mentoring programme where they can learn, brainstorm, test ideas and discuss work-related challenges and opportunities. 
Their mentors are C-level professionals from the exhibition industry. “The NGL Grant programme recognises and supports exceptional talent within the exhibition industry,” says UFI Managing Director and CEO, Kai Hattendorf. “We greatly appreciate their courage and vision, which bring added value to us all. Thanks to the NGL Grant, we enable young professionals to meet with experienced mentors, pushing the boundaries to drive new positive change in the industry. I would like to thank all those involved in the programme.” 

The 2019 NGL Grant programme is sponsored by Freeman EMEA. 
“At Freeman, we believe that the future success and relevancy of our industry relies on nurturing the talent of tomorrow,” said Chris Preston, managing director, Freeman. “As an organization, we are strategically focused on supporting, growing, and developing our employees to ensure that we remain at the forefront of innovation and can add to both our customers’ and company’s competitive advantage through our people. Because of that shared belief, we are proud to support the Next Generation Leadership Grant and congratulate the exhibition professionals being recognized in this year’s program.” 

About the jury 
The 2019 NGL Grant jury was chaired by Craig Newman, UFI President and CEO of Johannesburg Expo Centre (Pty) Ltd. Other members of the jury were Chris Preston, Managing Director at Freeman EMEA (UK); Eleonora Robuschi, Programmes and Projects Coordinator at UFI (France); Kai Hattendorf, MD and CEO at UFI (France); Maria Tsedeviyn, Head of Advertising, Design and Internet Division at Expoforum (Russia), and a former NGL Grant winner.

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