What You Missed at the IRF Education Invitational

IRF Education Invitational
IRF President Stephanie Harris

Last week’s IRF Education Invitational at the Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic was the place to be for incentive professionals, a mix of crowdsourced education, networking and fundraising for future research.

Here are a few highlights from the three-day IRF Education Invitational:

• The event’s annual live and silent fundraising auctions exceeded their goal, making $447,000 to support incentive industry research in the coming year. A raffle also raised $5,000 for José Andres’ World Central Kitchen.

• Attendees had a first glimpse at some of the newest research during the education day, including a hot-off-the-press report on the role of incentives in motivating a remote workforce. This year, the organization brought in the experts from Haute, Liz Lathan, CMP, and Nicole Osibodu, for a Spontaneous Think Tank, where attendees broke into small groups to tackle the most important post-pandemic issues they face.

IRF Education Invitational
The new IRF logo

• In the opening session, the Incentive Research Foundation bid a dramatic farewell to its teal logo and revealed its new blue and orange logo and branding, which it will incorporate into a new web site soon.

• The event was a buyout of the Hyatt Zilara and a huge boost to tourism on the Caribbean island, which was hit hard by COVID-19. In addition to bringing the Dominican culture into the resort with food and gifting, a variety of tours took attendees off property to explore the DR’s many natural wonders, learn about ecotourism initiatives, and meet the local residents.

• Two new awards were given, with an award for Outstanding Service to an IRF board member who made a tremendous impact to the organization going to long-time Chief Research Officer Rodger Stotz and Volunteer of the Year awards to Lynn Randall, senior strategy director, InVision Communications; Jen O’Mara, account director, group sales, Four Seasons Resort; and Jamie Randall, manager, global strategic initiatives, Tableau @ Salesforce.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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