The incentive community mourns industry icon Carolyn Dow, past president of SITE and past director of SITE Europe, who died suddenly while on holiday in Peru.
With more than 40 years of leadership in the incentive travel industry, including serving as President of SITE in 2001 and director of SITE Europe in in 2006-2009, Carolyn Dow was well known and much loved. She remained active in SITE until the present day, and she never lost her love for adventure. Just last week, she posted on social media about her upcoming trip to Peru. Sadly, news has just arrived that Carolyn died there suddenly. Tributes to her began arriving instantly on LinkedIn, with 50 comments and counting.
What made Carolyn special? “Carolyn was such a friendly, kind, approachable lady, always willing to help us out with a quote or some other request, and a leader in the SITE community for decades,” said Barbara Scofidio, Editor, Prevue. “I remember being ready to plan a trip to Scotland after talking to her about her country, and I also have many memories of seeing her on the trade show floor at EIBTM in Geneva. Those were great days in our industry! She will be missed by the incentive community.”
Carolyn spent many years working in the destination management sector, serving for more than a decade as head of sales and marketing at the Scottish Convention Bureau before establishing her own destination marketing consultancy in 2004. Her leadership and passion for SITE was one of her defining characteristics.
“Carolyn was brilliant, highly principled, generous and kind,” said a tribute on SITE’s website. ” She truly embodied the unique simpatico of SITE and modeled it by her own behavior. As a past president, she could always be relied upon to provide wise, discrete and carefully considered advice on association matters. She attended SITE events unselfishly, to support, uplift and augment proceedings in that unobtrusive, quiet but thoroughly effective way.”
Annamaria Ruffini, Past President of SITE (2018) summarised many of these traits: “I met Carolyn in 1996 and from that moment she was a point of reference and a mentor. We came a long way together from SITE University in 1998 to the SITE EMEA Forum in Florence and then Berlin, and finally the Global Conference in Rome. I have always sought her advice on issues of ethics and best practices. I knew her thinking was direct, sincere and never with an ulterior motive. For many years she was the face of SITE in Europe at the tradeshow booths, always available and smiling. Carolyn was always there, for me, for us, she was SITE family.”
The tribute concluded: “We bid farewell, adieu, arrivederci to Carolyn Dow, a giant of SITE, but take some small consolation from the fact the Carolyn departed this life while experiencing again the mesmerizing, liberating, transformational power of travel experiences.”