International Association of Exhibitions and Events Unveils 2016 Helen Brett Scholars

September 12, 2016

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events has unveiled the recipients of the 2016 Helen Brett Scholarship awards: Sarah Chung, Jordan Lacey and Mackenzie Thompson. 

The Helen Brett Scholarship was established by Robert Kolinek and named for his grandmother, Helen Brett, who was a pioneer in the trade show industry. 

The purpose of the scholarship is to assist individuals who are exploring the study of exhibitions and events management with the end goal of advancing their career in this field.

“It is incredibly rewarding to honor my grandmother’s legacy by offering this opportunity to future industry leaders to advance their career,” said President and CEO of Helen Brett Enterprises Robert Kolinek. 

The scholarship serves to promote the exhibitions and events industry by attracting college-level students into the field of study and encouraging their pursuit with financial support. 

Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis based on field of study, recommendations and educational achievement. Preference is given to those expressing an interest in exhibitions and events management and those enrolled in degree programs which are viewed as particularly relevant to this field.

Sarah Chung recently graduated from Richland College with honors with an associate’s degree in Applied Science in Travel, Exposition and Meeting Management and a certificate in Hospitality and Tourism. She will continue her studies at the University of Las Vegas.

“Winning this Helen Brett scholarship means so much to me because it has given me the opportunity to further my education," Chung said. "This gives me the motivation to be the best as I can be and help others as those who helped me. Trade shows have always been very fascinating to me because one day nothing is ready but magically everything is beautiful structured and ready to go. The smallest details go unnoticed.”

Jordan Lacey is a senior honors student in the Sports, Entertainment, and Event Management program at Johnson and Wales University.

She recently wrote and published her senior honors thesis, The Glass Ceiling for Minorities in The Hospitality Industry. 

Lacey’s internship experience includes The Big Apple Circus, Beyond The Stars Dance Convention, YouNow, and The U.S. Open. She is also the founder of her own non-profit organization, Light The Candle and she strongly believes in giving back to the community around her.

“I got my first job in the exhibitions and events industry at the age of fifteen as an event host and learned quickly that this was the industry for me," Lacey. said "My parents always taught me that if you are going to do something, do it BIG. So I did just that. I got an internship every year, accelerated my way to college and I am not done yet with my plans. I have plans to enter the New York City venue scene and make a difference.”

Mackenzie Thompson is a second year student in the Sports, Entertainment, and Event Management program at Johnson and Wales University (Providence campus). 

In addition to being an IAEE member, she is a member of Women in Sports and Events (WISE) and also serves as vice president of The Johnson and Wales University MPI Student Chapter.

“I hope to be planning events that bring people as much excitement as I felt from creating them," Thompson said. "I’m all about adding a unique twist, something that people have never seen before. As my freshman year came to a close I became much more familiar with the idea of a career in the sports field. Because of this award I will be able continue closer with IAEE and MPI to see what luxury suite directors are really all about.”

The 2016 Helen Brett Scholars will be recognized during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition to be held Dec. 6-8 in Anaheim, Calif. 

Click here for complete information about the Helen Brett Scholarship.

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