Didier Scaillet is SITE’s new chief excellence officer (CEO), effective February 1, 2018.
In October, a search committee comprised of Society of Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) board members and Foundation trustees undertook an extensive global search to identify a replacement for Kevin Hinton, who announced he would be leaving the organization in late January. The priority was to identify an executive leader with multi-national association experience to help drive forward SITE’s 2020 vision to grow its chapter network, increase membership and continue to raise awareness of the human and economic impact of the incentive industry on the global economy.
“Finding an experienced professional to fill Kevin’s shoes was not an easy task. We received resumes from 12 potential candidates and went through a three-stage process to narrow the field down to three. After rigorous interviews, we all agreed that Didier has the highest degree of association management experience, knowledge of the global MICE landscape and clearly articulates a strategic vision for SITE,” said Annamaria Ruffini, CIS, CMP, SITE president 2018 and president and CEO, Events In & Out, S.R.L. “Didier, bienvenue chez nous—welcome to our SITE family! It’s going to be a very interesting and active year and I look forward to working together.”
A MICE industry veteran, Scaillet brings SITE extended global experience and a deep understanding of association management. He started his career working for one of the first association management companies in Europe, quickly becoming a business partner. For 18 years he held various roles with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) as director of European operations, vice-president of global development and chief development officer for MPI and the MPI Foundation. Most recently, he was vice-president business development for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), responsible for the global re-design and integration of the organization’s executive partnership program and expansion of revenue in new categories and markets.
Joining Ruffini in the announcement was John J. Iannini, CIS, CTC SITE Foundation president 2018 and vice-president, business travel and meetings & events Americas, Melia Hotels International. “Didier will be able to transfer his success in fundraising at the MPI Foundation, coupled with his experience managing global research for CLIA, to help the Foundation trustees advance our mission. We are eager to collaborate to strengthen our brand pillars and bring our members and the global incentive industry more relevant content and research to prove that incentive travel directly correlates to business results.”
Scaillet has engaged and served on various industry forums and organizations: Joint Meetings Industry Council, Events Industry Council, Canadian Tourism Commission and United Nations World Tourism Organization. He was also instrumental in the development of the Meetings & Business Events Competency Standards, which was the backbone for the development of SITE’s competency-based education model for incentive professionals.
“I am very excited and honored to be serving the SITE community, its leadership and the Incentive Travel industry at large. The organization is going through some major transformations, with many opportunities to seize global growth, advocacy, value-added content, digital engagement and sustainability,” Scaillet said in a statement. “SITE, the SITE Foundation, SITE Young Leaders, the SITE Chapters have always attracted passionate, inspiring and dedicated industry leaders. Following Kevin Hinton’s footsteps as the Chief Excellence Officer is a privilege and I am looking forward to an amazing journey, building a stronger voice for Incentive Travel worldwide,” he says.
A Belgian native, Scaillet will be relocating to the U.S. and will report directly to the presidents of the SITE International Board of Directors and SITE Foundation Board of Trustees.