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2018 Honorary Award Recipients
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Thomas F. Gilbert Distinguished Professional Achievement Award

Jack J. Phillips, Ph.D. Chairman ROI Institute, Inc.

Dr. Jack J. Phillips is Chairman of ROI Institute and is a world-renowned expert on accountability, measurement, and evaluation. He provides consulting services for Fortune 500 companies and major global organizations. On three occasions, Meeting News named him one of the 25 Most Powerful People in the Meetings and Events Industry, based on his work on ROI. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) gave him its highest creativity award for an ROI study as well as a book award for Improving Supervisors' Effectiveness. The American Society for Training and Development (now ATD) gave him its highest award, Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Development for his work on ROI.

The author or editor of more than 100 books, he conducts workshops and presents at conferences all over the world. He has served on the boards of several private businesses, including two NASDAQ companies, and several nonprofits and associations, including the Association for Talent Development and the National Management Association. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fortune Magazine, and on CNN.


Roger Kaufman Award for Societal Impact

Barrio 31, City of Buenos Aires
Diego Fernandez, Secretary of Social and Urban Integration

Diego Fernandez is Secretary of Social and Urban Integration of the City of Buenos Aires, in charge since 2015 of the transformation of the former Villas 31 and 31bis into the new Barrio 31 neighborhood.

A serial entrepreneur, Diego joined the city of Buenos Aires government in the Ministry of Education for several years before being appointed to coordinate and lead the transformation of Villa 31 and 31bis into a new neighborhood, Barrio 31.  Diego is PhD candidate in Systemic Innovation at ITBA - Buenos Aires Institute of Technology and is currently writing a book on Barrio 31 experience.


Barcelona Activa
Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona

Ada Colau is the first woman to be elected Mayor of Barcelona and, since 13 June 2015. Colau was one of the founding members and spokespeople of the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) (Platform for People Affected by Mortgages), which was set up in Barcelona in 2009 in response to the rise in evictions caused by unpaid mortgage loans and the collapse of the Spanish property market in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Colau is coauthor of the book Mortgaged Lives, based on her experiences of grassroots campaigning and direct action with the PAH.


Elementos Argentinos
Fernando Bach, co-CEO and Founder

Fernando is CEO and co-founder of Elementos Argentinos. This is his story: “During late 2005, and after several years of travelling and living in different places working as a hotel manager, I was ready for a personal life change and looking to start a new activity with a stronger social and creative sense. The idea of working with high quality, handmade textiles for the home came naturally. I’m from Tucuman, and in Tafí del Valle, during those long summers and cold winters in the Calchaquí valleys, the rugs, blankets, saddlebags, “peleros” and “pullos” were a part of our daily life. At Elementos Argentinos we seek to offer products that combine the art of both yarn and handweaving with contemporary designs, as a way to unite the past with the present”. 

Elementos Argentinos
Pablo Mendivil, Designer and Co-Founder

Pablo is designer and co-founder of Elementos Argentinos. This is his story: “I majored in Design and worked for over 10 years in advertising, journalism and television. I started to visit northwestern Argentina regularly, and I was constantly amazed by its colors and textures. The diversity, but most importantly the people, drew my inspiration for the development of this project, which allows me to combine my passion for designing decorative objects with a personal desire to be part of a sustainable company”


Distinguished Service Award

Lisa Toenniges is the CEO and owner of Innovative Learning Group (ILG). A dynamic and respected leader, Lisa has nearly 30 years of experience in the performance improvement industry and has consulted with many Fortune 1000 companies about their learning strategies and solutions.

ILG was born out of Lisa’s passion for building a business, providing for her employees, and doing what is right for clients. Her dedication has earned ILG many awards, including being named to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies and being designated one of Michigan’s 50 Companies to Watch.

As an active member in the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) for almost three decades , Lisa has served as the past president of its Michigan Chapter, chaired its 2010 annual conference , and participated on its board of directors. In April 2015, she completed her term as the Society’s past president; her other board roles were president, president-elect, and treasurer. She also is a Certified Performance Technologist.

Lisa has a master’s degree in instructional technology from Wayne State University and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Michigan State University.



Chapter Awards


Chapter of Merit Bay Area / Boise State Chapter
Chapter of Merit Boeing Chapter
Chapter of Merit Capella Chapter
Chapter of Merit Hampton Roads Chapter
Chapter of Merit Michigan Chapter
Chapter of Merit Montreal Chapter
Chapter of Merit Potomac Chapter
Chapter of Merit Tennessee Chapter
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