November 9, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio

She’s been in the business events business for almost half a century and is respected around the world for her dedication to the industry and her commercial acumen.

 And now one of the world’s peak bodies has rewarded Roslyn McLeod’s service with an honorary membership.

That’s usually reserved for former presidents and board members, of which McLeod was the latter, twice. The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) made the announcement at its 61st congress in Krakow, Poland this week.

ICCA President James Rees said the status of honorary membership is reserved for a small number of retired individuals who have given particularly strong service to the association.

“Usually, they have served on the board, often for extensive lengths of time; always they have volunteered their expertise, time and energy; sometimes they have contributed vital strategic insights that have helped guide our association forward,” Rees said.

“Occasionally they have played host to one of our Congresses, perhaps the most stressful responsibility a member can undertake. And always, they have been influential advocates on ICCA’s behalf and great friends of this association.”

McLeod has understood the power of international networks for a long time. She has been omnipresent at trade events and conferences advocating, lobbying and connecting with leaders around the world. She has always been a strong voice for the sector – and, despite her retirement, continues to be active in the industry.

She has had an association with ICCA since 1985 when she first attended the ICCA General Assembly in Bangkok. She became an ICCA member two years later.

Her active involvement began early. She was an honorary secretary of ICCA from 1987 to 1990 and served as a board member from 1996 to 2000 and again from 2002 to 2004. In 2018, ICCA named McLeod as one of the industry’s top 10 most inspirational women.

Next year, the company she founded celebrates its 50th anniversary.

“Roslyn has had a distinguished career in business tourism and events, starting with her specialist Japanese speaking tours and translation services 50 years ago,” said Arinex, the company McLeod founded, in a statement.

“She went on to establish and build one of the most successful event management companies in Australasia and in 1999 was awarded the Australian Commonwealth Government’s Member of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her outstanding contribution to the Australian tourism and meetings industry before retiring in 2021.”

Today Arinex has a presence in four Australian states and New Zealand.