Metro Toronto Convention Centre CEO Barry Smith receives Top Honours from the MPI Toronto Chapter

    TORONTO, March 6 /CNW/ - The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC)
President and CEO, Barry Smith has been honoured for his contributions to the
meetings and convention industry as the 2006 recipient of the Meeting
Professional International (MPI) Toronto Chapter President's Award. Smith
accepted the award at the 17th annual MPI Toronto Chapter Awards Dinner held
at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.
    MPI Toronto Chapter President, Susan Lanc, CMP, stated that, "In addition
to being a long time member and supporter of the MPI Toronto Chapter, Barry is
also a person who is recognized as "walking the talk" in more ways than one.
He takes time to recognize his peers, colleagues, and employees whenever
possible, and is a dedicated and active member within key industry boards and
    Ms. Lanc noted some of the highlights of why Smith was selected for this
prestigious award:
    As an active member of the Executive Committee of Tourism Toronto and
past Vice Chair, Barry has been instrumental in creating the highly successful
Convention Development Fund (CDF). The CDF has helped tip decisions in
Toronto's favour for the past three years. Barry worked tirelessly with
industry partners and the government in the creation of the concept of and
ensuring adequate funds were directed to the fund which enables Tourism
Toronto to win new business for the city.
    As an active member of the Executive Committee and a Vice Chair of the
Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), Barry is currently involved in
advocating on behalf of the tourism and hospitality industry across the
    A recent recipient of the Ontario Hostelry Institute's Fellow Award Barry
is recognized by other organizations for his professional success and for the
difference he has made within this industry.
    Never loosing sight of the importance of corporate responsibility, Barry
along with Turtle Island Recycling has recently pioneered the concept of
holding large "green" meetings and conventions that successfully avoid adding
to the existing landfill burden by recycling everything they generate. The
MTCC has been the first convention centre to pioneer the concept of a Zero
Waste event where all materials from the event are diverted from landfill and
are recycled. To date MTCC has hosted five such events including an
international meeting and a very large tradeshow.
    "I am honoured to have been selected for this important industry award.
While it is true that I am passionate about enhancing the meetings and
convention industry as a whole, it has always been a community effort and I am
merely accepting on behalf of all my colleagues who work tirelessly along with
me to better our position within the marketplace," said Smith.
    Walter Oster, Chairman of the MTCC's Board was also pleased to hear of
Smith's recent industry honours and was not surprised as he stated, "Barry
continues to exemplify the reasons why his name is held in high regard within
this industry across the country, he continues to demonstrate true leadership
abilities and excellent business acumen. On behalf of the Board we are
extremely proud of his continued successes."

    About MPI

    Established in 1972, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the
leading global community committed to shaping and defining the future of the
meeting and event industry. As the largest trade association for the    
$102.3 billion meeting industry, MPI defines the return on investment and
strategic value meetings bring to individuals, organizations and the global
economy. MPI helps its members enhance their professional value by providing
them with best practices, superior education, the latest research and trends,
professional development and networking opportunities.

    About the MTCC

    The Metro Toronto Convention Centre is Canada's No. 1 convention and
trade facility and one of the finest in North America. With more than        
2 million square feet of state-of-the-art space, it is considered a
world-class, tier-one facility. The MTCC has welcomed more than 39 million
visitors and 12,000 events since its opening in 1984. The Centre hosts more
than 700 events annually, ranging in size from large international conventions
to small local corporate meetings, for groups of 40 to 40,000, generating more
than   $3 billion in incremental economic benefits to the local economy each

For further information:

For further information: Heather Evans, Marketing Manager, MTCC, (416)

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