UFI Announces Winners of Next Generation Leadership Grant 2023


2nd May, 2023

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has named the recipients of this year’s UFI Next Generation Leadership (NGL) Grant. The 2023 winners were selected from an overwhelming number of diverse entries by an international jury of exhibition industry leaders that was chaired by UFI President, Michael Duck.

Now in its 7th edition, the UFI NGL Grant is aimed at promoting the next generation of professionals trying to establish their place in the exhibition industry. Mentorship and networking with the leading exhibition executives make NGL the most prestigious talent accelerator programme in the industry.

To qualify, applicants must have a maximum of 10 years of work experience within the exhibition industry and must still be working in the industry. The programme is sponsored by some of the leading global exhibition organisers: Clarion, dmg Events, Emerald, Informa Markets, RX and Tarsus.

The 2023 NGL Grant winners are:

  • Otero Finiti – Business Development Executive, Expo Stars Interactive, UK
  • Elizabeth George – Sr. Lead, Content & Programming, HIMSS, US
  • Tehchad Kittiboonya – International Sales Manager, VNU Asia Pacific, Thailand
  • Aya Moatamed – Data Analyst, Informa Markets, Egypt
  • Amy Saleh – Operations Director, Hannover Fairs, Australia

The mission for the 2023 NGL project is to write a new blueprint on how to plan and operate events that help industries to evolve, help businesses to trade and learn and help every participant to benefit personally from their participation.

Spread over a period of 6 months, the grant winners are given the opportunity to develop their project under the guidance of UFI team, NGL alumni and industry leaders. The 2023 winners will kick off their project at the UFI European Conference in Maastricht this 13-16 June 2023. They will also be able to present their project at the UFI Global Congress in Las Vegas this 1-4 November 2023.

The Jury

The jury was chaired by Michael Duck – UFI President and Executive Vice President of Commercial Development at Informa Markets – and included:

  • Daniella Antes – Director, Talent Acquisition, Emerald
  • Premila Braganza – Head of HR, dmg Events
  • Daniella Galante – NGL Grant 2022 winner and Digital Marketing & Creative Manager, RX Africa
  • Kurt Gamauf – Director of HR, Global Projects, RX
  • Nidhi Grelaud – Programme Manager, Content and Communities, UFI
  • Kai Hattendorf – Managing Director and CEO, UFI
  • Justine Kendall – Sr. Manager, HR and Employee Benefits, Clarion North America
  • Sean Ongers – Head of Global Learning and Performance, Informa Markets
  • Rachel Wimberly – EVP, Business Development and M&A, Tarsus Group, US

“The UFI NGL grant has aimed since its inception to foster the next generation of professionals who are looking to find an exciting career in the exhibition industry. The theme of the NGL Grant is carefully chosen keeping in mind topics that are of critical importance to the future of our industry [ . . .] The overwhelming global response received for the UFI 2023 NGL Grant has shown how special this programme has been for those who are finding their place in this industry. The quality of winners we have seen over these years has been impressive”, says UFI President Michael Duck.

The Jury adds, “We really enjoyed receiving so many fantastic applications again and would say that the bar is being raised every year! We were particularly impressed with the diversity of entries from all over the world and across a variety of stakeholders within our industry. We thank all applicants for their creativity and thoughtfulness in both their videos and letters, which were just outstanding. Given the great quality of the submissions, selecting our finalists was a very tough decision. We would like to thank everyone for their wonderful efforts, and of course many congratulations to our winners!”

UFI congratulates this year’s NGL winners and looks forward to supporting the five selected next generation exhibition industry leaders as they work together to bring innovative change across the industry.

For more information about the NGL Grant, visit the UFI website

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