Events Council Blog

One-on-One with the 2017 Hall of Leaders: David Peckinpaugh

Aug 24, 2017

On October 10, the Events Industry Council will induct three new members into the Hall of Leaders. Continuing the tradition of celebrating the best and brightest in the events industry, the Hall of Leaders awards gala will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, during IMEX America.

Over the course of the next three weeks, the Events Industry Council will go one-on-one with the three honorees, tapping their insight on what it means to be a leader and their advice for a new generation of leadership in the events industry.

This week we talk with David Peckinpaugh, a man who is seen throughout the events industry as a passionate leader and tireless advocate. His passion and advocacy on behalf of the events industry has earned David accolades and recognition from peers and organizations, including MPI Rise Award’s Meetings Industry Leadership, the Joint Meetings Industry Council’s Unity Award, Incentive Travel Council’s Advocate of the Year and one of Successful Meetings’ 25 Most Influential People.

Events Industry Council: What makes for a strong leader & please describe the impact it has had on your career?

Peckinpaugh: I believe the critical leadership trait is authenticity. That can take many forms but in my mind, it is being true to yourself, your beliefs and ideals and living into them… or being your authentic self. Authenticity then fosters trust which is the foundation of all strong relationships which is critical to being an impactful leader. I believe (and hope) that I have lived into this ideal as fully as possible. It has led me to make many career decisions good and bad, it has allowed me to build life-long relationships that I treasure deeply and it has given me the confidence to pursue a career that I am both grateful for and that I don’t take for granted. I believe it also has imbedded in me the realization that it is not about me but about US. That I am where I am because of the many great individuals, leaders and teams that I have had the honor to work with and that a career is not built just by the individual but through the collaboration with others. 

Events Industry Council: What advice would you give to others who are pursuing a leadership path in their career?

Peckinpaugh: That it is the greatest challenge with the greatest reward in life… outside of marriage and raising children! My advice is to always remember that you need to treat everyone with deep respect as you will most likely work with or for or manage those individuals at some point in your career. Learn as much as you can from others and always look for opportunities get involved and to give back to this great industry.   

Events Industry Council: Describe what Events Industry Council has meant to your career & what it is like to be named an inductee into the Hall of Leaders.

Peckinpaugh: The Events Industry Council has been a part of my career for the past several decades. It has provided critical education and certifications (such as the CMP), it has set standards for the industry that are critical to the long-term health of our industry, it has participated in key initiatives such as the Meetings Mean Business Coalition and it has created recognition programs for some of our industry’s iconic leaders.

Peckinpaugh: To be recognized as a member of the Hall of Leaders is quite shocking and very humbling. When you look at the list of past recipients dating back to 1985, it is amazing to see the number of individuals that I’ve had the privilege to work with or for throughout my career. Many have been mentors to me and have crafted truly impressive lives and careers. I can only hope that I have had a similarly positive impact on others and that I can continue to live up to the ideals of the Hall of Leaders.