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EEA Founder Recognized by SITE for Long-Term Commitment to Innovation and Service

Richard RossIn accepting the Richard Ross Award for his innovation in the world of engagement and travel at the recent Society of Incentive Travel Executives annual conference in New York, Enterprise Engagement Alliance founder Bruce Bolger focused on what he thought Richard Ross might have told the group about setting out to make change in the world, business, or one’s community.
 
Bruce BolgerBruce Bolger, Founder of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance and publisher or RRN at RewardsRecognitionNetwork.com and other media, was recently honored with the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence Richard Ross Past President’s Award for his long-term commitment to promoting the effective use of incentive travel, motivational events, and a strategic approach to engagement.
 
In presenting the award, Cherie Weinstein, former SITE President and a Project Manager at Landry of Kling after retiring as a vice president from Carnival Cruises, said, “I’m here on behalf of SITE’s past presidents on this auspicious 50th anniversary of SITE to present the Richard Ross award. This recognition was created in memory of one of SITE’s early leaders, Richard Ross, who was killed in one of the planes that flew into New York CIty’s World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. This award recognizes a lifetime of achievement in the service of SITE and our global industry. It recognizes those who demonstrate a commitment to integrity, honesty, faith in others with long-term service to SITE, the incentive travel and motivational events industry, for which Richard was a relentless innovator.
 
SITE“To list Bruce’s career highlights and contributions to not just our industry but to business intelligence would take too much time, so I’ll invite you to read about them in the conference recap. Bruce was the first to bring IVY league university professors to our educational programs which engaged our minds in a new way and catapulted us to a higher level. In the early 90s, Bruce was key to working with SITE to explain incentives and incentive travel to corporations through the use of hard data. He worked with academics and the nascent SITE Foundation to create an ROI map for our industry—the Master Measurement Model.  He was an early proponent of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) practices and of Stakeholder Capitalism. Bruce Bolger exemplifies the core business and social values of Richard Ross.” 
 
In accepting the award at New York’s Apollo Theater, Bolger said, “Thank you Cherie and past presidents for the honor of being in the great company of the eight people who have received this recognition before me and to receive it from such distinguished industry leaders in such a hallowed place as the Apollo Theater. It is especially meaningful to me, because I am still actively pursuing the same mission Richard Ross and others in this hall today set out to accomplish 30 years ago—to make business more strategically focused on all their stakeholders and to bring greater respect and knowledge for your industry and what you do for people, because as you know not enough people have heard of it.
 
“Richard Ross died on Sept 11 pursuing this dream. So, in 90 seconds, I’d like to share the advice Richard might have wanted me to share with you based on how I believe he lived his life. No. 1. No matter what, focus first on your family, loved ones, your communities, enjoy everyday life, and pay it forward, however thankless it can be. No. 2., without changing the world, everyone in this room can make an enormous difference right now by:

  • Addressing the fact that this remains an unknown industry—use the new focus on people in business to change that.
  • Challenge your clients to focus more on program design and return on investment because there is so much to be gained—properly designed programs enhance cultures and lives; and,
  • Rethink event business formats in this post-Covid era to allocate much more time in your programs for town hall formats and other ways to build relationships by sharing ideas and authentic experiences in the vein of Anthony Bourdain and Parts Unknown. This was the vision of the industry’s founders. 
“And, finally, No. 3. If you are determined to set out to change the business world as Richard did, pursue it knowing that however noble you believe your cause to be, the potential risks, unexpected setbacks, even failures and the resulting painful tradeoffs on your journey could cost you potentially friends, money, and even your reputation with some people, unless you persevere.
 
“So, if you’re one of those throwing yourself into the arena to try to change business or anything the way Richard Ross was in the process of doing, or are even considering it, go back to the first piece of advice. Focus first on your family, loved ones, savor the everyday wonders of life, and turn the other cheek. That will help you persevere in your quest. You can do both. That’s the way I believe Richard lived his life, and fortunately I can say the same.”

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