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Pioneering association meeting organiser dies, aged 88

The Israeli founder of a company responsible for organising thousands of international association meetings over the last half a century has died.

Gideon Rivlin, founder and president of Kenes Group,  the Geneva-based professional congress organiser and association management company, passed away aged 88.

He started the company in 1965 when the industry was in its infancy and was later president of the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) – 1981-1983.

In the course of his career he received a number of prestigious industry honours – in 1990 he was elected Man of the Year in Tourism – an award granted by the President of the State of Israel, and in 2006 he received the ICCA Moises Shuster Award for a lifetime of achievement in the PCO sector.

The company, originally based in Tel Aviv, is now run by his son Dan Rivlin.

A company statement read: “On behalf of the management, staff, and industry partners, we extend our deepest sympathies to Dan Rivlin, CEO, and son of Gideon, and their family.”

“Gideon believed in bringing people together and the high standards that he insisted on are serving as a model in our industry today. Gideon was and will always be the spirit of Kenes Group, an industry pioneer, a visionary and he will be greatly missed by all.”

He died on Sunday morning and a funeral service is being held today (Monday 11th).