UFI announces winners of Next Generation Leadership Grant 2023

The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) has named the recipients of this year’s UFI Next Generation Leadership (NGL) Grant.

The 2023 winners were selected from a large number of diverse entries by an international jury of exhibition industry leaders that was chaired by UFI president, Michael Duck.

Now in its seventh edition, the UFI NGL Grant is aimed at promoting the next generation of professionals trying to establish their place in the exhibition industry through mentorship and networking with leading exhibition executives.

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 global exhibition organisers including Clarion, dmg Events, Emerald, Informa Markets, RX and Tarsus.

The 2023 NGL Grant winners

The grant winners included:

  • Otero Finiti – business development executive, Expo Stars Interactive, UK
  • Elizabeth George – senior lead, Content and 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


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

The Jury:

The jury, chaired by Duck, included:

  • Kai Hattendorf – managing director and CEO, UFI
  • Daniella Antes – director, Talent Acquisition, Emerald
  • Premila Braganza – head of HR, dmg Events
  • Daniella Galante – NGL Grant 2022 winner and Digital Marketing and Creative Manager, RX Africa 
  • Kurt Gamauf – director of HR, Global Projects, RX
  • Nidhi Grelaud – programme manager, Content and Communities, UFI
  • Justine Kendall – senior 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,” said UFI President Michael Duck.

Members of the Jury commented that they were particularly impressed with the diversity of the applications received from all over the world and across a variety of stakeholders in the industry.

For more information about the NGL Grant, visit the UFI website: www.ufi.org/ngl