The world of business events and incentive travel is shocked to its foundations by the sudden passing of Miek Arnolda Egberts, Founder at InspireMe, Monaco and member of the international board of directors of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE). Miek was the victim of a fatal road accident near San Tropez, France on Wednesday evening, 7 July, in which her 18 year old son, Federico, was also seriously injured.
A veteran of the business events industry, Miek was Dutch / Italian but described herself as a “world citizen” and spoke six languages. Following a degree in Business & Administration from Hoge Hotelschool, Maastricht, The Netherlands, Miek lived and worked in Italy in the DMC, hospitality and entertainment sectors with Newtours, Starwood Hotels and Sonatori Group, now Red Carpet Entertainment & Communication.
In 2012 she took the reins at Allied PRA’s Monte Carlo office, eventually re-locating to the principality of Monaco with her husband Moreno and their children Federico and Catharina, where she founded InspireMe, a boutique consultancy agency offering a unique and alternative concept in full-service event management.
A life-long member of SITE, Miek was awarded the prestigious Jane E. Schuldt Master Motivator award in 2018 and was elected to the international board of directors in 2019 where she was a member of the executive committee, serving as member-at-large. She was a tireless, passionate champion for sustainability and CSR and led many of SITE’s recent initiatives in these fields.
“Our social media channels have been flooded with tributes to Miek, all highlighting the many and varied ways she contributed to SITE and to our industry at large. The common thread, across all posts, from all over the world, is Miek’s extraordinary kindness. She had an empathy and an understanding of people that made her reach out, offer that word of encouragement, that note that showed she truly cared. Our community is heartbroken to lose such a special force for good. May she rest in peace.” said Aoife Delaney, CIS, CITP, President, SITE 2021.
Rebecca Wright, interim Executive Director at SITE, added “We send our deepest, most heartfelt condolences to Miek’s husband, Moreno, and her daughter Catharina and our fervent prayers for Federico’s recovery. This is an unspeakable tragedy for Miek’s family but it also leaves our entire industry bereft of Miek’s gentle wisdom, her high principles and her defining kindness. The leadership of SITE re-pledges our commitment to the work that she was so passionate about, and hope to honour her memory by our dedication”.
Tahira Endean, Head of Events for SITE & SITE Foundation, and one of Miek’s many close friends said: “Miek shone. Every day, Miek lived one of her favourite quotes, “Do what you love, follow your passions, do what makes your soul shine!” Miek embodied sustainable values, mindfulness, and creating a better, more sustainable future for the next generations and was constantly upgrading her own knowledge and sharing it with our SITE chapters, and others who embrace regenerative thinking”.
The family has not released any update yet on arrangements for Miek’s funeral / memorial service. Details will be released as appropriate as they come to hand.
For further information please contact Pádraic Gilligan, Chief Marketing Officer, SITE – firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Tributes to Miek
I echo what many of you have said. I hadn't met Miek that many times but she always came across as such an ebullient and interested person. Her questions were out of genuine interest and a thirst to learn and share knowledge and all in a good way. We should celebrate her with happiness in Paris - I think we all know how excited she was to be sharing that experience with us all. Prayers are with her family.
Hamish Reid, SITE Foundation
I wanted to comment out of respect to Miek but I’m feeling shock and sadness and nothing feels appropriate to say.
When Pacific World closed last year she was the first person to call me, I saw a French number come on my mobile and she said “Hi, it’s Miek and I just want you to know your one amazing lady and I’m here to support you”.
We knew each other, of course, but not that well and that day, when I was feeling one of my lowest, she made a real difference in my life.
I wanted to tell that story because that’s the best way I can express the woman she was. I’m sure you’ll all grieving this news today and sending you all love as we process what’s happened.
Selina Sinclair, SITE Foundation
Speechless. What a loss of a special and a given person. She was such a supportive human. I still can’t digest the news. Our prayers go to her family. May her soul Rest In Peace.
Karim El Minabawy, SITE
I heard of the news on my way to NC with my father to meet his great-grand daughter tonight. I have so many emotions watching him meet her, my mom not here, his emotions running, and also thinking of Miek. It is a swirl of emotions that are so hard to describe.
I smile today thinking of her on Zoom Tuesday.
I smile thinking of her insight and exuberance.
I smile thinking of her.
I smile knowing I got to know her.
I smile thinking of our SITE family, which she reminded me of tonight.
❤️ You all
Sending a bone crushing hug to my SITE Family.
Chris Wheeler, SITE Foundation
All our prayers go to her son, daughter and husband. She will always be remembered as an amazing Lady full of energy, positivity and genuine caring for others. The world has lost one of its greatest human being today and heaven has won an Angel. RIP Miek, we will dearly miss you.
Ben Sauvage, SITE
Oh, how tragic! Miek was the gentlest of souls and a good friend. Whatever was going on in life, she always made you feel loved and the only one that mattered. She was an extraordinary human being and one to which we should all aspire.
Kevin Regan, SITE Foundation
I am shocked and sadden by the news. Miek was so kind and patient with me throughout the planning of the Rome global conference. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the recovery of her son. Rest in peace Miek.
El Kwang, SITE
Our Miek, she always knew what to say and when to say it – always there to pick us up, cheer us on, and be at our sides whenever needed. A beautiful person who brought such joy, positivity, purity, love, laughter, and generosity to every one she encountered. It is devastating news and hard to comprehend that she is no longer with us. Prayers for her family and for the recovery of her son. Sending all of you much love at this tragic time. Let’s rally around each other as best we can and celebrate the beautiful individual that was Miek. RIP Miek.
Ken Lyons, SITE
Miek shone. Every day, Miek lived one of her favorite quotes, “Do what you love, follow your passions, do what makes your soul shine!”
I first met Miek when we were part of the sustainability committee of the EIC - and there was an instant connection. We shared a curiosity for living, being moms, for people and nature. My phone’s home screen has long been a view from a walk in Monaco, both for its beauty and the feeling of productive peacefulness shared that day when we walked and worked, ate and shared, visited sites and site visited, as one does when in a new country with a beloved expert. Miek embodied sustainable values, mindfulness, and creating a better, more sustainable future for the next generations and was constantly upgrading her own knowledge and sharing it with our SITE chapters, and others who embrace regenerative thinking. Miek balanced self-care with endless giving, and a deep service ethos honed over years of successfully working in the demanding climate of priceless experiences being delivered with panache and perfection. We also shared an adaptability, having both moved about thirty times, fueling a passion for travel, immersing into different cultures, meeting different people. I had the opportunity to discover her insider’s Monaco, to enjoy champagne which we both love, to cook together, and to be part of her family life including the fluff-ball Benjamin Franklin. I treasure our deep conversations about life until late evening after being impressed by Federico and Catherina who welcomed me and shared their ideas, and their space willingly. During the SITE Global Conference in Vancouver in 2020, when Miek arrived just in time for our Board dinner at my home, she arrived before the others – and me - and jumped into preparing our small meal for 20 with my husband Greg, closing our family meeting loop. She has held a special place as a heart-sister since meeting, and I will be forever grateful to have called her a friend. We will all miss her ready smile and warm hugs.
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.” - The Dalai Lama
Tahira Endean, Head of Events, SITE & SITE Foundation