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Sarawak Convention Bureau farewells CEO Mrs Jill Henry

SCB Team with Mrs Jill Henry (back row, 5th from right), and SCB Chairman, Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhammad Leo Michael Toyad Abdullah (front row, 3rd from right)

KUCHING, 13 January: Having been at the helm of the Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) as CEO for the past 5 1/2 years, the time has come to bid farewell to Mrs Jill Henry, an Australian national, who was specially commissioned by the Sarawak State Government to establish Malaysia’s first Convention Bureau.

Under her direction, SCB has positioned itself as a leading Asian convention bureau and established a solid base for clients to access government support and industry assistance. Furthermore, SCB’s destination marketing prowess has been recognised as worldwide best practice winning 9 international awards for its destination videos and campaigns.

“On behalf of the Bureau, I would like to thank Jill for her service and leadership in the development of MICE in Sarawak. Jill has successfully positioned Sarawak as a competitive MICE destination, securing over 180 conferences since 2006 and placing Kuching in ICCA’s Asia Pacific City Ranking for the 1st time. Furthermore, she has recommended important changes in the State’s policies and procedures to assist convention holders. We wish her well for the future,” comments Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhd. Leo Michael Toyad Abdullah, Chairman of SCB, at the specially themed ‘Mamma Mia Wedding Party’ held on the Sarawak River Cruise vessel.

He adds, “The Bureau and its Board of Directors are now looking forward to welcoming Mike Cannon, currently Executive Director of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB), who like Jill, has extensive knowledge and experience in business tourism and management of convention bureaux.”

Prior to Mr Mike Cannon’s arrival in April 2012, Mr Chew Chang Guan, who was recently promoted to General Manager will be Acting Managing Director. 

“We at SCB will definitely miss Jill and wish her all the best in her future endeavours. She has been a great mentor and brought out the full potential in every one of us,” comments Mr Chew Chang Guan, Acting Managing Director of SCB.

The Bureau and its Board of Directors organised a farewell party for Jill and her husband John aboard the Sarawak River Cruise themed ‘Mamma Mia Wedding Party’ with performances by the Bureau team and local talent.

Mrs Jill Henry comments, “The last five years have been a fabulous adventure and I am truly grateful to the people of Sarawak for making John and I so welcome. We have enjoyed exploring this fabulous destination from top to toe by land and sea. I am sure we will be back again soon to revisit our many friends. 

The Bureau describes Jill as one-of-a-kind and credits her guidance and ideas as encouraging and innovative, that has definitely brought a fresh perspective to the local business tourism industry.

Jill added “I have learned much from the people of Sarawak and am so grateful to the State for their support and responsiveness to the need for change to pioneer convention tourism marketing here.  Thanks for the memories and I will enjoy following the Bureau’s new successes in the years to come.”

Mrs Jill Henry will be returning to Perth, Australia at the end of the month. As CEO, and a member of the Board of Directors, she was responsible for the management and effective operation of the Sarawak Convention Bureau.

Guests welcoming the ‘Bride’ & ‘Groom’ at the Mamma Mia Wedding

L-R: Mrs Jill Henry (outgoing CEO of SCB) and Mr John Henry