Members of the international MICE community were shocked and heartbroken to learn that veteran industry colleague and friend, Miek Arnolda Egberts, was the victim of a fatal car accident near San Tropez, France on the evening of Wednesday, July 7, 2021. Her 18-year-old son, Frederico, was also seriously injured.
The industry’s thoughts and prayers go out to her husband, Moreno Sonatori, and daughter, Catharina.
Miek was the founder of InspireME, Monte Carlo, a full-service event management company. A life-long member of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (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.
“Those who have had the pleasure of meeting Miek and working with her will agree that she was always positive and one of the kindest most beautiful souls one could ever meet.” ~ Jan Zandboer, president, Select Group Marketing, Canadian representative for InspireME Monte Carlo.
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.”
“Miek was a bright light with a contagious abundance of positive energy, style and grace. She will be greatly missed by all who had the good fortune to know her. Rest in peace, dear Miek.” ~ Alanna McQuaid, publisher, The Incentivist.
Miek was Dutch/Italian but described herself as a citizen of the world and spoke six languages. Following a degree in business and administration from Hoge Hotelschool, Maastricht, The Netherlands, Miek lived and worked in Italy in the destination management, hospitality and entertainment sectors with Newtours, Starwood Hotels and Sonatori Group (now Red Carpet Entertainment & Communication).
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.”