Scholarship Endowment Established for the Legendary Jimmie Fore

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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New Orleans, LA – A scholarship fund has been established at the University of Houston in the name of the late Jimmie Dee Fore, who was an executive vice president of the Astrodome-Astrohall Stadium Corp. and began his career as a sales manager for the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau. He also served as general manager of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and Chicago’s McCormick Place. Fore passed away March 19.

The Jimmie Dee Fore Scholarship Endowment has been created to preserve Fore’s legacy and also help top students at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton School of Hotel & Restaurant Management who want to pursue a management career in the meeting, convention or facility management industry. Fore was a 1961 graduate of the university. The curriculum includes such classes as planning, budgeting, transportation, exhibit sales, and contract and lease negotiations.

Initial funding for the endowment was made by Fore’s family, friends and industry organizations. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation will match all contributions, doubling the value of the endowment.

Fore’s career spanned more than 40 years in the convention industry. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM).

“If there ever was a role model for the hospitality industry, it would be Jimmie Dee Fore,” said long-time friend John Riddle, president of Riddle & Associates, which produces the biennial CLEAN show, and others.  “He may have walked easy in his boots and spoken softly, but he carried a big stick of knowledge about this industry.”

Riddle noted that Jimmie has been referred to as iconic.  “Those of us who knew him well know that reference would make him blush, but he deserves that accolade. He listened to his customers and was not afraid to take the necessary action to get things done.  He cared deeply about his employees and buildings, and willingly shared his vast knowledge derived from a wealth of experience and success. The hospitality industry lost a resource, mentor and huge asset, and I lost an irreplaceable friend whom I miss,” he said.

Fore’s Defining Moment
Fore’s career reached a pinnacle in 2005 when he risked his health and his life to remain at the helm of the Morial Convention Center during Hurricane Katrina as the facility hosted thousands of New Orleans residents who were stranded, homeless, destitute and sometimes lawless. He oversaw the $60 million cleanup and reconstruction of the battered facility, which was able to host events just six months after the storm. [see Trade Show Executive, April 2011, p. 74 ].

Industry members who would like to know more about the Jimmie Dee Fore Scholarship Endowment can contact Wayne Chappell, vice president of tradeshow relations & portfolio sales at the Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Contributions may be directed to Miguel Cabrera, program manager for development, University of Houston, at (713) 743-1523 or mcabrera3@uh.edu

Reach Wayne Chappell at (713) 437-5219 or wchappell@ghcvb.org; John Riddle at (404) 876-1988 or john@jriddle.com