11th Feb, 2014, Tampa – The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) today announced the Friends of IIFA Honorary Host Committee. The prestigious group is made up of prominent and well-respected individuals who have served Florida and the Tampa Bay region at local, state and national levels.
“Our Friends of IIFA will serve as ambassadors of the 2014 Tampa IIFA Celebration Weekend and Awards,” said Al Higginbotham, Honorary Chair. “These leaders will represent and promote Florida and the Tampa Bay region on our behalf.”
Andre Timmins, Director – IIFA & Wizcraft International said, “IIFA has always been supported by leading dignitaries, business leaders and prominent personalities in every host destination. We are honoured to have received an equally overwhelming and tremendous response on the support from the leaders of the community of Tampa to form an honorary host committee to help facilitate IIFA in Tampa Bay. To have the people mentioned in the list below is extremely heartening and builds even more confidence for us to host the biggest spectacular to have come out of India in present years with the 15th IIFA Weekend and Awards.”
Chairman Higginbotham emphasized that the 2014 IIFA Weekend and Awards is a tremendous economic opportunity for the entire Tampa Bay region. Time and again, ranging from destination to destination, IIFA has lead to repeat leisure tourism with many delegates returning to the destination at a later time for a holiday or bringing partners and families with them to the event.
In 2011 statistics have shown a 45% increase in tourism was recorded from Indian tourists into Toronto, Canada, the city for the 13th IIFA Awards celebration while Singapore saw an increase of 35% in their tourism in the week of IIFA and 30,000 visitors came into Singapore during the week of IIFA 2012. The event generated tourism receipts of $24 million (including airfares) in Toronto. Colombo, the location of the 2010 IIFA Awards saw an increase in tourism by 40%. IIFA Yorkshire took tourism promotion on a long term basis delivering 40% inflation in their tourism thus providing additional benefits to the city.
Friends of IIFA Honorary Host Committee
S. Kay Andrews, Florida Sentinel Bulletin
Bowen Arnold, DDA Development LLC
Ken Atwater, President Hillsborough Community College
Dick Beard, RA Beard Company
Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Mayor City of Tampa
Congresswoman Kathy Castor, United States Congress
Mayor Frank Chillura, Mayor of Temple Terrace
Shaukat Chowdhira, Medical Doctor
Bob Clark, Tampa Steel Erecting Company
Santiago Corrada, President & CEO, Visit Tampa Bay
Jim Dean, President Busch Gardens Tampa
Don DeFosset, DJD Group
Maryann Ferenc, Owner, Mise En Place
Brian Ford, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Martin Garcia, Pine Hill Capital Partners
Judy Genshaft, President, University of South Florida
Richard Gonzmart, Columbia Restaurant Group
Robert J Grammig, Holland and Knight
Commissioner Al Higginbotham, Hillsborough County Commissioner
Rhea Law, Fowler White Boggs, PA
Carl Lindell, Lindell Properties
Judith Lisi, President and CEO, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
Joe Lopano, CEO Hillsborough Aviation Authority
Vice Mayor Rick Lott, Vice Mayor Plant City
Sandy MacKinnon, MacKinnon JCB
Raj Mandani, Founder AIM Foundation
Nisha Mandani, Founder AIM Foundation
Patrick Manteiga, La Gaceta Newspaper
Governor Bob Martinez, Former Governor State of Florida
Chip Merlin, Merlin Law Group
Rick Michaels, Chairman of the Board, CEA Worldwide
Stephen J. Mitchell, Squire Sanders
Susan Morgan, Gracepoint/Mental Health Care Foundation
Husain Nagamia, Tampa General Healthcare
Kerry O’Reilly, Tampa Bay Times
Aakash Patel, Elevate, Inc.
Stuart Rogel, Tampa Bay Partnership
Congressman Dennis Ross, United States Congressman
Sean Shaw, Merlin Law Group
Curtis Stokes, Fifth Third Bank
Thom Stork, President and CEO The Florida Aquarium
James Tokley, Poet Laureate Hillsborough County and Tampa
Ronald L. Vaughn, President, University of Tampa
Nancy Watkins, Robert Watkins and Company
Robert Watkins, Chairman Hillsborough Aviation Authority, Robert Watkins and Company.
The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) is set to make its American debut this April with the 15th Annual IIFA Weekend & Awards in Tampa Bay, Florida. The mega-weekend is scheduled to take place from the 23rd – 26th of April.
IIFA is a global platform that gives the Indian film fraternity an opportunity to reach audiences in international territories. The alliances made via the platform of IIFA provide huge benefits and gain not only to India the host country as well. The aim is to establish a system of mutual benefit to both India as well as the host destinations by boosting tourism, economic development, trade, culture, cross-border investments and film co-productions.
About IIFA (International Indian Film Academy)
Conceptualized and produced by Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. and supported by the key members of the Indian film fraternity, IIFA is the most appreciated South Asian film academy. Also, the IIFA Awards is India’s biggest media event. With a viewership of almost 800 million, it is among the world’s most-watched annual entertainment events. From a one night celebration in 2000 at the Millennium Dome, London, the last thirteen years have seen the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) movement grow into a cine-packed weekend of film-festivals, workshops, exhibitions, film-showcases, global business forums and sporting events, all of which climax into the highlight of the Weekend, the IIFA Awards. www.iifa.com