Special Events magazine has revealed the names of its 2017 honorees for two significant awards. Richard F. LoGuercio (at left) will receive the 2017 Gala Award for Lifetime Achievement, while Tony Conway, CMP, will receive the Richard Carbotti Gala Award, which honors the spirit of volunteerism for special events. 

Richard LoGuercio Background: A 40-year veteran of the event rental industry, LoGuercio got his start working part-time at a local United Rentals store. After seeing an advertisement for a manager trainee position at the industry leader, Abbey Rents, Richard took advantage of his "from the bottom up" skills and was hired on the spot. In 1978, Richard and another Abbey manager ventured out on their own and opened Rental's West, one of L.A.'s first independent party and event rental companies.

In 1981, LoGuercio launched Classic Party Rentals in a 5,000-square-foot building in Culver City, Calif. In the 18 years he operated Classic, his philosophy was simple: "Surround yourself with talented people, outstanding equipment and have fun doing what you do." The concept worked well and in a short time Classic earned a reputation as an industry leader recognized among peers from coast to coast. After selling a controlling interest in Classic in 1999, he took a break before launching a "fresh new alterative" in 2005—Town and Country Event Rentals.

Today, Van Nuys, Calif.-based Town and Country ranks No. 4 on the Special Events "30 Top Rental Companies" list, offering its high-end inventory to landmark events across the U.S.

Tony Conway Background: Already a Gala Award Lifetime Achievement winner in 2008, Conway is honored yet again in recognition of his noteworthy contributions to charity throughout his career. Conway is the founder of Atlanta-based Legendary Events.

Under his leadership, Legendary Events has remained at the forefront of giving within the Atlanta business community. To date the company has made contributions in excess of $12 million dollars to nonprofit organizations, which include Forward Arts, Fix Georgia Pets, Mercy Care Atlanta, Georgia Chapter of The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Meals on Wheels, Enable of Georgia, National Black Arts Festival (NBAF), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) March of Dimes, Camp Kudzu, Camp Twin Lakes, St. Jude’s recovery Center, American Cancer Society, Adopt a Golden, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association, United Way and Ronald McDonald House Charities, among many others.

Conway has lent his expertise and energy to a range of good causes, including leadership roles for events for the American Lung Association, Pets are Loving Support (PALS), Meals on Wheels and Bone Appetit a Celebrity Chef Dinner in aid of the Atlanta Humane Society. He has been Honoree Event Chair for the Ronald McDonald House Charities Gala  and Chair for both  the American Cancer Society’s ‘Cattle Barron’ Ball and UNICEF’s "Designs of Hope." He has also been crowned King of Mardi Gras for the Nsoro Foundation.

The Gala Awards will be presented on Jan. 12 at a black-tie celebration at The Special Event 2017.

For a complete list of Gala Award nominees, click here.

To register to attend the Gala Awards, which is free, please click here.