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Press Release

25 Feb 2016

Cambodian Hospitality Charity Founder to Receive IHIF Young Leader Award

BERLIN (February 25, 2016): The International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF), in conjunction with the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) announce Ben Justus as the recipient of the IHIF 2016 Young Leader Award.

Ben Justus is the founder of EGBOK (Everything’s Gonna be OK), a charitable non-profit that enables underprivileged young adults in Cambodia to be self-supporting by providing education, training and employment opportunities in the hospitality industry and utilizing a comprehensive approach with an emphasis on life skills.

Since founding EGBOK in 2009, Ben moved to Cambodia to establish a non-profit hospitality training school and manage the expanding business operations of the organization.

On being announced winner, Justus said: “I first visited Cambodia in 2006 and was instantly struck by the warmth and hospitality of the country’s people. However, despite booming tourism and economic growth, it is also a country rebuilding itself from the Cambodian genocide and I wanted to explore how this growing hospitality industry could be utilised to alleviate poverty in local communities. The launch and successful development of EGBOK to date has been a humbling and satisfying journey that I am proud to be a part of. I’m delighted to have been awarded the IHIF 2016 Young Leader award and look forward to meeting the teams from IHIF and the ISHC at the event”.
Kerry Gumas, President & CEO, Questex Media Group, hosts of IHIF commented: “our continued commitment to showcasing and supporting the young leaders of our industry is very important to everyone at Questex. Ben’s entrepreneurial spirit and community mindedness are characteristics often found in the brightest of the next generation of hospitality leaders. We send our warmest congratulations and look forward to welcoming him to IHIF next month”.

Andrea Belfanti, Executive Director at the ISHC commented; “The Young Leader Award is an opportunity to recognize and encourage emerging talent for the advancement of the hospitality industry. We received many impressive nominations this year of bright, talented professionals that are making an impact and truly shaping the future of hospitality. ISHC is proud to recognize Ben and his success with EGBOK. As a young leader himself, he is shaping a future of other young hospitality leaders in Cambodia that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to learn and obtain the skills they need for employment.  We’d like to thank the sponsors for nominating candidates, our esteemed judges panel and of course IHIF for partnering with us on the Young Leader Award over the past 8 years

The award will be presented during the afternoon of Monday 7th March between 16.15 – 16.45. The latest version of the IHIF programme is available to view here. The event continues to attract the most influential players from across the global hospitality industry and is consistently the largest gathering of senior industry professionals. For more information and to register for IHIF (7-9th March 2016) visit

Follow IHIF 2016 on Twitter @IHIF_News and use #IHIF2016 to stay up to date with the latest news from the leading annual meeting place for the industry. Also find us on Facebook and join our LinkedIn group for industry insight and discussion.



Editors notes:

About Questex LLC
The International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF), produced by Questex LLC, is the premier hotel investment conference in the world, attracting the most prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies, tourism and government officials and advisers. Held in Berlin every March, the three-day event is attended by nearly 2,000 people from over 70 countries.  Tactical education and networking functions deliver a powerful return on investment, valuable connections and opportunities for business expansion.  Participants gain knowledge of industry trends, available financing and prospective growth markets from experts in the hotel industry. Other events within the IHIF series include: North America Hotel Investment Conference (NATHIC), Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference (APHIC), RHIC: Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference (co-hosted with Bench Events) and MR&H:  Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Real Estate Forum (co-hosted with Bench Events).   For more information, visit

About ISHC
The International Society of Hospitality Consultants is truly The Leading Source for Global Hospitality Expertise, represented by over two hundred of the industry’s most respected professionals from across six continents. Collectively, ISHC members provide expert services in over fifty functional areas and have specialized skills in virtually every segment of the hospitality industry. ISHC is dedicated to promoting the highest quality of professional consulting standards and practices for the hospitality industry. Candidates undergo a rigorous screening process, ensuring that all ISHC members have a reputation of integrity and are qualified by their experience, training and knowledge to develop and express sound judgment on industry issues. Additional information about the organization, along with a directory of ISHC members, is available on the ISHC website at

EGBOK is a Cambodia based non-profit training school founded in 2009. Its mission is to enable underprivileged young adults in Cambodia to be self-supporting by providing education, training and employment opportunities in the hospitality industry and utilizing a comprehensive approach with an emphasis on life skills education. EGBOK envisions a Cambodian community where everyone has equal opportunities and has the independence and ability to shape one’s own life. Visit for more information or watch this film.

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