Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

Press Releases

April 28 2016

Sold Out Visionary Awards Event Honors Leaders in Business Events

Mary Reynolds Kane

Contact: Mary Reynolds Kane
Direct: 312.423.7243, E-mail: mreynoldskane@pcma.org

Reimagined event delivers on its promise to inspire

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2016 – Last night the PCMA Education Foundation honored the lifetime achievement of three individuals and announced the recipients of four coveted annual industry awards. The reimagined evening was transformed into an Oscars-like awards gala, complete with a walk on the red carpet, a see-and-be-seen reception, entertaining awards program and after party featuring a band specializing in the sounds of Motown, Soul, Funk and Dance.  More than 1,000 leaders in business events were in attendance at the premier industry recognition event.

“Redesigning a beloved event is a difficult task,” said Deborah Sexton, President and CEO, PCMA and PCMA Education Foundation, “but our team pushed the celebration to a new level last night – our guests were thrilled and our honorees were truly an inspiration to all of us.”

Those celebrated last night included:
Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees

  • Johnnie C. White Jr., CMP, CAE, MBA, Sr. Director, Education and Meetings, American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation - 2016 Meeting Professional Honoree
  • Janet L. Jakobsen, CMP, MBA, Professor Hospitality and Tourism, Niagara College - 2016 Educator Honoree
  • James E. Rooney, President and CEO, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce - 2016 Supplier Honoree

Professional Excellence Award Winners

  • Allyson O’Connor, CEO and Founder, NXTevent – Event Designer of the Year
    Christine Phelps, Deputy Executive Director, American Academy of Neurology – Community Advocate of the Year
  • Kirsten Olean, CMP, CAE, Director of Meetings, American Society for Microbiology – Meeting Professional of the Year
  • Rachael Riggs, CMP, Manager, Meeting and Convention Sales – Midwest/Chicago, Tourism Vancouver – Supplier of the Year

This event recognized the following esteemed industry leaders as finalists chosen from dozens of nominees in their respective categories.
Professional Excellence Finalists:

  • Warren Goodson, Director of Production, PSAV Creative Services – nominee 
  • Erin Vomocil, CMP,  Senior Manager Event Operations, UBM Tech - nominee


  • Ellen Shortill, Director, Convention & Meetings, American Speech Language Hearing Association – nominee 
  • Germaine Schaefer, Director, Conferences & Leadership Development, National Association of Counties – nominee 


  • Lenay Gore, Director, Meetings and Conventions, American Public Transportation Association - nominee
  • Lynn Smith, CMP, Chief Planning Officer, AVID Productions - nominee 


  • Susan Kushner, CFO/President, Kushner & Associates - nominee
  • Jason Lusk, CMP, Associate Vice President, Convention Sales, Visit Denver - nominee


About PCMA Education Foundation
The role of the Education Foundation of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) is to support the mission of PCMA through fundraising and grant giving focused on scholarships, education and research that will advance the meetings and conventions industry. Established in 1985, the Foundation fuels advancement, nurtures professional development and shapes tomorrow’s meeting and convention leaders. Learn more at pcma.org/foundation.

Please log in to post comments.

Press Releases