What were your primary goals as chair of the PCMA Foundation?
First and foremost, my goal was simple: Do not screw anything up. My predecessors have done a tremendous job at laying the groundwork for success, so my main objective was to build upon their achievements. As chair, I wanted to make sure that our work was aligned with PCMA’s global expansion and the focus on the strategy of business events. We worked to support those initiatives through scholarships and some very meaningful research projects that will have a significant impact on the future of the community.
How do you feel the Foundation is positioned to move forward in 2020 and beyond?
The core is stronger than it’s ever been. We have incredible engagement from our trustees, and we’re seeing stronger engagement from the entire community. That engagement doesn’t have to be about overwhelmingly large donations, either. I think that we have helped redefine what giving means to the Foundation’s mission. Every dollar counts. Contributions of all levels play a key role in making an impact on the future of our industry, and I hope that everyone recognizes that they can make a difference. What might seem like a small donation can create big opportunities.
How have you gained personally and professionally by volunteering your time with and contributing expertise to PCMA?
I’ve been able to be part of a group of incredibly smart, talented, and passionate trustees, and we have brought a strategic mindset to the Foundation. It feels good to be part of a group that is aligned and wants to work as a true team. We are all committed to the betterment of the entire business events community.
How have business events been transformational in your life and career?
I’ve been exposed to hundreds of events throughout my career. While each event is unique, one of the commonalities across all of them is the impact they make — not only on the organizations they serve or the industries they unite, but on the lives of the individual participants. Think about how many lives that events touch, and how we propel attendees and exhibitors forward. This is not anyone’s grandmother’s events business anymore. It’s the business events industry, and there is now a clear emphasis on the “business” part of that name. We’re impacting the bottom line with everything we do. That’s really powerful.