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PCMA Student Insight Series

April 26, 2022 @ 4:00 pm5:30 pm EDT

The PCMA Student Insight Series aims to expose students to different aspects of the Business Events Industry and perspectives of working professionals at all career levels.

This month’s topic: “Negotiating the best contract and how to maintain lasting relationships.”

This session will be hands-on, including a breakout portion. Come ready with your questions!


Moira O’Brien has been with McCormick Place Convention Center, currently managed by ASM Global, since 2009. As the Director of Sales for McCormick Place since 2015, Moira and her team secure events at the largest convention center in North America ranging from major city-wide conventions and trade shows, Association and Corporate meetings, public and consumer shows to smaller catering functions. Having worked as a National Sales Manager then Senior Sales Manager with McCormick Place Moira has managed all types of accounts and industry segments.

Prior to McCormick Place, Moira worked as an Executive Recruiter in the hospitality industry focusing on Leadership placements in both the hotel and restaurant communities. This was preceded by ten years working with a hospitality trade association managing membership, sponsorship and trade show logistics plus five years in the hotel industry directly out of college where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, all which prepared her well for her current role building relationships with customers, the convention bureau and all our hospitality partners to host successful events at McCormick Place.

In 2020-21, the COVID-19 pandemic deeply impacted the global meetings and events industry. Moira is passionately committed to the continued recovery efforts at McCormick Place. McCormick Place was one of the first facilities to commit to the GBAC STAR™ Accreditation, an independent review of our cleaning and business operations to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Since being able to host large scale events again as of July of 2021, we are thrilled many of our event organizers have been able to meet safely and successfully achieve their event’s missions.

Moira lives in Chicago and is constantly exploring new restaurants in Chicago’s thriving culinary scene. She is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, always hoping for late October baseball. Moira tries to relax with yoga and travel, and still has many places to experience to her bucket list.

Matt Radenbaugh
 has been working in hotel sales for 20 years, first with the Drake Hotel and now with the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park. Previous to that, he was in the front office and convention services, so he prides himself on knowing the ins and outs of hotel operations in order set realistic expectations for his clients and setting them up for a successful conference experience. He believes a group contract should be a “win-win” agreement, in which both sides feel risks are shared and terms are fair. In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his family and pursuing his passion of fishing all over the Chicagoland area.



Murray Ryan has served in the meetings and events industry for over 30 years.  Prior to joining the Encore family Murray worked in a variety of sales and marketing roles for leading industry firms including Hyatt, Hilton, Tourism Toronto, and PRG.  Murray is a proud member of the Greater Midwest Chapter of PCMA, having served on the Board of Directors in various years, most recently serving as chapter President in 2018.



Jen Salerno is a 20-year veteran of the hospitality & events industry. Throughout her career, Jen has worked with and consulted for many of the biggest trade shows in the country and specializes in strengthening the relationship between event planners and the hospitality community.

Today, she is owner of JTS Connect, which provides live, virtual and hybrid event host/emcee and moderating services. She is also host of The Room Block, the podcast where hospitality and event professionals meet. Jen is passionate about solidifying the connections across our industry, and is ready to connect your team or audience with ideas that inspire action.


Lindsay Woike attended College at Eastern Illinois University and majored in Business Management with a minor in Hospitality. Had to complete an internship with my minor and headed to Hilton Head South Carolina to Vagabond Cruise where myself and a team of interns ran the operations for the sightseeing and excursion cruise operator. After graduation I started a job at Hyatt Regency Deerfield as the Assistant Outlets Manager. About 7 months into my position, Hyatt sold the hotel and promoted me to Assistant Banquet Manager at the Hyatt Regency Louisville where they moved me to. From there I found my love for meetings and events. After 3 years with Hyatt, I moved back to Chicago and started work with the American College of Healthcare Executives as their Meeting Planner. After a few years with ACHE I was promoted to Senior Meeting Planner and was with ACHE a total of 7 years. While I loved working with associations, it was time to grow my career and learn about being a manger. I found my next job with CNO Financial as the Manager of Operations for Training and Development. During this time COVID came and my job changed quite a bit and we all had to pivot with the times. After 3 years with CNO Financial I moved to my current job which is Manager, Meetings and Event Experiences with Institute of Food Technologists this past December. I am now planning, with my amazing team, to put on a show for 18,000 people in person and 2,000 virtually with my team at Institute of Food Technologists.

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