Industry Mourns Passing of Chris Wehking

Author: Convene Editors       

Chris Wehking, executive, business event strategy, for the American Society of Anesthesiologists, passed away on Nov. 28 after battling a long illness. Wehking was PCMA’s 2014 Chairman of the Board of Directors and a 2019 PCMA Foundation Lifetime Achievement Honoree.

Chris Wehking

Chris Wehking

“I am deeply saddened to learn of Chris’ passing,” said PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat. “Chris made so many contributions during his time on the board and was especially instrumental in our efforts to become a more global association. As an executive in the medical meetings sector, Chris also helped PCMA remain in the forefront of medical events, sharing his knowledge of the latest regulations and codes that have had an impact on those events.”

Wehking also advocated for event professionals to get a seat at the executive table at their organizations. “By virtue of their role,” Wehking told Convene in an interview in 2015, “meeting professionals — unlike many other positions within an organization — have exposure to executive leadership at the volunteer and staff level and the opportunity to demonstrate their value to the organization. This is where meeting professionals have the chance, which may not be afforded to other staff, to advocate for themselves.”

Before joining the medical association events sector as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) director of meetings and exhibits, Wehking worked for the American Hardware Manufacturers Association, where he served as director of meetings and expositions from 1990-2005. He spent five years at ASPS before joining the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ executive team in 2010.

“Chris often credited his experience as a volunteer leader at PCMA for ‘escalating’ his career, yet it was we — PCMA and the business events industry as a whole — who benefited more from his efforts, insights, genuine friendship, and strength of character,” Karamat said. “He will be greatly missed by many. My heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife Shirley, their daughters Madeline and Lindsey, and the rest of their family.”