PCMA Leaders Engage Participants in Town Hall Discussion


Town Hall

Sherrif Karamat, Claire Smith, David Peckinpaugh, Carol McGury, and Gregory O’Dell have a Town Hall conversation. (Jacob Slaton)

PCMA leaders took the stage for a Town Hall conversation on Tuesday. PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat; Board of Directors Chair Claire Smith, CMP, Foundation Chair David Peckinpaugh, CMP, incoming Board Chair Gregory O’Dell, and incoming Foundation Chair Carol McGury, MPS, reflected on the organization’s accomplishments over the past year and shared plans for the year ahead.

“Culture trumps strategy every day,” Karamat said of what keeps PCMA strong. “Our leaders are there for the organization, and when you have that passion and commitment, nothing can stop us.”

Karamat credited the hard work of PCMA staff and volunteers, and acknowledged that future growth won’t come without “bumps in the road.” It is, however, well positioned for success. PCMA is in “the best financial health it has ever been,” he said, noting that the organization has an excess of $5 million in reserves.

The entire panel echoed Karamat’s enthusiasm and agreed that the implentation of PCMA’s Strategic Plan was one of its biggest achievements in 2018. Unveiled a year ago, the plan’s five objectives include a focus on audience acquisition and growth; product and services; team and culture; structure; and the PCMA brand.

“Our strategic plan was a big transformation and serves as the framework for the organization,” Smith said. “Now that it has been launched and institutionalized, we need to focus on alignment.”

McGury encouraged members to continue to support the Foundation’s mission to fund grants and scholarships. She challenged members to tell five others about the importance of contributing to the Foundation. This year, the Foundation funded $664,000 in grants and scholarships, up from a little more than $200,000 just five years ago.

“The impact that individuals can make with very small dollar amounts is great,” McGury said. “But we need the help of the community to tell the story, and the story is a good one.”

For the coming year, O’Dell encouraged members to keep PCMA’s vision at the forefront of their work and to remember that the organization is now global in scope, serving three different regions. “We’re deploying the right resources to grow and serve all our members, globally,” he said.

Finally, Peckinpaugh captured what he said he believes PCMA ultimately stands for, when he described the organization’s successes in improving the business events industry. “I would say,” Peckinpaugh said, “we’re an incubator of innovations.”

Convene content partner Ascent wrote this story.