PCMA Visionary Awards Honor Business Events Leaders

The black-tie event closed out a busy Business Events Industry Week in Washington, D.C.

Author: Curt Wagner       

dressed up group posing on stage

Finalists and winners of the 2024 Visionary Awards gather on stage after the ceremony. The Visionary Awards recognize business events professionals for their outstanding contributions to their organizations and the industry. (EDNAC photos)

The PCMA Foundation on April 11 honored outstanding business events industry professionals at the Visionary Awards ceremony, held as part of Business Events Industry Week (BEIW), at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

This year’s Visionary Awards included a red-carpet reception, the awards program, and an after-party. The awards recognize four Lifetime Achievement Honorees and 22 Professional Excellence Finalists across seven categories for extraordinary contributions to their organizations and their impact on the professional development of others.

The 2024 Lifetime Achievement Awardees are:

  • Educator: Stuart Levy, Associate Teaching Professor of Management, George Washington University
  • Business Event Strategist: Elizabeth Tovar, President, Turenlaces
  • Suppliers: Greg O’Dell, President, Venue Management, OVG360, and Butch Spyridon, Former CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

This year, the PCMA Foundation also honored eight recipients with Professional Excellence Awards. They are:

Business Event Strategist of the Year

Stuart Ruff-Lyon, Chief Events and Sales Officer, RIMS

Community Advocate of the Year

Dana Johnston, Vice President, Client Partnerships, EMC Outdoors

Digital Experience Strategist of the Year

Shawn Cheng, Event Strategist at Curious Bear Management and Co-Founder, #EventProfsBreakShit

Supplier of the Year

Doug Bennett, Executive Vice President, Louisville Tourism

Outstanding Service to a Chapter or Region

Marcus Eng, CMP Fellow, DES, Director, Meeting Operations & Technology, American Public Transportation Association (Capital Chapter)


Beth Surmont, FASAE, CMP Fellow, CAE, Vice President of Business Event Strategy & Design,360 Live Media

Event Designer(s) of the Year

Tyra (left) and Jasmine Dyson, Founders, The Brand Xperience Lounge, Boss Up Girl Co.

The 2024 PCMA Foundation Visionary Awards were presented by Visit Austin and the Austin Convention Center. Proceeds benefit the PCMA Foundation, which funds more than $750,000 annually in research grants and more than 150 scholarships benefiting emerging leaders, students, faculty, and professionals to advance in their profession.

Curt Wagner is digital editor at Convene.


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