The PCMA Foundation on Aug. 26 honored some of the business events industry’s stars at the Visionary Awards ceremony, held at the Hilton Washington in Washington, D.C.
Nearly 550 business events leaders and their guests attended the black-tie affair, which included a red-carpet experience, an after party featuring Austin-based band The Nightowls, and of course the awards program.
The PCMA Foundation honored six recipients with Professional Excellence Awards, announced for the first time during the awards. The winners were selected by an awards committee, which reviewed all nominations and chose the finalists. As part of the process, the committee reviewed the finalists again and picked the the winners via a blind online vote. They are:
- Supplier of the Year: WeeMin Ong, Vice President of Conventions & Exhibitions at Marina Bay Sands
- Business Event Strategist of the Year: Bob Bejan, CVP: Global Events, Studios and Marketing Community at Microsoft
- Digital Experience Strategist of the Year: Victoria Fanning, Sr. Manager, Online Events at the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
- Event Designer of the Year: Amy Ledoux, retired as Chief Learning & Meetings Officer at ASAE
- Community Advocate of the Year: Jose Quan, Founder and Owner of Eventia
- Outstanding Service to a Chapter: Kim Allison, Senior Director of Sales, Georgia World Congress Center — Capital Chapter
The Wayfinder Award was introduced this year to honor an individual and an organization for their innovation, courage, leadership, and solution-focused approach when impacted by a significant external challenge. IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer was the individual award winner and the organizational award went to Hyatt Hotels Corporation — the awardees were also chosen via a process similar to the excellence awards.
Carol Wallace, former president and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation, received the inaugural PCMA Groundbreakers Award — honoring industry trailblazers who represent diverse sectors of the business events community, recognizing those who have made a significant contribution to their organizations and programs that advance inclusion and equity.
Also recognized were the previously announced Lifetime Achievement honorees — Ben Goedegebuure, vice president and global general manager at Maritz Global Events; Bill Grusich, CMP, FASAE, senior vice president at Associated Luxury Hotels International, and Lisa Delpy Neirotti, director MS in Sports Management program at George Washington University.
Proceeds from the Visionary Awards benefit the PCMA Foundation, which supports the industry and, through its scholarships and programs, empowers students and professionals to advance in their profession.
Curt Wagner is digital editor at Convene.