Failure Not an Option for 2020 PCMA Convening Leaders Keynote

Retired NASA flight director Gene Kranz joins leaders presenting in San Francisco

Former fighter pilot Gene Kranz knows a thing or two about effective leadership under pressure. He was on duty in 1970 as Apollo 13’s lead flight director when there was an explosion in the spacecraft’s service module that threatened the safety of three-man crew orbiting Earth. Failure simply wasn’t an option for Kranz, who was chief flight director for the successful Apollo 11 moon landing.

Kranz will share strategies, solutions and inspiration on creating an environment for excellence when he delivers one of four keynote presentations during 2020 PCMA Convening Leaders Jan. 5-8 in San Francisco. PCMA’s flagship annual event attracts thousands of business events professionals from around the world to gain insights from industry leaders, experience event design innovations and make important business connections.

“We are known for bringing leaders from outside the business events industry to share thought-provoking, practical and innovative strategies so we can continue to make business events a platform for global economic and social transformation,” said Sherrif Karamat, CAE, PCMA’s president and CEO. “Our program in San Francisco is designed to help our industry reach new levels of professional success, wider audiences for events and services and connect with local communities through meaningful social impact projects.”

Kranz joins keynote speakers Condoleezza Rice, 66th U.S. Secretary of State (2005-2009), Simon Sinek, author and organizational consultant, and Bozoma Saint John, chief marketing officer for Endeavor. Kranz’s keynote is sponsored by Visit Houston, hosts of the 2021 PCMA Convening Leaders.

He retired from NASA in 1994 after being flight director for 33 missions of projects Gemini, Apollo and Skylab. A best-selling author, Kranz has received many awards and honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he received from President Richard Nixon for the Apollo 13 mission, and his designation as a Distinguished Member of the Senior Executive Service by President Ronald Reagan.

Learn more about PCMA Convening Leaders at

For media queries from the Americas, APAC, EMEA, and requests for interviews with Sherrif Karamat, please contact: Meghan Risch, PCMA Chief of Staff, Vice President, Corporate Communications

About PCMA

PCMA, PCMA Foundation and CEMA educate, inspire, and listen, creating meaningful experiences where passion, purpose and commerce come together. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists, providing senior-level education, networking, and market intelligence for the global business events industry. Our mission is to drive social and economic progress through business events. Headquartered in Chicago, IL PCMA has 17 North American Chapters, regional communities in APAC, EMEA and LATAM, and members in 59 countries. The Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), a PCMA subsidiary, advances strategic event marketing and marketing communications for senior-level event marketers and industry professionals. Visit us at

About PCMA Foundation

The role of the Foundation of PCMA is to support the mission of PCMA through fundraising and grant-giving focused on scholarships, education and research that will advance the business events industry. Annually the Foundation funds over $700K in impact, and since 1985 has funded over 2,500 scholarships, 100 research studies and education programs, and $2.7M in charitable giving.

About CEMA

The Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) is the eminent community for senior event executives, association peers and industry partners and is an integral component of the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) brand collective. CEMA promotes professional networking opportunities, facilitates peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and drives industry standards. Through strong relationships with strategic partners, CEMA fosters both finding innovative solutions to business issues and continuous focus on members’ career growth. For more information, please visit

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