Diversity champion, millennial entrepreneur address social impact

Steve Pemberton, Nadya Okamoto added as 2019 PCMA Convening Leaders keynotes

Perseverance and purpose are a common theme between corporate executive Steve Pemberton and activist entrepreneur Nadya Okamoto. The two will provide keynote addresses during the 2019 PCMA Convening Leaders annual conference, which takes place from Jan. 6-9 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Steve Pemberton Headshot

Steve Pemberton

Convening Leaders is an influential and innovative conference drawing thousands of professionals in the business events industry from strategists to convention bureaus to hotels and other suppliers. The “Disrupt & Deliver” theme will also feature keynotes from tennis legend Billie Jean King and entrepreneur Seth Godin, as well as a session by television host Karamo Brown.

Pemberton and Okamoto will kick-off the program on Jan. 8. Okamoto, co-founded PERIOD when she was 16 after experiencing being homeless. She met with other homeless women and learned about menstrual poverty, which inspired her and a classmate to provide feminine hygiene products to homeless women. PERIOD is now the largest youth-run NGO in women’s health. In the last two years, PERIOD has registered more than 200 campus chapters at universities and high schools around the United States and is now working to mobilize young leaders across the country to catalyze systemic change towards menstrual equity from their campuses to local and state-wide policy.


Nadya Okamoto Headshot

Nadya Okamoto

Pemberton triumphed over adversity to become a diversity leader. He recounted his challenging journey through foster care in his book “A Chance in the World”. Pemberton is chief human resources officer for Globoforce, a leading provider of social recognition and continuous performance development solutions. Prior to that, he was chief diversity officer for Monster Worldwide Inc. and the first chief diversity officer for Walgreen Co.


“We are honoured to have Steve and Nadya, two diversity and inclusion champions, join the inspirational experts and visionaries at Convening Leaders in January”, said Sherrif Karamat, PCMA president and CEO. “Nadya and Steve have powerful, moving stories that I hope will motivate others to make a difference in the world.”

For more information on Convening Leaders, including how to register for the 2019 event, visit conveningleaders.org.

For media queries from the Americas and EMEA and requests for interviews with Sherrif Karamat, please contact:
Meghan Risch

For Asia Pacific media inquiries, please contact:
Jessica Kauffman, Senior Account Manager, ZADRO

About PCMA

PCMA believes that business events can economically and socially transform communities, enterprises and individuals. As the world’s largest platform for business events strategists and their business partners, PCMA’s success is driven by a commitment to providing provocative executive-level education, face-to-face networking and business intelligence to its membership of 8,400 professionals and students and global audience of over 100,000 business event stakeholders.

Through its Ascent leadership initiative to promote inclusion and diversity across the business events industry and beyond, PCMA seeks to empower those challenged by gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or disabilities to find success.

Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 40 countries and regional offices in Northern Ireland, Australia and Singapore. Visit us at pcma.org or on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.