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, 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 pcma.org.

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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.

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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 http://www.cemaonline.com.

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