PCMA 2021 Visionary Award Winners Announced


PCMA Foundation  Honored the  Business  Events  Industry’s  Brightest  Stars  in Washington, D.C.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (September 2, 2021) — The PCMA Foundation on August 26 recognized more than 20 business events industry leaders at the 2021 Visionary Awards, held at the Hilton Washington in Washington, D.C. The Visionary Awards honors the industry’s exceptional stars for their significant contributions to their organizations and the business events community. More than 500 guests celebrated with a red-carpet experience, awards show and an after party featuring Austin-based band The Nightowls.

“The Visionary Awards is an opportunity to celebrate our amazing colleagues, while also supporting the PCMA Foundation,” said Angie Ranalli, PCMA Foundation Chairwoman. “To the innovators, the game-changers, the risk-takers and above all the visionaries that provide the power behind business events, thank you for your hard work, dedication, and passion. Congratulations to all of our honorees and finalists.”

Six recipients were honored with Professional Excellence 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 selected the winners via a blind online vote.

  • Supplier of the Year: WeeMin Ong, Vice President of Conventions and Exhibitions, Marina Bay Sands
  • Business Event Strategist of the Year: Bob Bejan, CVP, Global Events, Studios and Marketing Community, Microsoft
  • Digital Experience Strategist of the Year: Victoria Fanning, CMP, DES, Sr. Manager, Digital Events, Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
  • Event Designer of the Year: Amy Ledoux, retired as Chief Learning and Meetings Officer, ASAE
  • Community Advocate of the Year: José Quan, Founder and Owner of Eventia
  • Outstanding Service to a Chapter: Kim Allison, Senior Director of Sales, Georgia World Congress Center — Capital Chapter
PCMA Visionary Awards 2021

PCMA Visionary Awards 2021

“We are all in the business of bringing people together – convening with purpose to deliver the human connections that help enrich our communities and our quality of life,” said Sherrif Karamat, CAE, PCMA president and CEO. “We advance industries and social change. We are resilient. We are innovative and we passionately believe in our ability to change the world. The world is a better place when we are together.”

In recognition of leaders who made a significant impact during a year filled with so much uncertainty, the PCMA Foundation added three new awards – the Wayfinder Award for an individual and an organization, and the Groundbreakers Award.

The Wayfinder Award honors 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.

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 Lifetime Achievement Honorees — Bill  Grusich, CMP, FASAE, senior vice president at Associated Luxury Hotels International, and Lisa Delpy  Neirotti, Ph.D, Professor and Director Sports Management programs (BBA, MSSM, MBA, Sport Philanthropy Certificate) at The George Washington University. Due to current travel restrictions and border closures, the PCMA Foundation will appropriately honor Ben  Goedegebuure, vice president and global general manager at Maritz Global Events with his Lifetime Achievement during the 2022 Visionary Awards.

Other Finalists for the Professional Excellence and Wayfinder Awards that were honored include:
Karen Watson, Cultivate Event Design and Consulting; Camille White-Stern, Splash; Rose Horcher, Choose Chicago; Lora Stanley, Visit Anaheim; Carly Silberstein, Redstone Agency Inc.; Ben Elliott, Live Productions Australia Pty Ltd; John Woo, GES Events; Megan Finnell, CMP, Medical Group Management Association (MGMA); Toni Zoblotsky, Hilton Corp.; Michelle Guelbart, MSW, a recognized voice in the movement to eradicate human trafficking and child exploitation; Allen Anderson, Anderson Hospitality Services, Greater Philadelphia Chapter; Andrew Horsfield, DES, Hyatt Place Ottawa West, PCMA Canada East Chapter; Michael Clarke, Marriott International; Patrizia Semprebene Buongiorno, AIM Group International; Events DC; PCMA Rocky Mountain Chapter.

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.

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

For Asia Pacific media inquiries, please contact:
Jessica Kauffman, Senior Account Manager, ZADRO
jessica@zadroagency.com.au

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.