PCMA Announces 2019 Visionary Awards Honorees and Finalists

Chris Wehking, Association and Business Relations Executive for the American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA); Eduardo Chaillo, CEO for Global Meetings & Tourism Specialists; and Lauren Kramer, Founder and Principal, Meeting Priorities, will be celebrated as Lifetime Achievement Honorees alongside 18 Professional Excellence Award finalists at the PCMA Foundation’s 2019 Visionary Awards celebrating the best in the business events industry.

“PCMA is proud to celebrate another outstanding group of individuals whose leadership and influence has positively impacted their peers and the business events industry”, said Meredith Rollins, Executive Director, PCMA Education Foundation.

The Visionary Awards red-carpet experience, awards show and after-party will take place Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. The event is presented in partnership with Visit Austin and Austin Convention Center. More than 1,000 industry professionals are expected to attend.

For more information and tickets, which will be available from Dec.20, 2018, visit foundation.pcma.org/visionaryawards.

2019 Business Events Strategist Honoree: Chris Wehking, CMP
Wehking is highly respected by his peers as an executive in the medical society, global association, strategic business event, exposition and hospitality industry for his experience, strategic leadership and emphasis on collaborative and fair business partnership and relations. Wehking has been a PCMA member since 1999 and has served on the Board of Directors and as PCMA Chair. He has also served as a trustee of the PCMA Foundation.

2019 Supplier Honoree: Eduardo Chaillo, CMP, CMM, CASE
Chaillo founded Global Meetings and Tourism Specialists consultancy company in Northern Virginia as a bridge builder between the global meetings community and business events industry members from Mexico and Latin America. He also serves as Global General Manager for Latin America at Martiz Global Events. Previously, Chaillo served for 12 years with the Mexico Tourism Board where he helped establish respected partnerships with organizations in the meetings industry, created strategic alliances with competing countries and ran the national travel industry tradeshow “Tianguis Turístico.” He has served as a PCMA Foundation Trustee and the international representative to the CMP Board of Directors within the CIC umbrella. He was awarded the JMIC’s Profile and Por Award, has been recognized by Successful Meetings magazine as one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry”, and was inducted into the CIC’s Hall of Leaders 2013 class.

2019 Educator Honoree: Lauren Kramer, CAE, MTA, CMP
Kramer’s advocacy for face-to-face events, her passion for mentoring and significant experience with developing educational program formats and global business event management made her an ideal recipient for the Educator award. She is the Founder and Principal of Meeting Priorities, LLC. Meeting Priorities has served clients in many facets of the business events industry from developing unique program delivery methods, onsite management, back end results analysis, future planning and more. An active PCMA member for many years, she has served on the PCMA Board of Directors and as Chair of PCMA Convening Leaders. Kramer is also a founding member of the Legacy Society as well as the Capital Chapter where she served as president.

Professional Excellence Award finalists in six categories will also be recognized at the 2019 PCMA Visionary Awards. The winner in each category will be announced live at the Visionary Awards.

They are:

Business Events Strategist of the Year
Senthil Gopinath, Regional Director, Middle East, ICCA
Heather M. Seasholtz, CMP, Director of Meetings and Events, Talley Management Group, Inc.
Stacey Thorp, Executive Director, Conferences & Events, Freeman

Supplier of the Year
Greg Bogue, Chief Experience Architect, Maritz Global Events
Carrie Ferenac, Co-founder and President, CNTV
Mike O’Neil, Executive Vice President, Delivery Corporate and Agency Services, Freeman

Digital Event Strategist of the Year
Janet Cooper, CMP, Director of Meetings and Convention Services, RSNA
Ken Holsinger, Vice President of Data Solutions, Freeman
Roberta Odebrecht, DES, CMP, Account Director, K.I.T. Group

Event Designer of the Year
Sally Ann Debolt, CMP, Senior Events Manager, Global Events, Siemens Digital Industries
Jennifer Gardner, Creative Director, Freeman
Diane E. Kovats, CAE, CMP, Executive Director, International Society for Computational Biology

Community Advocate of the Year
Jennifer Bond, CMP, CMM, Deputy Director of Meeting Services, American Astronomical Society
Christine Faiman, CMP, Global Account Executive, Marriott International
Laura Pilkenton, Director, Guest Services & Employee Travel, Maritz Global Events

Outstanding Service to a Chapter
Debra Maines, CMP-HC, Senior Manager, Sponsorship Development & Events, A. Fassano & Company, Greater Philadelphia Chapter
Meagan Prescott, CMP, Assistant Vice President of Conference and Events, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), New York Chapter
Elisa Sandoval Wong, CMP, HMCC, Account Director, The St. Regis San Francisco, Northern California Chapter

All proceeds from the Visionary Awards benefit the PCMA Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to empower individuals and advance innovations in the business events industry.

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.