PCMA Announces 2022 Board of Directors and Trustees Slate for Membership Approval

Structure Reflects New Governing Body and Global Representation

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (September 8, 2021) — PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat, CAE today announced he has received the 2022 Board of Directors and Trustees Slate from Nominating Committee co-chairs Stuart Ruff-Lyon, Immediate Past Chairman, PCMA Board of Directors and Valerie Sumner, Immediate Past Chairwoman, PCMA Foundation Board of Trustees.

For the first time in PCMA’s history, the Board will consist of a new governing body that encompasses Directors and Trustees for PCMA and the PCMA Foundation, respectively – a change that will empower PCMA to be agile, responsive, and innovative at a time that calls for bold leadership and diverse solutions for PCMA’s global audiences.

“Leadership at PCMA is about serving our members and the greater global business events industry as it re-emerges to the new realities of a post-pandemic world,” said Karamat. “It is defined by our values – particularly around PCMA’s stated commitments to equity, inclusion and diversity. It is not defined by job titles or tenure, but by a demonstrated ability to make a difference for others when it is needed the most.”


Upon PCMA membership approval, the following individuals will begin serving a one-year term (2022):

Executive Officers:

Chairman: Charles Starks, President and CEO, Music City Center

Chairwoman Elect: Desirée Knight, CAE, CMP, Senior Director of Education & Meetings, American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way (AREMA)

Secretary-Treasurer: Leonard Hoops, President and CEO, Visit Indy

Immediate Past Chairwoman, PCMA Board of Directors: Kirsten Olean, CAE, Director of Meetings, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Immediate Past Chairwoman, PCMA Foundation Board of Trustees: Angie Ranalli, CMP, Vice President of Sales, San Diego Tourism Authority


Upon PCMA membership approval, the following individuals will begin serving a two-year term (2022–2023):

Fernando Fondevila, CEO, Promtur Panama

Veemal Gungadin, CEO, GEVME

Gladys O’Mahony, Vice President, Global Sales Organization, Caribbean & Latin America,
Marriott International

Peter O’Neil, CEO, ASIS International

Annalisa Baccara Ponchia, CMP, CMM, Director of Innovation & Customer Experience & Director of International Congress, AIM Group International

Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Executive Director, Business Events, Destination Canada

Panos Tzivanidis, Director, Corporate Events & Services, International Olympic Committee


The following individuals are serving the final year of a three-year term (2020–2022):

Lisa Astorga, CMP, DES, Director of Meetings, International Society on Thrombosis & Haemostasis

Karen Cooper, Senior Manager, Event and Tradeshow Strategy, Poly

Benjamin Erwin, President and CEO, Encore

Bianca Ferrer, Creative Director, B&I Creative Group LLC

Diane Kovats, CAE, CMP, DES, CEO, International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB)
Paula Rowntree, Head of Events, Australian Psychological Society

Ana María Viscasillas, MBA, CDME, DES, CED, President and Chief Visionary, Business Tourism Services


In addition, the President and CEO of PCMA serves as a Director and Trustee:

Sherrif Karamat, CAE, President and CEO, PCMA

Directors and Trustees will assume office immediately following PCMA’s Convening Leaders annual meeting January 9-12 at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas.

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.

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 http://www.cemaonline.com.

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