PCMA Education Foundation Visionary Awards Honor 2018 Leaders in Business Events


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 2, 2018 – Tonight the PCMA Education Foundation honored three industry stars with 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awards and revealed winners of the 2018 Professional Excellence Awards.  More than 1,000 leaders in the business events industry attended the premier industry recognition event at the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.

From the red carpet to the awards stage and then on to a swinging after-party featuring the Matchmakers, the evening was a black-tie night to remember.

“Tonight’s honorees and finalists, each in his or her own way, has pushed the boundaries of their roles and harnessed innovation to advance their organizations and the business events industry,” said PCMA President & CEO, Sherrif Karamat. “They are the best of the best, and their accomplishments inspire industry veterans and novices alike.”

Those celebrated tonight included:

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees [announced in 2017]

  • Ray Kopcinski, CMP, Owner, Peak Global Consulting – 2018 Meeting Professional Honoree
  • Godwin Charles Ogbeide, PhD, MBA, Associate Professor of Strategy and Hospitality, IUPUI – 2018 Educator Honoree
  • Carrie Freeman Parsons, Vice Chair, Freeman – 2018 Supplier Honoree

2018 Professional Excellence Award Winners [announced live this evening]

Meeting Professional of the Year

This award honors a PCMA professional member who exemplifies professional excellence in their contributions to their organization, PCMA and the business events community.

Wanda Johnson, CMP, CAE, Chief Program Officer with the Endocrine Society. She has significantly contributed to both the meeting management and healthcare industries over a 25-year career. To her peers, she’s an inspiring leader they regularly ask for insights and collaboration. She’s also considered to be level-headed and strategic in her thinking. Through her continual involvement with PCMA, she has used her platform to better the industry.

Event Designer of the Year

This award honors a PCMA member for innovative event design.

Phelps R. Hope, CMP, Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions, with Kellen. His extraordinary experience as an event designer has helped implement fresh ideas and experiential opportunities at meetings. Most recently, in October 2017, he redesigned the Girl Scouts Convention in Columbus, Ohio, resulting in a shorter, more focused event and a 50 percent increase in registrations.

Digital Event Strategist of the Year

This award recognizes a digital event pioneer, the change-maker and trendsetter.

Nicole Armstrong CMP, CMM, Vice President, Worldwide Events with MicroStrategy. She is a true champion for digital events, demonstrated in her previous job roles as Senior Events Manager and Director of Stakeholder Relations at InternetSociety. This included overseeing the introduction and expansion of a series of digital event experiences for the company, simultaneously broadcasting their annual event to 15 interactive nodes and 56 celebration nodes across the globe.

Supplier of the Year

This award honors a PCMA supplier member who exemplifies professional excellence in contributions to his or her organization, PCMA, and the business events community.

Chris FJ Lynn, Vice President, North America & Emerging Markets with Business Tourism, London & Partners. Chris has deep knowledge in the hospitality market and goes the extra mile to ensure that his customers have a great experience. He dedicates time getting to know his customers want and need before presenting a bespoke creative solution. Chris also devotes his energy to helping elevate PCMA’s New York Area chapter. Despite being its past president, he consistently provides support for the chapter, most recently sponsoring 40 meeting professionals for an event.

Community Advocate of the Year

This award honors a PCMA member in the business events industry who has developed and managed a unique and impactful program benefiting the community in which his or her meeting was held.

Jeff Chase, Vice President of Sustainability with Freeman, has more than 30 years of experience in the events and exhibition industry. In 2017, he worked closely with the Consumer Technology Association to advance the organization’s sustainability goals for its annual CES event. Jeff developed and implemented a waste management program to encourage the event’s 3,600 exhibitors to contribute unused supplies, such as tote bags, pens and notepads, as well as reusable building material from the stands, such as furniture and flooring. The Exhibitor Program diverted 19 trailer loads of materials from landfill and donated them to local non-profit organizations, including Teacher Exchange, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and Opportunity Village.

The program closed with the honorees and finalist joining together on stage, to receive a heartfelt standing ovation. All of tonight’s honorees and finalist can be viewed here.


About PCMA

PCMA educates, inspires and listens, creating meaningful experiences where passion, purpose and commerce come together. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists providing senior education and networking for the business events sector. PCMA crafts and shares knowledge and market intelligence, enabling organizations to make informed business decisions while providing a platform for peer-to-peer exchange. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 40 countries. For more information on the PCMA family of brands, visit PCMA at pcma.org, PCMA Education Foundation at foundation.pcma.org, PCMA Convene magazine at pcmaconvene.org, Digital Experience Institute (DEI) at digitalexperienceinstitute.org and the Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia-Pacific (ICESAP) at icesap.org.

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