PCMA CEO Deborah Sexton to launch consultancy in 2018;
COO Sherrif Karamat to become President and CEO as organization plans for future
CHICAGO (Dec. 4, 2017) – Today the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) announces a change in leadership. After more than 12 years, President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Sexton has decided to move on from PCMA and will step down after the upcoming Convening Leaders event in Nashville this January.
Sexton shared her decision with the Board of Directors at the September meeting. The Board voted unanimously to approve Chief Operating Officer Sherrif Karamat as the new President and CEO. This follows careful succession planning at PCMA, where Sexton and Karamat have worked closely together since 2005.
With more than 6,000 members and 50,000 subscribers, PCMA is the world’s largest network of business events strategists. Sexton has led PCMA for more than 12 years, furthering the organization’s dedication to inspiring the business events community with unparalleled educational programs, senior-level networking opportunities and must-attend events on a global scale.
“Deborah’s passion, boundless energy and her hunger to continuously innovate have resulted in tremendous growth and progress both for the organization and the industry,” said PCMA Board Chair Mary Pat Heftman. “We could not be more grateful for her dedicated leadership, driving strategic plans that make PCMA the leader in our industry.”
In addition to her role as CEO of PCMA, Sexton has also served as president of the PCMA Education Foundation and publisher of PCMA’s Convene magazine. Under her leadership, and working in partnership with Karamat, PCMA more than doubled its membership and revenue, as well as expanded its global reach and cultivated dynamic leadership at the Board and Foundation levels. During her tenure, the Foundation has more than tripled its support for scholarships, research and education programs.
Sexton has also led many achievements and innovations during her time at PCMA, including:
- Building an extremely talented team
- Reimagining and rebranding PCMA’s annual meeting into Convening Leaders, the industry’s leading educational and networking event
- Significantly enhancing PCMA’s technology and online offerings with the acquisition of the Digital Experience Institute, resulting in global participation in events and programs
- Leading development of the business event strategist concept – advancing the meeting planner role to a strategic role that fuses the skills of event design, engagement and strategy
- Designing the Partnership Program for PCMA, now an industry model