PCMA announces 2019 ’20 In Their Twenties’ class

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CHICAGO, Illinois, Oct. 4, 2018 – PCMA has announced the “20 in their Twenties” class of 2019, as the next generation of business events leaders and 20 of the brightest and most talented young professionals.

PCMA’s 2019 class of “20 in their Twenties” come from around the world and from boutique to global organizations.

“This passionate group inspires me every year as they represent the future of the business events industry,” said Meredith Rollins, executive director of the PCMA Education Foundation. “I have no doubt this class of bright, skilled professionals will achieve success and PCMA is proud to assist them at every stage of their career.”

The 2019 class, supported by the PCMA Education Foundation and Experience Columbus, will be honored at the PCMA Convening Leaders conference taking place Jan. 6-9, 2019 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Each of the “20 in their Twenties” class members is selected by a committee comprised of veteran industry professionals and “20 in their Twenties” alumni. Applicants were required to be full-time employees in the business events industry and no older than 29 on Jan. 9, 2019. They must have provided examples of industry leadership, a video statement and professional references.

Members of the 2019 “20 in their Twenties” class will receive recognition as the next generation of industry leaders and a scholarship to attend Convening Leaders, PCMA’s annual signature event. Individuals will also receive complimentary registration for the 2019 PCMA Education Conference in June in Los Angeles, PCMA membership and educational products.

The 2019 ‘20 in their Twenties’ class will also be featured in PCMA’s Convene magazine and other PCMA communications.

Here is the PCMA’s ‘20 in their Twenties’ class for 2019:

Edward Bagsic, CMP, DES
Manager, Conventions VIP Events and Budgets
National Business Aviation Association
Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Raul Cavazos-Binder
Account Executive
Development Counsellors International (DCI)
New York, New York, USA

Jared Chambers
Strategic Account Manager
Experient, a Maritz Global Events Company
Frederick, Maryland, USA

Emily Dietrich
Manager, Business Events
Niagara Parks Commission
Niagara, Ontario, Canada

Molly Holt, CMP
Manager, Meeting Operations
Heart Rhythm Society
Washington, D.C., USA

Kara Hsu
Convention Sales Manager
Destination DC
Washington, D.C., USA

Veronika Ivanova
Marketing and Meeting Architecture Specialist
Kenes International
Sofia, Bulgaria

Andrea Lane, MTA
Meeting Planner
National Defense Industrial Association
Fairfax, Virginia, USA

Janelle Lewis
Meetings and Events Manager
Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
North Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Chad Manhertz, MTA
Event Manager
Events DC
Washington, D.C., USA

Femke Morelisse
Sales Manager
Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Greg Morris, CMP
Director, Meetings and Education
Destinations International
Washington, D.C., USA

Laura Neufeld
Account Manager, Meetings and Events
MCI Group Canada Inc.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Khadijah Nimrod
Convention Sales Assistant
Destination DC
Washington, D.C., USA

Olivia Pelzer
Senior Strategic Account Analyst
Delaware, Ohio, USA

Gita Pun
Client Relations Team Manager
London, England

Giulia Ineke Sarri
MARCOM and Social Project Assistant
AIM Group International
Milan, Italy

Erin Simcox
Senior Manager of Housing
Visit Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Kevin J. Thompson
Event Manager
Events DC
Washington, D.C., USA

Lindsay Williams
Sales Manager
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Photo illustration by Martha Smith, PCMA
Top row, from left to right: Raul Cavazos-Binder, Femke Morelisse, Andrea Lane, Greg Morris, Olivia Pelzer
Second row, from left to right: Gita Pun, Jared Chambers, Kara Hsu, Edward Bagsic, Kevin J. Thompson
Third row, from left to right: Janelle Lewis, Laura Neufeld, Chad Manhertz, Lindsay Williams, Veronika Ivanova
Bottom row, from left to right: Emily Dietrich, Erin Simcox, Giulia Ineke Sarri, Khadijah Nimrod, Molly Holt

Jojo DuPCMA announces 2019 ’20 In Their Twenties’ class
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PCMA’s Education Foundation Aims to Supersize Scholarship Opportunities

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For students pursuing careers in business events, undergraduate courses can by costly. According to The College Board, the cost to attend institutions of higher education in the U.S. has steeply risen: a 10-year, $7,220 increase per year at private colleges and a 10-year, $2,690 increase per year at public institutions. As the cost to continue learning continues to rise, the PCMA Education Foundation is revamping its scholarship program to offer more assistance to the next generation of event leaders.

“We wanted to acknowledge the realities of today’s academic environment by increasing our financial commitment and providing year-round support for students,” said Stacey Shafer, senior director of operations at the PCMA Education Foundation. “Our past program included either scholarships that were solely tuition or solely event-based in a more transactional approach. This program was developed in an effort to provide more financial assistance and to create additional learning opportunities.”

After the Foundation Board of Trustees evaluated the full slate of scholarship offerings, they made a bold change. In 2018, the average value of a scholarship will be $6,000 — a $4,000- increase from past averages. “It’s a more well-rounded program,” Shafer said. “We are really excited to engage with a new class of creative, forward-thinking students who will shape the future of the industry.”

The engagement factor played an important role in shaping the new opportunities. Shafer said that the new program aims to provide a “complete experience” instead of registration to a PCMA program. The experience includes 12 months of access to PCMA’s Premium Content Subscription, a subscription to PCMA’s Business Events Bootcamp, along with registration and travel expenses for PCMA’s Convening Leaders and Education Conference.

“We wanted to keep in touch with these students throughout the entire school year and become an integral part of their academic experience,” Shafer said. “We wanted to commit more to them.”

To learn more and apply, click here. To read more about the Education Foundation’s results in 2017, read the organization’s Impact Report.

Rebecca SchingelPCMA’s Education Foundation Aims to Supersize Scholarship Opportunities
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New Numbers Bring the Meetings Industry’s Massive Impact to Light

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As the events industry aims to articulate the economic value of face-to-face meetings and conferences, the findings of a new report — The Economic Significance of Meetings to the US Economy, an update to the 2009 report by the same name — from Oxford Economics, the Events Industry Council, and the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, offer a leg up.

Adam Sacks, founder and president of Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, said in a press briefing on Feb. 21 that the study calculated three levels of impact: direct, indirect, and induced spending. Indirect spending includes revenue streams such as the utility bills from a trade show, and the induced category relates to the trickle-down spending from employees who earn wages due to events-industry-related activities. “For every dollar spent on face-to-face meetings and business events in 2016, it generated an additional $1.60 in benefits to the U.S. economy,” Sacks said in the briefing about the findings. “It’s a 160-percent return on investment.”

That return added up to some very large numbers. Sacks said that meetings supported $845 billion in business sales, $104 billion in federal, state, and local taxes, and $446 billion of the country’s GDP. In addition to spending, the industry supported nearly six million individual jobs. “These are large numbers,” Sacks said, but they are even more meaningful “in relation to other industries in the U.S.”

In terms of jobs, the meetings and events industry creates more direct jobs than large manufacturing sectors such as automotive, chemicals, and food. The industry also employs more workers than the telecommunications sector or oil and gas. “The services provided by the meetings industry often go unnoticed,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International and co-chair of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, who participated in the briefing. “But the impact is unmistakable.”

The Importance of International Attendance

The findings underscored that in order to expand that impact in 2018 and beyond, the events industry will need assistance from the government to make sure that attendees from outside the U.S. can enter the country with ease. In 2016, six million international attendees came to the U.S. for events and conferences. While that audience only comprises approximately 2 percent of the 251 million attendees at U.S. events, they represented nearly 12 percent of direct spending, due to the fact that they typically stay longer and spend more money. “This has important implications for visa policies and the Open Skies agreements,” Sacks said.

“On the international front, in the past, we have seen some visa policies that have not always been conducive to [assisting] international participants,” Van Deventer said. “This research creates the foundation to advocate for visa policies that are set up in such a way to make sure that international participants can come.”

Growing and Growing

The 2016 numbers look even more dramatic when the industry looks in the rearview mirror. Sacks compared the 2016 findings with data from 2009 when the report was first conducted. “The industry’s economic value has grown by 23 percent,” Sacks said. “If we go back in time to 2009, there were experts that were foretelling the death of the meetings industry. There was a lot of negative sentiment and questions about whether companies were being responsible with [their event budgets]. There were a lot of questions about the viability of this industry. The new report shows that the meetings industry is as strong as ever, and it continues to grow.”

Event professionals can celebrate that growth trajectory at the upcoming Global Meetings Industry Day on April 12. Click here for a list of programs around the world.

PCMA and the PCMA Education Foundation are strong supporters of the Events Industry Council and Meetings Mean Business Coalition and proud to contribute funds to fuel the study of how meetings and events make a huge impact on the global economy. To learn more about how the Education Foundation helps power research and scholarships, click here​ to read the 2017 Impact Report.

Rebecca SchingelNew Numbers Bring the Meetings Industry’s Massive Impact to Light
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PCMA Announces 2018 ‘20 In their Twenties’ Class

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These top young professionals will be honored at Convening Leaders in Nashville, TN
January 7-10, 2018

The 20 in their Twenties program, supported by the PCMA Education Foundation and Visit Seattle, is designed to engage the best and brightest young professionals in the business event industry. By recognizing emerging leaders, and their talents, PCMA helps to support a new generation of business event strategists around the world.

“The 20 in their Twenties program is a great way to recognize and engage rising stars in the industry,” said Rob Hampton, Senior Vice President of Convention Sales and Services for Visit Seattle. “It gives young professionals the opportunity to build camaraderie among their peers and gives us—the veterans in the industry—a chance to hear fresh ideas and perspectives and nurture new talent. This is a program Visit Seattle is proud to support.”


20 in their Twenties Class of 2018

Alexandra Adsit, CMP, CEM
Meeting Planner
Charlottesville, VA


Chloe Armstrong
Bid Executive
Melbourne Convention Bureau
Melbourne, Australia


Sina Bünte, DES
Events Manager
Amsterdam Netherlands


Erica Critzer, CMP
Regional Director of Sales
Visit Dallas
Arlington, VA


Patrick Crosson, CMP
Chicago, IL


Carmen Ferrari, CMP
Events and Marketing Manager
European Photonics Industry Consortium
Amsterdam, Netherlands


Idil Findikoğlu,
Marketing Manager
Kenes Group
Amsterdam, Netherlands


Karin Hagemann
Head of Convention Bureau
Montreux-Vevey Tourisme & Convention Bureau
Bern Area, Switzerland


Caitlin Hume, CMP
Business Events Manager
Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc (RIMS)
New York, NY


Chloe Lai
Conference Producer
Medical Conference Partners
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Annamarie Luccarelli
Associate Meeting Planner
Harborside Press, LLC
Trenton, NJ


Samantha Mele
Proposal & Product Developer
Toronto, ON


Cahal Mowery, MBA, CMP, CTA
Director of Sales & Catering
JW Marriott Houston Downtown
Houston, TX


Brittany Saylor
Senior Meeting Planner
Right Hand Events
San Diego, CA


Barrie Schwartz
My House Social
New Orleans, LA


Allison Shebek
Associate Director of Experience Design
Phoenix, AZ


Kyle Smith, DES
Digital Event Strategist
Conference Consultancy South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa


Sara Stehle, CMP
Conference Specialist
International Association of Fire Chiefs
Washington, DC


Andrew Sykes
Assistant General Manager
Halifax, Nova Scotia


Rasheena Wilson, CMP
Meeting and Exhibits Coordinator
American Society of Nephrology
Washington, DC

“This is our fifth class of the twenty brightest talents in the industry worldwide. Each year we continue to be inspired by the passion and insights these individuals bring to the business events community. It is our honor to recognize the excellence of these emerging innovative leaders,” said Deborah Sexton, PCMA President and CEO. 

Criteria for applicants was to be employed full time in the business events industry, be 29 years old or younger at the time of recognition and to demonstrate ways they consider themselves to be industry leaders. Applicants were not required to be PCMA members.

A committee made up of veteran industry professionals and 20 in their twenties alumni reviewed approximately 50 applications in detail before deciding on the class.

The individuals will selected will receive a scholarship registration to attend PCMA’s signature event, Convening Leaders this January in Nashville, TN; complimentary registration for PCMA’s June conference in Cleveland, OH in June 2018; as well as one year of PCMA membership. In addition, recipients will receive membership and registration discounts for the next two years.

Recipients will be recognized at Convening Leaders this January, as well as in Convene Magazine and other PCMA communications.

Rebecca SchingelPCMA Announces 2018 ‘20 In their Twenties’ Class
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