…It’s our obligation to coach the next generation and ensure the future sustainability of well-trained professionals.”
Recently Funded Grants
Global Economic Significance of Business Events
In partnership with Events Industry Council, IMEX, MPI Foundation, and Hilton Worldwide, Research conducted by Oxford Economics
The first study of its kind, results show the global impact of business events. In 2017, the industry contributed $1.5 trillion in total global GDP and generated more than 10.3 million jobs worldwide. Business events brought together more than 1.4 billion participants in more than 180 countries in 2017. Learn more here
The Future of Meetings & Events
In partnership with Marriott International, Research conducted by Fahrenheit 212 An update from 2015 study, this research gathered leaders from disparate industries to discuss five key macro trends that will aﬀect the business events industry in the next five years. The trends that emerged are:
Bigger than Oneself
Clear Sense of Place Learn more here
Future Meeting Space
In partnership with German Convention Bureau, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, and European Association of Event Centres (EVVC)
This second phase of research concentrates on the user perspective, asking event attendees worldwide in an online survey about their experiences at meetings and conferences. Findings highlight the different attendee types and how the use of different methodical approaches and tech tools affects knowledge transfer, learning success, networking and experience value for each type Learn more here
Best in Class Chapter Education Program:
This program provides each PCMA chapter with a top-ranked speaker to deliver an educational program supporting regional education strategies. See PCMA Chapter pages for more information on specific programming.
Room Block of the Future
In partnership with Hilton Worldwide and NYC & Company, Research conducted by Kalibri Labs, CBRE, & Prism Partnership Gain a better understanding of attendee accommodation booking behavior for business events. Explore attendee needs, expectations, behaviors and trends utilizing an interlocking analysis of booking data together with a custom survey of event attendees.
Travel Truths for Business Events Corporate Incentives:
In partnership with Melbourne Convention Bureau, Research conducted by Essence Communications
Explores what is driving Asia-Pacific’s expanding Corporate Incentive Travel market, which favors travel over financial incentives to motivate and reward high-performing staff and Millennials. APAC’s business events sector is already valued at more than US$200 billion so researchers identified ways event strategists could maximize CIT and develop new revenue models. Learn more here
Attendee ROI Playbook
In partnership with IAEE, Research conducted by CEIR Examines how individuals and/or organizations determine what business to-business exhibitions to attend and their expected return on the investment of attending Learn more here
Event Participant Behavior Research
In partnership with and research conducted by Steelcase Event Experiences
This project is a live study of event participant behaviors in open space learning environments during PCMA Convening Leaders. The goal is to uncover hidden obstacles, elevate the participant’s experiences, and identify opportunities for new ways to engage participants and improve the effectiveness of open space learning at business events.
The PCMA Foundation funds programs that inspire the meetings and business events community through senior level education; ground-breaking research; and individual scholarships which help to create new generations of event strategists throughout the world.
Apply for A Grant
Our grant process requires that you submit a Letter of Inquiry first prior to a full proposal.
All Letters of Inquiry must include:
Information about you/your organization
This should be brief and include the name and history of your organization/projects and how what you currently do will help accomplish the project’s goals with the funding requested.
Topic & brief summary
1-2 sentences about the project or topic.
How your project connects with our goals
1-2 sentences that show how the project links to the Foundation’s Strategic Plan
A brief timeline of key milestones and overview of methodology.
The reports, products, tools, etc. that you hope to accomplish with funding.
Funding amount requested in USD
The median grant amount for projects funded in recent years is $20,155 falling into a complete bell curve range of approximately $5,000-$50,000 and a normal range of approximately $10,000-$25,000.
15% or less of overhead
Overhead, indirect costs, and facilities and equipment expenses shall not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the grant amount.
Letters of Inquiry can either be sent using the form below or by email to Stacey Shafer at firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating “Letter of Inquiry” in the subject line. Proposals will be reviewed by the Foundation Team within 14 days to determine if a full proposal is requested. Full proposals will be reviewed by the Foundation Grants Committee within 30 days of submission.
What We Do Not Fund
The PCMA Foundation does not fund projects that benefit an individual’s personal matters, any commercial and/or financial interests, venture capital proposals, capital improvements, business equipment or supplies, endowments or other projects/initiatives that do not align with PCMA’s Strategic Plan.
Proposals are accepted from the U.S. and internationally, however all proposals must be submitted in English and budgets must be proposed in U.S. Dollars.
Sherrif Karamat, President and Chief Executive Officer
Sherrif Karamat, CAE, is President and Chief Executive Officer of PCMA. Karamat also serves as President of the PCMA Foundation and Publisher of Convene magazine.
As CEO, Karamat leads the vision, mission and promise for PCMA’s global family of brands. Karamat serves the greater business events industry as a prominent business architect, enabling our community to become a catalyst for economic and social progress, organizational success, and personal and professional development.
In his previous role as Chief Operating Officer, Karamat led the development and implementation of PCMA’s new vision: driving global economic and social transformation through business events. In addition to his responsibilities at executive level, Karamat also directed streamlining of PCMA’s content creation and delivery channels into one organization. He oversaw partnership, business services, membership, business development and technology teams.
As part of PCMA’s growth strategy, Karamat has led a major data intelligence program and played a key role in the 2017 acquisition of Incentive Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP).
A leader in the business events industry, Karamat previously served as Vice President of Business Sales and Services for Toronto Convention & Visitors (Tourism Toronto). He has served on various boards and is currently a director on the Destination International Board of Trustees.
Karamat is a life-long learner. In addition to completing his bachelor’s degree and Masters of Business Administration from York University in Toronto, Canada, he has completed postgraduate certificate programs at Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. At Harvard Business and Law School, he completed a program on strategic negotiations for senior executives and a program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one on data intelligence and big data.
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Robert Haas, Chief Innovation Officer
Robert Haas supports PCMA’s new product and service initiatives as its first Chief Innovation Officer. He utilizes data, content and personalized experiences to help PCMA better understand its members’ needs and develop an audience-focused strategy.
Haas has more than 15 years of database marketing, product development and consulting experience from working in business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries. He understands how innovation, research and technology intersect and evaluates what is leading edge versus cutting edge.
Haas will leverage data to determine best practices in business events and how the industry can drive global economic and social transformation.
He previously served as PCMA’s Vice President of Business Development and Data Intelligence. Prior to joining PCMA, he was Senior Vice President of Strategic Product Development and Marketing at Scranton Gillette Communications Inc. Haas has also worked in direct response marketing for Tribune Direct.
He has a bachelor’s degree in international business from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.
Mona Cotton, Chief Development Officer
As Chief Development Officer, Mona Cotton leads the Business Development, Client and Member Services, and Business Services teams. She has more than 20 years of business leadership experience in the areas of partnership, sponsorship, business development, media publishing and business services.
Cotton, a PCMA leader for more than 15 years, takes a strategic approach to transforming PCMA’s client relationships and business opportunities. Her role at PCMA is to facilitate connections between business-to-business organizations and business-to-consumer operations, identifying opportunities to fuel economic and social progress and success for PCMA and its members, customers and clients.
While she has watched as business events shifted from logistics to engagement, Cotton said the value of relationships remains steadfast in the industry.
Prior to PCMA, Cotton led and supported various sales efforts at the National Association of REALTORS, Airborne Express (now DHL) and Fox Associates, a Chicago-based magazine representative firm. She received a bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising from Indiana University.
Michelle Crowley, Vice President, Global Growth and Business Transformation
Michelle Crowley oversees regional brand development and content outreach as PCMA’s Vice President of Global Growth and Innovation. Crowley’s responsibilities include overseeing acquisitions and operations in Asia Pacific (APAC) and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
She leads PCMA’s global growth strategy by evaluating and identifying how the organization can deliver value to its members through new and existing business models.
Crowley began her career at PCMA and continues to work with global travel brands, build strategic relationships and partnerships with key markets, and design year-round engagement campaigns. She has held various positions at PCMA including Senior Director of Global Strategy and Manager of Global Development.
Crowley is an MBA candidate at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She received her bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Meredith Rollins, Executive Director, PCMA Foundation
Meredith Rollins is Executive Director of the PCMA Foundation, working to empower individuals and advance innovations in the business events industry.
She manages Foundation operations including social impact projects, research, awards and recognition, fundraising and individual giving. She works with a talented PCMA team and passionate group of leaders on the PCMA Board of Trustees to make an impact each year.
The PCMA Foundation aims to advance lives through education, networking and scholarships and to foster personal connections through face-to-face interactions.
Rollins joined PCMA in 2007 and held roles in project management, global development and account management with the PCMA partnership program. She was Director of Strategic Development for the Association for Corporate Growth, a global community for middle-market M&A business leaders from 2012 to 2015. Rollins become Executive Director of the PCMA Foundation since 2015.
Rollins received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Joycelyn Winnecke, Chief Marketing and Experience Officer
Joycelyn Winnecke is PCMA’s first Chief Marketing and Experience Officer. She oversees global marketing and communications, content creation and delivery, and audience development for events, media channels and education products.
A veteran journalist, media executive and civic leader, Winnecke formerly was President of Tribune Content Agency where she spearheaded a financial turnaround of the legacy content syndication and licensing business. Prior to that role, she was Vice President and Associate Editor of the Chicago Tribune where she helped engineer the digital transformation and led the creation of several successful audience and revenue initiatives including Blue Sky Innovation and Trib Nation, staging as many as 100 live events each year. As a journalist, she reported and led coverage of politics, lifestyle and culture.
Winnecke was Managing Editor of the Chicago Sun-Times and City Editor at the Indianapolis Star before joining the Chicago Tribune. She worked as a Washington correspondent in the Scripps Howard News Service bureau and for 10 years also wrote a weekly column on food and cooking for Scripps Howard.
Her leadership has been recognized by many, including Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40’’ and the Today’s Chicago Woman list of “Most Influential Women in Chicago.’’ She serves as President of the YWCA board of directors and on the President’s Advisory Board for Governors State University. She is a member of The Chicago Network, the Economic Club of Chicago and the International Women’s Forum.
Winnecke earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Indiana in her hometown of Evansville and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Gina Meier, Director, Human Resources
Gina Meier is Director of Human Resources for PCMA, a position she has held since 2006. She is responsible for helping PCMA execute its vision of driving global economic and social transformation through its human capital.
Her responsibilities including professional development, culture, talent development, employee integration and employee engagement.
Meier began her human resources career in 1999 as human resources manager for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide LLC, now a subsidiary of Marriott International Inc. She previously worked as director and manager in Starwood’s housekeeping division.
Meier received a bachelor’s degree in hotel/motel administration and management from Eastern Illinois University.