PCMA Education Foundation

Sold Out Visionary Awards Event Honors Leaders in Business Events

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2016 – Last night the PCMA Education Foundation honored the lifetime achievement of three individuals and announced the recipients of four coveted annual industry awards. The reimagined evening was transformed into an Oscars-like awards gala, complete with a walk on the red carpet, a see-and-be-seen reception, entertaining awards program and after party featuring a band specializing in the sounds of Motown, Soul, Funk and Dance. More than 1,000 leaders in business events were in attendance at the premier industry recognition event.

“Redesigning a beloved event is a difficult task,” said Deborah Sexton, President and CEO, PCMA and PCMA Education Foundation, “but our team pushed the celebration to a new level last night – our guests were thrilled and our honorees were truly an inspiration to all of us.”

Those celebrated last night included:

Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees

  • Johnnie C. White Jr., CMP, CAE, MBA, Sr. Director, Education and Meetings, American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation – 2016 Meeting Professional Honoree
  • Janet L. Jakobsen, CMP, MBA, Professor Hospitality and Tourism, Niagara College – 2016 Educator Honoree
  • James E. Rooney, President and CEO, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce – 2016 Supplier Honoree

Professional Excellence Award Winners

  • Allyson O’Connor, CEO and Founder, NXTevent – Event Designer of the Year
  • Christine Phelps, Deputy Executive Director, American Academy of Neurology – Community Advocate of the Year
  • Kirsten Olean, CMP, CAE, Director of Meetings, American Society for Microbiology – Meeting Professional of the Year
  • Rachael Riggs, CMP, Manager, Meeting and Convention Sales – Midwest/Chicago, Tourism Vancouver – Supplier of the Year

This event recognized the following esteemed industry leaders as finalists chosen from dozens of nominees in their respective categories.

Professional Excellence Finalists:


  • Warren Goodson, Director of Production, PSAV Creative Services – nominee
  • Erin Vomocil, CMP, Senior Manager Event Operations, UBM Tech – nominee


  • Ellen Shortill, Director, Convention & Meetings, American Speech Language Hearing Association – nominee
  • Germaine Schaefer, Director, Conferences & Leadership Development, National Association of Counties – nominee


  • Lenay Gore, Director, Meetings and Conventions, American Public Transportation Association – nominee
  • Lynn Smith, CMP, Chief Planning Officer, AVID Productions – nominee


  • Susan Kushner, CFO/President, Kushner & Associates – nominee
  • Jason Lusk, CMP, Associate Vice President, Convention Sales, Visit Denver – nominee


About PCMA
PCMA inspires, connects and innovates the global business events community. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists; providing senior education and networking for the 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 visit the PCMA website at pcma.org and the PCMA Convene magazine at pcmaconvene.org.

Mary ReynoldsSold Out Visionary Awards Event Honors Leaders in Business Events