WHEN: March 9, 2023
VENUE: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD
Location: Potomac Ballroom

Visionary Awards 2023 Highlights

The PCMA Foundation Visionary Awards honors the exceptional stars for their significant contributions to their organizations. This premier industry black-tie recognition event, from the red carpet reception to the awards show and after-party is the ultimate place to see and be seen.

Presented by:

Visit Austin | Austin Convention Center

Congratulations to the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Honorees!

– Business Events Strategist –

Bill Reed, FASAE, CMP

Chief Event Strategy Officer
American Society of Hematology

– Supplier –

Ray Bloom

IMEX Group

– Educator –

M.T. Hickman

Lead Faculty
Dallas College – Richland Campus

2023 Professional Excellence Award Nominees


Alexandra Zapple, CAE, CMP, CEM, DES
Senior Director of Meetings and Member Experience
American Society of Nephrology

Kristi Casale, CMP, DMCP
VP for Meetings and Continuing Education
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Lisa McGlashen, CMP, CEM, HMCC
Director, Meetings and Exhhibits
American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery


Constance Samuels, MBA, CMP, DES
Director of Events and Education
The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations

Gary Murakami, GTP, GLP, CMP-Fellow, CMM, DES
Vice President of Sales & Industry Relations
Teneo Hospitality Group

Sheila Wong, CEM, DES
Senior Vice President
BBW Event Staff


Kristen Parker,CASE
Director of Eastern Regional Sales
Visit Austin

Rob Venus, CEM
General Manager

Tim Mathy
Senior Partner


Jolene Jang
Consultant and Speaker
Asian Inclusivity Consultancy

Lakshmee Lachhman-Persad
Accessibility Advocate & Consultant

Mariana Gallo
Director, Meetings and Programs
American Association of Physicists in Medicine


Beth Surmont, FASAE, CMP, CAE
Vice President, Event Strategy and Design
360 Live Media

Kristi Casale, CMP, DMCP
Vice President for Meetings and Continuing Education
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Megan Finnell, CMP
Director, Meetings & Conferences


Jodi VanWoerkom, CMP
Senior Event Manager
Association for Talent Development

Cynthia Smith, CMP, DES
Virtual Event Manager
American Physical Society

John Chen
Chief Executive Officer
Engaging Virtual Meetings


Joni Opperman
Director of Sales, Association Group Sales
Hilton Worldwide Sales
Greater Midwest Chapter

Susan Saganski, CMP, DES
Global Account Executive
Marriott International
Canada East

Leah Lewis, CMP, DES
Director of Meetings
American Gear Manufacturers Association
Capital Chapter

2022- Mary Pat Heftman

2022- Kitty Ratcliffe

2022-Dr. Eric D. Olson

2021- Ben Goedegebuure

2019 – Chris Wehking
2019 – Eduardo Chaillo
2019 – Lauren Kramer
2018 – Carrie Freeman Parsons
2018 – Godwin Charles Ogbeide, PhD, MBA
2018 – Ray Kopcinski, CMP
2017 – Barry L. Smith
2017 – Carol Krugman, MEd, CMP, CMM
2017 – Martin D. Balogh
2016 – Johnnie C. White Jr., CMP, MBA, CAE
2016 – Janet L. Jakobsen, CMP, MBA
2016 – James E. Rooney
2015 – Kati S. Quigley, CMP
2015 – Anne Hamilton
2015 – George G. Fenich, PhD
2014 – Sue M. Dykema, CAE
2014 – Janet Sperstad, CMP
2014 – Carol C. Wallace
2013 – Lisa Block
2013 – Cynthia Vannucci, PhD, CHME, CHSP, CMP
2013 – Gino Giancola
2012 – John Lisack, Jr., CAE
2012 – Amanda K. Cecil, PhD, CMP
2012 – George Aguel
2011 – Gregg H. Talley, CAE
2011 – Glen Ramsborg, PhD, CMP
2011 – Brian Stevens
2010 – Sheila Stampfli
2010 – William R. Host, Jr., CMP
2010 – Liz Erikson
2009 – Bruce Harris, CMP
2009 – Tyra Hilliard, J.D., CMP
2009 – John Patronski
2008 – Debra L. Rosencrance, CMP, CAE
2008 – Joan L. Eisenstodt
2008 – Charles W. Ahlers
2007 – Michael L. Payne
2007 – Deborah Breiter, PhD
2007 – Susan Iris
2006 – J.D. Andrews
2006 – Peter Shure
2006 – Reint Reinders
2005 – James Sweeney
2005 – Patti Shock
2005 – Christie Hicks
2004 – James H. Youngblood
2004 – Richard B. Green, CASE
2003 – H. Cris Collie, CAE
2003 – JoAnn Bedrosian Ryan
2002 – Daniel E. Weber,CEM
2001 – Bob Donovan
2000 – Roy B. Evans Jr., CAE
1999 – David J. Noonan
1998 – Charlotte St. Martin
1997 – Anthony J. Jannetti
1996 – 1996: PCMA Past Presidents
1995 – JoAnn Hoffman
1994 – David R. Evans
1993 – Losi Stratemeier, CAE
1992 – William D Nelligan, CAE
1991 – Donald S. Freeman Jr.
1990 – Robert E. Hobart III
1989 – William F. Snyder
1988 – Kathleen D. Bryan
1987 – James C. Collins

The Professional Excellence Awards are announced annually at the PCMA Education Foundation Visionary Awards. These awards honor a PCMA member who exemplify excellence in the business events industry in their given year.

Event Designer of the Year

2022 – Darren Mendola, CMP, DES
2019 – Jennifer Gardner
2018 – Phelps Hope
2017 – Megan Tate
2016 – Allyson O’Connor

Community Advocate of the Year

2022 – Molly Witges, CMP, DES
2019 – Christine Faiman
2018 – Jeff Chase
2017 – Peter O’Brien
2016 – Christine Phelps

Business Event Strategist of the Year

2022 – Kai Hattendorf
2019 – Senthil Gopinath
2018 – Wanda Johnson
2017 – Danielle Urbina
2016 – Kirsten Olean

Groundbreaker Award

2022 – Melissa Cherry

Supplier of the Year

2022 – Carson Edwards Jr. MBA, CASE, CDMP
2019 – Greg Bogue
2018 – Chris Lynn
2017 – Jennifer Erney
2016 – Rachael Riggs

Digital Experience Strategist of the Year

2022 – Mary Pat Cornett, CAE, CMP
2019 – Janet Cooper
2018 – Nicole Armstrong

Outstanding Service to a Chapter

2022 – Megan Martin, CMP, DES
2019 – Elisa Sandoval Wong
2018 – Rebecca Ramsey
2017 – Missy Johnson
2016 – John Rubsamen

Previous PCMA Award Recipients


$15000 VIP Sponsored Mini Lounge (10 total tickets)

$8000 VIP Reserved Table (10 total tickets)

$8000 VIP Reserved Highboy (10 total tickets)

$375 Individual Ticket (General seating)

$3,500 Group of 10 Tickets

More information can be found on our 2023 Visionary Awards digital brochure.

Questions? Contact [email protected].


Proceeds from the Visionary Awards benefit the PCMA Foundation, which supports the industry and empowers students and professionals to advance in their profession.

View the Foundation’s 2021 Impact Report to see all of the important projects and scholarships that were funded last year by Foundation supporters and donors.

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. » Networking
6:00 – 6:30 p.m. » Awards Show seating
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. » Awards Show
7:30 – 10:00 p.m. » After Party

Event Designer of the Year Award Sponsor:

Community Advocate of the Year Award Sponsor:

Groundbreaker Award Sponsor:

Event Venue Sponsor:

Style Lounge Sponsor:

Red Carpet Experience Sponsor:


Discover Toronto

Champagne Bar Sponsor:

2023 Supporting Sponsors

Audio Visual:

Style Lounge Design:

Registration Services Provider:


2023 Participating Organizations as of February 16, 2023:

Accor Hotels and Resorts

American Society of Hematology

Visit Anaheim

Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau

Visit Aurora

Visit Austin and Austin Convention Center

Bermuda Tourism Authority

Boston Convention Marketing Center and Meet Boston

Caesars Entertainment

Tourism Calgary

Visit California

Destination Canada

Choose Chicago

Community Brands

Experience Columbus

Destination DC and Events DC

Visit Detroit


Event EQ and Fern

Visit Fort Worth


Gaylord National


Heritage Nationwide Exposition Services


Hyatt Hotels Corporation

IHG Hotels and Resorts

Visit Indy

Visit Lauderdale

Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Louisville Tourism

Marriott International

Maritz Global Events

MGM Resorts

Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau

Business Events Montréal and Palais des congrès de Montréal

Music City Center

New Orleans & Company and New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

NYC & Company

Visit Norfolk

Visit Oklahoma City

Orange County Convention Center and Visit Orlando

Ottawa Tourism


Visit Greater Palm Springs

PCMA Convene Magazine

Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau

Travel Portland


Discover Puerto Rico

Visit San Antonio

Smart City Networks


Spargo Inc.

Destination Toronto

Destination Vancouver and Vancouver Convention Centre

Visionary Awards 2022 Highlights

Visionary Awards 2022 Ceremony

You must be logged into your LinkedIn account to view the recording.

2019 Visionary Awards Recap Video

2019 Visionary Awards Ceremony


Tomar Williams got his start singing lead on the Chitlin Circuit with his family band in the late 1980s. After several decades as a side man on the Austin scene, Tomar decided to return to his roots as a frontman in 2015. He was introduced to a local instrumental band, the FCs, and Tomar and the FCs was born. They were selected by NPR Music to represent Austin for the Tiny Desk Concert Series, played the Austin City Limits Music Festival and, in 2022, performed at Bonnaroo. The band have three recordings, “Day by Day”, “Heart Attack”, and the latest, “Rise Above”, on Splice Records.

Brought to you by Visit Austin and Austin Convention Center


POWER OF PURPOSE: Business Events Industry Week is committed to helping event stakeholders and their business partners advance the role that gatherings of people with purpose play in the economic, social and intellectual enrichment of people and communities everywhere. We are in the pursuit of this opportunity for everyone, because it matters everywhere.

POP will use locations and venues throughout the Washington, DC region as an inspirational canvas for a weeklong series of experiences that features professional development, a commercial marketplace, idea incubators, community social transformation activities, and networking experiences.

Stay in the loop with Visionary Awards updates.

Nick TannVisionary Awards