The association announced yesterday the honorees and finalists for the awards, which honour individuals selected by industry peers for their extraordinary contributions to their organizations and their impact on the professional development of others.
“Every year the Visionary Awards spotlights the exemplary achievements of business events professionals and how they are transforming their organizations and the industry,” said Meredith Rollins, PCMA’s chief community officer and executive director of the PCMA Foundation. “These 21 individuals personify the best of our industry in terms of passion, dedication and impact.”
Lifetime Achievement honorees
2020 Educator Honoree – Lisa Delpy Neirotti, Ph.D.: Considered a pioneer in the field of sports tourism, Delpy Neirotti has been an associate professor of Sport Management at the George Washington University School of Business in Washington, D.C. and director of the MS in Sport Management program. Her achievements include helping to develop the school’s Sport Philanthropy certificate. She’s a passionate advocate for sports tourism as an economic development tool and founded the annual Travel, Events and Management in Sports (TEAMS) conference.
2020 Supplier Honoree – Bill Grusich, CMP, FASAE: Grusich is best known in the industry for his counsel and dedication to helping others, for which he has received numerous accolades, including ASAE Fellow, MPI Chicago chapter’s Hall of Fame and the Richard A. Daignault Award, which is given by PCMA’s Greater Midwest Chapter. Grusich has served as an industry trailblazer with a career that showcases his collaborative and ethical sales approach, paving the way for how buyers and suppliers in business events should do business.
2020 Business Events Strategist Honoree – Ben Goedegebuure: A passionate industry leader for more than 30 years at associations, PCOs, venues and agencies, Goedegebuure has devoted his career to building strategic bridges among key players, expanding people’s thinking and creating strong collaborations between organizations such as Eventia, AC Forum, ICCA and PCMA. He is respected for his ability to connect likeminded thinkers and collaborators and supporting peers as they navigate career choices. His unique industry outlook has played an instrumental role in developing PCMA’s footprint, both in Europe and globally.
Professional Excellence Awards finalists
Finalists in six Professional Excellence Awards categories will also be recognized at the awards ceremony. The recipients of the awards will be announced live at the event.
Business Events Strategist of the Year
- Bob Bejan, corporate vice-president, Global Events, Production Studios and Marketing Community, Microsoft Corp
- Karen Watson, senior director of strategic events, Maritz Global Events
- Camille White-Stern, chief of staff, Splash
Supplier of the Year
- Weemin Ong, CMP, CEM, vice-president of conventions and exhibitions, Marina Bay Sands
- Rose Horcher, vice-president, client services, Choose Chicago
- Lora Stanley, senior director, convention sales, Visit Anaheim
Digital Experience Strategist of the Year
- Carly Silberstein, CEO, Redstone Agency Inc.
- Victoria Fanning, senior manager of online events, Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
- Ben Elliott, managing director and founder, Live Productions Australia
Event Designer of the Year
- Amy Ledoux, senior vice-president, meetings, expositions and special events, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership
- John Woo, senior vice-president of design and executive creative director, GES Events
- Megan Finnell, CMP, director, meetings and conferences, Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
Community Advocate of the Year
- José Quan, founder and owner, Eventia
- Toni Zoblotsky, director, B2B marketing and sales valet, Hilton Corp.
- Michelle Guelbart, MSW, a recognized voice in the movement to eradicate human trafficking and child exploitation
Outstanding Service to a Chapter
- Allen Anderson, sales consultant, Anderson Hospitality Services, Greater Philadelphia Chapter
- Andrew Horsfield, senior sales manager, Lord Elgin Hotel, PCMA Canada East Chapter
- Kim Allison, senior director of sales, Georgia World Congress Center Authority, Capital Chapter
More than 1,100 business event professionals attend the Visionary Awards ceremony and after-party. The event is presented in partnership with Visit Austin and Austin Convention Center. For more information visit foundation.pcma.org/visionaryawards.