PCMA honours top young meetings industry professionals in annual 20 in their twenties program

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) has selected the inaugural class for its 20 in their twenties program.

20 in their twenties is designed to engage the best and brightest young professionals in the meetings industry by recognizing emerging leaders – and their talents – which help accelerate the industry and carry it into the future.

“Too often great leadership isn’t recognized until the latter portion of careers. 20 in their twenties allowed PCMA to engage and acknowledge a talented group of young professionals for their skills and provide incentive for them to lead our industry into the future,” said Deborah Sexton, President & CEO, PCMA.

Inaugural 20 in their twenties class

  • Ryan Barth, Sales Manager, Visit Indy
  • Yasha Bergmann, Project Manager, uba GmbH
  • Casey Carignan, Meetings and Events Coordinator, lia Sophia
  • Yih-Hsiang (Shawn) Cheng, Team Lead, Tourism Vancouver
  • Katie Dolan, Convention Services Manager, Ottawa Tourism
  • Vivian Fleet, Sustainability Officer, Metro Toronto Convention Centre
  • Rosa Garriga Mora, Meeting Designer & ROI Consultant, Independent Contractor
  • Mindy Halpert, Conference Manager, The Consortium for School Networking
  • Rick Hyland, Exhibitor Services Supervisor, Orange County Convention Center
  • Alexis Kereluk, Manager, Association Relations, MCI Canada
  • Sam McNeill, Creative Director, Song Division
  • Elisa Sandoval, Sales Manager, Hotel Nikko San Francisco
  • Astrid Schrier, CMP, Meeting Manager, Association Headquarters, Inc.
  • Kathleen Smith, Marketing Manager, etech events
  • Megan Tate, Manager – Event, Meeting and Travel Management, Petco Animal Supplies, Inc.
  • Marcela Torres, Director of Big Events, Mexico City Tourism Trust
  • David Wagner, Meetings Manager, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
  • Rachel Walsh, Director of Meetings, Sentergroup
  • Alleeshia Williams, Coordinator, Meetings & Business Partnerships, Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
  • Leslie Wong, CMP, Creative Account Manager, Blueprint Studios

“The number of exceptional applications PCMA received went above and beyond our expectations for the program. We want to thank everyone who applied for taking the time and hope they will remain engaged with PCMA,” said Johnnie White, Chairman, PCMA Board of Directors.

Criteria for applicants was to be employed full time in the meetings industry, be 29 years old or younger and showcase three ways in which they can be considered industry leaders. Professionals were not required to be PCMA members. A task force made up of veteran and emerging industry leaders reviewed dozens of applications in detail before deciding on the inaugural class.

The professionals selected will receive complimentary 2014 Convening Leaders and Education Conference registration, $1,500 for travel expenses, as well as discounted registration to attend Convening Leaders and Education Conference until they reach the age of 30. Recipients will also receive complimentary membership for 2014 and discounted membership until they reach age 30. They will have the opportunity to be paired with a member of the PCMA Board of Directors, Foundation Board of Trustees, or Past Leaders for three face to face or virtual mentoring sessions to assist in further development of their innovation and career.

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

The program is supported by the PCMA Education Foundation, the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Austin Convention Center.

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