CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA – PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat, CAE announced a new and expanded leadership structure that reflects the association’s continued transformation toward the global leader in the business events industry, and supports the business events communities throughout the APAC, EMEA and LATAM regions.
“There has never been a greater need for people and communities everywhere to come together to confront our economic and social challenges,” said Karamat. “Business events have the power to do just that, and we need localized presence by region with impactful leaders to make it happen.”
To further accelerate the growth of business events and PCMA’s community throughout the Asia Pacific region, Florence (Flo) Chua has been named Managing Director, APAC effective August 2, 2021. She will lead the APAC team to expand upon the momentum of region-specific events, thought leadership, community building, education and content. Chua has more than 20 years of experience working with corporations and associations throughout the APAC region, most recently as Vice President, Growth and Brand Management for Entrepreneurs’ Organisation. She will be based in Singapore.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has leapfrogged the business events industry in embracing technology to facilitate connections and engagement,” said Chua. “I believe the industry will attain new heights in harnessing the physical and digital possibilities to enable more connections across wider geographical spread, deeper engagement and more sustainable approaches than ever before. I am excited to join the PCMA family and can’t wait to connect with our audiences to do great things together.”
Karen Bolinger, who has been a tremendous leader for PCMA as the Managing Director since April 2020 on a part-time consultancy basis will continue to support PCMA in a consulting capacity and handle specific projects. Under Bolinger’ leadership PCMA’s brand expanded throughout the region, PCMA launched its inaugural Convening APAC and for the first time ever Convening Leaders was live from Singapore in 2021.
Lucio Vaquero has been appointed Regional Director, LATAM effective August 2, 2021. While PCMA has an established Chapter in Mexico City, engaging the larger business events community throughout the LATAM region is a key strategy for the association. Vaquero will immediately work to build an in-region team to support the strategic implementation of education, content, commerce and community building through an omnichannel approach tailored for the region. Vaquero joins PCMA with more than 20 years of experience in the LATAM MICE industry, most recently as LATAM Business Development Director for MCI LATAM. He will be based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“Today’s business events industry environment presents great challenges and innumerable opportunities that require adaptation and continuous training as well as a solid network. Hence, I consider extremely encouraging PCMA's commitment to Latin America,” said Vaquero. “I am convinced that it represents an exceptional platform for the development of the business events industry in the region and all the professionals who are part of it. I am honoured, grateful and energy-filled for the opportunity to be part of this process.”
Supporting PCMA’s global strategic plan is Marcela Torres, a PCMA “20 in their 20s” alum. In her role as Marketing Manager, Digital Products, Torres is the first Mexico-based strategic marketing team member, reporting to PCMA COO Bruce MacMillan who will work in tandem with the Chicago-based headquarters team toward the association's mission to be the global leader in the business events industry.
While the recovery of business events in the EMEA region are varied and complex, PCMA continues to play a vital role for all audiences. Jaime Bennett has been elevated to Regional Director. Appointed Business Director in September 2020, she is an acknowledged European business events industry leader with EMEA-specific insights and relationships that will ensure PCMA delivers compelling high-value initiatives for its audiences and partners in the face of today’s marketplace realities.