Claire Smith, vice-president of sales and marketing for the Vancouver Convention Centre, started her term as chairperson of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Board of Directors on January 10, the final day of the association’s 2018 Convening Leader conference.
Smith is the first supplier, the first Canadian and the first non-U.S.-based chair to head up the board.
“I have always been inspired by the work and leadership of PCMA to promote education and the value of the global meetings industry. To be named this year’s PCMA Board chair is truly an honour,” said Smith. “It is an exciting and busy year ahead for PCMA and I look forward to working alongside a talented and seasoned Board of Directors to champion the great work of PCMA’s team and volunteer community.”
“Claire has been instrumental in PCMA’s evolution and growth. She has played a key role in PCMA’s new vision and strategic plan; her ascension to PCMA’s Chairmanship is a fitting testament to her vision and passion for PCMA and the Business Events Industry,” said Sherrif Karamat, CAE – incoming president and CEO of PCMA.
Smith is a recognized voice in the global meetings industry over the last 25 years. She has been on PCMA’s board of directors for the past four years, and in 2016, she co-chaired the PCMA Convening Leaders Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Apart from actively participating in various industry associations, she is also regularly a featured speaker and session facilitator at industry conferences in Asia, North America and Europe. As the Vancouver Convention Centre’s vice-president, Sales and Marketing, she is responsible for strategic business development, leading and directing the sales, marketing and communications team, as well as positioning the facility in the global marketplace.
Colleagues at the Vancouver Convention Centre and other members of Vancouver’s business events community celebrated Smith’s appointment and extended congratulations.
“Claire is a highly recognized business events professional, innovator and leader, and her many colleagues at the Vancouver Convention Centre and across Canada are very proud to see her assume this important leadership role within such a globally respected industry organization,” said Ken Cretney, president and CEO, BC Pavilion Corporation. “In her new role as PCMA Board Chair, Claire’s commitment and expertise will continue to guide and grow our industry.”
“Claire has been a colleague and friend for close to 25 years and I am blessed to have such a great partner in marketing Vancouver. One of my career highlights was co-chairing the local host committee with Claire for PCMA’s 2016 Convening Leaders,” said Dave Gazley, vice-president, Meeting & Convention Sales, Tourism Vancouver. “Claire is well known as a trusted and respected leader across the industry, and of course within the PCMA community—in Canada, the US and around the globe. The entire Vancouver meeting, convention and hospitality community is so proud of her. We know PCMA is in a good place with her as the 2018 Chair.”