Two Canadians—Samantha Mele and Andrew Sykes—have been named to the Professional Convention Management Association’s “20 in their Twenties” Class of 2018. Mele is a Toronto-based proposal and product developer for JPdL, a leading DMC and convention/event organizer. Sykes is FMAV’s assistant general manager in Halifax, NS.
The 20 in their Twenties program, supported by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Education Foundation and Visit Seattle, is designed to engage the best and brightest young professionals in the business event industry. By recognizing emerging leaders, and their talents, PCMA helps to support a new generation of business event strategists around the world.
“The 20 in their Twenties program is a great way to recognize and engage rising stars in the industry,” said Rob Hampton, senior vice-president of Convention Sales and Services for Visit Seattle. “It gives young professionals the opportunity to build camaraderie among their peers and gives us—the veterans in the industry—a chance to hear fresh ideas and perspectives and nurture new talent. This is a program Visit Seattle is proud to support.”
In addition to Mele and Sykes, the 20 in their Twenties Class of 2018 includes:
- Alexandra Adsit, CMP, CEM – Meeting Planner, AAMC, Charlottesville, VA
- Chloe Armstrong – Bid Executive, Melbourne Convention Bureau, Melbourne, Australia
- Sina Bünte, DES – Events Manager, ICCA. Amsterdam Netherlands
- Erica Critzer, CMP – Regional Director of Sales, Visit Dallas, Arlington, VA
- Patrick Crosson, CMP – Producer, agencyEA, Chicago, IL
- Carmen Ferrari, CMP – Events and Marketing Manager, European Photonics Industry Consortium, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Idil Findikoğlu – Marketing Manager, Kenes Group, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Karin Hagemann – Head of Convention Bureau, Montreux-Vevey Tourisme & Convention Bureau, Bern Area, Switzerland
- Caitlin Hume, CMP – Business Events Manager, Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc (RIMS), New York, NY
- Chloe Lai – Conference Producer, Medical Conference Partners, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Annamarie Luccarelli – Project Coordinator, Conferences and Educational Programs, Harborside Press, Trenton, NJ
- Cahal Mowery, MBA, CMP, CTA – Director of Sales & Catering, JW Marriott Houston Downtown, Houston, TX
- Brittany Saylor – Senior Meeting Planner, Right Hand Events, San Diego, CA
- Barrie Schwartz – Founder/CEO, My House Social, New Orleans, LA
- Allison Shebek – Associate Director of Experience Design, AlliedPRA, Phoenix, AZ
- Kyle Smith, DES – Digital Event Strategist, Conference Consultancy South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Sara Stehle, CMP – Conference Specialist, International Association of Fire Chiefs, Washington, DC
- Rasheena Wilson, CMP – Meeting and Exhibits Coordinator, American Society of Nephrology, Washington, DC
“This is our fifth class of the twenty brightest talents in the industry worldwide. Each year, we continue to be inspired by the passion and insights these individuals bring to the business events community. It is our honor to recognize the excellence of these emerging innovative leaders,” said Deborah Sexton, PCMA president and CEO.
Criteria for applicants was to be employed full time in the business events industry, be 29 years old or younger at the time of recognition and to demonstrate ways they consider themselves to be industry leaders. Applicants were not required to be PCMA members.
A committee made up of veteran industry professionals and 20 in their twenties alumni reviewed approximately 50 applications in detail before deciding on the class.
The individuals selected will receive a scholarship registration to attend PCMA’s signature event, Convening Leaders this January in Nashville, TN; complimentary registration for PCMA’s June conference in Cleveland, OH in June 2018; as well as one year of PCMA membership. In addition, recipients will receive membership and registration discounts for the next two years. Recipients will be recognized at Convening Leaders this January, as well as in Convene Magazine and other PCMA communications.
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