PCMA Foundation

Business events professionals to be celebrated at April 23rd event

Ben Goedegebuure, vice president and global general manager at Maritz Global Events; Bill Grusich, CMP, FASAE, senior vice president at Associated Luxury Hotels International; and Lisa Delpy Neirotti, director MS in Sport Management program at George Washington University will be honored as Lifetime Achievement award recipients at PCMA Visionary Awards 2020, an annual event celebrating the best in the business events industry.

The April 23rd event at the Hilton Washington, D.C. will also recognize 18 Professional Excellence finalists. Lifetime Achievement honorees for business events strategist, educator and supplier, along with Professional Excellence finalists are 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.”

2020 Business Events Strategist Honoree: Ben Goedegebuure

Goedegebuure has been a passionate industry leader for more than 30 years at associations, PCOs, venues and agencies. He 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. Goedegebuure 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.

 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 Richard A. Daignault Award (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 Educator Honoree: Lisa Delpy Neirotti, Ph.D.

Delpy Neirotti is considered a pioneer in the field of sports tourism. She’s 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. Delpy Neirotti helped develop the school’s Sport Philanthropy certificate. She’s a passionate advocate for sport tourism as an economic development tool and founded the annual Travel, Events and Management in Sports (TEAMS) conference.

 Professional Excellence Award finalists in six categories will also be recognized at the PCMA Visionary Awards 2020. The recipient in each category will be announced live at the April 23 event. They are:

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

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.

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

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.

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.

The annual Visionary Awards provides a red-carpet experience, awards show and after party to more than 1,100 business events professionals. The event is presented in partnership with Visit Austin and Austin Convention Center.

Information about the Visionary Awards 2020 is available at foundation.pcma.org/visionaryawards. Photos from the 2019 PCMA Visionary Awards are available at foundation.pcma.org/press-photos.