Professional Convention Management Association reveals leadership change

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The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) has announced a change in leadership. After more than 12 years, president and chief executive officer Deborah Sexton has decided to move on from PCMA and will step down after the upcoming Convening Leaders event in Nashville in January.

Sexton shared her decision with the board at the September meeting. The board voted unanimously to approve chief operating officer Sherrif Karamat as the new CEO. This follows careful succession planning at PCMA, where Sexton and Karamat have worked closely together since 2005.

“It has been a privilege to serve PCMA,” said Sexton. “This organisation continues to lead the way in the business events industry due to the dedication of our staff, the leadership of our board and wisdom of our membership.”

“Having worked alongside Sherrif for more than a decade, I have great confidence in the future of PCMA under his leadership.”

Karamat joined PCMA in October 2003 as vice president of sales and became COO in April 2008. Prior to PCMA, Karamat was vice president of business sales and services for the Toronto Convention and Visitors Association (Tourism Toronto.

“I am honored to succeed such an inspiring leader, and I’m appreciative of the board’s vote of confidence,” said Karamat. “Because of the strong foundation that has been established by Deborah’s leadership, I know we will build upon this great platform.”

With more than 6,000 members and 50,000 subscribers, PCMA is the world’s largest network of business events strategists.

Sexton will continue as CEO through the January 2018 Convening Leaders meeting in Nashville. She plans to share her experience by launching a consultancy. Sexton will remain in a strategic advisory role with PCMA until March. Karamat’s first day as CEO will be 19 January 2018.

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