Professional Convention Management Association 20 in Their Twenties Winners Selected

November 18, 2014

The Professional Convention Management Association has selected the 2015 class for their 20 in their twenties program, which is designed is designed to engage the best and brightest young professionals in the meetings industry by recognizing emerging leaders.

 “We are privileged to once again have the opportunity to strategically partner with PCMA, the PCMA Education Foundation and their 20 in their Twenties initiative,” said Bob Lander, President and CEO of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, the program’s sponsor.

He added, "As an inaugural partner, we were thrilled to assist in the development of new initiatives that involve and engage emerging leaders to promote innovation within the industry. This is a focus in Austin and we all feel a sense of responsibility to attract, recruit, and retain talented, motivated and productive young professionals to keep moving our industry forward. We recognize that this is critical to its proactive growth and continuing success”

20 in their Twenties Class of 2015

  • Ashley H. Akright, CMP, Manager of Conference Coordinators, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
  • Magdalina A. Atanassova, Communication Manager, AIM Group International
  • Madeleine Bart, Event Coordinator, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)
  • Michael W. Cubbage, Principal, Meeting Contractors, LLC
  • Katrina L. Dunn, Meetings and Foundation Senior Manager, American Society for Nutrition
  • Danielle E. Foster, MBA, Meeting Planner, Certified Angus Beef, LLC
  • Katharine L. Gausmann, Meetings and Events Specialist, American Feed Industry Association
  • Kacie Hackett, Sr. Coordinator, CES Conferences, Consumer Electronics Association
  • Kristine Koonts, CMP, Executive Events Manager, Vancouver Convention Centre
  • Jennifer Kuchenbecker, CMP,  Director of Conferences and Events, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists
  • Alana K. Mallory, CWP, Meetings and Events Coordinator, America’s Essential Hospitals
  • Leucepe Martinez, Production Assistant, Worldwide Business Research
  • Madeja M. Metcalf, Meeting Coordinator, American Institute of Steel Construction
  • Samantha L. Moore, Meetings Coordinator, American Bakers Association
  • Janet Partlow, CMP, Senior Meetings Manager, J. Spargo & Associates, Inc.
  • Cara Pratt, DMCP, Director of Sales, Destination Partners, Inc., A DMC Network Company
  • Lindsay K. Pund, Management Associate, BCD Travel
  • Kristina Simkins, Product Director, OnPeak
  • Jessica L. Smith, MTA, CMP, Senior Meetings Planner, American Bar Association
  • Jennifer Vaseleck, Assistant Director of Meetings, NASPA - Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

“The quality of our applicants this year was outstanding” said Deborah Sexton, PCMA president and CEO. “While this is just our second PCMA 20 in their twenties class, it’s clear the young leaders in our industry have diverse talents and are making a true impact on the organizations they work for.”

Criteria for applicants was to be employed full time in the meetings industry, be 29 years old or younger 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 and members of the inaugural class of 20 in their Twenties recipients reviewed dozens of applications in detail before deciding on the inaugural class.

The individuals selected will receive complimentary 2015 Convening Leaders and Education Conference registration, funds to cover travel expenses to attend Convening Leaders, as well as discounted registration to attend Convening Leaders and Education Conference until they reach the age of 30. Recipients will also receive complimentary membership for 2015 and discounted membership until they reach age 30.

They will have the opportunity to be paired with a member of the PCMA Board of Directors, Foundation Board of Trustees, or Past Leaders for three face to face or virtual mentoring sessions to assist in further development of their innovation and career.

Recipients will be recognized at Convening Leaders in January, as well as in ConveneMagazine and other PCMA communications.

The program is supported by the PCMA Education Foundation, the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Austin Convention Center.

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