PCMA Unveils Their 2018 ‘20 in Their Twenties’ Class

October 2, 2017

The 20 in their Twenties program, supported by the Professional Convention Management Association 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.

He added, “It gives young professionals the opportunity to build camaraderie among their peers and gives ushe 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.”

20 in their Twenties Class of 2018

Alexandra Adsit, CMP, CEM

Meeting Planner


Charlottesville, VA


Chloe Armstrong

Bid Executive

Melbourne Convention Bureau

Melbourne, Australia


Sina Bünte, DES

Events Manager


Amsterdam Netherlands


Erica Critzer, CMP

Regional Director of Sales

Visit Dallas

Arlington, VA


Patrick Crosson, CMP



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


Samantha Mele

Proposal & Product Developer


Toronto, ON


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


My House Social

New Orleans, LA


Allison Shebek

Associate Director of Experience Design


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


Andrew Sykes

Assistant General Manager


Halifax, Nova Scotia


Rasheena Wilson, CMP

Meeting and Exhibits Coordinator

American Society of Nephrology

Washington, DC


“This is our fifth class of the 20 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, Tenn.; complimentary registration for PCMA’s June conference in Cleveland, Ohio, 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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Partner Voices
Dallas already boasts 35,000 hotel rooms, award-winning global cuisine, and a walkable downtown. But we are just getting started. Visit Dallas is thrilled to announce that the city of Dallas is doubling down with a massive new convention center and entertainment district. Featuring 800,000 square feet of exhibit area, 260,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 170,000 square feet of ballroom. The center will connect business travelers with dining and shopping options in the popular Cedars District means more places to get down to business, and even more ways to unwind. “Dallas is already a great meetings and conventions destination, with the accessibility of two major airports, affordable labor, and an outstanding hotel product,” said D. Bradley Kent, Visit Dallas senior vice president and chief sales officer. “The new center and Convention Center District will enhance Dallas’ competitive position and are exactly what our customers’ need and have been asking for." What’s New – AT&T Discovery District Located in the heart of Downtown Dallas, this new district on the AT&T corporate campus is tailor-made for groups of all sizes. It boasts a multi-sensory experience, including outdoor event space, the AT&T Theater, and multiple dining outlets including JAXON Beer Garden and The Exchange, a bustling food hall. Hotels Coming Soon Names like the JW Marriott (Downtown), lnterContinental Dallas (Uptown), and Hotel Swexan (Uptown) are adding luxury amenities and bountiful event spaces. The projects will debut in 2023 and beyond. JW Marriott This new, 15-story, 283-room hotel will open in the heart of the city’s downtown Arts District this year. The property features a 25,000-square-foot grand ballroom, as well as a spa, restaurant, lobby bar, fitness center, and a rooftop pool deck and bar. InterContinental Dallas  Located in Cityplace Tower in Uptown, InterContinental Dallas will feature sweeping panoramic views of the Dallas skyline. Guests will enjoy spacious, high-end rooms and amenities, including more than 21,000 square feet of event space.   Hotel Swexan Hotel Swexan, a new, 22-story luxury property, is rising in Uptown’s Harwood District and will make its mark on the Dallas skyline. Opening this year, it is a sculptural building with cantilevered upper floors, as well as a 75-foot rooftop infinity-edge swimming pool and a hidden underground lounge.