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PCMA Foundation Visionary Awards

May 7, 20192019 Professional Excellence Awards winners announced

PCMA Foundation celebrated the business events industry and honored 21 outstanding professionals for their dedication, innovation and passion at the 2019 Visionary Awards in Washington, D.C.

The premier annual industry recognition event on May 7 drew more than 1,000 business events professionals to the Marriott Marquis to recognize three Lifetime Achievement Honorees and six 2019 PCMA Professional Excellence Award winners.

“In our fast-paced and demanding industry, it is important to take a breath, acknowledge and celebrate those who go the extra mile to elevate their organization and the business events industry,” said Meredith Rollins, Chief Community Officer for PCMA. “The Visionary Awards from the red carpet to the awards stage is our way of providing special accolades to excellence in the global business meetings and events industry.”

The 2019 event was held in partnership with Visit Austin and Austin Convention Center. All Visionary Award proceeds benefit the PCMA Foundation, which empowers professionals and advances innovations in the business events industry.

The 2019 PCMA Professional Excellence Award winners are:

Christine Faiman, CMP, global account executive, Marriott International, as Community Advocate

This award honors a PCMA member in the business events industry who has developed and managed a unique and impactful program benefiting the community in which his or her meeting was held.

Faiman is a tireless champion for the business events industry with a focus on inspiring others in the profession. She was instrumental in creating the PCMA Capital Chapter Flagship Internship Program from vetting candidates to recruiting professional mentors.

Finalists: Jennifer Bond, CMP, CMM, deputy director of meeting services, American Astronomical Society; and Laura Pilkenton, director, guest services & employee travel, Maritz Global Events.

Jennifer Gardner, creative director, Freeman, as Event Designer of the Year

This award honors a PCMA member for innovative event design.

Gardner has a talent for translating ideas and feelings into experiences that produce tangible ROI. Her design for Freeman’s booth at ExhibitorLive allowed visitors to fully experience the customer journey in four steps.

Finalists: Sally Ann Debolt, CMP, senior events manager, global events, Siemens Digital Industries; and Diane E. Kovats, CAE, CMP, executive director, International Society for Computational Biology.

The 2019 Visionary Awards also celebrated three Lifetime Achievement Honorees announced in December along with all 18 Professional Excellence Finalists.

  • Business Events Strategist Chris Wehking, association and business relations executive, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)
  • Supplier Eduardo Chaillo, CEO, Global Meetings & Tourism Specialist
  • Educator Lauren Kramer, founder and principal, Meeting Priorities

Photos from the 2019 PCMA Visionary Awards are available at

Full Press Release

Bea TijerinaPCMA Foundation Visionary Awards