Bolinger makes way for Flo Chua as PCMA rings changes

Former MCI exec takes over in Asia Pacific as Professional Convention Management Association seeks global growth based on localised leadership

A RESTRUCTURING of the PCMA’s global leaderships sees Karen Bolinger stepping down to make way former MCI Greater China director Florence Chua as the association seeks a more “localised” regional presence.

Changes also come in other regions under the Professional Convention Management Association as two new directors step up: Lucio Vaquero, for Latin America, and Jaime Bennett, for Europe and Middle East.

Bolinger was made Asia Pacific managing director in April 2020 on a part-time consultancy basis. PCMA said she would continue to support the association with specific projects.

PCMA president and CEO Sherrif Karamat said the new and expanded leadership structure reflected the changes needed for the association to become a world leader in the business events industry.

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“There has never been a greater need for people and communities everywhere to come together to confront our economic and social challenges,” said Karamat. “Business events have the power to do just that, and we need localised presence by region with impactful leaders to make it happen.”

The association said in a statement that Chua’s appointment was made to accelerate growth across the Asia Pacific region. She will be based in Singapore.

Chua has more than 20 years of experience working with corporations and associations throughout Asia Pacific, most recently as vice president, growth and brand management for the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation.

PCMA said that under Bolinger’s leadership the PCMA brand expanded across the region with the association launching its inaugural Convening APAC and the first Convening Leaders to be held in Singapore when it was broadcast live in January, 2021.

Backgrounder… Bolinger takes reins at PCMA Apac

“The Covid-19 pandemic has leapfrogged the business events industry in embracing technology to facilitate connections and engagement,” said Chua.

“I believe the industry will attain new heights in harnessing the physical and digital possibilities to enable more connections across wider geographical spread, deeper engagement and more sustainable approaches than ever before.”

Supporting PCMA’s global strategic plan is Marcela Torres, a PCMA “20 in their 20s” alum. In her role as marketing manager, digital products, she will be the first Mexico-based strategic marketing team member. She will report to PCMA chief operating officer, Bruce MacMillan, who will work with the Chicago-based headquarters team toward the association’s “mission to be the global leader in the business events industry”.

Main picture: Florence Chua (left) and Karen Bolinger

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