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Industry appointments: Associations Forum’s new CEO and more

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Industry appointments: Associations Forum’s new CEO and more
New faces at Business Events Australia, Business Events Adelaide and Associations Forum.

New CEO for the Associations Forum

With Associations Forum’s founding CEO John Peacock set to depart, the consulting business for the associations sector has appointed Joanna Matthew to take the helm from October.

Matthew has extensive experience in the association and not-for-profit sectors, including past roles at Save the Children, Surf Lifesaving New Zealand and the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa. She is currently the general manager of education and professionalism at the Financial Advice Association of Australia.

“The Board of Associations Forum was pleased to appoint Joanna Matthew after an extensive search,” said Peacock.

“Joanna is a highly competent and capable professional who has success in policy, operations, membership, professional services and leadership roles in associations. She has a strong passion for the association sector and the personal warmth to continue the success and reputation of Associations Forum.”

Matthew will start at Associations Forum in August, undergoing a training and transition period before taking on the chief executive role in October.

“Since founding Associations Forum in 2004, John Peacock has developed it into a prestigious and highly respected network of industry, professional and special cause bodies. I look forward to building on his achievements and continuing to deliver high quality services to our 500 member bodies plus many valued stakeholders,” said Matthew.

Business Events Australia appoints two to its US team

Tourism Australia’s specialist business events unit, Business Events Australia, has taken on a new director of business events for North America and welcomed back a familiar face to its team.

Based out of Tourism Australia’s Los Angeles office, Eric Edmunds has been appointed director of business events for North America. He has worked extensively in the hotel and business events market, including as senior manager of sales and marketing for The DMC Group.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the United States, Chris Achacoso will rejoin the Business Events Australia team at the end of July, after nearly two years representing BESydney in the US market.

Based in New York City as a business development manager, Achacoso will help to deliver the North American strategy to attract business events to Australia, while also supporting the marketing activities for Business Events Australia in the United Kingdom. Achacoso was previously a business events specialist for Tourism Australia from 2018 to 2021.

North America is one of Tourism Australia’s key markets for business events.

Business Events Adelaide appoints new research manager

Business Events Adelaide has appointed Dr Tamara Gray as research manager for the bureau, with Gray moving over from her position as operational lead for Adelaide BioMed City.

A science innovation expert, Gray holds a PhD in biochemistry and has spent a significant portion of her career as a postdoctoral researcher. She has also spent eight and a half years as a research leader and manager at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), which is based at BioMed City, next-door to Adelaide Convention Centre.

“The appointment of Tamara to the Business Events Adelaide team is a real coup,” said Business Events Adelaide’s CEO, Damian Kitto.

“Over 60 per cent of business events won for Adelaide in 2023 were health science related, demonstrating that this is a key area of focus. Having someone of Tamara’s calibre and experience as part of our business development team will better equip us to identify, profile and bid for business events that match South Australia’s strategic vision.

“We look forward to Tamara supporting Business Events Adelaide in securing business events that foster meaningful collaborations and economic investment to accelerate the growth of our state.”

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