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PCMA appoints its first chair elect from outside North America

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Neil Brownlee, the first chair elect for PCMA from outside North America
A Scottish business events professional will chair the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) board in 2025.

Neil Brownlee, head of business events at VisitScotland, will chair the board the year after next following approval of the board directors and trustees for 2024 by the association’s members.

This is an important step for the organisation, which calls itself the ‘world’s largest community for business events strategists’, but has traditionally been dominated by North America, where it was founded.

Even amongst the 2024 directors and trustees, just one of the 18 positions is held by an event professional from the Asia Pacific region, despite the vast area being home to 60 per cent of the world’s population.

PCMA has been making an effort to broaden its presence around the world, including in Asia Pacific over recent years.  

Brownlee, will move from the position of secretary-treasurer to chair elect after the PCMA’s Convening Leaders event in January 2024. He has 35 years’ experience in the hospitality and business events industry and has been in his role at VisitScotland Business Events for the last 15 years.

“PCMA is an organisation close to my heart, and I am looking forward to playing an active role as chair elect next year, supporting my colleague and PCMA Chair, Leonard Hoops,” said Brownlee.

“My experience with VisitScotland Business Events’ Policy Driven Model aligns perfectly with PCMA’s own mission, and I am excited to take on the challenge and honoured to be the organisation’s first non-north American chair elect.”

The PCMA chair for 2024, Hoops is president and CEO of Visit Indy, the destination organisation for Indianapolis, in the US state of Indiana.

Sherrif Karamat, president and CEO of PCMA soundly endorsed Brownlee’s future role as chair.

Neil’s leadership and vision is precisely what we need at the Board level,” said Karamat.

“He will continue to be a champion for the global community and his solid understanding of the characteristics and needs of professionals will result in strong advocacy within the board when representing their interests.”

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