PCMA snares Karen Bolinger to lead regional arm

Industry veteran Karen Bolinger has begun her new role as regional managing director for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

As of Monday, Bolinger has begun leading the charge in the Asia Pacific, with the aim of supporting PCMA’s re-growth across the region post-COVID-19.

Announcing Bolinger’s appointment, PCMA president and CEO Sherrif Karamat said: “As stakeholders in the global business events industry look towards a post-COVID-19 recovery, we believe that the Asia-Pacific region will recover first and that the industry will be substantially changed.

“Karen will support PCMA’s APAC growth through her track record of business event industry leadership success and ability to introduce new strategic initiatives in the face of industry and marketplace challenges.

“PCMA is determined to ensure business events are a critical part of the recovery solution in a post-COVID-19 world, and today that solution starts in Asia Pacific.”

As the former CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau and chair of the BestCities Global Alliance, Bolinger has made significant business event contributions to the visitor economies of Australia and other leading international destinations.

“In light of the current environment we find ourselves in, I’m excited to work with PCMA and the Asia-Pacific team to develop a clear pathway of available opportunities to activate the recovery of the business events industry in the APAC region,” she said.

Bolinger will be based in Melbourne, Australia and will lead PCMA’s Asia-Pacific operations team through its office in Singapore.

Her focus will be on new initiatives to extend and strengthen the association’s presence in the region, including the development of region-specific events, thought leadership, curated content, and education. Bolinger will also be responsible for enhancing stakeholder engagement and identifying new business partners.