by The Successful Meetings Staff | July 01, 2015

The Consensus Builders

 David Dubois, CMP, President and CEO, International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE); Chairman, Board of Directors, CIC
As chair of CIC, Dubois has worked to strengthen the council's efforts to showcase the global impact of meetings, exhibitions, and events on the economy and continues to help drive the growth of its global CMP program and "the enhancement of industry best practices through the CIC APEX program," as he puts it. He has overseen the growth of IAEE to more than 9,000 members across 50 countries and has redoubled efforts on the association's "two strategic pillars" of advocacy and education. All of this goes toward what Dubois describes as his and IAEE's effort to "collaborate with many industry associations to enhance the positive impact of all that the MICE industry does to advance our societies and global economies."


Deborah Sexton, President and CEO, PCMA
Strong, knowledgeable, and a visionary to emulate, Deborah Sexton's hallmark humility identifies her unique leadership style. Asked to list her successes, she focuses the spotlight on her PCMA team. "It's not me; it's what our organization has been able to do that allows me to be recognized," says Sexton, who joined PCMA in March 2005 as its president and CEO. Under her leadership, the organization's membership is at an all-time high, and the PCMA annual meeting has broken attendance records for the last five years.

With more than 30 years of experience in the meetings and convention industry, Sexton previously served as president of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau [now Choose Chicago] and is a past chair of the Convention Industry Council, not to mention having held positions on the Foundation Board of Trustees of the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus and ASAE Foundation Board. She is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives and a current board member of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research.

Denise Dornfeld, President, AlliedPRA, Inc.
Denise Dornfeld has dedicated 29 years to the destination management industry. She currently oversees operations of 20 U.S.-based franchise and wholly owned AlliedPRA offices. This includes directing the staff and franchise operations while managing the global sales efforts of the North American based AlliedPRA Global Sales Team.

An industry and community leader, Dornfeld holds active memberships and volunteers her time on numerous boards and committees, including the Site Foundation's Board of Trustees, Site SoCal Chapter, FICP, MPI, and the Association of Destination Management Executives International. In addition, she serves as a committee member for the Girl Scouts Urban Campout annual fundraising event. "As a strategic arm of the industry, we have gone from being called ground operators, mainly responsible for local tours and coach transfers, to destination management experts," says Dornfeld.

The Globalists

Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group
Heading up the largest trade-show group in meetings, and connecting with more buyers and sellers than perhaps anyone else in the industry, Bauer continues to guide IMEX Group and the industry as a whole to bigger and better things. The past few years have seen the launch and further development of IMEX America in Las Vegas, as well as continued growth of IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany. Bauer sees these developments as reflective of the "wider evolution of the industry, where once-emerging markets are beginning to mature and new markets are springing up." She adds, "This is a great place for our industry to be as we look ahead to the next five to 10 years."

Another recent high point for Bauer has been the growth of the IMEX Politicians Forum, aimed at educating policymakers on the value meetings bring to their destinations. "The issue of advocacy has never been so important, and much momentum has been built through our programs, but also by campaigns such as Meetings Mean Business," she says.

Arnaldo Nardone, Immediate Past President, International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)
The Uruguay-based immediate past president of ICCA has demonstrated his ability not only to influence the Latin American meetings market, but the broader global meetings community with his numerous industry roles. As the head of his own consultancy firm, Nardone has directly influenced government meetings policy in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and Peru, and as the director of the FIEXPO Latin American trade show, he established an influential Politicians' Forum for industry advocacy across Latin America.

Edward Liu, President, Asian Federation of Exhibition & Convention Associations; Group Managing Director, Conference & Exhibition Management Services
Edward Liu is a prime example of the emergence of leaders in the meeting industry from beyond the traditional centers of Europe and North America. The recipient of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events International Excellence Award earlier this year, Liu manages 15 major exhibitions and events in Asia, including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand in his role as group managing director for Conference & Exhibition Management Services.

Dubbed by Singapore's Straits Times as "The Exhibition Man," Liu is a major force in the meetings and events association scene in Asia. As immediate past president of AFECA, Liu plays a central role in coordinating cooperation among 26 MICE associations, from 13 countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific region. He also currently serves as an advisor to the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade; the Chengdu Municipal Government, Sichuan; the Chongqing Convention & Exhibition Bureau; and the Macau Convention & Exhibition Association; and he is honorary president of the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers.

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This article appears in the July 2015 issue of Successful Meetings.