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Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) and COCAL are the newest members of the Convention Industry Council (CIC).

CEMA and COCAL join 31 other organizations in the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry that collectively make up CIC, which provides a forum for member organizations to exchange information, advocates the value of the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry, and more.

“We are pleased to welcome CEMA and COCAL to the CIC family. They bring new perspectives and depth to the CIC membership,” said Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, CEO, Convention Industry Council. “As 2014 approaches, CIC is under the leadership of a strong board of directors and joined by two new organizations that will diversify the Council and its international presence.”

For more than 20 years, CEMA has provided professional networking, knowledge sharing, thought leadership and education for senior-level event marketing professionals. Its education model is focused on collaborating and sharing best practices among members.

“As a community of creative, experienced senior event marketing and industry professionals, we are honored to become members and active participants of the Convention Industry Council,” said Kimberley Gishler, executive director, CEMA. “We look forward to joining the Convention Industry Council as a partner in continuing to encourage and develop meaningful networking opportunities, along with innovative educational programs, that support and benefit the event marketing community.”

Formed in 1988, COCAL represents 3,000 meeting professionals in 16 countries in Latin America. The organization sets standards and professional ethics for the industry and promotes greater collaboration among meeting professionals within countries in the region.

“COCAL is honored to become a member of CIC,” said Alisson Batres, senior vice president, COCAL. “Our members will have greater access to the CMP program and more opportunity to advance their academic and professional careers. Also, our members will help strengthen international growth of the industry by fostering cross-cultural collaboration and learning.”

CIC also elected officers and members of its 2014 board of directors this October.

2013-2014 officers

  • Chair: Bob Gilbert, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International
  • Chair-Elect: Dave Dubois, International Association of Exhibitions & Events
  • Immediate Past Chair: Fran Rickenbach, CAE, IOM, Association of Destination Management Executives International

Elected to two-year terms

  • Bonnie Fedchock, National Association of Catering Executives
  • Susan Robertson, ASAE & The Center
  • Tina Wehmeir, AMC Institute

Continuing on the board for a one-year term

  • Michael Gehrisch, Destination Marketing Association International
  • Vicki Hawarden, International Association of Venue Managers
  • Mariela McIlwraith, Green Meeting Industry Council


  • ETA Transportation
  • Hill and Partners
  • Momentum Management
  • Last Minute Venues
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