In order to further accelerate the recovery of the global business events industry, Professional Convention Management Association President and CEO Sherrif Karamat announces the appointment of Meghan Risch as vice president, strategic and corporate communications. Risch is a recognized leader in the tourism and business events industry with more than two decades of global destination and brand communications leadership experience. This new position on the association’s leadership team began reporting to PCMA’s Chief Operating Officer Bruce MacMillan, effective May 20.
“Meghan will play a critical role in accelerating recovery by helping share the story of our industry’s opportunities in a post-pandemic world,” says Karamat (pictured right). “This is our time. Connecting people with purpose to ideas and opportunities that create economic and social transformation—the business of human connections—is what we do better than anyone else. And it’s never been more needed than it is right now.”
For the past three years PCMA has worked to bring its vision of economic and social transformation through business events to life. Responding quickly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, PCMA and the PCMA Foundation deployed Recovery Discovery—a comprehensive research, industry support, upskilling and community engagement plan—to help the industry endure the depths of the crisis and be prepared for the advent of recovery.
“The global business events industry is at a pivotal point for recovery,” explains Risch. “As we emerge from the pandemic, there are opportunities to improve how the meetings and events industry serves as a catalyst for social and economic growth. I look forward to working with PCMA’s leadership team and global stakeholders on this energizing, new chapter for our industry.”
Risch will be instrumental in developing, leading, and implementing an integrated strategic communications plan that promotes PCMA’s mission and goals, strengthens its brand, and deepens the impact of its work. Specifically, Risch will engage key stakeholders through compelling, globally coordinated communications that align with the association’s business priorities and ultimately enable continued growth as she has been known to do throughout her career in the tourism and business events industry.
Risch brings more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality, economic development, and travel and tourism industries. Most recently, she was founder and principal of R4 Communications Strategies, Inc., a strategic communications firm focused on media relations, crisis management and advocacy. In early 2021 Risch orchestrated the launch of Tourism Diversity Matters, the collaborative leader of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives and concepts that support diversity and inclusion strategies to engage and retain a diverse workforce for the tourism and business events industry. She will continue to support this important initiative on behalf of PCMA. Prior to R4, Risch spent 12 years with Choose Chicago, Chicago’s destination marketing organization, leading the communications strategy to support its mission of securing regional, national and international business and leisure visitation for the economic benefit of the city, the community and its membership.