Association News: CEMA Announces New Board; SPIN Returns to Its Roots

December 12, 2019

The Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) has announced its new board members for 2020.  The board of directors will drive CEMA’s growth, innovation, diversity and sustainability initiatives in the coming year.

2020 CEMA Board Members

  • Chairwoman: Karen Cooper, Senior Manager Event Strategy and Development, Poly
  • Vice Chairwoman/Chairwoman Elect: Stacey Kashubeck, Senior Director of Events, Dreamforce Production,
  • Secretary: Jim Kelley, Vice President of Marketing and Industry Relations, Fern Expo

Board Members at Large:

  • Colleen Bisconti, Vice President of Global Conferences and Events, IBM
  • Billi Little, Senior Event Marketing Manager, Symantec
  • Maria Grasso, Vice President of Citywide Sales and Convention Services, Philadelphia CVB
  • Sherri Ferren, Senior Vice President of Client Success, George P. Johnson
  • Dick Wheeler, President, ProExhibits
  • Jessica Colmenares, Director of Sales, Hilton
  • Sara Straw, Senior Manager of Event Strategy, Sage 

CEMA Board Members completing their second year of a two-year term include:

  • Past Chairman Elect Robb Trost, Senior Director of Strategic Business Development, Freeman Company
  • Treasurer Paul Coulter, Director of Group Sales, Walt Disney World, Swan Dolphin Resort
  • Board Member at Large Diana Cam, Senior Director, Partner Marketing, Workiva Inc.
  • Board Member at Large Denise Fest, Senior Director of Corporate Events, Visa Inc.
  • Board Member at Large Robin Valenta, Sales Executive, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

With direction from the new board, CEMA will continue creating industry-leading educational and professional networking events and groundbreaking study tours. The 2020 annual CEMA Summit will be held July 26-28 at the JW Marriott in Nashville, Tenn. The event’s call for speakers is open until Feb. 1, 2020. 

Changes to SPIN Operational Model Announced

Meanwhile, the Senior Planners Industry Network (SPIN) is returning to its roots. SPIN founder Shawna Suckow and Executive Director Tracey Smith announced the pivot in the group’s strategy during a Facebook Live event for members on Dec. 10.

Starting next year, SPIN will be making some major changes, doing away with its board and branches to instead focus on being a member-led networking group — which is what it began as back in 2008. This announcement coincides with Smith’s retirement.

As part of this change, SPIN will be discontinuing its newsletter, seminars and branch events. Instead, any member will be able to plan and host a local event by posting it on the group’s private Facebook page. Planner dues and individual supplier memberships will also be phased out, making SPIN free to any eligible planners (those with 10 or more years of planning experience). 

The annual SPINCon will continue to be organized by current SPIN’s Vice President of Operations Catherine Jensen (the next SPINCon is scheduled for Dec. 13-15, 2020, in Miami). And another event will be added — one that Smith calls a mashup of a business workshop with a rejuvenation retreat. The new AdventureCon will be held the first week of June 2020 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


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