The Professional Convention Management Association announced the honorees in its first “Twenty in Their Twenties” program, which acknowledges the meetings industry’s emerging leaders, both planners and suppliers.

“Too often great leadership isn’t recognized until the latter portion of careers,” said Deborah Sexton, president and CEO, PCMA. “Twenty in their twenties allowed PCMA to engage and acknowledge a talented group of young professionals for their skills and provide incentive for them to lead our industry into the future.”

PCMA received dozens of applications from twenty-somethings who are employed full-time in the meetings industry. They do not have to be PCMA members. On their applications they were asked to list three ways in which they are industry leaders. A task force reviewed the submissions and decided on the inaugural class.

The recipients were awarded free registration to PCMA’s 2014 Convening Leaders annual meeting and the PCMA Education Conference, $1,500 for travel expenses, and discounted registration to attend Convening Leaders and Education Conference until they reach the age of 30. They also earned complimentary PCMA membership for 2014 and discounted membership until they reach age 30. In addition, each young leader gets three face-to-face or virtual mentoring sessions with a member of the PCMA Board of Directors, the PCMA Foundation Board of Trustees, or past leaders.

They will be recognized at Convening Leaders in Boston January 12–15, 2014. They are:  

Ryan Barth, sales manager, Visit Indy

Yasha Bergmann, project manager, uba GmbH

Casey Carignan, meetings and events coordinator, Lia Sophia

Yih-Hsiang (Shawn) Cheng, team lead, Tourism Vancouver

Katie Dolan, convention services manager, Ottawa Tourism

Vivian Fleet, sustainability officer, Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Rosa Garriga Mora, meeting designer & ROI consultant, Independent Contractor

Mindy Halpert, conference manager, The Consortium for School Networking

Rick Hyland, exhibitor services supervisor, Orange County Convention Center

Alexis Kereluk, manager, association relations, MCI Canada

Sam McNeill, creative director, Song Division

Elisa Sandoval, sales manager, Hotel Nikko San Francisco

Astrid Schrier, CMP, meeting manager, Association Headquarters Inc.

Kathleen Smith, marketing manager, etech events

Megan Tate, manager, event, meeting and travel management, Petco Animal Supplies Inc.

Marcela Torres, meeting and events director, Mexico City CVB

David Wagner, meetings manager, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

Rachel Walsh, director of meetings, Sentergroup

Alleeshia Williams, coordinator, meetings and business partnerships, Institute of Food Technologists  

Leslie Wong, CMP, creative account manager, Blueprint Studios