The Professional Convention Management Association in Chicago returned to its medical meeting planner roots when its board of directors announced in June that David Kushner, CMP, will take on the mantle of PCMA president and CEO.

Kushner, who formerly was the chief executive of the Community Hospital Education Alliance, based in Chevy Chase, Md., will take over for Jay Donohue, interim president and CEO, who now will go back to his previous role as PCMA senior vice president, operations. Donohue took over after previous PCMA head David DuBois, CMP, was ousted in January.

Kushner's 12 years as chief executive of CHMEA and its predecessor organization, the American Osteopathic Healthcare Association, sharpened his skills in staff, membership, and program development initiatives. “CHMEA's primary focus is on education in the osteopathic medical world, and it is highly involved in CME,” says Kushner. “That's a plus, since there are many medical meeting planner constituents in PCMA who are dealing with CME issues, and I won't be going in unaware of their concerns.”

He also put together a strategic plan to develop a more effective organization for CHMEA; has represented member issues before Congress, the executive branch, and regulatory agencies; and last year co-authored The Legislative Labyrinth: A Map for Non-Profits.

PCMA, which was founded in 1957 for medical association planners, now encompasses more than 5,000 meeting professionals of all stripes. Kushner's background in human resources, organizational development, and medical society administration seems to fit what PCMA believes it needs to move forward with its strategic initiatives.

Although he recognizes the challenges, Kushner is looking forward to getting to work. “With the economic situation the way it is, with the changes that have occurred across the country after the acts of terrorism, we are all redefining our lives and our meetings,” he says. “I'm coming on board at a very interesting time.”