The Professional Convention Management Association showed a return to its medical meeting planner roots when its board of directors announced today that David Kushner, CMP, CAE, will take on the mantle of PCMA president and CEO. Kushner, who formerly was the chief executive of the Community Hospital Education Alliance, Chevy Chase, Md., will take over for interim president and CEO Jay Donohue, 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.

At the time of DuBois’ somewhat unceremonious departure, Lisa Block, PCMA chair and director of meetings and conferences for the Society of Human Resource Management, said while he had been effective in getting the association through the process of establishing and relocating PCMA’s headquarters to Chicago from Birmingham, Ala., the board felt a "different set of leadership skills" would be needed to continue to move forward with its new strategic initiatives. DuBois’ skills were honed through his hospitality industry background, which included senior sales positions with Sheraton and Ritz-Carlton, and through his experience at varying executive positions with both PCMA and Meeting Professionals International. DuBois is back at MPI as executive vice president of the MPI Foundation.

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. He also put together a strategic plan to develop a more effective and efficient organization; has represented member issues before Congress, the executive branch, regulatory agencies and allied organizations; and last year co-authored The Legislative Labyrinth: A Map for Non-Profits. His history also includes the launch of two consulting firms that specialized in organizational development and human resource management issues.

PCMA, which was founded in 1957 for medical association planners, now encompasses more than 5,000 meeting managers from associations, nonprofits, corporations, and independent planners of all stripes, but its membership is still heavily weighted toward the medical industry. Kushner’s background in human resources, organizational development, and medical society administration seems to fit what PCMA believes it needs to move forward. In today’s press release announcing the move, Block says, "As we continue to work through our strategic planning process and confront the exciting challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, [Kushner’s] expertise is exactly what we need to reach the next level."