by The M&C Staff | July 01, 2015

9. Ping He

Global General Manager, Asia Pacific, Maritz Travel Co.
Proudest achievement: That has to be the design of Experient's global-service strategy, Glocal, in 2003, which helped put Experient on the map. Maritz Travel's global strategy is also based on this concept. Compared to a brick-and-mortar model, Glocal allows us to effectively and efficiently provide global-service solutions to our customers. It makes us nimble in this ever-changing and competitive business world. It ensures that we focus on our customer needs, not on administrative efforts.
Making my mark: Together with my other two brilliant Global general managers -- Ben Goedegebuure and Eduardo Chaillo -- we have now finalized the development of our Maritz Global Meetings Network infrastructure by welcoming 25 best-in-class global partners to represent nearly 60 key countries. These hand-selected partners enhance Maritz Travel's ability to offer extensive regional knowledge, capabilities and cultural solutions to its clients. We want to turn our Glocal vision -- strategically global in reach, culturally local in expertise -- into a global reality as our strategy allows us to design and deliver effective global meeting experiences for clients anywhere, anytime.

10. Liz King
Founder, Liz King Events

Proudest achievement: We host an annual conference every year called Techsytalk Live, which I am​ most proud of. We started the event back in 2011 because Internet Week was coming up and we wanted to do something for the event industry. A panel didn't seem like a great idea since everyone else was doing it, so we decided to do a showcase on event technology. Over the years it has become a day-long educational event for planners to learn about how technology impacts the work we do every day.

It takes us several months to plan the conference and choose the right speakers and find the right companies to participate. However, all of the work has been worth it. I think that we have one of the most innovative conferences in this space, and we work very hard to find new ways to engage our attendees, think outside of the box in regards to event formats and provide education on a topic that is very important for our industry. We continue to innovate the event year after year, always looking for something new to make it even better, but I think we should be very proud of the event that we have created so far.
Making my mark: Being fairly new to the industry, it is a huge honor to be surrounded by people who have much more experience than me. In my short career, I have really tried to do what I can to connect our industry together and provide education for event planners to rise to the next level. There are some very great certification programs available, but the reality is that so many planners come into the industry with little to no experience.
I've always said that the best and worst thing about our industry is that there is a very low barrier to entry. Someone could decide today that they want to be an event planner, and they can have an event-planning business tomorrow. This provides great opportunities for people like me who wanted to get started in the industry and hadn't studied hospitality in college, but I think it also means that there are many people who flow in and out of our industry. Sometimes, this can pose a challenge for the industry as a whole.

I believe that our industry needs more experience overall and more education, so while formal certification programs are great, I want to contribute what I can to help provide more informal education for the planner who is learning on the go. Also, I really believe in collaboration and community. By helping to build a network of event planners who share their war stories and lessons learned, I believe we can raise the profile of our industry overall and create a more collaborative environment. If, at the end of my career, I can feel like I have done everything I can to make our industry better, I will be really satisfied.

11. Jessica L. Levin, MPA, CMP, CAE
President and Chief Connector, Seven Degrees Communications LLC

Proudest achievement: This one is easy. Writing and publishing Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People in February 2015.

Making my mark: I don't really think about it in terms of making a mark. I want to see people evolve and continue to bring new ideas. I want to be known as a fresh thinker who looks at what we are doing today, what makes sense, what doesn't and what we need to think about to make change tomorrow.


12. Katherine Lugar
President and CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association

Proudest achievement:  It's been an incredibly journey running the American Hotel & Lodging Association for the past two years as we've revitalized the association, energized our members and advanced our agenda on issues that matter to the hotel industry.

In just two years, we've doubled our membership, refocused our attention on advocacy and scored significant wins. Whether we've led the charge on fighting extreme wage initiatives hurting our employees and employers or enlisting Congressional support to stop deceptive practices of rogue online vendors who trick consumers when booking hotels online, to preserving per diem rates around the country or securing reauthorization of Brand USA and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, AH&LA is having a profound impact in Congress and the Administration on behalf of our members.
And it's just the beginning. We have a packed agenda and many important issues before us and I'm excited about the future of our industry and AH&LA.

Making my mark: My job is to ensure that our members' voices are heard on Capitol Hill and in the White House and in state and local capitals around the country. The hotel industry has a powerful and dynamic story to tell. It's a story about good paying jobs, with benefits and more importantly a fast-track to higher positions and the chance to live the American Dream. Ours is an industry of small business owners, with nearly half of general managers and executives having started their careers in entry-level positions. That's why we need to do all we can to protect our businesses and our industry from challenges that threaten our ability to grow and create jobs and allow our employees to flourish. Until that story becomes part of the consciousness of every lawmaker in the country, I won't consider my job done.

13. Heike Mahmoud, CMP
Director, Conventions, visitBerlin

Proudest achievement: Berlin plays a key role as a top global congress destination. We doubled the number of congresses, meetings and events and the number of congress participants as well. According to the ICCA rankings, we started with 61 congresses in 2001 and increased the number of international association congresses to 193 registered events. Furthermore, we created a strong network with our local partners in Berlin and our representation offices in New York City, London and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Making my mark: Berlin still has lot of potential for meetings. Working on new developments and innovations for our customers will be one important step. Bringing clients and partners together, creating new platforms for knowledge transfer and business opportunities is my main focus. My involvement in the BestCities Global Alliance and the partnership with PCMA is one example; I'm hoping to further develop the cooperation between the European Cities Marketing and Destination Marketing Association Inter­n­ational.

14. Fiona Pelham, HON, DBA
Managing Director, Sustainable Events and Positive Impact Events

Proudest achievement: Chairing ISO 20121 is the moment I am the most proud of in my career so far for two reasons: First, I was the youngest female ISO chair at that time, and breaking any gender or age barriers is always inspiring. Second, ISO 20121 is a standard that gives the event industry a framework to follow so every event can have positive economic, environmental and social impacts. This standard will continue to make a difference in the world, and I'm proud of the legacy it will have.

Making my mark: I'm passionate about people creating their lives the way they want them to be. My aspiration is that people will see, from my career, that it's possible for everyone to make a difference with their lives, grow their leadership and enjoy the journey.

15. Pat Schaumann, CMP, CSEP, DMCO, HMCC
Director, Professional Development, Health-Care Sector, Meeting Professionals International

Proudest achievement: That my children, Michael and Marissa, have followed in my footsteps. They could have followed their father into the law field -- my husband is a Circuit Judge -- but they chose the hospitality field, as did my son-in-law and my niece. Marissa is a project manager for Maritz, and Michael is director of business development for Plannernet. I hope that what I have done in my career has affected their work choices.
Making my mark: I want to continue to define my career with innovation. In addition to updating my book and launching the new My Compliance Wizard app, I am continuing to evolve the Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate program that I developed and then sold to MPI. The program just had its 500th recipient; 25 of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world have sent planners or compliance directors/attorneys through the class, and 16 countries have been represented. We launched in Krakow, Poland, in February, followed by Frankfurt, Germany; and we have two upcoming classes in Belgium and Copenhagen, Denmark. And I am currently designing a new CMP health-care training program for MPI, which will launch in August at the World Education Congress.

16. Debi Scholar, CMP, CMM, CTE, GLP, SMM
Coach and Mentor

Proudest achievement: My PricewaterhouseCoopers team and I embarked on a significant, yearlong, intensive Six Sigma SMM project that I presented to leaders as an opportunity to drive consistency, reduce risk and optimize budgets. We brought together critical stakeholders from several departments at a time before SMM was well known in the industry.

It was an intense challenge, but with incredible leadership and coaching from my leader, Kathy Murray, and unwavering support from the CFO, we succeeded and presented compelling results: We recognized 25 percent savings in the first year, reigned in all rogue spend outside of the program, built trusting relationships with the C-level leaders, developed new meetings policy, enhanced the use of our meeting management technology, streamlined processes and implemented a new resource model that I personally developed because it was so confidential.

It wasn't easy to change a large company without a mandate, but it was extremely rewarding to revolutionize a large organization, educate colleagues and become a Six Sigma Green Belt. Moreover, I was the first to combine virtual meetings within the same team as the in-person meeting planners, long before other people considered virtual meetings as a critical SMM component.

Making my mark: I plan to implement a global SMM with my current team members, continue to teach and offer guidance as an SMM coach and mentor, and finalize the edits of three other books that Susan Losurdo and I wrote two years ago.