by Loren G. Edelstein | December 05, 2017
Deborah Sexton published an update letter to the meetings industry today at, offering further detail following yesterday's announcement that she would step down from her role as president and CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association following this January's convention in Nashville.
Following is her statement in full:
Yesterday, I announced my plans to move on from PCMA at the beginning of 2018. Serving as the president and CEO for the business-events industry's leading and most trusted organization has been a true honor and one of the highlights of my career.
I have worked with the best of the best, from staff to volunteer leadership to industry icons. I am leaving PCMA in the best financial position since the day it was founded, with the strongest team the organization has ever had. Knowing this made my decision to start a new chapter easier. Together this team of staff, boards, members and collaborators will continue to achieve greatness for both PCMA and our industry, and I will celebrate their future achievements with enormous pride.
Many have asked, "why now?" More than three years ago, I challenged both our boards to define the future of PCMA. What could it and should it be in five years? They took the challenge and ran with it. Crafting possible scenarios; winnowing them down from 18, to 4 to 1; and bringing in an esteemed outside facilitator and many collaborators. It was a thoughtful process. Today we have our unanimous vision for PCMA's future and a new strategic plan. Now is the time to execute on the plan, and this requires a 10-year leadership commitment. Contemplating this commitment caused me to pause and dream of what my next 10 years could be - the answers led me to my decision to leave.
After Convening Leaders 2018, the day I close my PCMA office door will be exhilarating and humbling, but I'm looking forward to what's next - to share my experience with those who have a thirst for global, innovative, creative and lasting solutions and pursue philanthropic endeavors.
During my tenure with PCMA, I have traveled the globe - from Chicago to Johannesburg to Bangkok and back. Through my travels, I have met so many passionate colleagues and am forever grateful for the generosity of their trust, support and hospitality. Over the past 13 years, I have had the privilege to work with talented boards and officers who believed that standing still in our success was not an option, that each new year presented opportunities to raise the bar and envision our future. It was hard work, but truly fulfilling.
One of my last acts will be to lead PCMA to break a Guinness World Record at Convening Leaders - as we gather together Wednesday morning to build the Largest Human Image of a Musical Instrument in the shape of a giant guitar. I invite you to celebrate PCMA and join me there.
Thank you for all your support throughout my tenure at PCMA. I am sincerely appreciative. See you in Nashville.