As a testament to his pioneering advancement of association meetings industry education and advocacy, ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath was recognised at the 2019 PCMA Visionary Awards on 7th May in Washington D.C. when he was named Business Events Strategist of the Year. The award honours a PCMA professional member who exemplifies professional excellence in their contributions to their organisation, PCMA and the business events community. In their announcement of the winners of the latest edition of the Visionary Awards, PCMA described Gopinath as a “creative, passionate and adaptive strategist who is also a respected leader and mentor.” Gopinath is an industry veteran who has spent his glittering two-decade career advocating for the strategic development of business events in a number of leadership positions in major industry organisations. Before stepping into the role of ICCA CEO earlier this year, Gopinath led ICCA’s Middle East office as Regional Director and achieved an impressive track record of industry engagement initiatives. During his highly-successful tenure, he significantly grew the involvement of the local meetings industry in ICCA activities by organising 17 highly-successful educational events and networking opportunities in countries across the region. Gopinath also forged new relationships with regional governments and grew ICCA membership in the Middle East by more than 80%. Driving the future of association meetings as ICCA CEO Gopinath’s recognition as a leader in business events strategy at the PCMA Visionary Awards coincides with the recent announcement that he has been selected to lead ICCA as its new CEO. At the end of a six-month selection process, ICCA announced in April 2019 that the global meetings industry trade association’s Board of Directors had chosen Gopinath to serve as the organisation’s new CEO. Alongside the incredible results he achieved as ICCA Regional Director Middle East, the Board noted several career accomplishments as being key to their consideration of Gopinath for the role. His appointment marks a new direction in ICCA’s future development.