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Changemakers 2021

MeetingNet’s annual Changemakers list honors leaders of meeting innovation in a year like no other.

Out of adversity comes opportunity. The flood of nominations that came in for our 2021 Changemaker honors—at least double the number received in a typical year—is wonderful proof of that old maxim.  Faced with the pandemic and a year of racial reckoning, meeting professionals had an opportunity to learn, drive change, and push themselves and their organizations forward. We’re thrilled with the Changemakers we’ve profiled—wonderful communicators, instigators, and innovators—but we know there are so many others who have stepped out of their comfort zones over the past year to drive change at their organization and in our industry.

Hats off to all the planners and suppliers who were nominated, and a round of applause to these special leaders on our 2021 Changemakers list:

Carrie Abernathy, CMP, CEM, CSEP
Lead Meeting Planner, Altria;
CEO, A Woman With Drive

Mary Ackleson
Senior Program Manager
Kristen Wheeler
Meetings Program Manager
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Edward Bagsic, CMP
Senior Manager of Conventions, VIP Events, and Budgets
National Business Aviation Association

Jennifer Bertolino
Director of Catering Sales
Levy Restaurants

Thomas Whelan
Director of Banquets
Levy Convention Centers

Michelle Dunnick, MBA, CPCE
Director of Events and Investor Relations
United Way of Southeast Louisiana

Tina Fullard
Head of Corporate Programs & Hospitality Services

Mike Gamble
President & CEO
SearchWide Global

Janice Jackson, CMP, DES, CTA
Events and Meeting Manager
National Football League Players Association

Shameka Jennings, MTA, CMP, DES

Jaclyn Kelly
Director, Corporate Relations
Radiological Society of North America

Melissa Klingler
Vice President, Educational Program Development
Adam Saunders
Senior Director, Live Meeting Multimedia
PeerView Institute for Medical Education

Margaret Launzel-Pennes
Pop Experiential

Natalie Lowe, CMP
Owner, Celebrate Niagra
Co-Founder, The Sustainable Events Forum

Candice Tulsieram, DES
Owner, 360 Events
Co-Founder, The Sustainable Events Forum

Lori Pugh Marcum, MEM, CMP, CMM, CED, HMCC
Director of Events
Path to Purchase Institute, IQ Ensemble

Heather Mason
CEO and Founder
Caspian Agency

Carolyn Pund, CMM, DES
Global Leader, Strategic Meetings Management and Digital Webinars
Cisco Systems, Inc.

Sue Sung
Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Freeman
Executive Director, Go LIVE Together

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