Tonya Almond, CMP, has stepped down from the Professional Convention Management Association’s Board of Directors to serve on its staff. The 22-year industry veteran, most recently vice president of meetings and continuing education at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, is now PCMA’s vice president of knowledge and experience design, charged with helping the association to evolve its education content and events. MeetingsNet reached out to Almond to learn more about her approach to the job.
MeetingsNet: For conference professionals, what do you see as most critical to leading change in an organization?
Almond: Listening to what is going on in the organization and the industry it represents is a key component to leading change—as well as identifying pain points in the organization. I believe as you analyze what is critical for the continued success and growth of the organization, it is important to continually view the organization from different lenses, be willing to pivot away from certain legacy programs, and build consensus with the spectrum of stakeholders.
MeetingsNet: Two years from now, what do you expect to be the single biggest change in PCMA’s meetings and events experiences?
Almond: Overall, there will be a global content strategy for learning at PCMA, with a greater focus on content designed to elevate the business event strategist and therefore the importance of the business events industry.
MeetingsNet: What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
Almond: I don’t believe in balance or searching for balance. I believe we all want to excel in every aspect of our lives, and it’s more about making time for the aspects that are important to us. At times, work may need to take precedent over a family matter. It doesn’t mean I love my family less, it’s just that my focus during that particular point in time needs to be on work. I’m not only a mom of two boys and a wife, but I am also managing the complexities of Type 1 diabetes for my oldest, which is a 24/7 job. I have learned that taking care of yourself is crucial and is not selfish. I believe as women, we need to constantly remind ourselves of that.
Kirsten Olean, CMP, CAE, director of meetings for the American Society for Microbiology, will fill Almond’s seat on the board, which expires in January 2019.