The Professional Convention Management Association will honor three industry innovators this spring with 2016 Lifetime Achievement honors.
The honorees – Johnnie C. White Jr., CMP, MBA; Janet L. Jakobsen, CMP, MBA; and James E. Rooney – will be recognized at the 2016 Visionary Awards on April 27 in Washington, D.C. More than 1,000 industry professionals are expected to attend. Here’s a closer look at each honoree:
Johnnie C. White
White, senior director of education, meetings and global affairs at the American Academy of Otolaryngology – head and neck surgery – is the 2016 meeting professional honoree. White joined PCMA in 1999 and was board chairman in 2013. He created an agency task force to support PCMA’s involvement with the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, led the launch of the “20 in Their Twenties program,” challenged the organization to expand its global presence by creating a global advisory group and helped improve PCMA’s technology functions, including implementation of the online community Catalyst.
Janet L. Jakobsen
Jakobsen, a fifth-generation hotelier now on the faculty of Niagara College’s Hospitality and Tourism Program, is the 2016 Educator Honoree. Jakobsen, who joined PCMA in 1993, was the first Canadian and first supplier to chair PCMA’s International Education Committee. She also was one of the first Canadians and first suppliers to obtain the CMP designation. Jakobsen has organized student attendance at Convening Leaders since 2009 and, in 2013, escorted a record number of students to the Boston meeting. Five of her students were the first Canadians recruited as interns to a 15,000-person international conference organized by Precision Meetings.
James E. Rooney
Rooney is president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Before that, he spent 15 years as executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, overseeing the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center and the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. Rooney, a PCMA member since 2003, is a mentor and advocate for the entire meetings industry. He’s considered an international thought leader in the study of the benefits of meetings and conventions beyond the traditionally measured tourism metrics, including economic development. He’s also a CSR leader and helped create Boston’s Conventions C.A.R.E. program, which encourages planners and exhibitors to donate unused event materials to local nonprofits, instead of paying to ship them back to the office.