Our Organization

The Corporate Event Marketing Association advances strategic event marketing and marketing communications for senior-level event marketers and industry professionals.

Our Passion

CEMA is a thriving community of corporate event marketers. We serve all senior-level event marketers in a corporate environment. The diversity of our corporate membership continues to expand, and our recent acceptance as members of the Events Industry Council (EIC) have enabled us to expand our reach even further.

Our differentiator is our non-selling, peer-to-peer environment. Conversations among participants at our events focus on best practice sharing and knowledge sharing. Relationships are first and foremost. Professionals do business with other professionals they trust. CEMA facilitates those connections and lifelong industry friendships.

CEMA members engage in person through educational and networking opportunities offered each month around the country. CEMA Study Tours are our most popular professional development opportunity, providing behind-the-scene knowledge sharing about industry events.

Members also engage online via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

The Board

Karen Cooper

Chairwoman


Poly

Karen brings over 20 years of event experience to the CEMA board. Karen offers a different approach to event management by focusing on creating unique customer experiences that leave attendees feeling immersed into a Company’s brand. Her trademark skills of problem solving, calm demeanor and solid leadership has cemented her role as a key driver of top tier global tradeshows and events. Throughout Karen’s career, she has always focused on “what’s next?” Whether it be in her immediate field, or introducing new programs throughout the organization. Most recently Karen helped launch a Women’s Leadership employee group helping other women focus on development and success in the workplace. Karen’s experience covers a wide variety of focus areas, from wine to technology. In her spare time, she is dedicated to wellness programs, nature, health and fitness.

Stacey Kashubeck

Vice Chairwoman


Dreamforce Production

Stacey Kashubeck is Senior Director of Strategic Events at Salesforce, where she heads up production for Dreamforce, the largest software conference in the world and Salesforce’s premier customer event. Stacey has over 20 years of event experience under her belt, with a portfolio of agency and client-side work. Since joining Salesforce in 2012, Stacey has added her own unique stamp to the marquis event, managing the Dreamfest customer event with talent including U2, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys while partnering with UCSF to bring the annual charity concert benefiting UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals to life. She also spearheaded the Dreamboat initiative at Dreamforce 2015, docking a Celebrity Infinity cruise ship in the San Francisco Bay to combat a hotel room shortage for more than 1,100 Dreamforce attendees.

Paul Coulter

Paul Coulter

Treasurer


Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin

Paul has over fifteen years in the convention sales and events industry. He serves as Director of Group Sales for The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando and leads a team to deliver exciting and engaging events in the heart of one of the world’s largest convention destinations. He has partnered with many of the world’s top corporations with a focus on technology to deliver winning solutions and unique event experiences.

Jim Kelly

Secretary


Fern

Jim is actively engaged in leading the company’s marketing & industry relations efforts. This includes strategy and oversight of branding, social media, public relations, industry events and other face to face initiatives that drive client and prospect engagement. Additionally, his day to day activity with the sales team involves strategy around proposal deliverables and presentations. On the client side of the equation, Jim oversees the Corporate Events PRG Media and Content services group while still overseeing a small portfolio of key accounts for PRG. Jim is committed to supporting the professional growth of the industry though active industry involvement as a volunteer leader and speaker at events. He participates in PCMA both locally and nationally, serving as the President of the PCMA Capital Chapter Board of Directors. In 2014 he was honored by PCMA as the “Distinguished Service Professional of the Year” “. Additionally, he serves as a member of the Executive Committee and Treasurer for the Incentive Research Foundation. In 2015 he was the recipient of the PRG Presidents Award.

Robb Trost

Immediate Past Chairman


Freeman

Robb is a career networker, Senior Director, Strategic Business Development with Freeman and, most recently, Past Chairman of CEMA. He brings focus and experience in agency leadership, brand and digital marketing, sales, strategy and account management. With over twenty-four years of agency experience, Robb’s work has included strategic business growth in technology and consumer product verticals, managing teams across global offices and directing a sponsorship & partner marketing practice. He has successfully managed and grown agency revenue, created teams, designed sales reporting and measurement tools, developed and implemented strategic sales and marketing plans, and drove the B2B/B2C business goals and objectives of his company and clients. Prior to Freeman in early 2019, he worked at Opus Agency, CWT Meetings & Events, Jack Morton Worldwide, George P. Johnson, GMR Marketing and Colangelo Synergy Marketing with some of the world’s best companies and brands. These clients include Google, Salesforce, Oracle, Uber, Anita Borg/Grace Hopper, Workiva, Samsung Telecommunications, Splunk, NetApp, LinkedIn, Okta, Diageo – Guinness USA, Miller Brewing Company, Visa, Nokia, Slim Jim, Mountain Dew, Kellogg’s, Nissan, Intel, Sun Microsystems, Adobe Systems, VMware, and IBM. In addition, Robb has managed sponsorship activations and event programs for clients at major sporting and entertainment events including the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games, 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games, three Daytona 500s and many NASCAR races, NCAA Final Four, three NFL Super Bowls, regional fairs and festivals, and various country and rock music tours including George Strait and Ozzy Osbourne.

Diana Cam

Board Member at Large


Workiva

Diana Cam is the Senior Director, Partner Marketing at Workiva (NYSE:WK), the software company that delivers Wdesk, an intuitive cloud platform that modernizes how people work within thousands of organizations, including over 70 percent of the Fortune 500. Wdesk offers controlled collaboration, data connections, granular permissions and a full audit trail. Wdesk helps mitigate risk, improves productivity, and gives users confidence in data-driven decisions. At Workiva, Cam spearheads strategy and execution of more than 150 events, including conferences, workshops, user groups, and webinars across the US and Europe, and the company’s partner marketing program. She was instrumental in the creation of the company’s annual Workiva User Conference, now in its seventh year and is expected to draw more than 1,700 attendees. Prior to Workiva, Cam led diversity-focused community and sports sponsorships, including NCAA basketball and football, PGA and Champions Tour golf, and NASCAR for Principal Financial Group.

Denise Fest

Board Member at Large


Visa

Denise is the Senior Director, Corporate Events, Visa Inc. Denise has over 20 years’ experience leading teams and event marketing strategies and experiences for major brands in the technology industry. At Visa, Denise heads the corporate events strategy and leads a team of event professionals who manage Visa’s major client, partner, and internal programs. Prior to joining Visa, Denise managed the event marketing strategy, experience and design for large global client conferences, executive programs, and partner events for NetApp, SAP Business Objects, and Siebel Systems (Oracle).

Robin Valenta

Board Member at Large


Las Vegas Visitors Convention Authority

Robin Valenta is a Sales Executive for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the organization tasked with promoting all of Southern Nevada as the premier destination for business and leisure travel. Robin has been in the hotel industry since 1993. Before joining the LVCVA in 2011, she served as a Sales Manager at several different Las Vegas resort properties including Caesars Palace, Four Seasons Las Vegas, Bellagio and MGM Grand. Her experience ranges from gaming and non-gaming properties at venues of varying sizes. In her role at the LVCVA, Robin now represents the entirety of resort partners throughout the destination and West Coast corporate clients

Dick Wheeler

Board Member at Large


ProGlobalEvents/ProExhibits

Dick Wheeler is the co-owner and president of both ProGlobalEvents and ProExhibits. He has been nationally recognized as an innovator and driving force in the fast-growing trade show exhibit and event industry. Under his leadership in 1997, the firm received INC magazine’s INC 500 award as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. His informative articles on developments and innovations in the trade show exhibit and event industry have appeared in national trade publications. Dick has a B.S. degree from Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire and has completed the Entrepreneurial Executive Leadership Program sponsored by MIT, YEO, and INC. He is actively involved in Vistage, an interactive group of over 20,000 CEO’s and presidents worldwide. ProGlobalEvents is an innovative corporate event production company that plans and manages unique experiences ranging from traditional corporate conferences to festival style experiential events. The company blends a team with decades of entertainment and corporate event successes with a creative team, in-house graphics production, custom fabrication services and program management. For more information see www.proglobalevents.com

Colleen Bisconti

Board Member at Large


IBM

Colleen Bisconti is IBM Vice President Marketing, Global Conferences and Events. She leads IBM’s worldwide events strategy and the professional career discipline for an extended team of 400+ event marketers across the globe. The team executes 6,000+ in person and digital events including both proprietary and 3rd party activities. She led the ongoing evolution of the overall event strategy that included the creation of IBM’s single flagship global conference, IBM Think, with over 30,000 attendees annually. Colleen has over 25 years experience in the IT industry and is known as an innovative and passionate marketing leader with extensive management experience. She has a proven track record for the successful development and execution of marketing strategy, demand generation programs, event strategy and execution, and channel development to drive revenue results with a long history of leading high-performance teams. She is results oriented and succeeds by working across matrixed environments and external organizations. Colleen is passionate about team culture and creating exceptional attendee experiences.

Jessica Colmenares

Board Member at Large


Hilton Worlwide

Sherri Ferren

Board Member at Large


George P. Johnson

Sherri is a savvy, proven leader who loves building brands. With 25+ years of integrated marketing, communications, and experiential expertise across all channels, she drives strategic solutions that make a relevant impact. Her portfolio represents not only many of the most admired brands and agencies but also some of the world's top emerging companies. Areas of personal excellence are collaboration, challenging the status quo and inspiring highly talented people. In Sherri's role as SVP, Client Success she is laser-focused on Client Team Development, Brand Marketing Strategy, Event Impact, Creativity, and Innovation in the U.S. and globally. She leads Los Angeles and Dallas regional growth and evolution through well-orchestrated plans, campaigns and solutions. A priority for her is leading teams with defined goals and always with a human touch. As Sherri simply states: " I help brands and people connect with people -internal, B2B, B2C, H2H- that results in lasting relationships."

Billi Little

Board Member at Large


Billi Little is a 27-year veteran in the event management industry and is still loving the chaos around this career path. She has spent most of her career working in the software industry and she enjoys the challenge of trying to incorporate give back opportunities at the event she manages. Billi has a couple of great passions in life and they include traveling, hanging out with friends and drinking beer. She manages to connect those three passions many times in the event career path. She was raised in a small town in Montana and has now lived in Denver, Colorado for 27 years. She loves the outdoor life that living in Denver offers and you can find her playing volleyball, watching sporting events or attending concerts in her down time. She is a life-long Broncos fan and still believes in the team, despite their poor performance the last couple of years! Billi has been an active member of CEMA for more than 16 years and this is her second election to the CEMA board. She truly believes that you can improve your event programs by working with and learning from the outstanding professionals that are part of the CEMA community. She loves meeting and sharing ideas with other CEMA members so she looks forward to meeting you at the next CEMA event

Maria Grasso

Board Member at Large


Philadelphia CVB

Maria is the Vice President of Citywide Sales and Convention Services at the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. She serves the organization by building relationships with meeting planners and corporate event planners who are looking to create memorable experiences for their attendees. Maria has been with the PHLCVB for 20 years, and her work has resulted in award-winning meetings, conventions, and events hosted at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and throughout the City of Philadelphia. In her previous role, Maria was Senior Director of National Accounts with a primary focus on national conventions and major sporting events. One of her signature accomplishments was securing and executing the 2017 NFL Draft. Prior to joining the PHLCVB, Maria was the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Hawthorn Suites Hotel Philadelphia, managed by Vista Host. It was here that she had the opportunity to lead her first large-scale hotel opening. Prior to the Hawthorn Suites, Maria was the Regional Director of Sales & Marketing for Vista Host Hotel Management. Maria is a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association (HSMAI), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA). Charitable Work Maria has given back to the local community by volunteering with local organizations like the American Red Cross, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, The Ronald McDonald House, and Jakes Place. Maria is also the Executive Director of Get Your Rear in Gear Philadelphia, an event supported by the Colon Cancer Coalition. The Colon Cancer Coalition is a non-profit that oversees the continued success of “Get Your Rear In Gear” events across the United States. Maria started the group in 2009 after losing both her father and grandfather to colon cancer. Under Maria’s direction, this event has raised more than $2.5 million dollars in ten years. These funds stay in the region to fund research for colorectal cancer, educate the community about the importance of screenings and patient care.

Sara Straw

Board Member at Large


Sage

Sara brings 10+ years of experience in strategic events, working primarily in the technology industry. At Sage, a global accounting software company, she is responsible for leading the strategy behind a portfolio of tradeshows and user conferences within the U.S., including the annual Sage Summit. Prior to joining Sage, Sara spent 4 years at a leading background screening technology provider, managing their global event program. In addition to her professional career in events, Sara created Solo Travel Woman a blog that inspires woman to embrace their independence to travel the world and create new experiences.

Our Staff

Kim Gishler

CEO & President


916.740.3623

Kim@CEMAonline.com

Kimberley Gishler has been the Executive Director of CEMA since March 2010. She has also served on CEMA’s Board as Vice President and President. Previously she was the Marketing Communications Manager for HP for 15 years. During her career at HP she was responsible for the planning, development and execution of all internal and external communication strategies in the Americas region. Under her umbrella she handled business analysis, C-level initiatives and the management of marketing programs, conferences, industry influencers, and corporate events. Her outbound communications programs included advertising, tradeshows, press and analyst relations, sponsorships and lead generation campaigns. Gishler possesses more than 20 years of marketing communications, event management and business expertise. Prior to her time at HP, she has also served as a trade marketing manager for Crystal Dynamics, a video game developer and publisher, and a manager of accounting for Digital F/X, a developer of audio and video editing systems.

Olga Rosenbrook

Director of Member Services


916.408.3700

Olga@CEMAonline.com

Olga has been with CEMA since 2005. She is the Director of Member Services and Programming. Olga’s wealth of knowledge in event marketing is drawn from her 25 years as an event marketer, including capacities as Director of Marketing and Investment Relations Officer for a NASCAR start up in the Silicon Valley; and over 12 years at Bank of America where Olga was Vice President in Retail Marketing.

Stacey Z. Diemer

Director of Membership


916.792.4201

Stacey@CEMAonline.com

Stacey has been with CEMA since January 2017. She is responsible for bringing positive customer relations to all CEMA members, cultivating relationships, and recruiting and retention of CEMA memberships. Stacey is also responsible for keeping the CEMA memberships up to date, monthly newsletters, the CEMA website and serving on several CEMA task forces. Stacey is new to the event profession and brings to CEMA a background in education, health and wellness.