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June 24, 2020 36 min

This episode of Lessons from Leaders is brought to you by Smart Meetings, the go-to source of information for meeting and event professionals. For more information on Smart Meetings, please go to

Our guest on this episode is Sherrif Karamat, CAE, the President & CEO of PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association). Sherrif also serves as President of the PCMA Foundation and Publisher of Convene magazine. PCMA is comprised of more than 7,000 members and is the world’s largest, most respected and most recognized network of business events strategists. 

As CEO, Sherrif leads the vision, mission and promise for PCMA’s global family of brands. He serves the greater business events industry as a prominent business architect, enabling the PCMA community to become a catalyst for economic and social progress, organizational success, and personal and professional development.

In his previous role as Chief Operating Officer of PCMA, Sherrif led the development and implementation of PCMA’s new vision: driving global economic and social transformation through business events. He oversaw partnerships, business services, membership, business development and technology teams.

A leader in the business events industry, Sherrif previously served as Vice President of Business Sales and Services for Toronto Convention & Visitors (Tourism Toronto). He has served on various boards and is currently a director on the Destinations International Board of Trustees.

A life-long learner, Sherrif earned his bachelor’s degree and Masters of Business Administration from York University in Toronto, Canada, and has also completed postgraduate certificate programs at Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. 

In this podcast, Sherrif shares memories from his childhood in South America, his transition to Canada, the career choices he made along the way, and what advice he has for professionals aspiring to reach the C-Suite. He also speaks candidly about the challenges surrounding the events industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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