March is Women’s Month. The roles women play in the events industry have come a long way, and now female leaders are on the forefront of meeting and event management. From entrepreneurs who are looking forward in how we use tech to plan our events, to women who want to use events to create a more inclusive community, these are some of the most influential and inspirational female leaders working in the event industry.

Holly Felker

Credit: LinkedIn

Working her way up the ladder since 1999 as Event Coordinator for Leadership Events, Holly Felker is the Sr. Manager of Global Meetings and Events at The Coca-Cola Company.

Tonya Almond


Coming from a background of Vice President Of Meetings for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Director Of Meetings And Events Services at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tonya Almond brings her experience to her current role on the PCMA Board of Directors.

Ally Magyar

Credit: LinkedIn

Self-proclaimed “technology maven” Ally Magyar has found a niche in conference event planning. She has over 15 years of experience planning events for Fortune 500 companies all across the country, and she puts all that know-how into her company Hubb: event technology for the meeting and conference planner.

Kathy Grau


Kathy Grau is the Global Meetings and Events Operations Manager for EY. With over 18 years experience in all aspects of meeting and convention planning and management, she started as a freelance meetings and conventions manager before rising to the top of her industry. She will be a speaker at the 2018 Strategic Meetings Summit in New York.

Sandy Hammer


Sandy Hammer has used her over 20 years of experience in marketing and business development to create two wildly inventive businesses. She co-founded AllSeated, what they call “The world’s most innovative event planning platform” that offers virtual reality and 360 Realplans 3D diagramming among other services. She also founded conferenceART, a company that produces corporate conferences, seminars, forums and brokerage events around the world.

Yma Sherry

Credit: LinkedIn

As the Vice President for Meetings and Events for American Express Global Business Travel, she leads a team of 350 Sourcing Managers, Meeting Planners and Account Managers.

Liz King


Liz King specializes in providing live and virtual experiences at events, incorporating technology into the planning and event design. Working with this interest in event technology, King runs, an online platform meant to bridge the gap between event planning and event technology.

Monica Dickenson


As the head of Global Meetings and Events at Shire, Monica Dickenson has spoken on numerous panels on her area of specialty. She set up an SMMP for the company in only a year’s time, moving forward their progress in meetings management.

Rachel Wimberly

Credit: LinkedIn

Rachel Wimberly is the Editor-in-Chief of the Trade Show News Network, where she works to provide up-to-date information in one of the fastest moving event industries. She is also on the board of the Association of Women in Events and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events.

Dahlia Gazzar


Passionate about creating “mindstamping events” and constantly looking for ways to innovate the meeting and event industry, Dahlia Gazzar is always on the edge of the next big thing. She was also the founder of The Meeting Pool, a group of event technology consultants. Her mixture of technology prowess and event planning experience makes her a force in event planning for the tech-minded set.

Hannah Carter

Credit: LinkedIn

With 10 years experience in on-property, regional sales and marketing, and global strategy, planning and innovation, Hannah Carter is a leader in the hospitality event industry. She will be acting as a commentator at the 2018 Strategic Meetings Summit in New York.

Jami Stapelmann

Credit: LinkedIn

Jami Stapelmann is Director of Global Travel and Meetings Services for Estee Lauder Companies. She has worked to develop strategies for the global travel program, and will also be a commentator at this year’s Strategic Meetings Summit in New York.

Each of these female leaders brings her own unique experience and drive to her role, but they all have one similarity in their passion for the events and meetings industry. With grit and determination, they have all become influential leaders and led their companies to building great relationships, one event at a time.

We want to hear from you. Who do you admire as a female innovator or influencer? Comment or share it on social media!


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