SITE Launches Initiative to Empower Women to Become Strong Leaders


ARuffini at Chapter Leaders Meeting.jpgDuring IMEX Frankfurt, SITE President Annamaria Ruffini, CIS, CMP announced the launch of a new initiative to empower women to become strong leaders in the business events industry.

“With our large percentage of female members and the number of women in the MICE industry, we felt it was imperative that SITE develop an initiative to help build strong women leaders around the world. We have started by putting together a global committee representing all industry disciplines and developed a mission statement. For the remainder of this year, our efforts will be focused on raising awareness of the issues affecting women in our industry, developing partnerships with other associations and women’s Northstar Women in Leadership.jpgorganizations, creating a mentor program and conducting breakout sessions and webinars to help educate and empower women to become strong leaders,” Annamaria shared.

Mission Statement:

“To powerfully change the lives of women in the global MICE industry by advocating for women in leadership, raising awareness on equality, furthering education, supporting entrepreneurship and being a catalyst for personal and professional growth and leadership development at all stages of their career.”

Rhonda Brewer, CIS, SITE Past President 2015 has volunteered to chair the committee.  Committee members include:

  • Annamaria Ruffini, CIS, CMP, SITE President 2018 & President & CEO Events In & Out S.R.L., Rome, Italy
  • Rhea Stagner, CIS, SITE Foundation Immediate Past-President & DVP Sourcing & Supplier Relationships, Maritz Travel, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Jenn Glynn, SITE Vice-President Finance & Business Development and Managing Partner, Meeting Encore, Toronto, Canada
  • Fiona McGrory, Past-President, SITE Great Britain and Business Development Director, Intercontinental London Park Lane, London, United Kingdom
  • Wichita Villacres, Past-President, SITE Florida & Caribbean and Owner/CEO, Eco Destination Management, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Danielle Cerami-Gillis, Vice-President, Events & Tradeshows, Northstar Travel Media, New York City, New York
  • Sarah Klimek, Director, Program Management, One10 Marketing, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Sabrina Osheroff, Account Manager, Unbridled, Denver, Colorado
  • Karen Gonzales, CMP, Director, Partner Relations, International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), Littleton, Colorado
  • Meenaz Lilani, SVP Global Sales North & Central America, Accor Hotels, London, United Kingdom
  • Sheema Vohra, Managing Director, Sartha Global Marketing, New Delhi, India

SITE has created a Women in Leadership Flipboard, which includes a compilation of articles about issues impacting women in the workplace.  Members are invited to view the Flipboard and add any articles they think may be relevant.


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