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Sexton to leave PCMA early next year

COO Sherrif Karamat to succeed longtime CEO after she steps down in January

Sexton, KaramatSexton (left) and Karamat

Dec. 4, 2017
By Walt Williams

Deborah Sexton will step down as president and CEO of the $14 million-revenue Professional Convention Management Association in January, the Chicago-based group announced Monday. COO Sherrif Karamat will succeed her as the next CEO.

Sexton has led PCMA for 12 years. In a statement, the outgoing CEO said she plans to launch a consultancy and will remain in a strategic advisory role at the association through March. She shared her plans with PCMA’s board of directors in September.

“It has been a privilege to serve PCMA,” Sexton said. “This organization continues to lead the way in the business events industry due to the dedication of our staff, the leadership of our board and wisdom of our membership.”

PCMA credited Sexton’s leadership for helping double membership and revenue. She also led a rebranding of the group’s annual meeting and helped expand its technology and online offerings.

Karamat joined PCMA in 2003 as vice president of sales and became COO in 2008. Prior to PCMA, he was vice president of business sales and client services for the Toronto Convention and Visitors Association.

Karamat’s first day as CEO will be Jan. 19.

He has an MBA in marketing and international business from York University in Toronto.