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DEI: Reflection, Resilience, Reinvention

Session Description 

DEI: Reflection, Resilience, Reinvention

In a collaborative discussion, presenters will take an insightful look at DEI in the business events industry. Together we will reflect on DEI, reclaim resilience, and reinvent the future of our industry. Purposeful dialogue and creative solutions require multiple perspectives: all are welcome and encouraged to join the conversation!


 Derrick M. Johnson, II, CMP, DES, PCMA Board of Directors, Chair, LGBT Meeting Professionals Association

Derrick is Director of Event Strategy & Chief Diversity Officer at Tally Management Group where he develops and connects the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives of TMG and its clients with long term vision for experience design. A graduate of the University of Florida, Derrick holds a Master of Science in Business Leadership and Management from Western Governors University. In addition, he has a Certificate in Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy from MIT, the Digital Event Strategist (DES) credential from PCMA and is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP). Derrick joined the PCMA Board of Directors in 2019 and facilitated its Digital Event Strategist Certification Course through the eye of COVID-19. He also serves as Chair of the LGBT Meeting Professionals Association.

Derrick’s expertise in producing and advising on virtual experiences drives TMG to effectively provide elevated educational experiences, community building, and access for global communities, specifically those who have been systemically suppressed or marginalized.

Valerie Sumner, PCMA Board of Directors, Chair, PCMA Foundation

Valerie completely enjoys her role, working with clients, colleagues and partners to guide business event development, strategic planning, marketing and creative design within the face to face and digital event practice. From hotel sales and marketing positions, she continued her passion for the industry as part of the leadership team, taking the TCI Companies (DMC-Washington DC) global. In 2005 she launched VRS Meetings & Events with her sister, Roberta. Valerie brings leadership, vision, and a can-do attitude to the VRS team, each client and to every event.

Her work in partnership with VRS clients and partners ensures the event experience meets and supports the client’s goals and objectives. Through her leadership roles in the business events industry, Valerie has a pulse on industry trends which allows her to share knowledge of unique sponsorship activations, new learning environments, insightful speakers, and vendor partners.

Problem solving and designing solutions are part of Valerie’s DNA. Contract negotiations, budget development and managing high-level budgets are an “opportunity”. Always eager to learn, Valerie is a frequent presenter, facilitator and attendee at industry conferences.

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newyorkpcmaorgDEI: Reflection, Resilience, Reinvention