Top 2 CEMA Executives Resign

Skift Take

Kimberley Gishler, executive director, and Olga Rosenbrook, director of programming and member services of the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) — an organization that PCMA acquired in December 2020 — have resigned.

Kimberley Gishler, the executive director of the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), and Olga Rosenbrook, director of programming and member services for the group, submitted their resignations this week to Sherrif Karamat, president and CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

CEMA, an organization focused on advancing strategic event marketing and marketing communications for senior-level event marketers and industry professionals, was acquired by PCMA in December of 2020.

Gishler, who for the past 12 years served in the top role for CEMA, also headed up the PCMA global events team. As CEMA’s executive director, it is reported that Gishler tripled CEMA’s membership and increased attendance at its events. CEMA is a group for event-marketing leaders, primarily in the tech industry.

Gishler and Rosenbrook confirmed their resignations to Skift but declined to comment beyond that.

According to Karamat, this parting of ways is a natural evolution of the merger. “We had the privilege of working with Kim and Olga for the past two years. They made sure CEMA was well-positioned and integrated,” said Karamat.

He added that the two will continue through the end of October. “We will be building the CEMA team even bigger. It’s a unique brand for us with a unique culture. We plan to make it even stronger,” said Karamat during an interview on the show floor of IMEX America.

This leaves PCMA without a vice president of global events and experiences less than three months before the start of its annual Convening Leaders gathering in Columbus, Ohio from January 8-11. There is already some controversy surrounding this conference as the Roe v. Wade reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court impacted Ohio, a state where abortion access is in jeopardy.

CEMA co-develops educational content for PCMA’s four signature conferences — Convening Leaders, EduCon, European Influencers Summit, and its Asia Pacific Annual Conference.

Gishler was at the helm of the planning of PCMA’s annual EduCon event in New Orleans last June. The following month saw the kick of the CEMA Summit in Nashville.

CEMA is known for its best practice and knowledge sharing. Gishler wore two hats leading CEMA with its primary focus being corporate events and PCMA, aimed at association planners.

Previously, Gishler was marketing communications manager for HP for 15 years. Prior to her time at HP, she also served as a trade marketing manager for Crystal Dynamics, a video game developer, and publisher, and a manager of accounting for Digital F/X, a developer of audio and video editing systems.

Rosenbrook’s experience includes 25 years as an event marketer, including capacities as director of marketing and as an investment relations officer for a NASCAR start-up in the Silicon Valley; and over 12 years at Bank of America where she was a vice president.

Skift Meetings will continue to update this story and so much more from the floor of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center during IMEX America 2022.

Photo credit: Kimberley Gishler, former president and CEO of CEMA