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ABPCO AGM reveals new board appointments ahead of a year full of potential

The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) has announced key appointments to the board at its recent AGM held at The ICC Birmingham.

The board, which will see Caroline Windsor and Nicole Leida continue as joint-chairs, welcomes Sarah Fitzpatrick (Conference Partners Ltd) and Therese Dolan (Diabetes UK) to reinforce the focus on the membership balance of agency and in-house PCO members.

“The inclusion of both Sarah and Therese onto the board has given the association a real boost ahead of what we anticipate being a memorable 2016,” comments Caroline Windsor, joint-chair of ABPCO. “Their experience, drive and enthusiasm for the industry will be a great bonus to us as we continue with the strong progress from the previous year. There is also a feeling of continuity about this board with very few changes and that can only be a strong sign of us all working well together to make ABPCO a success for our members. Personally, I am thrilled to be working alongside Nicole once again to make 2016 a year to remember for us all.”

At the AGM, the announcements were followed by an overview of the 2016 business plan as well as sessions educating members about Trailblazer Apprenticeships and the LivingWage4Events campaign. The final highlight was guest speaker, world champion and Atlantic rower Rachel Smith who shared her insights into challenging yourself to do the extraordinary both in business and personally.

“On behalf of our members and the board, I want to thank Rachel for what was a fascinating glimpse into the challenges she has faced and how we can all relate as event professionals,” said Nicole Leida, joint-chair of ABPCO. “The entire day was a real source of education for us all with a key focus on Trailblazer Apprenticeships and the Living Wage – two causes which are very close to our hearts.”

The full board structure is:

• Caroline Windsor, TFI Group Ltd – Joint Chair • Nicole Leida, National Cancer Research Institute – Joint Chair • Heather Lishman, Association Director • Anthony Hyde – Treasurer • Rose Padmore, Opening Doors and Venues • Therese Dolan, Diabetes UK • Sarah Fitzpatrick, Conference Partners Ltd • Aileen Crawford, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau • Rhodri Thomas, ICRETH at Leeds Beckett University • Celia Lloyd, Intelligent Events Ltd • Sue Etherington, QEII Centre • Clare Beach, Azura Events Ltd • Sandra Eyre, ACC Liverpool • Noemi La Torre, University of Greenwich • Adam Baggs, Soaring Worldwide

Jennifer Jenkins, and Michael Foreman both former chairs of ABPCO, have received honorary life memberships in recognition of their contributions to the association.

Hazel Choules, Director of Event Management at the British Orthopaedic Association, attended the event and said: “I really enjoy attending ABPCO events and the AGM in Birmingham did not disappoint. It was inspirational, artistic and delicious. It was a great way to catch up with so many talented event professionals to share knowledge and ideas.”

ABPCO is the UK’s leading organisation for professional conference and event organisers, industry associates and those studying for, or seeking a career in the conference and meetings industry. For more information about ABPCO visit


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