The Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) board of directors has selected Martha J. Sheridan, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GBCVB), as its next co-chair. Effective January 2022, Sheridan will join Michael Massari, chief sales officer of Caesars Entertainment, in guiding the coalition through a pivotal moment for the meetings industry.
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Under their leadership, MMBC will continue to advance its mission of promoting the enduring value that professional meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and the economy, particularly as this hard-hit sector emerges from the pandemic.
Established by the U.S. Travel Association in 2009, MMBC is comprised of organizations across the meetings and travel community who came together after the 2008 economic crisis with a focus to grow the influence and importance of business travel, meetings and professional events.
"The decade-long work of the coalition has established a strong foundation for industrywide coordination, effective advocacy, and corporate engagement," said Sheridan "There is a lot of work ahead of us, but the collective strength of this coalition and its members can drive recovery efforts and bring back safe professional meetings and events."
Sheridan added: "Meetings and events are a vital component of the U.S. travel economy, and this sector must return for us to fully recover from the pandemic. It is more important than ever for our industry to rally aroud the power of professional meetings and events."
Sheridan, a 25-year veteran of the travel and tourism industry, has served the last three years at the helm of GBCVB, where she recently formed a groundbreaking Tourism Destination Marketing District to promote travel to Greater Boston. Sheridan was a key partner in pushing out the city's All Inclusive Boston campaign, an effort to market Boston to a more diverse demographic of prospective travelers. In addition to her valued role on MMBC's board, Sheridan currently serves on the boards of the U.S. Travel Association and Destinations International Foundation, and is past chair of Destinations International. In Massachusetts, she currently chairs Governor Baker's Advisory Commission on Travel & Tourism.
"Martha brings a wealth of industry knowledge that will strengthen MMBC and help accelerate the recovery of the meetings and events sector," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "Working together with Michael, Martha’s leadership and strong relationships with the business community and policymakers will be critical as we continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic."
Sheridan begins her co-chair term as MMBC integrates fully with U.S. Travel Association, a move that was announced in November 2021. MMBC will now benefit more directly from the association's robust public affairs resources and receive critical research, content and policy solutions as a core pillar of U.S. Travel’s advocacy work.
She assumes the co-chair leadership position previously held by Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company.
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. In 2020, travel generated $1.5 trillion in economic output and supported 11 million jobs, a drastic decline from pre-pandemic figures. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.