Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

PCMA Canada West Student Information Panel

August 26, 2021 @ 11:30 am12:30 pm PDT

  • Date: Thursday, August 26, 2021
  • Time: 11:30am – 12:30pm PST/ 12:30pm – 1:30pm MST
  • Location: Via Zoom (link will be emailed to you after registering)

Are you a student that excited about a career in events and hospitality, but worried about the pandemic’s impact on the industry? PCMA Canada West is pleased to host a virtual student information panel that will feature some of the local industry’s top experts who will share their insights and experience and answer your questions!

Topics to be covered:

  • How they started out their careers in the event industry
  • What they wish they knew when they started out
  • Industry dos and don’ts they’ve learned throughout the years
  • How Covid changed their business and how they’ve adapted to that
  • How the industry has evolved over their career

Meet our Panelist: 


  • Leanne Calderwood CMP ConferenceDirect Associate, and Hospitality Industry Trainer

Leanne Calderwood, CMP believes developing a personal brand is the key to setting yourself apart in the hospitality industry.   Serving as a ConferenceDirect site selection associate for the past 14 years,  Leanne used the industry’s hiatus in 2020 to help other sales professionals to find their voice and create a brand that attracts business and opportunities.   Through this work, her true passion was ignited and now Leanne serves her community through her blog, videos, online courses and consulting services around LinkedIn and personal branding.  

When she’s not talking shop, you can find Leanne drinking tea, making jam and gardening at her home in Kelowna, BC with her husband, 2 teenage sons, and her dog, Farls Barkley.



  • Darren Dreger, CESP DES Director of Sales & Events, BC Event Management

Darren embarked on his career in the special event and technical production industry over twenty years ago, volunteering at the Music West Conference & Festival. Darren’s energy and passion for the industry helped propel him to the position of Production Manager of the festival and conference.

In 2004, Darren joined BC Event Management, Western Canada’s leading Event Company in producing international award-winning productions. Darren’s role as Director of Sales and Events allows him to maximize his event production and technical skills. Darren is an active member in the special events industry, he is a past board member of the International Live Events Association (ILEA) and is currently the VP of Education & Events for Meetings Professionals International BC Chapter.



  • Stephanie Lynch Manager, Partnership and Projects, Explore Edmonton

Stephanie Lynch is Manager, Partnerships and Projects with the Business Events team at Explore Edmonton.  With over 18 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry in bringing meetings and conventions of all sizes to Edmonton.

From executing an escape room for planners to learn more about Edmonton, to hosting her own video series called “Stephanie’s Diaries,” to leading a snowball fight in summer, Stephanie loves to find ways to engage with clients while also having a bit of fun too!

Being a part of industry associations like PCMA is tremendously valuable to her to gain a global perspective and collaboration with peers. Outside of the office, she has recently started golfing.



  • Helen Koutsandreas Director, US and International Sales, Fairmont Hotels, Vancouver

Having graduated from the Hospitality and Tourism Program at BCIT  in 1988, Helen worked in several hotels and catering venues before settling in with Fairmont Hotels in 1995.

She has worked in many positions to include Catering Manager, Conference Service Manager, Sales Manager, and finally Director of International and US Sales.

She’s had the pleasure of working at and being on the opening team of several properties in the lower mainland and is currently representing the Fairmont Waterfront, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, and Fairmont Pacific Rim in downtown Vancouver.




  • Emma C. Parston, CMP Partner, ConnectSeven Group

With an emphasis on relationship building and project management, Emma’s desired goal is to work with her client to help them realize their vision and produce the most effective event for their unique purpose.

Emma co-founded ConnectSeven Group in 2015. Operating around the world from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, ConnectSeven is a boutique consulting and event management firm focused on destination and community development. They are the only firm to combine award-winning event expertise with global tourism and community development consultants.





August 26, 2021
11:30 am– 12:30 pm PDT
Event Categories: