Speakers and Special Guests
Global Meeting Planning, New York, NY

Agnès Canonica, CMP, CMM, HMCC

Global Director, Strategic Meeting Management

Born and raised in the south of France, Agnès also lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Grand Case, St. Martin prior to moving to the United States in 1981. She is fluent in French and Spanish and has a working knowledge of Portuguese. Her professional background includes owning her own incentive company for ten years and strategic meeting management in multiple industry sectors, including Life Sciences. For the last 12 years, Agnès has worked for leading agencies, responsible for implementing, growing, and leading International teams and accounts across the globe.

As a thought leader/subject matter expert in the meetings industry, Agnès is frequently invited as a guest speaker and editorial contributor on Life Sciences global compliance/regulatory and meeting planning topics, in addition to serving as an advisory board member for various global hotel brands.

Agnès obtained her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 2000, as well as her Certification in Meeting Management (CMM) in March 2008. She is also an active member of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and currently serving a three-year term on the CIC CMP Governance Commission.

Linda McNairy


Linda McNairy
Director, North America
Global Business Development & Strategy
American Express Meetings & Events

Linda McNairy leads the North American Sales and Business Development team for American Express GBT Meetings and Events. She is an experienced business professional with a passion for the meetings & events industry, dedicated to elevating the industry, creating solutions for her customers and developing the people around her. Her over 20 years of experience include direct corporate planning as well as a variety of roles as a supplier to the industry.

As a dedicated volunteer to the industry, Linda has served in significant leadership positions, including leading the GBTA Meetings Committee and serving on a variety of committees and task forces for GBTA, MPI and PCMA.

Harith Wickrema
Chief Visionary Officer
Eco Serendib Villa and Spa-St. John, USVI

Harith Wickrema is an innovative educator, hospitality visionary and award-winning event producer who has been recognized internationally for sustainability and environmental responsibility over his 30+ year career. At Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, where Wickrema served on the Dean’s Council and has been a faculty member for more than a decade, he designed the first ever sustainable/CSR event management curriculum at the university.

In February 2015, Wickrema had the honor of being invited to speak on the subject of Peace through Tourism at the IIPT World Symposium on Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations in South Africa. He was included among Lodging’s Top Ten Hospitality Innovators in the area of Sustainability for his efforts at Eco Serendib Villa and Spa on St. John. Eco Serendib was created with the mission of giving back to the community and protecting the environment while providing a luxurious “edutaining” guest experience in harmony with nature. His green efforts extend beyond the borders of the retreat to include his support of the “Preserve St. John” program to create a vital island-wide recycling program and Friends of the VI National Park to plant indigenous trees.

He is incoming president of the Island Green Living Association and trustee of the Green Meeting Industry Council Foundation; former president of the ISES Foundation; and former chairman of SITE’s Crystal Awards and Education Committee; and has been honored with 80+ awards/ nominations including the GALA, ESPRIT and Crystal Awards.

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