Meet PCMA’s Distinguished Meeting Professional of the Year: Carolyn Pund

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Carolyn Pund, Cisco Systems, PCMA
Cisco Systems’ Carolyn Pund: “What we do is no longer about a single event. The industry is so much more vibrant and sophisticated now.”

Carolyn Pund, CMP, CMM, is one of those people who is always willing to share her knowledge. Call her and she will call you back; email her and she will find time to respond. Her mission is to further the profession and the way she does that is by making herself accessible to those who want to learn.

It’s that openness and generosity—along with the huge strides she has made as senior manager, global strategic meetings management, at Cisco Systems, Inc.—that led the Professional Convention Management Association to honor her with its Achievement Award for Distinguished Meeting Professional of the Year at the annual Convening Leaders, held in mid-January in Chicago.

“At the beginning of my events career I remember being at an industry meeting and watching people receive awards on stage like I just did,” she told Prevue during PCMA. “I would think about how much effort they must have put in to deserve that and I never dreamed I would one day be a recipient back then.” And that she has, from speaking at industry events around the world to volunteering her time with associations and advisory boards through the years—over 30 at last count.

At Cisco Systems, her focus is on the global growth of the company’s strategic meetings management program, working event vendors, hotel partners and internal departments, as well as overseeing the company’s meeting planning teams around the world. She also leads Cisco’s Corporate Speakers Bureau, which places Cisco executives in thought leadership speaking roles.

What’s most striking to Pund about how the meetings industry has evolved since her start as an event planner at Tandem and Compaq many years ago is that events are no longer just a moment in time.

“What we do is no longer about a single event. The industry is so much more vibrant and sophisticated now. Technology has changed the delivery and duration of events today. They are a business discipline involving marketing and branding and the goal is to help grow and develop the business—to affect your company’s bottom line.”


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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.