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VMA Board elects MCEC’s Leighton Wood as new President

VMA Board elects MCEC’s Leighton Wood as new President
August 13, 2020

The Venue Management Association (Asia and Pacific) Ltd [VMA] has announced the election of Leighton Wood as its next VMA President.

First elected to the VMA Board in 2016, Wood, the Chief Operating Officer at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, has previously served in a range of capacities witht he VMA, including the last two years as Chair of the Professional Development Committee.

In accepting the role, Wood advised “the VMA is an amazing collective of passionate and professional venue managers and industry suppliers from the Asia and Pacific region and I am both delighted and humbled to be given this opportunity by the Board of the VMA to serve as its next President.”

In addressing the current COVID-19 crisis and the significant effect it is having on our industry, Wood noted “the challenge now presents itself as to what role the Association plays in the future given the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves. I know that the Board is determined to meet this challenge head on in the interests of its members”.

Wood also took the opportunity to congratulate the outgoing President Steve Harper CVE, stating “let me firstly highlight the stellar performance of our outgoing President Steve Harper and the Board over the past three years, under whose direction the Association has seen growth in its membership, membership value and financial foundations. It possibly could not have survived recent industry impacts without that growth.”

Harper went on to state “I want to wish the new Board and incoming President, Leighton Wood all the best with the immediate challenges ahead and importantly as they steer the Association towards what I am confident will be a prosperous and bright future. Leighton’s strong leadership, inspiring vision and passion for our industry and Association will ensure we are in good hands.”

Harper first joined the VMA Board in 2012 serving as Chair on both its Congress and Membership & Marketing Committees before being elected to the role of President in 2017.

Reflecting on his tenure as President, he added “the last few years have been monumental for the Association, our membership has grown by 30% to its highest level in the Association long history and we have delivered outstanding results at our annual School and Congress as demonstrated by both attendance and quality.

“I would like to thank all the Associations members, our partners, staff, committees, and fellow Board Directors for helping make my term as President a rewarding and enriching experience. It has been a privilege to serve as the Association’s President over the past three years and as a board member these past nine years.”

The AGM also ratified the election of incoming Directors: Heather Clarke, Manager, Event Operations & Planning at the Sydney Opera House; Anthony Duffy AVM, Managing Director, VIPeople; and Evan Wood, Director of ICT Services at the International Convention Centre Sydney as new Directors. Phil King AVM, General Manager of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Coopers Stadium was returned for a further term.

At the AGM, the VMA also took the opportunity to thank outgoing Directors Michael Scott (2017 to 2020) and Milton OBrien CVE (2017 to 2020) for their dedication, commitment and significant contribution to the management of the Association.

Wood commenced his three year term as President following his election by the VMA Board at the end of July.

Images: Leighton Wood (top) and Steve Harper (below).

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