Lesley succeeds Kerrin MacPhie, Director of Conference and Exhibition Sales at ACC Liverpool, who has held the position since October 2013 and has taken the association from strength to strength. During her time at the helm, Kerrin has launched an annual debate, which has seen two successful events take place in Brighton and Leeds, as well as pushing big data and introducing the opportunity for more suppliers to join the association, represented by two new committee members from the supplier sector
Kerrin says: “As Chairperson of ICCA UK&I the key focus has been to deliver strong educational events that give added value to members in addition to driving social media activity to engage with members and industry colleagues across the ICCA network. Our membership base had stayed strong over the years and I know this will continue as I leave the Chapter in very safe hands with a strong Chairperson supported by an equally strong Executive Committee.”
Lesley, who previously held the role of Deputy Chair, has worked in international sales and marketing for over 25 years. As head of the business tourism arm at Edinburgh’s official promotional agency, Marketing Edinburgh, Lesley leads eight specialists in the Convention Edinburgh team. The core focus within her role is the sourcing and securing of successful bids for international and national conferences for Scotland’s Capital City. The result of which has seen Edinburgh rise to 31 in the latest in the ICCA World Rankings and the city host 65,000 delegates at 208 conventions in 2014-15.
Very active in Scottish business tourism industry, Lesley sits on a number of committees focused on raising the profile of Scotland as a world leading conference destination and is also Deputy Chair of Business Tourism for Scotland – a group dedicated to the delivery of the National Tourism Strategy, aiming to grow business tourism in Scotland from £1.9bn to £2.3bn by 2020.
Lesley Williams says of her new role: “I am privileged to continue the good work that Kerrin has done throughout her Chairmanship.
“ICCA plays a crucial role in shaping industry conversations, offering thought leadership on the issues facing our sector today. Increasing our digital engagement with industry colleagues and our Executive Committee presents an exciting opportunity for us to further cement our position as a global knowledge hub and resource.
“My priority is to work with the rest of the committee to ensure ICCAUK&I grows from strength to strength and continues to deliver for its members through an inspiring education programme and through business development opportunities.”