Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Karamat

Sherrif Karamat

President & CEO, PCMA

Sherrif Karamat, CAE, is President and Chief Executive Officer of PCMA.  Mr. Karamat also serves as President of the PCMA Foundation and Publisher of Convene magazine.

As CEO, Mr. Karamat leads the vision, mission and promise for PCMA's global family of brands. He serves the greater business events industry as a prominent business architect, enabling our community to become a catalyst for economic and social progress, organizational success, and personal and professional development.

In his previous role as Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Karamat led the development and implementation of PCMA's new vision: driving global economic and social transformation through business events. In addition to his responsibilities at executive level, he also directed streamlining of PCMA's content creation and delivery channels into one organization. He oversaw partnership, business services, membership, business development and technology teams.

As part of PCMA's growth strategy, Mr. Karamat has led a major data intelligence program and played a key role in the 2017 acquisition of Incentive Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP).

A leader in the business events industry, Mr. Karamat previously served as Vice President of Business Sales and Services for Toronto Convention & Visitors (Tourism Toronto). He has served on various boards and is currently a director on the Destination International Board of Trustees.

Mr. Karamat is a life-long learner. In addition to completing his bachelor's degree and Masters of Business Administration from York University in Toronto, Canada, he has completed postgraduate certificate programs at Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. At Harvard Business and Law School, he completed a program on strategic negotiations for senior executives and a program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one on data intelligence and big data.

Please visit http://www.pcma.org for more information.

Mr. Karamat can be contacted at +1 312-423-7210 or Sherrif.Karamat@pcma.org

Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.