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New MD for BestCities

BestCities global marketing alliance has announced Lesley Williams as its new managing director. The appointment is effective 1 January, 2020.

Williams has been serving as market development director for the past two years. The move follows the recent decision by the consortium to extend the management contract to GainingEdge.

Williams takes over from Paul Vallee, who will continue as executive consultant with GainingEdge, but now on a full-time basis.

Williams has 25 years’ experience in the business tourism and events industry, having previously worked with the alliance as a partner.

She will head a management team made up of Nigel Brown, director of Marketing and Partnerships; Jane Cunningham, director of International Associations, and Caryn Wong, Alliance Operations. Karen Bolinger, former CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau, will work for the alliance in a strategic advisor capacity.

“I, along with the BestCities team, am energised by this opportunity to evolve the alliance’s strategic plan and continue delivering its core purpose – to harness the power of collaboration and community to create positive impact through business events," said Williams.

“I look forward to taking up the position of managing director at BestCities, and continuing the work of Paul Vallee in bringing value and impact to the industry, and creating my own legacy within the alliance,” she added.

The appointment of Williams as MD was made at the fourth annual BestCities Global Forum, in Copenhagen, 8-11 December, where global associations have come together for a programme centred on the theme of ‘Exploring the Congress of the Future – Fortifying Impact.’