Melbourne Convention Bureau’s (MCB) long-standing CEO, Karen Bolinger, has announced her resignation.
Bolinger has served as CEO of the MCB for 7.5 years and will officially finish her role on 5 April 2019.
In a statement released today, chair of the MCB board Chris Barlow confirmed Bolinger will be taking some personal time off before exploring other opportunities.
Barlow congratulated Bolinger on her achievements as CEO and her significant contribution to the industry.
“Under Karen’s guidance the MCB team has delivered the most successful years on record, and with the support of Visit Victoria, the 18/19 period is expected to deliver its highest ever economic contribution to Victoria of almost $500 million,” he said in the statement.
“Karen and her team have led the repositioning of Melbourne’s profile as an innovative business events destination by highlighting the city’s intellectual capacity and knowledge sectors. This highlighted the business events sector as a key economic driver into the local economy, garnering ongoing support from state and local government.”
Barlow went on to acknowledge Bolinger’s recent personal loss, and offer her support on behalf of the bureau.
“Karen has also suffered a significant personal loss over the last couple of years which she has worked tirelessly through, and she has decided that the time has come to stop and take some time out for self-care,” he said.
“The MCB Board wish to respect and support her decision as she leaves MCB to take some time out and consider her next steps.”
Under Bolinger’s leadership, the bureau developed the Team Melbourne philosophy, which Barlow said has now evolved into a city’wide collaboration to help secure business events for Victoria.
“Karen’s contribution to the sector globally was recognised when she was awarded the 2018 Joint Meetings Industry Council Unity Award, which recognises individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the business events industry,” said Barlow.
“During Karen’s tenure she was integral in delivering strategic direction to the many boards she sat on as well as leading the transition for MCB to become part of Visit Victoria.
“On behalf of the Melbourne Convention Bureau Board and the Visit Victoria Leadership team, I would like to thank Karen for her commitment to MCB and to wish her all the best for her future endeavours.”