AACB announces new president

AACB has restructured its executive team following Karen Bolinger's resignation.

The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) has appointed Michael Matthews, CEO of the Canberra Convention Bureau, to role of president.

The news comes as Karen Bolinger recently stepped down from her role as Melbourne Convention Bureau CEO and therefore her positions as director and president of AACB.

On his appointment, Matthews thanked the AACB for their support and “united vision for the future”.

“AACB and the network that it represents has a powerful voice in raising the profile of the business events industry as a vital economic driver for Australia – a message that must continue to be prosecuted in the lead up to the federal election,” he said.

With the new leadership, the AACB has restructured its executive team.

Matthews is joined by Damien Kitto, CEO of the Adelaide Convention Bureau, as vice president; Brett Fraser, CEO of Brisbane Marketing, as treasurer and Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of BESydney, as immediate past president.

AACB CEO Andrew Hiebl welcomed the new team and recognised outgoing president Karen Bolinger.

“On behalf of our members, we would like to thank Karen for her leadership as part of the AACB over the last seven and a half years, during which she has held the positions of treasurer, vice president, and most recently elected as president in 2017,” he said.

“Through the position of AACB President, Karen ensured that business events continue to play a key role in the Australian Government’s future tourism strategy as a representative on the Beyond Tourism 2020 Steering Committee.”

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