2020 Connect Association 15 Over 50: Deborah Long Sexton

Deborah Long Sexton is founder of DLS & Associations. She is based in Chicago and Vero Beach, Florida.

2020 Connect Association 15 Over 50: Deborah Long Sexton

Deborah Long Sexton describes herself as passionate, persuasive and positive. Learn more about her.

What I do: I find ways to help associations, DMOs, and hospitality/event professionals become more successful. 

How I got here: I worked actively and passionately for more than 40 years, at the Chicago CVB and PCMA, among other places. I then retired from “active duty” and designed a new way to stay connected to our industry. 

Greatest career accomplishment: I developed talented teams at both PCMA and CCTB, leading them both to become not only more successful but, in many cases, achieved far more than they ever believed possible.

Impressive Stats: In helping reimagine and rebrand PCMA’s annual meeting into Convening Leaders, we increased the attendance from 2,500 in 2006 to almost 4,500 in 2018.  During my tenure with PCMA, the organization more than doubled its membership and revenue.

Specific improvement I’ve made: I pioneered and advanced how digital events could enhance face to face events, beginning with PCMA’s purchase of the Virtual Edge Institute [and rebranded to the Digital Experience Institute DEI.

What do I do outside work: I read, walk and volunteer, as well as participate on several boards of businesses connected to our industry.