Ashwin Gunasekeran to Stand for ICCA Asia Pacific Board of Director


12th Oct, 2022
Malaysian Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO of Penang Convention & Exhibition Officer, this week submitted his official application for the ICCA Asia Pacific Board of Directors.

His aim, according to the video posted in support of the application, is to lead the chapter towards a "value-driven and member-centric direction" for the entire region while furthering his professional commitment to the meetings and events industry. 

The candidacy will focus on four key pillars of action: youth empowerment and development; call for collaboration; government-to-government alliances; and training and knowledge growth.

Of note, in 2019 the inaugural Asia-Pacific Summit was held in Penang under the theme "Journey of Discovery", an event that served as a brainstorm for innovative ideas, relevant discussions, and to unravel key partnerships that, according to Ashwin, prompted this candidacy.

Read the full announcement below:

"Chapter members, friends, and peers, I believe it is an important responsibility to represent the Asia Pacific ICCA community's voice, which comprises the world's largest continent, and to uphold our founders' mission of being a global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry, thereby creating a competitive advantage and business opportunities. If I am elected as your Board of Director, I would lead you through a route that will propel our region towards global prominence by focusing on four key pillars: call for collaboration, youth empowerment and development, government-to-government relationships, and training and knowledge growth. 

Allow me to introduce those four pillars to you one by one, emphasising their significance. To begin, I would like to encourage our community to work together by calling for collaborations of the Asia Pacific countries. As we tap into an age of high technology and rapid industrialization, I believe we can continue to grow by promoting its strengths and seizing its opportunities. Therefore, I wish to lead by kicking off the initiative by uniting our members together to discuss creatively, develop unique ideas and execute our true potential. The cohesiveness of our chapter's members is anticipated to unleash the actual potential of cooperation in order to seize significant networking possibilities and connect with potential clients.

Secondly, I think it is crucial for Asia Pacific to establish and sustain Government-to-Government (G2G) alliances in order to further enhance and expand our current network, since their support and assistance would give us reassurance. My extensive experience has taught me that forming alliances makes opportunities more accessible. I also anticipate that partnerships between sister cities will be made possible by alliances made through G2G, which will serve as a trump card in times of difficulty. Apart from that, these partnerships could also expand our access to information, skills, and resources, which could lead to better results and a wider audience.

Fellow peers, "The only source of knowledge is experience," Albert Einstein once said. But what if we could help people advance their abilities and skills by imparting the knowledge of the experienced and experts? Additionally, let's look into expanding training and communication between chapters to create more G2G learning opportunities. I am confident that my role in this dynamic industry is also to represent and accommodate the younger chapter members with learning opportunities.  

Lastly, in terms of business and meetings, I would like to emphasise the significance of training and knowledge growth. I want to support CSR initiatives at conferences in host cities as we recover from the epidemic and start travelling again. I came to the realisation that as a community, we haven't yet ventured outside of our comfort zone. Taking it in. I'm eager to provide opportunities for chapter members to contribute their expertise, resources, and abilities. 

Once again, I would like to express my utmost gratitude for the opportunity ICCA have given me yesterday. I hope to serve in the Asia Pacific as the next Board of Director, as a leader who will bring clarity and direction to our association. If it's not to accomplish our objectives, remember why we decided to serve the community and why we are here. 
With the aspiration of uniting chapter members to collaborate, form a Government-to-Government alliance, youth empowerment and training and knowledge growth,  I look forward to everyone's support by being elected as the next Asia Pacific Board of Director. I will end my note with my mantra,“With great collaboration comes greater victory!’ Thank you.

- Ashwin Gunasekeran"


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