12 JAN 2018: Phillip Jones, president and CEO of VisitDallas and 2017 Chair of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Education Foundation, has inspired a core team of industry professionals and thousands of volunteers to raise a record-breaking 1.9 million dollars for scholarships and research.

Growth of the foundation's scholarship and grant funds increased 21 percent compared to 2016, funding 92 scholarships to students, emerging leaders, faculty and business event professionals. In addition, PCMA distributed US$113,000 to support charitable activities, including the PCMA Industry Relief Fund, established in 2017 to provide direct assistance to industry victims of natural disasters or personal hardship. In total, more than $490,000 was directed to nurture innovation across the industry and support emerging talent.

"I'm very proud to have been the chair of the 2017 PCMA Education Foundation Board of Trustees and break records in fundraising for our causes. In 2017, our primary goal was to raise money from our industry to support continuing education and educational opportunities in the form of grants and scholarships," Jones said. "With almost half a million dollars raised, I think we can definitely claim 2017 as one of our most successful years."

One of the many creative ways Jones and his team achieved this record-breaking sum was through a personal passion - cycling. In 2016, the PCMA Education Foundation developed the Ride With The Foundation initiative to support their mission of raising funds for scholarships.

Through Jones' guidance, the foundation raised more than $80,000 in raffle ticket sales in 2017 to support this initiative. Jones sold more than 200 raffle tickets, the most sold by any PCMA board trustee. The prize package included a Colnago C-60 Italian road bike, cycling gear and a VIP five-night 2018 Tour de France travel package, courtesy of VisitDallas and Marriott International.

All of these efforts are in addition to Jones' day job: bringing big business to Dallas. Under Jones' distinguished leadership, 26.7 million people visited Dallas last year, spending 4.6 billion dollars and generating a total economic impact of $7.8 billion for the city. Last year the VisitDallas team booked 1,446 meetings and events - from exclusive board retreats to major sporting events - and a record 42 future citywide events.


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