by Meetings & Conventions Asia | December 10, 2019
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The appointment was announced at the fourth annual BestCities Global Forum in Copenhagen, which takes place Dec 8-11.

COPENHAGEN - BestCities Global Alliance announced the appointment of new managing director Lesley Williams, effective Jan 1, 2020.

Ms Williams, who served as market development director for the past two years, takes over from Paul Vallee, who will continue as executive consultant with GainingEdge, but now on a full-time basis.

The announcement follows the recent decision of BestCities to award extending the management contract to GainingEdge.

Playing a leading role in the growth of BestCities' impact and offerings, Ms Williams brings a wealth of experience, with more than 25 years in the business tourism and events industry. Having previously worked with the alliance as a partner, she brings with her an in-depth knowledge of the field and understanding of the alliance, along with a vast skill-set including strong leadership and strategic planning.

Ms Williams will head up the existing BestCities management team, made up of Nigel Brown, director of marketing and partnerships, Jane Cunningham, director of international associations, and Caryn Wong, alliance operations.

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Lesley Williams is the new managing director for BestCities Global Alliance.

Karen Bolinger, former CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau, will work with Lesley in a strategic advisor capacity.

This new appointment comes at an important time for BestCities as the alliance seeks to grow its reputation in helping international associations and destinations build legacies, and building its global footprint through partnerships and knowledge creation.

Said Ms Williams, "I, along with the BestCities team, am energised by this opportunity to evolve the alliance's strategic plan and continue delivering its core purpose - to harness the power of collaboration and community to create positive impact through business events."

The announcement was made at the fourth annual BestCities Global Forum, taking place in Copenhagen over Dec 8-11.