CHICAGO — Chris Wehking, Business Events Strategy Executive at the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), passed away on November 28 following a long battle with cancer.
“Chris was well known throughout ASA and the events industry for his leadership, professionalism, warmth and friendship,” Paul Pomerantz, ASA CEO, said. “In his years with us, he transformed our meetings to be among the best in medicine. During his tenure, Chris also provided leadership to membership, industry relations and business development. He excelled at building relationships and was known for strengthening bonds with ASA’s state societies, sub-specialty organizations and foundations as well as our sister societies internationally.”
Wehking’s loss is being felt not not only at ASA but throughout the business events industry, where he served as Chairman of the Board of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) in 2014 and was the recipient of the 2019 PCMA Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.
“I’m deeply saddened to learn of Chris’ passing,” PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat said. “Chris made so many contributions during his time on the board and was especially instrumental in our efforts to become a more global association. As an executive in the medical meetings sector, Chris also helped PCMA remain in the forefront of medical events, sharing his knowledge of the latest regulations and codes that have had an impact on those events.”
Before joining the medical association events sector as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Director of Meetings and Exhibits, Wehking worked for the American Hardware Manufacturers Association, where he served as Director of Meetings and Expositions from 1990 to 2005. He spent five years at ASPS before joining ASA in 2010.
“I had the pleasure of first meeting Chris during his American Hardware Manufacturers times, then through his Plastic Surgeon days and then with ASA,” Bill Grusich, CMP, FASAE, Vice President of Sales, Associated Luxury Hotels International, said. “He was always the consummate professional, an industry leader and, for so many, a friend. He was an outstanding Chair for PCMA. He taught us all how to work together in this business. He will be missed and certainly not forgotten.”
Chris is survived by his wife Shirley, and his daughters Lindsey and Madeline.