Founded in 2004, GainingEdge operates from seven cities worldwide and has successfully delivered over 100 engagements across the globe. We have an excellent track record in association management consulting, establishment of new convention & visitor bureaus, capability development of existing bureaus, destination strategy, convention centre feasibility studies and in-market convention and incentive sales representation.

As a leader in the international business events market we offer access to benchmark performance data and best practices from around the world.

We bring the expertise of a diverse group of professionals comprising association management expertise, business events market expertise, convention bureau operational expertise, business development expertise as well as convention centre expertise. Our professionals are frequent speakers at industry conferences, serve on advisory bodies and participate in industry initiatives on an international basis.


To provide specialist consulting services globally that deliver competitive advantage and sustainable business to our clients.


GainingEdge will be seen as the leading consulting company that powers the success of the global association and business events industry.

Our Management Team

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  • Jon Sivertson
    Chief Executive Officer

    Jon joined GainingEdge as CEO in October, 2019. Bringing over 20 years of experience to our team, Jon previously worked for four years in Hong Kong, first as Capital Projects & Infrastructure group leader for PwC and then in infrastructure consulting for KPMG. Prior to that, he worked with PwC in Canada, New Zealand and Singapore where he served for 7 years with PwC’s infrastructure group and was instrumental in it achieving its current status as a Centre of Excellence for the PwC network in SE Asia, Hong Kong and China.
    He is a specialist in Public-Private Partnerships (PPP projects) including finance as well as project advisory. In all cases, his work involved managing consulting teams, mostly in relation to infrastructure projects and he has in-depth experience consulting both governments and private sector developers.
    Jon has a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Victoria and an MBA from the University of Alberta, Canada.

  • Gary Grimmer
    Executive Chairman

    Gary has over 30 years’ experience in the convention industry. In 2004 he founded GainingEdge, a global consulting company that offers advisory services in relation to destinations, convention bureaus and convention and exhibition centres. It also provides convention and incentive sales representation services in all of the world’s key markets. The company’s services are end-to-end, with specialist expertise and global networks that cover both the supply and demand sides of the market. GainingEdge also manages the BestCities Global Alliance which is comprised of 12 of the world’s leading destinations. Gary has consulted at the local and national level on over 100 projects in all parts of the world.

    Previously Gary was the CEO of Convention and Visitor Bureaus in Melbourne (Australia), Albuquerque (New Mexico, USA) and Portland (Oregon, USA.) He also served as Vice President for the Boston (Massachusetts, USA) bureau. His convention centre consulting experience includes market feasibility, demand analysis, facility scoping, design review, site review and operational consultation for convention centre developments. He also served on the London International Convention Centre Commission.

    Gary was one of the lead consultants on Destination Next, a global study for Destinations International (DI) which defined the future of destination marketing. He is a former Chairman of the Board of DI and was one of the first six inductees into the inaugural Dl Hall of Fame in 2014. He also received the Asia Pacific IMEX Academy Award in 2007.

  • Mike Williams
    Senior Partner & Consultant

    Mike is a destination and convention and visitor bureau specialist with 30 years’ experience in the tourism and business events industry. Since joining Gaining Edge in 2007 he has been a lead consultant on destination and convention bureau development for clients in Australia, Africa, China, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Qatar, Rwanda, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, United Kingdom & USA. Mike was the lead consultant for establishment and capability strengthening for the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau. This project included the collaboration with a university and research company to undertake an economic impact study and exhibition industry opportunity study. Mike was also deeply involved in bureau development programmes in Japan, Macao and Thailand. He has also been providing consultancy support for convention centre developments around the globe, including a number within the Asia Pacific region. In addition, Mike oversees GainingEdge's in-market sales representation.

    Mike served as General Manager Sales & Marketing for the Melbourne Convention & Visitors Bureau. During his tenure, he was involved in the National Business Events economic impact study and Melbourne Delegate Expenditure survey in collaboration with a university and research company. He also worked in senior marketing roles with Tourism Australia helping establish their presence in the Asia market and overseeing travel trade development in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Mike was instrumental in the development of AIME, the largest MICE tradeshow in the Asia Pacific and the world’s first BestCities Global Alliance which includes Singapore as a partner. Mike is also a past Victorian State Chair and National President of Meetings and Events of Australia (MEA).

  • Rod Kamleshwaran
    COO & Partner

    Rod leads GainingEdge’s Convention & Exhibition Centre advisory team. His areas of expertise include development and asset management of Hotels and Venues. His advisory experience includes feasibility studies, operational reviews, design reviews and operator selection and contract negotiations.

    Having advised on projects across all continents Rod brings a broad global perspective. This includes Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Italy, Norway, Cyprus, Georgia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Jordan, Israel and Mexico.

    Rod was previously at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) as a regional CFO. As asset manager for owned/leased hotels and venues he was involved from development stage to opening. He started his consulting career at PwC where he held senior roles and was involved in numerous feasibility studies. Rod has an MBA and a Bachelor of Commerce, and is a Chartered Accountant.

  • Jane Vong Holmes
    Senior Manager - Asia

    Jane joined GainingEdge in June 2009, at that time as Associate, and later as Senior Manager Asia, focused on GainingEdge’s business and relationships in Asia. She helped establish GainingEdge’s signature events GainingLeads and GainingEdge Knowledge Exchange which takes place annually at IMEX and ICCA Congress.

    Prior to this role, Jane served for 8 years as Regional Director Asia Pacific for the International Congress & Convention Association – ICCA. During her tenure, the ICCA Asia Pacific Regional Office established a research unit dedicated to studying association meetings and supplementing the market intelligence efforts of ICCA’s Head Office in Amsterdam. She had also worked in Malaysia’s National Tourist Office, Tourism Malaysia and served as the Deputy Director (Overseas) for Tourism Malaysia’s Sydney Office for four years.

    Jane was honoured with the IMEX Academy Award – Asia Pacific in 2013. She has served two terms (2014-2017) as Deputy Chair of ICCA Asia Pacific Chapter. She co-authored two UNWTO publications on the Asia Meetings Industry (2012, 2017), and will release a report on Accessibility in the Meetings Industry, a joint project with BestCities and Rehabilitation International, in Nov 2018.

  • Bruce Redor
    Partner - Europe

    Based in Paris, Bruce Redor is an Anglo-American who has seen his international career develop over a 25-year period in a variety of sectors within the hospitality and services industries. Bruce has Master's degree from U.C. Berkeley and came to France as Director of Marketing at the American Hospital of Paris. He then joined the CEGOS Consulting Group in Paris, leading projects in strategic planning and marketing for multi-national corporations. Bruce was a member of the management team that built and operated Disneyland Paris where he set up and ran the successful business unit for meetings and incentives: Disneyland Paris Business Solutions. He was also the CEO of the Lyon Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he was instrumental in turning the city into one of Europe's leading business-travel and leisure destinations. Bruce was also a senior consultant with Alexander Hughes International, one of Europe’s leading executive search firms. Since he had been with GainingEdge, Bruce has been involved in consulting engagements in France, Spain, Flanders, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Canada, Rwanda, Tanzania, Qatar and Japan.

  • Chloé Menhinick
    Partner - Association Consulting

    Chloé has 15 years’ experience of working in the Associations Industry, providing leadership across all areas of Association management & operations, membership, stakeholder engagement, communications and marketing. She has various leadership positions on Boards, advisory bodies and expert committees, where she has demonstrated effective experience in strategic planning and implementation. Chloé worked at the International Water Association from 2005 to 2018 where she was responsible for developing and executing a global growth and engagement strategy for a network of +60K members including national members, corporates, universities and individuals. Her professional experience includes international management and leadership, membership management, membership retention & growth, change management, strategic planning, organisational communications, digital engagement, awards & events management, sponsorship and partnership development, committee management, programme development, internal communications and brand management. As a globally recognised thought leader in the Association sector, Chloé is a regular speaker on issues pertaining to Membership, Communications and Digitalisation at many industry events and also regularly contributes to industry magazines on issues ranging from Communicating Brand Value to Association Impact & Legacy. She is a nominated Active Member of the Union of International Associations (UIA) and a Board Member of the European Society of Association Executives (ESAE) where she also chairs the Communications & Membership committee.

  • Paul Vallee
    Executive Consultant - Americas

    Paul is Executive Consultant – Americas, with GainingEdge. He has provided consulting advice in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Panama, Denmark and Thailand, and has been an invited speaker in Europe, North America and South America. Paul is also Managing Director of the BestCities Global Alliance, the world’s leading partnership of convention bureaus. He provides strategic leadership and is responsible for the performance of the Alliance on behalf of the 12 partners on six continents. Prior to his current role, Paul spent more than 25 years in destination sales, marketing and services management. He has extensive experience managing complex organizations, strategic planning with diverse stakeholders, and destination master planning. Paul has served on the boards of Destination Marketing Association International, the 2010 Winter Olympic Bid Marketing Committee, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, and the Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Task Force. He is a past faculty member in international destination marketing at Capilano University.

Meet the rest of the team

Our Clients


Since our inception in 2004 we’ve made corporate social responsibility and community engagement a priority, encouraging all of our team members to get involved. We also work with our clients where possible, for example in our GainingWheels programme, to identify individuals/organisations who are in need of assistance but unable to afford this.

Our Scholar Programme reaches out to the young and deserving future leaders of our industry, offering them work experience and a chance to network with trade colleagues. Our Scholars are students who wish to pursue careers in the business events industry and who demonstrate outstanding potential for future industry leadership.

In addition, we offer Industry Support – our consulting services, either pro-bono or at a reduced fee – for developing/emerging destinations which meet our criteria. We have been privileged to have worked with IMEX during their Wild Card programme, and our industry support continues through various projects.

Last but certainly not least, Community Engagement is very important to us. These can be the local communities where our projects take us, or global NGO organisations working to make the world a better place.


If you’re looking to build on a successful career in the convention and meeting industry, we would love to hear from you.  GainingEdge offers an open and collaborative work environment, challenging career development opportunities, global projects and the chance to work with a team of industry leaders from around the world. Interested? Connect with us on Linkedin or email us at Latest News We are looking for European Representatives.  Click here to find out more information.