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IAEE announces 2017 Individual Award winners

Expo! Expo!.

Honorees to be recognized at Expo! Expo! in San Antonio.

DALLAS – The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) announced this year’s recipients of its individual awards program, which recognizes IAEE members and member companies who have made outstanding contributions to the exhibitions and events industry. The recipients will be honored during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition to be held 28-30 November 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is a special honor awarded to an individual who has changed, during the course of his/her career, the direction of the industry and has made a significant impact on how the industry operates. It is to be presented to an individual who has served in the industry for many years, and the recipient does not have to be an IAEE member. Nominees may only be put forward for consideration by the Awards Committee or the IAEE Board of Directors, and this award may only be bestowed upon an individual with approval from the IAEE Board of Directors.

This year’s honoree is Darlene Gudea, President & Editor, Trade Show Executive Media Group. She is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience as a writer, researcher, editor and publisher in the trade show industry. Gudea began her career in the trade show business in 1978 as managing editor of Tradeshow Week, published by Reed Business Information in Los Angeles. She rose through the ranks and was named Vice President/Publisher and Editor-in-Chief in December 1986.

Gudea joined Trade Show Executive magazine in September 2002. During her tenure, she expanded the bi-monthly publication to 12 issues per year; launched five directories including the World's Top Convention Centers and the popular Who's Who series; launched a website and E-clips Breaking News; added an event division to launch the Gold 100 Awards & Summit; and formed a strategic partnership with Simmons Market Research Bureau and Mark Rothman & Associates to conduct custom research projects for convention bureaus, convention centers and private equity firms. Her service, dedication and advocacy on behalf of the exhibitions and events industry have been appreciated across the globe.

“Darlene has devoted herself to advancing our industry both domestically and abroad for more than two decades,” said 2017 IAEE Awards Committee Chairperson Patricia Farias Barlow, CEM. “Her dedication and professionalism serve as shining examples to the future generations of our industry, and the IAEE Awards Committee is honored to present her with the Lifetime Achievement Award.”

The remaining award winners were selected after careful consideration and review by the IAEE Awards Committee and approval by the IAEE Board of Directors following an open call for nominations earlier in the year. The following outstanding individuals were selected for recognition:

The Pinnacle Award recognizes an IAEE member who, over the years, has furthered IAEE’s objectives of advancing exhibitions and events management through the promotion of education, the dissemination of knowledge and the introduction or development of innovative techniques, and who has been dedicated to the perpetuation of the highest ideals, trust and professionalism in this highly specialized field. The award was established in memory of the late Founder and Past President of IAEE (formerly NAEM) William Hunt Eisenman, and is presented by IAEE in recognition of extraordinary achievement in the exhibitions and events management field.

This year’s honoree is Charles McCurdy, Chief Executive, Global Exhibitions Division, Informa Exhibitions. McCurdy is an entrepreneurial executive with a strong record of success in the business services, events and media sectors. Over the past 25 years, he has led the process of transforming, scaling and creating value in a wide range of events and media companies. His early understanding of how technology and digital products could benefit the trade show community – and activate the buying cycle beyond the event – is well-documented and continues today with remarkable success. McCurdy has been lauded as a trade show visionary whose leadership style and character is widely respected and admired.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to an IAEE member in recognition of an individual who has rendered distinguished service to IAEE and to the exhibition industry. Qualifying criteria includes extraordinary service and contributions at both the local and national levels that have furthered the growth and development of this organization. When representing IAEE, the honoree will have served as a role model for the industry. This year’s recipient is Megan Tanel, CEM, Senior Vice President, Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

The Merit Award recognizes IAEE members whose ideas and/or work have benefited IAEE as an organization in some special way, and is generally reserved for those who have stepped forward at the chapter/local level. This year’s recipients are Elizabeth George, Customer & Audience Solutions, Informa Exhibitions and Sue McCart, President, HFI Event Services.

The Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award honors IAEE members who possess outstanding creativity, a positive attitude, and the ability to transfer knowledge through effective communication skills and innovative teaching to promote life-long learning to exhibitions and events industry professionals. This year’s recipient is Bruce Lemmon, CEM, Owner, GEM Global Events Management LLC.

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes IAEE members who have dedicated their time to the progress and fulfillment of the charge of a committee or task force on which they serve. This year’s award recipient is B. Murphy, CEM, National Sales Manager, Fern.

The Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership Award recognizes IAEE members who have made an extraordinary personal or professional commitment that materially contributes to the advancement of the exhibitions and events industry. This year’s recipient is Patricia Dwyer.

The Outstanding Achievement in Marketing & Sales Award recognizes an IAEE member’s outstanding achievement in marketing and sales activities including outstanding performance in total event revenue/profit, advertising revenue, attendance, sponsorship revenue, exhibit space sales and customer service. This year’s award recipient is David Saef, CTSM, Executive Vice President of Strategy & MarketWorks, GES.

The Young Professional of the Year Award recognizes excellent professional performance by IAEE members 35 years of age or younger who have committed their time to advancing the standing of young professionals in our industry. This year’s award recipient is Bill McGlade, CEM, Director of Account Management, a2z, Inc.

The Rookie of the Year Award recognizes excellent professional performance by an IAEE member with three or less years of full-time exhibitions and events industry experience. This year’s award recipient is Chris Bonifati, Attendee Services Coordinator, American Pet Products Association.

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