IAEE Board of Directors
Ryan Strowger, CEM
Senior Vice President of Exhibitions, Conferences, and Sales, International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA)
Ryan Strowger, CEM is International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Senior Vice President of Exhibitions, Conferences and Sales. He is responsible for oversight of IAAPA’s portfolio of global events that are market leaders in the amusement park and attractions industry, including three annual exhibitions: Asian Attractions Expo, Euro Attractions Show, and IAAPA Attractions Expo. The IAAPA Events team manages all aspects of global sales, tradeshow operations, registration, special events, meetings, sponsorships, print and digital advertising, and exhibitor marketing.
Formerly the Director of Business Development for the Consumer Technology Association (then Consumer Electronics Association), his responsibilities were to the revenue and exhibit space growth of the International CES. His previous organizations include the Environmental Industry Associations and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Ryan has served on numerous IAEE Councils and Committees, and has previously served as Chair of IAEE Services, Inc., Finance Committee, and IAEE Washington DC Chapter. Ryan achieved his CEM in 2004, and received the IAEE Merit Award the same year.
Daniel McKinnon, CEM
VP, Global Client Solutions – Freeman XP
Daniel McKinnon, CEM, joined FreemanXP on 1 December 2014 after 23 years in various show management roles. As Vice President of Global Client Solutions, he is tasked with facilitating the smart, sustainable growth of FreemanXP’s international products and programs. Daniel is focused on helping the enterprises’ customers grow their events and business by orchestrating FreemanXP’s extensive global resources.
FreemanXP is a brand experience agency that uses the power of social engagement to inspire audiences to action. Whether online or face-to-face, they connect individuals and brands in ways that accelerate engagement and create transformational change on a global scale. FreemanXP is backed by the stability, 87-year history and superior service of Freeman. They leverage Freeman’s experience, relationships and unmatched global resources to bring a whole new level of flexibility and scale to their clients’ programs.
Previously, as Vice President of events for the Energy & Engineering Group at Access Intelligence, Daniel was charged with developing several industry leading events, including ELECTRIC POWER, CLEAN GULF, Shale Envirosafe, Cheminnovations, and the LDC Forums. Daniel is on the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Board of Directors Executive Committee, currently serving as the Secretary/Treasurer. He is committed to the exhibitions and events industry and works tirelessly to promote the benefits of face-to-face interaction. Daniel previously worked as Vice President of Government Events at 1105 Media. In addition, he served as Executive Vice President of Messe Frankfurt, Inc., with management and oversight responsibility for the company’s international trade shows and business development efforts in North America. Daniel has also served as Executive Director of International Development for AmericasMart Atlanta, Inc., and was International Marketing Director at SEMCO Productions, both of Atlanta. He is a graduate of Presbyterian College, in Clinton, S.C.
Tom Cindric, CEM
Vice President, Informa Exhibitions
Tom Cindric, CEM has been involved in the trade show and exhibition industry for 25 years working primarily for leading for-profit business media companies and trade associations and overseeing the management of several trade show 200 events.
As Vice President, Tom has full P&L responsibility for Informa Global Exhibitions US Commercial Events, manages a staff of 22 and reports directly to the President of the Informa Global Exhibitions US and Canada. He was instrumental in helping Hanley Wood, prior to its recent acquisition by Informa, become one of the leading exhibition companies in North America.
Julia W. Smith, CEM, CTA
Senior Vice President of National Sales, Global Experience Specialists (GES)
Julia W. Smith, CEM, CTA, is the 2016 chairperson of the board for the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE). Smith has been employed by Global Experience Specialists (GES) since 1989, and is currently senior vice president, national sales, based in Southern California. Prior to GES, she spent time as a show organizer for an association and a show management firm in the Washington, DC area.
She has served on a variety of IAEE committees, and is past chair of IAEE Services, Inc., the IAEE Awards Committee, the CEM Appeals Committee and the SWIAEE board. She is president-elect of the Exhibition Services and Contractors Association (ESCA), and has served as a board member for Visit Anaheim. For nearly a decade, she was a board member of the Health and Pension Trusts for Local 831, the decorators union in Southern California.
Smith was the first associate member of IAEE to earn the CEM designation, and has taught CEM modules in the U.S., China, Taiwan, India, Canada and Europe. She was selected as the inaugural winner of IAEE’s Woman of Achievement Award; is a recipient of IAEE’s Distinguished Service Award; and was named one of the “Top 25 Women to Know” by Tradeshow Week. She also contributed chapters to several editions of the “Art of the Show” textbook published by IAEE, and PCMA’s “Professional Meeting Management.”
Smith is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. She and her husband, Mike, live in Orange County, California.
Antonio Manuel Brito, CEM, CMP
CEO of Newevents, Organizacao de Feiras e Eventos, Lda
António Manuel Brito started Portugal’s activity in the exhibitions and events industry almost 25 years ago. He has directed and organized more than 50 trade shows throughout his career as well as several international conferences worldwide.
Recognized internationally, Antonio Manuel Brito develops events as the International Consultant in Management and Marketing of Exhibitions and Events for several companies engaged in the organization and/or participation in exhibitions and events. He is currently the only IAEE accredited European to serve as CEM Faculty and has taught several CEM Learning Program courses, contributing to the CEM Certification of several professionals around the world..
Executive Vice President, SMG
Gregg serves as SMG’s liaison with international industry groups including the International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE), Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. Additionally, he maintains senior level relationships with international event planning firms, including the negotiation of preferred contracts with strategic accounts like Microsoft, Experient and Emerald Expositions.
Specifically, Gregg represents SMG’s portfolio of over fifteen million square feet (150,000 square meters) of exhibition space, serving as home for nearly ten thousand events and twenty million visitors each year. Given the multitude of venues and destinations he serves, Gregg has a unique perspective of the convention and tradeshow industry, instilling the best practices in the industry and managing a “brand” of convention centers much in the same way as international hotel chains.
Julie Coker Graham
President & CEO
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
Julie Coker Graham is the President and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) where she oversees all of the organization’s departments and operational duties. Prior to being named to this position she served as the Senior Vice President of Convention Sales and managed a staff of 25 sales and services professionals at the PHLCVB responsible for selling the expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center and Philadelphia’s hotel package to customers across the country.
Coker Graham was named chair of Mayor Jim Kenney’s transition team for the Democratic National Convention preparation. In addition, she serves on the board of Center City District and has been appointed to the 2016 board of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. She is also on the board of two of the tourism industry’s top associations – the U.S. Travel Association and Destination Marketing Association International. Plus, she is a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of Links, Incorporated. She served as first Vice Chair for the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association (GPHA) as well as a board member with Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (now Visit Philadelphia), Independence Visitors Center Corporation, Girls, Inc. Philadelphia region, and Boy Scouts of America Cradle of Liberty Council. She is a past secretary and board member of the Illinois Hospitality and Lodging Association (IHLA) and past board member of the Oak Brook, Illinois Economic Development Committee. She served as Chairman of the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Women in Lodging Networking Group (WIL).
Senior Director – Meetings & Conventions, American Public Transportation Association
Lenay started at the American Public Transportation Association in 2008 as the Director of Meetings and Conventions after serving on the supplier side of the industry for more than 25 years. She and her staff of four planners are responsible for six major meetings with exhibits and over 35 smaller meetings each year. In addition, APTA’s triennial EXPO and annual meeting attracts over 15,000 attendees and uses over 285,000 NSF of exhibit space.
Prior to joining APTA, Lenay worked for San Diego Convention Center, IEP (now PRG), GES, the Washington DC CVB and both the Renaissance and Hilton Hotels. Lenay served on the IAEE services board of directors for many years, including a term as Chair. She is in HSMAI DC Hall of Fame and won the IAEE distinguished service award in 2009.
Executive Vice President, Emerald Expositions
Christopher McCabe is Senior Vice President, Merchandise/Photo/Jewelry Groups at Nielsen Expositions. He oversees 14 annual events and three magazines with annual revenues of approximately $90 million. He has been with Nielsen since February of 2008. Prior to joining The Nielsen Company, he was at Advanstar Communications for two years (2006 – 2008) where he was VP & General Manager for MAGIC. Christopher was with Reed Exhibitions as VP & General Manager for industry leading trade and consumer events. He was at Reed from 1997 to early 2006. He holds an MBA in Marketing from Iona College in New York and a BA from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. A native New Yorker, he moved to Los Angeles in 2006 but will be moving back to New York in 2012. When not spending time with his wife and three children he tries to stay active; including training for marathons.
Bob McLean, CPA
Executive Vice President, Promotional Products Association International (PPAI)
Bob McLean is the Promotional Products Association International’s (PPAI) executive vice president. He was hired in June 2008 as its chief financial officer and is responsible for finance and administration, information technology and the Promotional Products Education Foundation. Bob was promoted to executive vice president in October 2011. In addition to his CFO responsibilities, Bob is responsible for all the revenue producing products and services at PPAI. These include the business development, membership sales, expositions (including a Top 100 show – The PPAI Expo), publications and professional development and certification departments. His goal is to fully integrate the way the association goes to market by taking the advice that is communicated to PPAI’s members: approach each sale in a consultative manner by first understanding the needs and wants of the member. Prior to joining the association, Bob worked in the for-profit world, both in small start-up companies and large global enterprises. He has experience with private and publicly held companies. His most recent job before PPAI was in the technology industry where he was the CFO/COO of a company that designed and manufactured smart card readers and community bicycle sharing systems. Bob has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Drexel University in Philadelphia and a Masters in Business Administration degree in Finance from the University of Miami, Florida. He earned his CPA certificate in Florida and is a member of the Florida Institute of CPA’s, the American Society of Association Executives and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events.
General Manager, Dulles Expo Center
Robert “Bob” Morgan is currently the general manager of Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Bob has been in the exhibition facility/convention center industry for 23 years. Starting in 1991 as a sales manager for the Valley Forge Convention Plaza in Philadelphia, Bob eventually became the director of convention sales and marketing. This included assisting in the sales and marketing effort for the attached Sheraton and Radisson hotels. In 1998 Bob accepted a position with HUB Expo Centers in Boston and was soon appointed executive director of sales and marketing. He supervised the sales and marketing effort of two exposition centers; Bayside Expo Center in Boston and Capitol Expo Center in Chantilly, VA. In 2002 Bob was named general manager of the newly named Dulles Expo Center, formerly Capitol Expo Center. Prior to joining the exhibition facility industry Bob spent time in food service management and wholesale beverage wine distribution. Bob has been a member of IAEE for 16 years. In 2008 he volunteered for the IAEE Public Events Council. He became vice chairman of the council in 2011 and later chairman in 2013. Bob is a member of the National Association of Consumer Shows (NACS). In 2001 Bob was named to the NACS Board of Directors and served for 7 years including 4 years as secretary. Bob is also a member of International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). From Louisville, KY, Bob attended Western Kentucky University and has a degree in Business. Bob is active with several local organizations including the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Fairfax County Sports Committee and the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Senior Vice President, Specialty Food Association Inc
Mr. Nemchek is a 23 year veteran of the international tradeshow and specialty food industries. He oversees all aspects of the International Fancy Food Shows. His work with SFA members as well as domestic and international associations and agencies has been instrumental in making the Fancy Food Shows North America’s premiere specialty food marketplace. Nemchek’s responsibilities include the management of the Association’s domestic and international member relations program. He focuses on relationship-building between SFA members and the specialty food buying community. Nemchek currently sits on the Board of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and is the immediate past chairman of IAEE’s MATSO Council.
Susan Schwartz, CEM
Managing Director, ConvExx
Susan Schwartz, CEM, is Managing Director and founding partner of ConvExx, an independent show organizing company located in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to new show launches, the company offers trade show management services, including marketing services, operations assistance, floor management and vendor contracting. She has been involved in every aspect of exhibition management. Prior to this position Susan was with Epic Enterprises, Inc. in San Diego California. She was responsible for exhibitor programs and marketing. Her professional affiliations include IAEE and ESCA where she held numerous leadership positions. Awards include the IAEE Merit Award, the Distinguished Service Award and the Women of Distinction Award presented by the Southern Nevada chapter of the National Association of Business Women Owners. Also, she was named in the Tradeshow Top 100 and 25 Women To Know. She holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has been a guest lecturer at UNLV since 1993 and is an IAEE faculty member.
President and CEO, Global Event Strategies LLC
Steve Sind is CEO and founder of Global Event Strategies, LLC, an international consulting firm established in January 2002 to serve the exhibition industry, and is the president of Focus Media Events, LLC, an event organizer currently serving the U.S., Mexican and various South American markets. He has spent nearly 38 years in the exhibitions, meetings and events sector. Prior to 2002, Steve was vice president and director of International Events for Penton Media and sat on the boards of several subsidiaries in Asia; president and CEO, CEIR; senior vice president, Asia/Pacific based in Hong Kong and senior vice president of corporate for Reed. Before then he was director of the first U.S. government trade exhibition in China in 1980 and spent 3 years in the former Soviet Union as director of the U.S. Trade Center and U.S. Commercial Attaché. Steve is currently the chair of IAEE’s International Committee, a position he also held some years ago, and is a member of SISO and ASAE. He received his BA in International Affairs from the University of Vermont and his MBA in International Business from George Washington University. He makes his home in Tucson, AZ.
President, Messe Frankfurt North America
Dennis is currently serving as President of Messe Frankfurt North America and is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Smith began his trade show career in Europe and spent close to 18 years living and working in countries like Germany, United Kingdom and Turkey.
Having worked in the industry since 1992, Dennis has been directly responsible for organizing more than 250 different international events and is considered a unique exhibition specialist in a multitude of industries to include Automotive, manufacturing, ICT, food, textiles and construction. Mr. Smith has held executive positions in marketing, sales, business development and executive management at several major exhibition companies in Europe and in the U.S.
Born in Colorado and having served in the US Army, Dennis has an MBA in International Business and is highly experienced in facilitating trade in developing markets outside the U.S. to include the BRIC and MIST countries.
Dennis is married with two children and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.