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Leadership

The IAEE Board of Directors plays a critical role in setting the direction for the association, ensuring necessary resources are in place for carrying out the mission, values and vision. They establish IAEE policies and priorities based upon the mission; represent member needs; ensure the financial stability and growth of the association; and promote the broad exhibitions and events industry.

To view our past board chairs, click here. | To view our staff, click here.

IAEE Board of Directors

ryan-strowgerChairperson
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-mcKinnonChairperson-Elect
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-headshot-casual-300x300

Secretary/Treasurer
Tom Cindric, CEM
Senior Vice President, Informa, Global Exhibitions, Infrastructure Events

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 Senior Vice President, Tom has full P&L responsibility for Informa Global Exhibitions, Infrastructure Events including World of Concrete, Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show and WasteExpo. He reports directly to the President of the Informa Global Exhibitions US and Canada.  Tom 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 SmithImmediate Past-Chairperson
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, CMPDirector
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..


 

Director
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).


 

lenay-goreDirector
Lenay Gore
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.


 

christopher-mcCabeDirector
Christopher McCabe
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, CPADirector
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.


 

bob-morganDirector
Bob Morgan
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.


 

chris-nemchekDirector
Chris Nemchek
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, CEMDirector
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.


 

Steve-SindDirector
Steve Sind
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.


 

dennis-smithDirector
Dennis Smith
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.


 

Ex-Officio Members

iaee-public-events-council

Representing the IAEE Public Events Council
Mary Bender
VP, Consumer Marketing, Informa – Global Exhibitions Division


 

Center-for-Exhibition-Industry-Research

Representing the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)
Aaron Bludworth
President & CEO, Fern


Sue McCartRepresenting Chapters Leaders Council
Sue McCart
President, HFI LLC dba HFI Event Services

Sue McCart is President of HFI Event Services, a company that provides Management, Marketing & Operational Event Based Solutions for trade and professional associations as well as independent show organizers.

HFI has been in business since 1997 planning trade shows and events for national trade associations. Sue has also successfully owned and sold a trade show during that time. Her past includes close to 15 years with the Atlanta Market Center, now AmericasMart, the last five of those serving as Vice President / General Manager of the Trade Show Division. Prior to the Mart, she was with several Hyatt Hotels. Most recently, McCart served as the 2016 Board Chair for the Southeastern Chapter.


Pamela SkaggsRepresenting Robert L. Krakoff Seat
Pamela Skaggs, CEM
Senior Operations Manager, Penton

Pamela Skaggs, CEM, is a Senior Operations Manager for Penton Information Services. Penton is a leading independent US-based Exhibitions and Professional Services Group that recently joined the Informa group. Pamela has worked in the events industry for over a decade. She got her start at the American Heart Association shortly after graduating college from the University of Alabama. Pamela has acted as show and operations manager for a broad range of events within the many vertical markets Penton serves, inclusive of the Natural Products Expos, International Wireless Communications Expo, Club Industry and Wealth Management. Pamela has been an IAEE member for 9 years and recently attended the Krakoff Leadership Institute, where she was selected to serve as the KLI representative on the IAEE Board of Directors. Pamela will serve as the Board Liaison to the IAEE Young Professionals Committee.


Kelly KilgaRepresenting the IAEE MATSO Council 
Kelly Kilga, CEM
Vice President of Meetings & Events, Graphic Arts Show Company Inc.

Kelly E. Kilga, CEM, oversees the development and logistics of the GRAPH EXPO and PRINT trade shows. She has been involved in every aspect of exhibition management with positions at National Association of Convenience Stores and CardTech/SecurTech before joining GASC in 2004, in addition to exhibiting at trade shows at the start of her career.

Kelly served on the IAEE DC Chapter Board from 2004 – 2010, including Board Chair in 2009. She received her CEM designation from IAEE in 2003 and has been active on national committees and task forces since 2010, in addition to being a member of MATSO, the Major American Trade Show Organizers, now the IAEE MATSO Council.


 

Walter-YehRepresenting Asia Exhibition Council Executive
Walter Yeh, CEM
Executive Vice President, TAITRA Taiwan External Trade Development Council

Mr. Yeh joined TAITRA in 1983 and has been devoted to marketing and exhibition programs for nearly 30 years. He has traveled to 66 countries and major cities around the world for trade promotions and participated in major exhibitions around the world. Mr. Yeh served as the pavilion president of Taiwan Pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai China, which is also one of the most important mega MICE events worldwide. In order to make Taiwan Pavilion from better to the best, in every single day during the EXPO, Mr. Yeh led the pavilion team members with the motto “Everyday is the first day. Every guest is the VIP.”


 

David-DuBoisIAEE President & CEO
David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE)

David DuBois is the President and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE). As IAEE’s president, DuBois is responsible for the management of 23 full-time professional staff, producing the annual business operating plan and budget, overseeing the support of all meetings of governance units, leading business development, directing fund raising efforts, advocating for the industry and the organization’s members, providing organizational leadership and strategic counsel to the board. Also, he serves as the association’s representative with industry coalitions, partner organizations and strategic alliances.

DuBois began his career with Sheraton Corporation in various sales positions including Regional Director of Sales and the Director of Marketing Programs. He has served as both President and CEO, and Senior Vice President at the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) where he was responsible for all operations and a $7 million budget. As Senior Vice President he managed the development of 15 new chapters and was responsible for magazine advertising sales and membership recruitment and retention.

DuBois has also served as both the Chief Operating Officer at Meeting Professionals International (MPI) from 1996-2000. During this time, he supported programs and services for more than 16,000 members worldwide, and served as the Executive Vice President of the MPI Foundation. David has also served as MPI’s Vice President of Sales and Key Account Management and Vice President of Corporate Services.

Most recently, DuBois has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau where he had oversight and full responsibility of 42 staff, with the responsibility of attracting convention and tourism business with a $8.5 million budget.

DuBois has also served as a board member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE); Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Texas Society of Association Executives; board member and Chairman of the Dallas-Fort Worth Tourism Council; and board member of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves as Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Convention Industry Council (CIC). He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Meetings Mean Business Coalition and the U.S. Travel Association.