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2021 IAEE Award Recipients

The IAEE Awards Program is designed to recognize IAEE members who have made outstanding contributions to the exhibitions and events industry. Congratulations to the 2021 IAEE Award recipients!

Lifetime Achievement Award
Dennis Slater
Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)

Dennis’ impressive participation record with IAEE spans 35 years. He has been a long-time advocate for the trade show industry and, under his leadership, AEM has been a tremendous supporter of IAEE, Exhibitions Mean Business and CEIR. Dennis was promoted to President of AEM after vast success in overseeing its trade shows and, during his tenure, has built an outstanding corporate culture.

Pinnacle Award
Jonathan “Skip” Cox

Skip’s impact on the exhibitions and events industry spans more than five decades, including four of them as an IAEE member. He devoted 55 years to Exhibit Surveys, with 25 of those at its helm. In that time, Skip has made an indisputable name for himself as a champion of ROI in the exhibitions and events industry.

Watch Skip’s acceptance video below:

Distinguished Service Award
Juan Gabriel Tamez, CVE, CEM
Managing Director
Expo Guadalajara Convention Center

Juan Gabriel’s dedication to IAEE’s CEM program has made him a driving force behind establishing the program’s presence in Mexico, thereby significantly helping to expand IAEE’s global reach. He has served as a key advocate not only with the CEM program, but with other IAEE education efforts in the region. Juan Gabriel has also served as Past Chair for AMEREF, educating venues and facilities as well as serving as a mentor to industry professionals in the region.

Watch Juan Gabriel’s acceptance video below:

Woman of Achievement Award
Rachel Wimberly
Executive Vice President, Business Development
Tarsus U.S.

Rachel has built an exemplary career and presence in the industry, garnering great respect and admiration among her colleagues. In her position as an editor at TSNN, she would spotlight female business leaders and give them a platform to talk about their successes and challenges in the trade show industry. After growing TSNN to the top online news source for the trade show industry with more than 150,000 readers, she was promoted to hold one of the highest titles in an international company and now focuses on M&A for Tarsus’ fast-growing U.S. portfolio, as well as organic growth initiatives and business development.

Watch Rachel’s acceptance video below:

International Excellence Award
Simon Wang
President & CEO
Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA)

Simon has been involved, front and center, in government projects related to promoting the MICE industry entrusted to TAITRA. He acts as the Project Director of Taiwan’s MICE Promotion Program – MEET TAIWAN – which was awarded The Best Convention & Exhibition Bureau of TTG Travel Awards in 2019 and Most Innovative Destination Marketing of M&C Asia’s Stella Awards. He also supervises Taiwan’s Strengthening the Competitiveness of Taiwan Professional Exhibition Project, and Taiwan Industry Image Enhancement Project, widely known as TAIWAN EXCELLENCE.

Watch Simon’s acceptance video below:

Chapter Merit Award
Russell Callahan, CEM
Director of National Operations
Quest Events

Russell was hailed by the Southwest Chapter as a strong leader with amazing organizational skills, who stays educated on the latest to keep the chapter moving in the right direction and creates an environment that inspires great ideas. He is not only Chapter Chair, but has acted as a mentor as well as initiated partnerships with other chapters on events, and is involved in the Membership Engagement Committee in addition to attending all the chapter leader meetings.

Watch Russell’s acceptance video below:

Chapter Merit Award
Paul Treanor
Senior Manager, Content & Community
Informa Markets Limited

Paul was applauded by the Southwest Chapter for being a dedicated volunteer with a strong and creative vision for the chapter. He is always the first to get involved and follows through with reliability and leadership. In addition to being a “MacGyver-type” leader, everyone loves working with him as his calm demeanor is zen and peaceful, and his happiness and energetic spirit is inspiring.

Watch Paul’s acceptance video below:

Chapter Merit Award
Gwen Venable, CEM
Executive Vice President of Communications
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association

The IAEE Southeastern Chapter praised Gwen for positively impacting the chapter during the most difficult two years of our industry’s history. She successfully chaired the Southeastern Classic, the chapter’s signature event. She also co-founded the Tech Exchange, a technology showcase where exhibitors display their technology products for the events and exhibitions industry. In addition, Gwen has stepped up to fill vacated leadership roles as well as worked to strengthen the chapter’s governance.

Watch Gwen’s acceptance video below:

Chapter Merit Award
Steve Walker
Executive Director, City Wide Sales
MGM Resorts International

The Southwest Chapter commended Steve for jumping in the fray during its most challenging months and helping engage members with strength and compassion. He is always at every event, and participates with contagious energy and spirit. He spearheaded one of the chapter’s most successful golf tournament in years despite the challenges the industry is facing. Steve’s chapter participation is not only inspirational, he has ensured the chapter’s financial success and significantly given back to the community.

Watch Steve’s acceptance video below:

Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award
Robyn Davis, CPTD
Trade Show Trainer/Consultant
Exhibitors WINH LLC

As a Certified Professional in Talent Development, Robyn demonstrates planning, development and delivery of training and education that have changed the behaviors of her students. Her teaching methods are innovative as she incorporates new technologies and mediums, when applicable, to promote life-long learning to exhibitions and events industry professionals. She has contributed her knowledge in IAEE webinars and as an IAEE panel moderator, Expo! Expo! presenter, and session facilitator and presenter at chapter events.

Watch Robyn’s acceptance video below:

Volunteer of the Year Award
Erika Welling, CEM, DES
Chief Experience Officer
Blendz Events

While serving on IAEE’s Membership Engagement Committee, Erika has consistently demonstrated genuine care about each committee member, and excels at encouraging opinions and ideas. She was instrumental in helping create IAEE’s Organizer Contract Job Seeker Program in addition to mentoring other IAEE members as well as recruiting new members. In addition, she serves on the IAEE Southwest Chapter Board of Directors as Treasurer.

Watch Erika’s acceptance video below:

Innovative Business Solution Award
Visit Orlando

Visit Orlando methodically set out to bring back in-person events and, subsequently, get the ball rolling for the industry’s recovery from the pandemic. Visit Orlando was commended for approaching this monumental challenge the right way (safely), in a well-thought-out manner, and for being brave in publicizing its efforts during a time of fear and confusion among industry members, thereby showing the industry that events can be held safely and successfully.

Watch Visit Orlando Chief Sales Officer Mike Waterman’s acceptance video below:

Young Professional of the Year Award
Moriah Hathaway-Casey, CEM
Manager, Exhibit Services
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

Moriah is credited with transforming the Midwestern Chapter in her three years as a Board member. One of her strongest contributions is how much she has grown Young Professional involvement in the chapter over the last few years and her assistance with developing a Chapter Connect Program. Chapter leaders commended her for going above and beyond to build out the YP Committee and get YPs involved in a leadership role within the chapter.

Watch Moriah’s acceptance video below: