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2022 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 2022 IAEE Award recipients!

Pinnacle Award
Walter Yeh

Walter most recently served as President and CEO of TAITRA, the government agency which promotes trade development and exhibition promotion in Taiwan. He has also been at the helm of other industry associations such as the Taiwan Exhibition & Convention Association (TECA) and the Asian Federation of Convention & Exhibition Associations (AFECA) with distinction. In addition to his contributions to the exhibitions and events industry on a global scale, Walter’s contributions to IAEE include acting as a conduit for the CEM Learning Program’s success in Taiwan, as well as supporting IAEE’s overall presence in the MICE industry for that region.

Distinguished Service Award
Bob Schuler
Senior Vice President, Event Sales and Operations
International Market Centers & LIGHTFAIR International

Bob has been an IAEE member for two decades and has served on the IAEE Southeast Chapter Board of Directors since 2018, including chairing the chapter’s awards committee. He is known for always being one of the first to volunteer his services and support to the association. Bob is also a dedicated and innovative industry leader, having served the exhibitions and events industry through his extensive background in sales management, business development, strategic planning and customer service with a successful track record of obtaining results through change, creativity and collaborative efforts.

Woman of Achievement Award
Lenay Gore

With more than 30 years of industry experience, Lenay has been a dedicated IAEE member for over 25 of those years. She has served on almost every committee the association has to offer, on both the national and chapter levels. During her tenure, she has advanced the standing of women in the industry by acting as a role model and mentor. Lenay has been dedicated to advancing IAEE’s mission and initiatives, and has steadfastly demonstrated exemplary leadership for women throughout exhibitions and events.

Chapter Merit Award
Tara Allen, CEM
Account Director

Tara Allen, CEM, has been an IAEE member since 2010 serving on the Young Professionals Committee and various chapter leadership roles. She has been active in the exhibition management field for over a decade and was honored with the IAEE Young Professional of the Year Award in 2018. A passionate industry advocate, she has held a variety of leadership positions with the chapter including serving as Events Chair, Treasurer, Vice Chair, Chapter Chair and, currently, Immediate Past Chair.

Chapter Merit Award
Stephenie Hawkins, CEM
Director, Event Production
Informa Tech

Stephenie Hawkins, CEM has made a significant impact on fellow IAEE Southwest Chapter members. Of note, she created a program to engage the UNLV School of Hospitality. With her guidance, the chapter created an event for UNLV’s Capstone Class that included a networking event titled “Opening Doors: Advancing to Your Next Opportunity.” The event was a huge success for both students and industry professionals in the Las Vegas community.

Chapter Merit Award
Ronika Nash, CEM
Strategic Partnerships Director
Texas Society of Association Executives

Ronika has been active in the Central Texas Chapter for over five years, where she quickly became a key member of its Board of Directors. She currently serves as Treasurer and has been commended for the fantastic job she does at keeping the chapter on budget. She has also exemplified leadership when working with chapter members to navigate through COVID, in addition to filling the chapter’s young professionals role and engaging with the chapter’s YP members.

Chapter Merit Award
Sydney Rhea, CEM
Senior Event Operations Manager
Informa Markets Limited

Sydney has proven herself a great asset to the Rocky Mountain Chapter by going above and beyond with taking on the role as Chapter Chair halfway through this year, and maintaining enthusiasm about finishing the year strong with the possibility of continuing through 2023. She has been commended for leading by example and giving everything she has to seeing the chapter achieve great success.

Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award
Dr. Kristin Malek, CMP, CED, DES, CHE
Assistant Professor/Event Management Extension Specialist
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Kristin currently chairs the IAEE Faculty Advisory Committee in addition to teaching full time at the university level. She has also taught an educational session for IAEE around event design and strategy. Her teaching methods are innovative and she brings excellent ideas that have shaped IAEE’s programming, in addition to advocating for quality education program to advance the exhibitions and events industry.

Volunteer of the Year Award
Bob Hancock
Director of Event Services
Jack Friday LLC

Bob has been a member of IAEE since 1987 and served as Chair of the IAEE Southeastern Chapter in 2015. He received IAEE’s Chapter Merit Award in 2016 and even though he could have “rested on his laurels” after receiving this recognition, he has not. He continually shows a strong commitment to participating in and promoting the exhibitions and events industry, while also engaging in community activities addressing needs outside of the industry.

Innovative Business Solution Award
American Association of Orthodontists
Events & Education Team

After three years of being apart, the AAO Events & Education Team was finally able to bring its vision of an Orthodontic Innovation Pavilion to life at its 2022 Annual Session. This Pavilion, located inside the Exhibit Hall, fulfilled the vision expressed by the AAO Board of Trustees to position the organization as one that drives innovation in the profession. The 2022 Innovation Pavilion created a new revenue stream for the Annual Session and countless opportunities for industry and AAO members.

Outstanding Marketing & Sales Award
Lisa Lazzaretto
Director, Corporate Relations and Exhibition Services
Radiological Society of North America

Lisa’s hard work, innovation and collaboration with sponsors led to a record-breaking sponsorship campaign at RSNA’s annual meeting held 27 November – 1 December 2021. She led the Corporate Relations Department in bringing in sponsorship revenue reflecting a 34% growth over the previous in-person meeting in 2019. This accomplishment was achieved despite the sales period being shortened from 12-months to less than 8-months due to the uncertainty of an in-person meeting in 2021.

Outstanding Marketing & Sales Award
RX | JCK Sales & Marketing Team

In 1992, a group of veteran jewelers decided it was time to revamp trade shows for the U.S. jewelry market. Thanks to their determination and partnership, the JCK Show in Las Vegas was born. JCK has matured not only into the world’s largest and most celebrated jewelry trade event, but it has become the crown jewel of jewelry trade, drawing together a broad international community of globally sourced exhibitors and buyers. RX’s JCK Sales & Marketing Team not only exceeded the 2019 pre-pandemic performance of JCK Show in 2022, but had a record-breaking show regarding attendance goals and exhibit space revenue, and delivered the most energized and memorable JCK show yet.

Young Professional of the Year Award
Elizabeth George, CEM
Event Lead, Content & Programming
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

Elizabeth has been praised by her peers for embodying everything and more that this award represents. She has consistently exemplified the goals and objectives of IAEE to help attract young professionals to the industry, as well as collaborating on specific chapter initiatives for YPs. She is known for going above and beyond, and always has a positive attitude even when she is tasked with the never-ending to-do list. Elizabeth displays the leadership qualities that cannot be taught; they simply come naturally to her.