The premier resource for exhibition and event industry professionals

IAEE Spotlight on 2023 Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award Winner Donna Johnson, CEM-AP, CMP

Donna Johnson, CEM-AP, CMP
As a fervent advocate of continuing education, Donna Johnson has dedicated her service to helping industry professionals further their knowledge. Read on to learn how the Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award winner inspires others to engage in growing their careers.

By Mary Tucker | Sr. Communications & Content Manager | IAEE

Animated graphic of 2023 IAEE Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award Winner Donna Johnson

As CEM Faculty, Donna Johnson, CEM-AP, CMP has been praised for her dedication to her students’ success and her ability to foster a positive learning environment that has made her a beloved mentor and teacher. Her teaching style, which emphasizes project management and creative thinking, receives high praise from students in IAEE’s CEM Learning Program.

In addition to her teaching achievements, Donna’s leadership as the 2023 CEM Commission Chair has been highly commendable as she consistently thinks outside the box to deliver innovative ideas. She also contributes to the Education Committee, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to continuing education.

Donna’s commitment to helping colleagues in their continuing professional development earned her the IAEE Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award last year, for which she was recognized this past December during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Dallas, Texas (watch Donna’s acceptance speech here).

Here, Donna shares with IAEE how she stays on top of the latest industry happenings, her approach to teaching her CEM courses and why she encourages colleagues to nurture their learning journey.

fun facts about Donna Johnson

What drew you to the exhibitions and events industry, and what has driven you to focus on the education aspect?

Donna: Thirty-two years ago, starting my career in the exhibitions and events industry opened opportunities to engage in diverse projects, travel extensively, and experience unique challenges each day.

How do you stay current on industry trends and what is your approach to integrating this knowledge into the CEM courses you teach?

Donna: I am a very curious person. Staying current on industry trends involves continuous learning, attending conferences, reading industry publications, and listening to how my CEM students approach challenges. I integrate this knowledge into all the CEM courses through group exercises, real world examples and discussions on current industry practices to ensure students receive the most up-to-date information.

What is your advice to someone who is considering working toward their CEM designation? Taking it a step further, what would you tell someone interested in serving on the CEM Faculty?

Donna: Those contemplating pursuing their CEM designation should understand that it goes beyond acquiring credentials. It involved embarking on a journey, connecting with industry peers, learning from experiences, and exchanging stories that encompass challenges and successes leading to professional growth.

For those interested in serving on the CEM Faculty, it’s important to have a solid background in the exhibitions and events field, extensive experience, and a passion for education. Strong communication and mentoring skills are invaluable, as faculty members play a key role in guiding and supporting students through the program.

You earned your CEM-AP designation last year, congratulations! What inspired you to take this next step in your learning journey and how would you like to see education in the industry progress? 

Donna: Our industry is ever evolving, and the only way to keep pace with its rapid changes is through lifelong learning. The exhibitions and events industry, with its dynamic nature and constant shifts, demands that we remain students of our craft for as long as we’re a part of it. I challenge everyone in the exhibitions and events industry to continue to share their experiences and participate in all educational opportunities available to bridge their current knowledge with innovative ideas.

The Call for Nominations for this year’s IAEE Awards is now open! Check out all of the award categories here and be sure to submit your nominations by 30 August!

Share Post

Stay Up To Date

Related Posts

iaee blog station logo

Stay Up To Date

Join over 15,000 followers dedicated to learning the ins and outs of the exhibition and event industry!