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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

2023 Chairperson
Dennis Smith
Vice President of Business Development
Asian American Hotel Owners Association

Dennis is the Vice President of Business Development for the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. Previously Dennis held the title of Sr. Director for Exposition Sales and Business Development at AVIXA which is the global trade association for the pro AV and integrated experiences industry. 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 working for some of the top trade show organizations to include Deutsche Messe and Messe Frankfurt.

Apart from launching his own trade show company in 1997, Dennis has held several executive level positions and has been directly responsible for organizing more than 250 different international events in more than 30 countries covering a multitude of industries to include textiles, automotive, manufacturing, technology, food and construction.

Born in Colorado and having served in the US Army, Dennis has an MBA in International Business and is highly experienced in global strategy for events around the globe.

Dennis is married with two children and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.


Marie Browne
Group Vice President


As Group Vice President for RX, Marie is responsible for leading the LaunchPad team.  Her focus is to drive growth for the business via the launch and management of new events.   Marie assumed this role in late 2016 which has resulted in the launch of eight events in 2018.

Marie has been at Reed for 18 years and has held a variety of event management and corporate development roles.   Her immediate past position was Vice President of Corporate Development where she handled multiple acquisitions in the US, Mexico and Brazil.

Prior to joining RX, Marie held senior marketing positions at a number of event management and membership organizations.

Marie holds a Masters of Business Administration degree with concentrations in marketing and finance from the University of Connecticut.

Janet Sperstad CMP-F
Program Director Meeting and Event Management
Madison College

Janet Sperstad’s professional history reflects her lifelong vocation: driving excellence in meeting and event management execution and education. She has dedicated her career to defining the competencies and career pathways that articulate meeting planning as a design discipline – separate and distinct from hospitality – requiring skills in the social sciences, executive leadership, and the cognitive sciences.

Her contributions are global in scope and rooted in over 25 years as a meeting professional and executive leader in the corporate and non-profit sectors. Janet has been employed by a Fortune 500 global company, a statewide association, and owned a professional event management firm.

Janet currently leads Madison College’s Meeting and Event Management Associate degree program, which she founded in 2002. This award-winning program is recognized for its stringent requirements that faculty demonstrate direct meeting planning experience and credentials; the program currently offers the greatest number of meeting and event management credits in the United States and has served as a model for other programs at colleges and universities in North America and Europe.

Immediate Past Chairperson
Carrie Ferenac
CNTV (Convention News Television)

Carrie and her business partner, Marcelo Zolessi, co-founded Convention News Television (CNTV) in 2007 after seeing a need for digital content and live production in the exhibitions and events industry.   Now, the company produces live and remote content for more than seventy clients annually.   The video stories bring events to life, and offer associations and for-profit show organizers a new stream of revenue through sponsorships.   CNTV also partners with IAEE, PCMA, TSNN and Tradeshow Executive to produce video content and live coverage of industry events throughout the year.

Carrie has an extensive background in broadcast journalism and management.  She spent eleven years at the NBC affiliate in Orlando (WESH-TV).  Now, Carrie is entrenched in the meetings industry.    She is the current chair of the CEIR Board of Directors, and incoming Chair of the IAEE Board.    She was a finalist for PCMA’s Supplier of the year in 2017 and 2019.   She volunteers her time and energy to projects that forward the industry, including Exhibitions Day and the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign.

Bilal Al Barmawi, CEM
1st Arabia Company Exhibitions and Conferences Organizers

Bilal has a broad industry background, specializing in exhibitions & event management, as well as meetings, Incentives and conferences. He has actively consulted in the MICE business events industry since 1997 throughout the Middle East. Originally from Jordan he maintains offices in Dubai, Riyadh and Amman.

He is Founder and CEO of 1st Arabia Exhibitions and Conferences Organizers which is a leading exhibition and events management company in the Middle East. He is the advisor and consultant for the Saudi National Program, and the managing director of the Saudi Events Management Academy – Conference & Exhibitions. He has venue management experience and is the official middle east representative for Fera Barcelona.

Bilal is also the current Immediate past chairperson of the Middle East & North Africa Chapter of the International Association of Exhibition and Events (IAEE).


Mary Bender
VP of Sales & Operations
Taffy Event Strategies

Mary has been in the trade show industry for 20 years and has excelled in a variety of roles including sales and marketing for service providers as well as show management teams. Prior to joining Taffy Events, Mary led marketing and sponsorship sales efforts for U.S Boat Shows, a division of Informa Exhibitions. Prior to Informa, Mary worked for trade show industry companies including Smart City, Sands Expo & Convention Center, GES and Emerald Expositions (formerly GLM). In addition, Mary has been active in the trade show industry serving on the Southwest Chapter board for IAEE as well as multiple committees focusing on awards, education and innovation.


Mark Bogdansky

Vice President Meetings & Events
Auto Care Association

Mark Bogdansky is the Vice President of Meetings and Events for the Auto Care Association. Bogdansky oversees all tradeshows for the Auto Care Association, its segments, committees and managed associations, including the AAPEX and HDAW shows. His responsibilities include strategic planning, tradeshow management, partner and vender relationships, contract negotiation and on-site logistics.

Prior to joining the Auto Care Association in November 2016, Bogdansky worked on the conventions for the National Retail Federation and Heart Rhythm Society. Prior to that, Mark was a high school teacher and college basketball coach.

He is an active member of the International Association of Exhibition and Events, and currently serves as the chairperson of the MATSO Council. He has also served on multiple industry advisory boards and committees and spoken at several industry events.

Raised in Boston, Bogdansky graduated from Yeshiva University in New York, with a bachelor of arts in mathematics and a minor in business. He lives with his son in Maryland.


Michael Clarke
Director, Global Sales B2B Marketing & Events, Americas
Marriott International

Michael leads a dynamic team of marketing and business event professionals inside the Global Sales Organization at Marriott International. With a focus of assisting the GSO Team in staying connected with Marriott’s largest volume customers within association, corporate, intermediary, wholesale, retail and TMC segments, he works with key GSO executive and associate stakeholders to provide strategy and relevant, personalized information and content to group, business transient and leisure travel customer channels, enabling more efficient decision making and problem solving across Marriott’s portfolio of 30 brands.

In addition, Michael manages Marriott’s meeting, event and tradeshow division, producing internal sales and external customer facing events across all segments and within all premium and luxury brands. Further, he is responsible for all of Marriott’s sponsor and partner programs with all industry associations and organizations.

He and his team recently launched Marriott’s first and very successful hybrid event – Connect With Confidence – showcasing an effective planning approach to both virtual and in-person events with the purpose of encouraging our industry to once again consider face-to-face business events within a well-being environment.


Legal Counsel
Paula Cozzi Goedert
Barnes & Thornberg LLC


Michelle Edmonson, CEM
Vice President, Exhibitions
AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology

Michelle Edmonson, CEM is the Vice President, Exhibitions at AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology. She previously held the position of Senior Director – Events and Content; AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology. Her 25+ years of trade show history allows her to combine her experience with fresh ideas to all AMT Events – including IMTS – The International Technology Show. Michelle recently stepped into the role of managing content for the Association and continues to help develop new products for the MT marketplace.


Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, CEMDirector
Chuck Grouzard
Executive Vice President, Business Development

Chuck Grouzard is Executive Vice President of Business Development at GES. With over 25 years of industry experience, he is not only a veteran, but knows his stuff. He enjoys leading the exhibition sales team on a day to day basis with new and exciting tactics. He’s worked with various types of clients and is always up for a challenge!

Mary Pat Heftman

Mary Pat is the Principal of MPH Solutions, LLC, a newly launched consultancy assisting association and for-profit trade show & event organizations to achieve their full potential strategically, operationally and financially.

Over her 30-year career, Mary Pat is known worldwide as a senior executive at the National Restaurant Association and Winsight Media, leading the National Restaurant Association Show’s unprecedented innovation and growth.

Mary Pat’s career-long active involvement in leadership roles at MATSO, PCMA, CEIR and IAEE propelled those organizations into the future and current status as leaders in their respective association categories.


Anytra Lowe, CEM
EVP, Client Services

Anytra D. Lowe began her career in the events industry in 1996.  Anytra joined Freeman in 2004 and has held several positions such as Senior National Account Manager, Assistant Director of Sales of Las Vegas, and Director, National Account Management.  Anytra was also responsible for overseeing many Association, Corporate, and Technology customer events while Vice President, Expositions of California.  Her concentrated experience in both sales and account management has consistently helped customers elevate the show planning experience.

Currently, as Executive Vice President, Client Solutions, Anytra strategizes with internal teams and customers on high-level logistics, creating and implementing project plans focused on retention, account management, a superior service.   She often takes a “no excuses” approach to account service and continuously develops our internal teams to align with customer and industry expectations.

Anytra joined the IAEE Board of Directors beginning in January 2022 and has extensively participated IAEE Chapter events as well as the Krakoff Leadership Institute and several task forces.  Anytra is based in Las Vegas, has two children, three dogs, a turtle, and is an avid supporter of the National Brain Tumor Society.



Justine L. McVaney
SVP Event Planning & Operations
National Association of Broadcasters


Justine McVaney is responsible for all the event planning, budget management, logistical operations, and customer service programs of NAB’s events and conventions.

Since joining the NAB convention department in 1994, she has held various management positions in the department and was promoted to her current leadership position as Senior Vice President for Event Planning and Operations in 2011.

Justine is active in the trade show industry.  From 2000 – 2003 she served on the IAEM (International Association of Exposition Managers) DC Chapter Board of Directors and in 2004 was name one of the Next Generation of Leaders by Tradeshow Week magazine.  She currently is a member of the Maritz Advisory Board, vice chair of the Major American Trade Show Organizer Council, and past chair of the IAEE Senior Executive Education Forum.

Justine is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a BA in American Government.  She resides in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Jim and their son James.


Brian Pagel
Executive Vice President
Emerald X 

Brian Pagel currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Business Development and oversees the Residential and Commercial Connections portfolio at Emerald.  Brian began his career at Shore Varrone in 1998 and has worked in a variety of leadership positions with Bill Communications, VNU, Nielsen Expositions and Emerald.

Brian has produced nearly 100 events in his career, successfully repositioned several struggling properties and was a part of the deal team that acquired CEDIA Expo in 2017.  In 2013 he helped to champion an effort to co-locate the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) with the International Builders Show (IBS), creating Design and Construction Week. Brian holds a degree in Organizational Communications from the University of Kansas and is an active volunteer with both the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE).  He is also a frequent industry speaker, blogger and guest columnist.

Brian is originally from Littleton, Colorado, but currently lives and works in Alpharetta, Georgia.


Necoya Tyson CEM-AP, CGMP, CCEP
Director of Meeting Operations

CASSS – An International Separation Science Society

Necoya Tyson is the Vice President, banker Education & Events with CASSS – An International Separation Science Society. She was previously the Vice President of Education & Events at the Texas Bankers Association, located in Austin, TX. With over 15 years of experience in the exhibitions & events industry, she leads the professional development and educational needs of the association’s members throughout every stage in each of their careers. Her strategic thinking and innovative approach help members keep education at the forefront of their minds.

Tyson has worked with various national associations in the Washington, D.C. area including the American Traffic Safety Services Association as the Director of Meetings & Conventions, National Trade Productions, Inc. as the Director of Operations and Conferences and the Society of American Military Engineers, as the Meetings and Exhibits Manager.

She is an active member of the International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE) where she serves on the DC chapter board of directors and is a member of the CEM faculty. As a CEM faculty member, she teaches CEM classes all over the world.

She is a graduate of Shaw University with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She is also a certified corporate event planner, certified exhibition manager-advanced professional and government meetings professional.


Nichapa “Nikki” Yoswee, CEM
Senior Vice President
Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB

Bio not available.


Ex-Officio Members

Representing IAEE Asia Council

Representing the IAEE China Council

Representing Chapters Leaders Council
Sarah Kokernot, CEM, CMP
Director of Meetings & Events
Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society


Representing the IAEE MATSO Council
John Rozum
Senior Director, Ag & Utility Exhibitions and Events
Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Representing the Past Chairpersons’ Advisory Group
Julie Smith, CEM-AP, CTA
Senior Vice President, Exhibition Sales


Representing IAEE Consumer Events Council
Michelle Metter
Fast Forward Event Productions


David-DuBoisDavid DuBois, CMP-F, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President and CEO
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.