IAEE Board of Directors
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 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.
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).
Ryan Strowger, CEM
Chief Events and Industry Officer
The Optical Society
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.
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.
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 tradeshow industry. Now, the company produces live content and video highlights for more than sixty clients annually. CNTV also partners with IAEE, PCMA, IMEX, Association Forum of Chicagoland, 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 as newscast producer, executive producer, and senior executive producer. Now, Carrie is entrenched in the exhibitions and events industry. She volunteers her time and energy to projects that forward the industry, including Exhibitions Day and the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign.
She is married and has three children.
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.
Executive Vice President, Exhibition Sales
Chuck Grouzard is Executive Vice President of Exhibition Sales 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!
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.
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.
Deputy Director, Orange County Convention Center (OCCC)
Yulita has over 30 years in the hospitality industry and been in management at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) for more than sixteen years. She is a natural leader and seasoned professional in the industry, having served in senior sales management positions at the Daytona Beach Convention Center and the Tampa Convention Center. Yulita oversees the following divisions within the OCCC: Sales, Marketing, Event Management & Exhibitor Services, information technology and Security.
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.
President & CEO
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 U.S. 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.
Janet Sperstad, CMP
Program Director, Meeting and Event Management
Madison Area Technical 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. Ms. Sperstad has been employed by a Fortune 500 global company, a statewide association, and owned a professional event management firm.
She 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 most 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.