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Legends of the Industry

Each year, IAEE selects a “Legend of the Industry” whose contributions, innovation and leadership have been truly unique and remarkable.  The recipient is recognized during the annual Krakoff Leadership Institute program which provides career and leadership development for industry professionals.  An informal setting during the Krakoff Leadership Institute allows those participants one-on-one time with this industry leader.

Congratulations to the 2020 Legend of the Industry,
Susan Schwartz, CEM.

Schwartz is Managing Director and Co-Founder of ConvExx, an independent exhibition management company in Henderson, Nev. This culminates a career of nearly 30 years in the exhibition industry in which she has been involved in all aspects of exhibition management including marketing, operations and sales.

Schwartz graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1989. She began her exhibition career in 1991 at Epic Enterprises in San Diego, Calif.  She received her Certified in Exhibition Management® (CEM) designation in 1990. She and her husband, Chuck, moved to Las Vegas in 1997 to manage a trade show housing company, Housing On-Line, where she served as Director of Sales until she left in 2000. The Schwartz family began ConvExx in 2001, and today, ConvExx manages exhibitions and conventions in the TradeShow Top 200.

Schwartz joined IAEE in 1984 and holds a prolific service record that includes serving on more than 20 IAEE committees, task forces and councils. She has also served on the IAEE Board of Directors, Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) Board of Directors and Exhibition Industry Foundation (EIF) Board of Trustees in various capacities including officer positions. At the local level, she has chaired the IAEE Southwest Chapter and remains an active member.

Schwartz has been recognized with various industry awards including IAEE’s Chapter Merit Award in 1998 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2003. She has also received the Woman of Distinction Award from the Nevada Association of Women Business Owners.

Currently, Schwartz is a member of IAEE’s CEM Faculty and teaches CEM courses both nationally and internationally. She was also a contributing author to the fifth edition of IAEE’s textbook, The Art of the Show, An Introduction to Exhibition Management.

View the Legend of the Industry Interview Here

Password to view recording: T17L!+wu

Past recipients of the Krakoff Leadership Institute “Legend of the Industry” include:

2019: Gary Shapiro

2018: Donald Pazour

2017: Skip Cox

2016: Darlene Gudea


2015: Lawson Hockman, CEM


2014: Doug Ducate, CEM, CMP


2013: Galen Poss, CEM


2012: Patricia Farias-Barlow, CEM

Bob Dallmeyer

2011: Bob Dallmeyer, CEM


2010: Jacqueline Russo


2009: Donald S. Freeman, Jr.