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IAEE Revealed its 2020 Award Winners During Virtual Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2020

December 10, 2020

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events® (IAEE) proudly announced the recipients of the 2020 IAEE Awards in a special presentation held yesterday during Virtual Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2020. For the first time in the IAEE Awards Program’s history, the winners were “revealed” to attendees through the IAEE Awards Watch Party, which aired on Wednesday, 9 December.

“It seemed fitting to announce this year’s award recipients in this unique way given the unprecedented year our industry has experienced,” noted 2020 IAEE Awards Committee Chairperson Kellie Shevlin, CEM, who emceed the watch party. “It was a fun presentation and an honor for the Awards Committee to recognize these outstanding members who give so much back to IAEE and our industry.”

The IAEE Awards recognize outstanding contributions by IAEE members to the organization and to the exhibitions and events industry. They were selected after careful consideration and review by the IAEE Awards Committee and approval by the IAEE Board of Directors following an open call for nominations by IAEE members earlier in the year.

Congratulations to the 2020 IAEE Award Winners:

The Pinnacle Award is one of IAEE’s highest honors and recognizes an IAEE member who, over the years, has furthered IAEE’s objectives of advancing exhibitions and events management through the promotion of education, the dissemination of knowledge, and the introduction or development of innovative techniques and who has been dedicated to the perpetuation of the highest ideals, trust and professionalism in this highly specialized field. The award was established in memory of the late Founder and Past President of IAEE (formerly NAEM) William Hunt Eisenman and is presented by IAEE in recognition of extraordinary achievement in the exhibitions and events management field over the course of the recipient’s career.

This year’s recipient of the IAEE Pinnacle Award is Rick McConnell, President, Informa Markets Limited. McConnell has been a leader in the trade show and events industry for more than 30 years and has mentored thousands of people throughout his career. Many of the industry’s current leaders, including several past chairs of IAEE, have benefitted from his friendship, leadership and guidance over the years. A member of the trade show industry for nearly 30 years, he has employed over 1,000 employees, worked on close to 300 events, and left an indelible mark on the exhibitions and events industry with forward-thinking innovations and solutions.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to an IAEE member in recognition of an individual who has rendered distinguished service to IAEE and to the exhibitions and events industry. Qualifying criteria includes extraordinary service and contributions at both the local and national levels that have furthered the growth and development of this organization. When representing IAEE, the honoree will have served as a role model for the industry. This year’s recipient is Rick Simon, CEO and President, United Service Companies.

The Woman of Achievement Award recognizes a member who has led the way in advancing women through her outstanding leadership within the industry and her community. It is presented at the annual IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum and recognized at Expo! Expo!. This year’s recipient is Nancy Walsh, President of Fashion, Informa Markets.

The International Excellence Award recognizes exceptional performance by an IAEE member in creating, launching, managing and growing international events. This year’s recipient is the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

The Humanitarian Award recognizes an IAEE member company or an IAEE member representative who demonstrates commitment to equality and social responsibility and exemplifies unselfish giving to the well-being of humanity through aiding those less fortunate and eliminating/reducing the pain and suffering of others. This year’s recipient is Mark Zimmerman, CEO, Zimmerman Consulting LLC.

The Chapter Merit Award recognizes IAEE members whose ideas and/or work have benefited IAEE as an organization in some special way and is generally reserved for those who have stepped forward at the chapter/local level. This year’s recipients are Deb Ferbrache, CEM; Chris Pendley, Director of Data & Digital Services, Messe Frankfurt North America; Kareem Salvant, Event Logistics & Facilities Support Manager, The Javits Center; and Landon Shores, Senior Business Development Manager, Freeman.

The Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award is presented to IAEE members who possess outstanding creativity, a positive attitude, and the ability to transfer knowledge through good communication skills and innovative teaching to promote life-long learning to exhibitions and events industry professionals. This year’s award recipient is Troy Love, CTA, CMP, CASE, CEM, Senior Sales Manager, Visit San Antonio.

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes IAEE members who have dedicated their time to the progress and fulfillment of the charge of a committee or task force on which they serve. This year’s award recipient is Shannon Binger, CEM, Senior Manager, Meetings and Services, American Thoracic Society.

The Innovative Business Solution Award recognizes achievement by an IAEE member or member organization in the creation of new and innovative business solutions. Criteria include: product/service overview; clear presentation of objectives and fulfillment of those objectives; impact on the industry, present and/or future; clear presentation of what makes the product/service innovative; growth potential; and effective use of social media. This year’s recipient is Chuck Elias, CEO & Co-founder, 42Chat and the 42Chat Team.

The Young Professional of the Year Award recognizes excellent professional performance by IAEE members 35 years of age or younger who have committed their time to advancing the standing of young professionals in our industry. This year’s award recipient is Molly Hamill, CMP, CEM, Manager, Exhibition Sales, International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA).

Click here to learn more about this year’s winners. Click here to watch the full 2020 IAEE Awards Watch Party and for more information about the IAEE Awards Program.

About IAEE
Trusted since 1928, IAEE provides quality and value to its members through leadership, service, education and strong relationships. IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. Organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world are members of IAEE, and the organization advocates and promotes the awareness of face-to-face exhibitions and events as the primary medium for business development and growth. IAEE provides relevant, timely and innovative education to its members and the industry. IAEE recognizes its strategic partners: 4imprint, Convention News Television (CNTV), eShow, Freeman, GES | onPeak, Grit Productions and Expositions, IMEX, New Orleans & Company, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and Risk Strategies Company | Buttine Insurance. Visit for more information.

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