News & Awards

In the exhibitions and events industry, it is important to show recognition of a job well done. Below you will find IAEE news and resources, along with information on our Woman of Achievement award and how to enter.



Congratulations to the 2019 Women’s Leadership Committee

  • Chairperson: Ann Olson, CEM, GES;
  • Immediate Past-Chairperson: Julia Slocombe, SmartCity Networks;
  • Irene Angelos, IMN Solutions;
  • Dawn Archambault-Perry, Freeman;
  • Deanna Burgess, CMP, CEM, CRME, Station Casinos/Palace Station;
  • Noreen Burke, CEM, Corcoran Expositions Inc;
  • Julie Cerza, CEM, Nations Best Sports;
  • Jaclyn Halu, CMP, Las Vegas Expo;
  • Stacey Knoppel, CTA, Walter E Washington Convention Center;
  • Carol Motley, Destination DC;
  • Julie Nelson, CEM, Convention Data Services;
  • Shauna Peters, CEM, mdg;
  • Melissa Peticolas, Vista Convention Services;
  • Pennie Stathes, CEM, US Poultry and Egg Association;
  • Necoya Tyson, CEM, CGMP, Traffic Safety Services Association;
  • Angi Van Berg, CEM, Louisville Convention & Visitor’s Bureau;
  • Devon Whitaker, Philadelphia Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (SMG);
  • Board Liaison: Justine McVaney, National Association of Broadcasters; and
  • Ex-Officio Member: Tom Cindric, Jr., CEM, Informa, Global Exhibitions.


IAEE Woman of Achievement Award 

Who will be this year’s Woman of Achievement?
The 2019 IAEE Woman of Achievement Award will be presented during the signature Women’s Leadership Forum. Nominations closed on 28 February 2019. We can’t wait to see who the winner is!

Additional award categories are accepting nominations through 30 August. You still have time to recognize others for their outstanding contributions to our industry. We look forward to receiving your nominations!

Women’s Leadership Experient Experience during Expo! Expo! Recap

For the second year in a row, the Women’s Leadership Expo! Expo Experience was held on Tuesday, 11 December!

Over 125 women, all career levels, came together to discuss timely topics including the challenges women experience while advancing their careers, as well as strategies for women to implement to get beyond those challenges while balancing their lives along the way.

Special thanks to Nancy DeBrosse, Senior VP Strategic Account Management and Robin Murphy, Strategic Sales Executive of Experient for serving as the emcees of the event and to our moderator and panelists:

Special thanks to Experient for their continued partnership with IAEE on the Women’s Initiative!



The Women’s Leadership Forum in India Held It’s 2nd Annual Program in March


Each year, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) recognizes and awards professionals in the exhibitions and events industry for their contributions.  All awards programs are designed to recognize professionals who have made outstanding contributions, forged new ground, made a difference and deserves the spotlight.

Congratulations to Carol Fojtik, CEM – Pinnacle Award Recipient!

The Pinnacle Award 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.

This year’s honoree is Carol Fojtik, CEM, Senior Vice President, Hall-Erickson, Inc. Fojtik joined the industry by starting at a trade show management company owned by Martin C. Dwyer. As a show manager, she worked on such shows as “Nefta-gaz” in Moscow and CONEXPO, among others. For 17 years, she worked and developed her skills under the leadership of Dwyer. When the company sold, she took the experiences and knowledge she had gained with her to Hall-Erickson, Inc.

Fojtik worked with Hub Erickson as a Show Director on such shows as “Automechanika” serving the automotive industry located in Frankfurt, Germany. It was in 1984 that she really opened new ground for women in trade shows when she managed the U.S. Pavilion at “Automechanika” at a time when there were very few women managing trade shows overseas. Fojtik had one of the biggest U.S. Pavilions, which resulted in her co-authoring a book called Marketing by Exhibiting in the Global Market.

Together with creative talents of Exhibitor Magazine, Fojtik helped launch one of the trade show industry’s most exciting trade shows, “The Exhibitor Show” now known as “EXHIBITORLIVE.”  The first show was launched in 1989 with 75 exhibitors that occupied 14,000 net square feet of exhibit space. Under her direction, the show has grown to almost 300 exhibitors occupying over 60,000 net square feet of exhibit space. For almost 30 years she has led the team to produce an exciting and successful event.

Fojtik also was recommended to the National Mining Association to manage and direct the world’s largest mining equipment show called “MINEXPO” in Las Vegas. With over 1,200 exhibitors and occupying over a million net square feet of exhibit space, Fojtik again broke new ground as the first female to manage that major trade show.

Fojtik has been a loyal IAEE member since 1985, serving on various committees on both the national and local levels. Many of IAEE’s programs boast her contributions and dedication to serving IAEE’s membership and objectives. She is known for her generous mentorship and has helped shape many of today’s well-known industry leaders. Across the industry, Fojtik is well known for her expertise in the management of trade shows, making her a regular presenter in the U.S. and abroad. The indelible mark that Fojtik has made on IAEE as an organization, and the overall exhibitions and events industry, embodies the spirit and significance of the IAEE Pinnacle Award.

Congratulations to Jennifer Hoff, CEM – IAEE Woman of Achievement Award Recipient!

The IAEE Woman of Achievement Award was presented at this year’s 2018 Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. to Jennifer Hoff, CEM, President of Taffy Event Strategies. IAEE’s Woman of Achievement Award recognizes one woman each year who has exhibited outstanding leadership and has made significant contributions to the industry and her community. Hoff has contributed extensively to IAEE on both the local and national levels. She served as chairperson of the Washington, D.C. Chapter and also served on the chapter’s Program Committee. She has served as a member and chairperson on multiple IAEE committees and task forces throughout her more than 20 years as an IAEE member. Hoff currently contributes to the IAEE FutureScaping Task Force and the CEIR Research Council, as well as serving as a member of the CEM Faculty. IAEE congratulates Jen on this great accomplishment!


Past recipients of the IAEE Woman of Achievement Award:

2017 Woman of Achievement
Megan Tanel, CEM


2016 Woman of Achievement
Jackie Russo


2015 Woman of Achievement
Karen Chupka


2014 Woman of Achievement
Julie Smith, CEM, CTA



Congratulations to the 2018 Helen Brett Scholarship Recipients

Courtney Daniels

Courtney Daniels is a sophomore studying Sports Entertainment and Event Management at Johnson & Wales University (JWU). From a young age, Daniels had a fascination with the planning and execution of all types of events. She competitively figure-skated starting at the age of eight and in August 2017 she achieved the United States Figure Skating Association’s double gold medalist status, the highest level in figure skating. Daniels spent most of her summers prior to this intensely training at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.

“It’s important to note that figure skating has had a huge impact on my life as it took up much of my free time and required a great deal of dedication. This accomplishment not only required constant dedication and perseverance through difficult challenges, but showed me the meaning of hard work and the rewards that come with it,” said Daniels. “I have overcome many physical and mental obstacles from this sport and become a much stronger person as a result.”

Daniels’ goal this year is to broaden her knowledge within the field of event management by maintaining her 4.0 GPA at JWU, and working with both corporate and non-profit organizations to gain invaluable experience.

Rita Ellis

Rita Ellis is a rising sophomore specializing in Event Management within the Sports, Entertainment, and Event Management major at Johnson & Wales University. She is enrolled in the Honors Program and SHARP (Special Honors and Rewards Program), and thoroughly enjoys the education and hands-on experience she is receiving at JWU. She consistently volunteers for events in the New England area in addition to serving on the executive board of the Live Events Association as Director of Membership. Ellis is also an active member of the Student Advisory Council for the College of Hospitality Management.

Ellis wishes to follow in Helen Brett’s footsteps and have a random act of kindness spiral into a lifelong legacy of success and advancement in the exhibitions and events industry. She is extremely grateful and appreciative for receiving this scholarship, and is confident that this award is a big stepping stone toward her future goals.

“I realize that through my own drive and determination I can make big accomplishments,” said Ellis. “I thank the Helen Brett Scholarship Foundation for its assistance in not only paying for my education, but for opening my eyes to all the exhibitions and events industry has to offer.”

Thanh Vo

Thanh Vo is an international student from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In the Fall of 2015, she came to the United States as an exchange student from the University of West Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Media Production and Management. She recently started a new major and is pursuing her Applied Associate Degree in Science in Hospitality, Exhibition, and Event Management at Richland College. Vo has produced various events for her school and participates in many clubs and activities, including the HEEM (Hospitality, Exhibitions & Events Management) Club and the HEEM Scholarship and Silent Auction. She served as the Social Media Student Chair in 2017 and 2018.

Vo also participates as a student leader with two honor society groups. She is the Chapter President of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) and Vice President of Scholarship of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK). Her responsibilities with NSCS and PTK are organizing chapter/officer meetings, facilitating the growth of the chapter to platinum status, and planning a new member induction ceremony for more than 200 honors students.

Vo will be graduating in May of 2019 from Richland College and plans to transfer to The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) to obtain a double major in Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management, Concentration in Meetings and Trade Shows and Bachelor of Science in Business Administrative, International Business.


Congratulations to the 2018 Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund Grant Recipients

bdef-logo_orange-bulb_vertThe mission of the Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund (BDEF) is to support exhibition and event industry education and professional development by providing a challenging and engaging educational experience. The fund is designed for young professionals, professionals new to the exhibitions and events industry, those that are intellectually curious about trends and opportunities, and those that are interested in learning about the global marketplace.


Elena Estudillo
Public Relations Specialist
Casa Sauza

“This opportunity to live the Expo! Expo! experience with a full meeting pass and having the possibility of participating in its wide educational program is so enriching for the professionals of this wonderful exhibitions industry . For me, this not only represents a moment, but it has a value that will last forever, since the knowledge acquired in this experience, both theoretical and experiential, will mark a before and after in my professional career.”

Tiffany Hale
Expo Manager
National FFA Organization

“Receiving a grant from the Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund is a true honor. I’ve learned so much during my first few years in this industry and I’m grateful for the opportunity to attend the 2019 Krakoff Leadership Institute. I’m confident that this opportunity will help me grow personally and professionally, while building a foundation of leadership skills needed to continue my career in the exhibitions and events industry for years to come.”

Jacyln Halu, CMP
Sales Manager
Complete Show Services

“I am grateful for being awarded the IAEE Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund Grant to earn the premier global (CEM) designation to accommodate my career goals to develop my expertise, specialized in exhibition management.”