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.