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Emerald President & CEO David Loechner to Retire

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
November 2, 2018
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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – Emerald Expositions President and CEO David Loechner will retire Nov. 8. and assist in the transition as CFO Phil Evans takes over as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is named.

Loechner said in a statement that the time was right to retire although added “this was a difficult decision to make.”

“It has been a great 35 years with Emerald and its predecessor companies, but it’s the right time for me -- and it is also a good time for the company -- as Emerald is set up very nicely for the future,” Loechner told Trade Show Executive (TSE). “I will be looking forward to spending fewer days on the road and some additional time with my family in the near term.”

Loechner broke into trade shows as a sales representative for Nielsen Expositions and worked his way up to president of the company in 2010. Nielsen was renamed Emerald Expositions in 2013.

“It has been an honor and privilege to lead the company over the last eight years and to have worked with so many talented people,” said Loechner. “We have accomplished a great deal, and I look forward to working with Phil and team through the end of the year to ensure the business transitions smoothly.”

He has been a frequent speaker at industry events and served on the board of directors of the Society of Independent Show Organizers. He was also interviewed for TSE’s Power Lunch feature article of the March 2012 and October 2017 issues, and received the first TSE Gold Standard of Excellence Award at the 2017 Gold 100 Awards Gala for his career achievements which included guiding Emerald Expositions into becoming a publicly traded company.

Emerald features a portfolio of 55 exhibitions that totaled more than 6.9 million net square feet of exhibit space in 2017. The show roster includes household names such as the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show; InterDrone; Surf Expo; Global Shop; and the International Pizza Expo.

Acquisition Spurt

One of the highest-profile stars of the Emerald team is the semi-annual Outdoor Retailer Summer and Winter Markets, which last year absorbed the SIA Snow Show and moved from Salt Lake City to Denver. The Snow Show acquisition was a highlight of a busy period for Emerald, which also acquired InterDrone; CEDIA Expo; Craft Retailers Expo; National Pavement Expo; and RFID Journal LIVE!

Emerald dropped out of the TSE Gold 100 rankings when the company went public due to securities regulations. But it placed a dozen shows on the 2016 Gold 100, led by ASD Market Week – August, which placed 21st with 637,730 nsf. “I’m really proud of what we built,” said Loechner. “Emerald has numerous talented people and now is more than twice the size it was when we were carved out of Nielsen a little over five years ago, and the business is well positioned for the future.”

Third Quarter Gains

Loechner’s announcement came on Nov. 1, the same day that Emerald released its Third Quarter earnings report. The results featured a 2.7% increase in reported revenues over Q3 2017. Organic trade show revenues declined 2.0%, however, due to two shows affected by Hurricane Irma, and by a scheduling change that has Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, a show that was held in Q3 2017, moving to Q4 this year.

Emerald said growth at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and at CEDIA Expo offset softness at ASD and NY NOW. Evans said, “Our trade show portfolio performed in line with our expectations.”

“Looking forward,” Evans said, “our pipeline of potential acquisitions is strong, and we remain committed to driving increased shareholder returns through our selective M&A (mergers & acquisitions) strategy.”

Reach David Loechner at (949) 226-5700 or david.loecher@emeraldexpo.com; Phil Evans at 949.226.5714 or philip.evans@emeraldexpo.com.

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