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International Association of Exhibitions and Events Announces Class of 2017 ‘20 Under 30’

Sandi Cain
, News Editor
October 25, 2017
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Dallas -- The sixth ‘class’ of IAEE’s “20 Under 30” program was announced this week, adding another group of young professionals in the exhibitions and events sector to the attendees of this year’s Expo! Expo! Annual Meeting & Exhibition November 28-30 in San Antonio, Texas. 

The program, begun in 2012, recognizes young leaders who have the potential to create positive industry impacts in the future but may not be eligible to get expenses covered by their employers to attend this annual event. The program provides the opportunity to receive complimentary registration, lodging for three nights and recognition at the IAEE Annual Networking Luncheon and Awards Presentation November 30. 

Applicants are asked why they joined the exhibition industry, what accomplishments they’d like to achieve and what they see as keys to future success. A five-person panel of members reviews the applications and chooses the final 20. 

IAEE Executive Vice President and COO Cathy Breden said the program “allows us to nurture young professionals with resources they can apply to keep our industry strong as they become future leaders.”

Christopher Bonifati, Attendee Services Coordinator for the American Pet Products Association and one of this year’s honorees, said that “working for a Gold 100 trade show brings new challenges and problems to solve daily, and through those challenges I learn and grow each and every day.” He said he is most eagerly looking forward to meeting other events professionals and brainstorming solutions to common problems in the industry. “Being selected for the 20 Under 30 is an incredible honor,” he said.

The full class of 20 Under 30 participants for 2017 includes:

Abby Abdala, Manager, Partner Solutions, ASIS International

Luis Alvarez, Digital Fulfillment Coordinator, Informa Exhibitions US

Ian Blackwood, Customer Service and Logistics, Taffy Event Strategies

Christopher Bonifati, Attendee Services Coordinator, American Pet Products Association (APPA)

Trevor Borie, CVEP, Administrative Coordinator, M.A. R. Association & Meeting Management

Laura Bott, Event Coordinator, SmithBucklin

Bethany Burchill; Meetings & Exhibits Coordinator; American Counseling Association (ACA) 

Gabrielle Chiddy; Marketing Strategist; United States Institute for Theater Technology, Inc. (USITT)

Taylor Dudley, Operations Manager, Emerald Expositions

Corinne Dwyer, Global Events Specialist, Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) 

Brittany Faust, Project Coordinator – Exhibitions & Events, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) 

Alison Heathcote, Exhibits Coordinator, Hospitality Financial Technology Professionals (HFTP)

Brittany Jackson, Senior Coordinator, SmithBucklin

Samantha Lohse; Project Manager, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) 

Chandra Major, Conference Coordinator, Emerald Expositions 

Ronika Nash, Convention Coordinator, Texas Association of School Boards (TASB)

Meaghan Rhame, CMP, Events and Programs Coordinator, Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA)

Brian Rhinehart, CEM, Exhibits Coordinator,True Value Company

Ashley Secondini, Marketing Manager, Questex LLC 

Christen Tye, Associate Education Manager, Informa Exhibitions – World of Concrete 

Reach Cathy Breden at (972) 458-8002 or; Christopher Bonifati at (203) 532-3651 or


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