This Just In
  • Halifax Convention Centre in Nova Scotia, Canada, to debut Dec. 15 with first client event scheduled for Jan. 20, 2018. …
  • Three other events — Brides 2018, the Halifax Business Awards and the Franchise Expo —
  • also are booked for early 2018. … In all, the new facility already has 90 events on the books for 2018
  • Dan Lincoln will retire as President and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau at the end of the year. He spent 11 years on
  • the job. COO Mike Laatsch will be interim CEO while a nationwide search for Lincoln’s successor takes place.
  • Shepard has acquired McCune Audio-Video-Lighting in a move to bolster Shepard’s presence in the western U.S. market. McCune has California
  • operations in Anaheim, Monterey and San Francisco and will be absorbed by Shepard’s AV department.
  • Stacey Church was named General Manager of the Kentucky International Convention Center. The downtown Louisville venue is undergoing
  • renovations and will re-open in August. Church was most recently Assistant Director of the Fort Worth Convention Center.

People on the Move

Mark Sussman

Mark Sussman joined Connections Housing effective  February 1 as Vice President of Business Development. Sussman spent 35 years in the exhibitions industry and was most recently the longtime Director, Trade Show Sales at the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. The newly created position focuses on expanding Atlanta-based Connections Housing’s client list. Sussman’s replacement at the ACVB was not immediately announced. Reach Mark at (404) 521-6619 or msussman@atlanta.net; Connections Housing Co-owner Kristine Sieradzski at (404) 219-3685 or kris@connectionshousing.com

Patrick Lukan

Global Experience Specialists (GES) named Patrick Lukan COO of its Middle East operations. Lukan was most recently Vice President of Sales & Distribution for CityJet, a charter jet service based in London. Lukan was also in charge of meetings and events for Carlson Wagonlit Travel. He will be based in Dubai. Reach Patrick at +971 4 885 9336 or plukan@ges.com

Kurt Schoop

Kurt Schoop, who spent 17 years as chairman of the Messe Dusseldorf board of directors, died in Germany on January 18 at the age of 95. He joined the exhibition industry in 1954 with Krupp Group Management. Schoop was also a past member of the board of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.  He led the launch of the yachting trade show BOOT.  He also oversaw construction of the current Messe Dusseldorf convention center, which includes the Kurt Schoop Lounge. Reach Joachim Schafer, Managing Director Operational Trade Fair Business, at +49 211 45 60 01 or schaferj@messe-dusseldorf.de

Kenneth Lawson

Kenneth Lawson was named President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, replacing Will Seccumbe, who stepped down in January after five years in the position. Lawson was most recently Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. VISIT Florida oversees tourism marketing for the entire state. Reach Ken at (850) 488-5607 or klawson@visitflorida.org

John Gonzalez

John Gonzalez was promoted to Vice President at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. He will act as a key executive in the development of the Avenida Houston convention and entertainment district adjacent to the convention center. Gonzalez had been director of event and guest services and will remain in overall charge of the department with a new director reporting to him. Reach John at (713) 853-8229 or john.gonzalez@houstonfirst.com

Kerry Prince

Reed Travel Exhibitions named Kerry Prince Portfolio Director for its ibtm events. She replaced Sallie Conventry, who held the position since 2014. Prince has been Portfolio Director for Reed Exhibitions’ InfoSecurity Group. Reach Kerry at +44 (0)208 910 7106 or kerry.prince@reedexpo.co.uk

Jason Rittenberry

The Kentucky State Fair Board selected Jason Rittenberry to replace Cliff Rippetoe as President and CEO. Rippetoe left the position last Spring to become President and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation. Rittenberry was most recently Chief Strategy Officer at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack in Austin and is a past member of the board of directors of the International Association of Venue Managers. His new position gives him management oversight of the Kentucky Exposition Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center. Reach Jason at (502) 367-5000 or jrittenberry@ksfb.ky.gov

Bob Belber

SMG Regional General Manager Bob Belber was honored as Executive of the Year at the Albany Business Review’s 2016 Achievers Awards. Belber has been General Manager of the Times Union Center in Albany for the past 20 years and manages bookings for 13 SMG facilities in the Northeast. Belber is also involved in sales for the new Albany Capital Center, which will open for business in March. Reach Bob at (518) 487-2008 or bob.belber@timesunioncenter-albany.com

 

Jonathan Moore

Jonathan Moore was named President of Family Media LLC and Director of Manhattan Media by Isis Venture Partners. Family Media’s portfolio includes The Baby Show series of consumer shows held in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Anaheim. Moore most recently was Managing Director of Mining Indaba and has previously overseen event portfolios for the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Thomson Financial Media/Source Media. John Hurley, publisher of Family Media, will remain with the company and report to Moore. Reach Jonathan at (212) 268-8600 or jmoore@manhattanmedia.com; John Hurley at (212) 268-3086 or jhurley@manhattanmedia.com

Linda Hein

Reed Exhibitions Deutschland GmbH promoted Linda Hein to Project Manager for the ALUMINUM brand effective January 1. She replaces Jessica Kristian, who was earlier moved up to Director of Marketing for the company’s entire materials trade show portfolio. Hein joined Reed in 2007 as an event manager and has been on the ALUMINUM business development team for the past three years. Reach Linda at +49 211 90191-226 or linda.hein@reedexpo.de; Jessica at +49 211 90191-232 or jessica.kristian@reedexpo.de

John Wentzell

John Wentzell joined Spectra by Comcast Spectacor on November 7 as President, Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality. His primary duties include business development and improving operational efficiencies. Wentzell was most recently president of the UK operations of Delaware North Companies. He worked for Comcast Spectacor previously as COO of the Philadelphia Phantoms minor league hockey franchise from 1997-2009. Reach John at (215) 336-3600 or john_wentzell@comcastspectacor.com

Dan DiPietro

The Expo Group named Dan DiPietro its new National Sales Director. The newly created position is based in Washington, DC and includes outreach to associations seeking experiential events. DiPietro worked as Business Development Manager for Freeman during his career and was most recently Senior Director, Corporate Accounts for the Navy League of the United States. Reach Dan at (703) 383-9880 or ddipietro@theexpogroup.com.

Shannon Burchi

ASIS International promoted Shannon Burch to the newly created position of Vice President of Events and Business Development. She had been Director of Exhibits. Burch’s expanded role puts her in overall charge of the ASIS International Annual Seminar and Exhibits. Reach Shannon at (703) 518-1424 or shannon.burch@asisonline.org

Barry Richards

First Protocol named Barry Richards president of the company’s managed services division, which serves the events industry. He will oversee account growth for clients in the U.S. and Great Britain. Richards spent the past 10 years with Grass Roots, a U.S. meetings and events services firm. Reach Barry at (212) 810 4100 or barry.richards@firstprotocol.com

Kelly Peacy

Kelly Peacy is leaving the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) to launch a business events consulting firm. Peacy will step down as PCMA’s Senior Vice President, Education and Events effective April 15, wrapping up a career with the association that began in 2000. Her new enterprise, Insight Event Strategy LLC, is already contracted to develop the open learning space at PCMA’s 2017 Convening Leaders conference. There was no immediate word from PCMA on who would fill the upcoming vacancy. Reach Kelly at (312) 423-7262 or kpeacy@insighteventstrategy.com 

Mark Garrison

SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association created a new senior vice presidency position that will focus on keeping its events portfolio fresh and relevant to its members. Mark Garrison will head up the effort as SPI’s first Senior Vice President of Membership and Business Development. He was Vice President of Member Services for the past eight years. The SPI portfolio is led by the triennial NPE: The Plastics Show, which last year set a show record with more than 1.1 million nsf of exhibit space. Reach Mark at (202) 423-1448 or mgarrison@plasticsindustry.org

 

Claude Molinari

Claude Molinari has been promoted to General Manager of Cobo Center in Detroit effective immediately. Molinari is an 18-year veteran of SMG and has been Assistant General Manager of Cobo Center since 2010. He was also concurrently the Regional Director of Operations for SMG Mideast where he managed the operations departments of 15 facilities.   Molinari will report to Thom Connors, who remains SMG Regional Vice President with oversight over the Cobo account. Reach Claude at 313) 877-8777 or cmolinari@cobocenter.com; Thom at (313) 877-8777 or tconnors@cobocenter.com

Carol Wallace

Carol Wallace, former President and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corp., was named temporary Executive Administrator for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). She will handle the day-to-day operations of the association, including planning for VenueConnect2016, during the search for a permanent replacement for Vicki Hawarden. Hawarden stepped down in February. Interim CEO Steve Flamm is leaving IAVM at the end of March, the association said. Wallace retired after more than 24 years with the San Diego Convention Center and launched her own consulting firm. Reach Carol at (858) 759-2682 or info@carolwallaceassociates.com; IAVM Chair Karen Totaro at (609) 449-2012 or Karen_totaro@comcastspectacor.com

Cedric Turnbore

Cedric Turnbore was promoted to Director of Operations at Cobo Center. Turnbore has been with the Detroit center for six years and was most recently Senior Operations Manager. He started out as Production Services Manager. His responsibilities include production, sustainability and janitorial services. Reach Cedric at (313) 877-8777 or cturnbore@cobocenter.com

 

Randy Pekowski

Randy Pekowski has been named President and Chief Operating Officer of The Expo Group. Founder and former President Ray Pekowski will remain CEO and Chairman of the business, currently celebrating its 25th year as a trusted exhibition and events partner. The promotion is part of the strategic succession plan the company has put in place for the next generation of leadership.

“It has become clear Randy is the right person to lead The Expo Group into the next 25 years,” says Ray Pekowski. “In his role as COO, he has been leading our day-to-day operations, gaining extensive experience and showing his great passion for this business. I am looking forward to working with him in his new role.”

Randy was named COO in 2006; he has worked in the trade show business and for The Expo Group in various roles for over 20 years. A graduate of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, Randy also studied at Harvard Business School's Owner/President Management graduate program. He is an inventor-of-record for The Expo Group’s patented business model and technology enabling Single Source® service.

“Innovative growth companies like ours create immense opportunities for our clients and for our own employees,” Randy says. “The foundation we have built in service and entrepreneurship over the past 25 years will be the platform on which I lead this company through to the next generation.”