This Just In
  • The AHLA says the Dept. of Homeland Security will expand the number of H-2B seasonal guest worker visas available for this fiscal year.
  • The increase in H2-B visas will help small and seasonal businesses to meet workforce demands critical in peak tourist periods.
  • SMG signed a 3-year agreement to continue managing Cobo Center in Detroit. SMG has been the management firm for Cobo since 2010.
  • Highlights of SMG’s tenure include oversight of a major renovation, reduced operating deficit and creation of a technology department.
  • Ground was broken June 20 on the expansion of the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. The 250,000-sf project will wrap up next year.
  • The $130 million expansion includes two new ballrooms, 11 breakout rooms and additional space for the center’s Stay Well Meetings feature.
  • The Louisville Downtown Marriott Hotel is undergoing a $30 million renovation slated for completion in August 2018. The hotel remains open.
  • The Marriott is attached to the Kentucky International Convention Center and offers 50,000 sf of meeting space and 616 guest rooms.
  • AEG plans to acquire four acres in downtown Nashville to be developed as a mixed-use entertainment district at SWVP’s Nashville Yards.
  • The mixed-use district will be anchored by a 4,000-capacity music hall, luxury theatre, live entertainment club, boutique hotel & more.

People on the Move

Roger Dow

Roger Dow signed a contract to remain as president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) for another four years. He has served in his current position since 2005. The new pact was approved by the USTA Board of Directors in late July. Some USTA achievements under Dow include orchestrating the passage of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, which enabled the creation of Brand USA, the country’s first national travel and tourism promotion agency. USTA also successfully lobbied for policy changes that reduced the average wait time for visas from months to days in key overseas tourism markets. Reach Roger at (202) 408-8422 or

Susan Brower

Susan Brower stepped down August 8 as vice president, marketing and communications, of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE). Brower spent 11 years with IAEE and moved on to become head of communications for the prestigious Hockaday School in Dallas. Her replacement was not immediately announced. Reach Susan at (214) 363-6311 or

John Jaworski

John Jaworski was promoted to director of technical exhibits for the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). The move came after Tom Shimala retired this Summer. Shimala joined RSNA in 1990 and was named
director of technical exhibits in 2003. Jaworski had been assistant director of technical exhibits. Reach John at (630) 571-7855 or

People on the Move: Karen May

Karen May joined the staging and audio-visual firm Dyventive, Inc. as trade show and event sales specialist. May had been executive vice president of sales and marketing for Conference Services International (CSI). She received the Lifetime Achievement award in 2010 from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). Reach Karen at (215) 354-9200 or

People on the Move: Katie Calabrese

Katie Calabrese joined the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center as director of trade shows & conferences. The position gives her oversight of conferences and trade shows produced by the convention center. Calabrese spent the past 18 years with the Association of Private Sector Colleges & Universities and was most recently its vice president, events and education. Reach Katie at (504) 582-3000 or

People on the Move: Linda Edwards

Linda Edwards was promoted to vice president and general manager of the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) in downtown Louisville. Edwards was most recently vice president of sales and marketing for the Kentucky State Fair Board. The board owns and operates the KICC, which has 200,000 square feet of prime exhibit space, and the larger Kentucky Exposition Center, also located in Louisville. Reach Linda at (502) 595-3520 or

People on the Move: Mike Ruberry

Mike Ruberry joined Metropolitan Exposition Services, Inc. as vice president of industry relations. Ruberry spent 16 years with GLM, which was recently acquired by Emerald. He was most recently vice president of operations and customer relations. Prior to GLM, he was with Global Experience Specialists (GES). He rose to vice president of national sales for the general services contractor. Metropolitan said Ruberry would be eventually based at their office at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. Reach Mike at (201) 994-1300 or

People on the Move: Scott Web

Scott Webb has been named director of marketing & operations for the New Car Dealers Association San Diego County (NCDA), announced Dean B. Mansfield, president. Webb will report directly to Mansfield, and will also work with San Diego Auto Show Director Kevin Leap. Webb has 25 years of automotive industry experience, including 17 years at the Los Angeles Auto Show, most recently as assistant general manager. Earlier this year, he provided contract support during the San Diego International Auto Show, owned and presented annually by the NCDA. Reach Scott at (858) 550-0080 or

People on the Move: Steven Hacker

Steven Hacker, former president of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), was named director of industry relations for Schneider Publishing. Hacker has been a columnist for Schneider’s Association News since retiring from IAEE in 2012. His new duties include building Schneider’s relationships with meeting planners and major destination marketing organizations domestically and overseas. Schneider’s events roster includes Meetings Quest and the annual TEAMS Conference & Expo. Reach Steven at (214) 597-9791 or

People on the Move: Mark Pursell

Mark Pursell left the National Association of Home Builders to become CEO of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR). Pursell spent 12 years with the NAHB and was senior vice president, exhibitions, marketing & sales when he stepped down. He had oversight of the NAHB’s International Builders’ Show. The NAHB did not immediately announce his replacement. He has held similar positions at the Associated General Contractors of America and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association. Pursell also served the United Nations Industrial Development Organization as an Investment Officer providing U.S. firms with project finance and capital services in overseas markets. He started his career with Equitable/DLJ Securities. Reach Mark at (706) 494-1143 or

People on the Move: Tom Mobley

Tom Mobley retired June 30 as senior vice president of convention centers at Global Spectrum. Mobley held the position since 2006 and compiled a sterling record in the venue manage-ment field. Mobley served as general manager of McCormick Place for 11 years and has also managed convention centers in Washington, DC; Denver; Baltimore; and Jacksonville. He was chairman of the Convention Industry Council (CIC) board of directors in 2005 and was inducted into CIC’s Hall of Leaders. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Venue Managers in 2012. Global Spectrum said there were no immediate plans to fill Mobley’s position. Reach Tom at (267) 496-4281

People on the Move: A.J. Janosko

A.J. Janosko, director of expositions for PMMI, The Association for Packaging & Processing Technologies, died June 23 of injuries suffered in an accident a few days before. He was 45. Janosko joined PMMI in 2012. Chuck Yuska, president & CEO of PMMI, said, “Here at the office, we’ve lost a member of the PMMI family. A.J. will be sorely missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.” Janosko was previously director, trade show operations for SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association. He also held executive positions with BDMetrics and the Telecommunications Industry Association. A trust fund for the education of his two sons, Andrew and Jackson, was established. Information can be found at Reach Chuck Yuskam, president and CEO of PMMI, at (571) 612-3200 or

People on the Move: Wayne Chappell

Wayne Chappell retires on July 31 as Trade Show Customer Relations Senior Manager for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB). Chappell spent 16 years with the GHCVB as part of a 45-year career in the exhibitions industry. He was previously with the Kansas City CVB and helped re-launch the Baltimore CVB. He was chairman of the Destination Marketing Association International in 1989-1990. The GHCVB, which was realigned with Houston First Corp. in July, said it did not intend to fill the position. Reach Wayne at (713) 437-5219 or

People on the Move: Greg Ortale

Greg Ortale announced his resignation as president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. He will officially leave the organ-ization July 31. A successor was not immediately named. Greg Ortale spent seven years in the position and stepped aside when the CVB and First Houston Corp., which manages the city’s convention and trade show venues, pursued a strategic alliance. Reach Greg at (713) 437-5201 or

People on the Move: David Causton

SMG named David Causton regional vice president of its Convention Center Division. Causton remains general manager of Chicago’s McCormick Place, a position he has held since 2004. His new duties include participation in strategic planning for other SMG venues as well as providing input on operational matters, such as labor relations. Reach David at (312) 791-7000 or

People on the Move: Douglas Ducate

Douglas Ducate and Brian Tully are the principals of the newly launched consulting firm Ducate Tradeshow Solutions. The company uses a proprietary process called PEC to analyze performance and risk-management for association clients. Ducate was most recently president and CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. Tully was senior vice president of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) where he oversaw the Supermarket Industry Convention and other FMI events. Reach Doug at (972) 624-0143 or dducate@ducate; Brian at (703) 424-4414 or

People on the Move: Brian Tully

Douglas Ducate and Brian Tully are the principals of the newly launched consulting firm Ducate Tradeshow Solutions. The company uses a proprietary process called PEC to analyze performance and risk-management for association clients. Ducate was most recently president and CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. Tully was senior vice president of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) where he oversaw the Supermarket Industry Convention and other FMI events. Reach Doug at (972) 624-0143 or dducate@ducate; Brian at (703) 424-4414 or

People on the Move: Trudie Finley

The National Retail Federation (NRF) named two vice presidents for the events department, which includes the annual Retail’s Big Show. Trudie Finley was promoted to vice president, meetings & special events with oversight of operations, logistics and site selection for the entire NRF portfolio. Mark Bogdansky was promoted to vice president, exhibit services, and will be in charge of exhibitor relationships. Both had been senior directors of their respective departments and were elevated to the newly-created vice presidencies. Reach Trudie at (202) 626-8153 or; Mark at (202) 626-8162 or

People on the Move: David Finch

David Finch joined Experience, a corporate-event producer in Austin, TX, as vice president of business development. He will be in charge of the company’s global marketing as well as expanding its business portfolio and partnerships. Finch was previously manager of meetings and trade shows for Amgen and has served on the board of the Southern California chapter of Meeting Professionals International. Reach David at (512) 904-9928 or

People on the Move: Edward Strachen

Executive Director Edward Strachen stepped down from the board of directors of ITE Group PLC. Strachen
remained in his job as regional director for the British organizing company’s Central Asia office, which organizes exhibitions and conferences in the Caspian region. Reach Edward at 44 (0) 20 7596 5000 or