This Just In
  • MGM Resorts is adding 80,000 square feet of conference space at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas and rebranding the Monte Carlo as the Park MGM.
  • The project includes an outdoor terrace and the 10-room executive meeting center.
  • The entire Park MGM is being tailored for smaller groups of up to 5,000 guests.
  • A consumer gun show in Las Vegas has been cancelled. The Eastside Cannery Casino Gun Show was scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 7.
  • Las Vegas media said the schedule for another firearms show on Oct. 21-22 was still being decided. January’s SHOT Show remains on schedule.
  • Charlotte is moving forward with plans to renovate and add new meeting space to the city’s convention center. Work begins in 2019.
  • The $110 million project includes new pre-function space and 26,000 sf of meeting space. A new skyway will connect to the Westin hotel.
  • Diversified Communications announced the acquisition of Luxperience, an Australian hosted buyer event focused on luxury travel.
  • It is one of Diversified’s first forays into the hosted buyer segment. The move is expected to complement the company’s
  • British Tourism & Travel brand.

People on the Move

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

Don Freeman Appointed to U.S. Travel and Tourism Board

The Obama administration appointed Don Freeman to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. The 32-member panel advises Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on issues and policies affecting the tourism industry, including enhanced visa issuance and travel facilitation, increased investment in transportation infrastructure, and research for decision-making. Freeman gives the trade show industry an authoritative presence at the table. Freeman is chairman of the company founded by his father, Donald “Buck” Freeman in 1927. He has been recognized by every exhibition industry association over his long career and was inducted into the U.S. Travel Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Convention Industry Council (CIC) Hall of Leaders in 1993. He was featured on the cover of Trade Show Executive last November as a Trade Show Executive Leader & Legend. Reach Don at (214) 445-1000 or

People on the Move: Nikki Houston

Emerald Expositions added Nikki Duroe Houston to its Surf Expo sales team. She will be in charge of sales for the show’s Swim, Lifestyle, Boutique and Footwear categories and be based in Atlanta. Duroe Houston was part of the Surf Expo sales department for nine years before joining Imprinted Sportswear Shows in 2008 as group show director. She was most-recently digital sales manager for NY NOW, SURTEX, International Contemporary Furniture Fair and signature mixTM. Reach Nikki at (678) 781-7953 or

Karen Williams Named Permanent
Head of Louisville CVB

Louisville, KY – Karen Williams was named the permanent president and CEO of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Williams had retired as executive vice president in 2012 after 23 years with the bureau, but came back in January as the interim president and CEO when Jim Wood stepped down.

Williams’ duties include representing Louisville at various exhibition industry events. She has been a familiar face within the industry. She served on the board of directors of Meeting Professionals International and Destination Marketing Association International. She has also been active in the Convention Industry Council and was most-recently a destination-marketing consultant.

Williams will also be in the forefront of a planned expansion and renovation of the downtown Kentucky International Convention Center, which is ranked 65th on the Trade Show Executive World’s Top Convention Centers report with 200,000 square feet of prime exhibit space.

The planned $175 project hit a snag in the Kentucky state senate this Winter when $56 million in bond money was cut from the proposed state budget. Williams told the Louisville Courier-Journal, “We will do everything we can to convince them to put it back into the budget.”

Reach Karen Williams at (800) 626-5646 or

Fred Dixon Becomes President & CEO
of NYC & Company

New York, NY – Fred Dixon officially took over the reins as president and CEO of NYC & Company at the tourism organization’s annual meeting in New York.

Dixon had been interim president & CEO since December when George Fertitta stepped down. Dixon was also executive vice president, market development for NYC & Company with responsibility for the development of the city’s international convention industry.

Dixon was appointed to the new post by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who called him “a star since he joined NYC & Company” in 2005. Dixon had been an executive with the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Dixon led an aggressive expansion of the New York’s international marketing efforts. With a   strategic focus on growing visitation and visitor spending, NYC & Company expanded the city’s presence from six strong origin markets to 18 in just over two years, covering 25 countries such as Australia, Brazil, China and India. From 2005 to 2013, international visitation in New York increased by 68% to more than 11.4 million a year. The total economic contribution of the industry is now over $55 billion annually, supporting over 370,000 jobs and contributing over $3.5 billion to local taxes.

Dixon has served on boards including the National Tour Association (NTA), Tourism Cares, Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA), U. S. Travel Association/IPW Planning Committee and was the city’s appointment to the Board of the Javits Center Operating Corporation.

George Fertitta, who was appointed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run NYC & Company in 2006, accepted a position with the former Mayor to run Bloomberg Associates, a high-powered consulting group that helps reshape cities around the world at no charge to the client.

Reach Fred Dixon at (212) 484-1293 or

Michael Kruppe New GM
of Shanghai Expo Centre Co.

Shanghai, China – Michael Kruppe is the new general manager of the Shanghai New International Expo Centre Co., Ltd. (SNIEC) in China.

Kruppe, who has 25 years of executive experience in China, replaced Hans-JÖrg Geduhn, who left the company in January after eight years. Kruppe previously held executive positions with Helm Group, Doehler, Cronimet and H&K International.

Located in the commercial city of Shanghai, SNIEC is the second-largest convention hall in China with 17 column-free ground-level exhibition halls covering 200,000 square metres (2,152,782 square feet) of prime exhibit space, according to the latest Trade Show Executive World’s Top Convention Centers report. The facility attracts around 80 trade shows and 3 million visitors annually. The largest show is the China Import & Export Fair with 338,000 square metres (3,638,202 square feet) of prime space.

The SNIEC is jointly owned by Shanghai Lujiazui Exhibition Development Co., Ltd., and German Exposition Corp., a joint subsidiary of Germany’s Messe Dusseldorf GmbH, Deutsche Messe AG and Messe Muenchen GmbH.

Reach Michael Kruppe at +86-21-2890 6666 or

UBM Names U.K. Manufacturing
Executive Tim Cobbold as New CEO

London, UK – UBM plc stepped outside the trade show industry and selected manufacturing executive Tim Cobbold to replace outgoing David Levin as CEO of the international show organizer.

Cobbold will assume his new job May 6. Levin steps down March 1 to become president and CEO of McGraw-Hill Education.

Board chair Dame Helen Alexander will act as interim CEO until Cobbold takes over and with then revert back to her sole role as chair once Cobbold takes over. She said Cobbold was selected from a “very strong field” of candidates.

“Tim has successfully led highly international, operationally complex businesses; the board is confident that his track record ideally qualifies him to continue the development of UBM as a focused, international events-led marketing communications business,” she said.

Cobbold, 51, joins UBM from De La Rue plc, a British commercial printing company that specializes in bank notes and similar paper products. He was chief executive of the company since 2011. Prior to that, he was chief executive of Chloride Group, which produces industrial power-supply equipment. He also held various executive positions with Smith Group, an engineering company that produces airport bomb scanners and equipment for the medical sector.

“I’m delighted to be joining UBM; it’s an exciting, dynamic international business,” Cobbold said. “As a market leader in both the global events and the news and digital content marketing industries, it has significant growth potential.”

In an interview with Britain’s Financial Times, Cobbold indicated he felt at home navigating the global territory that UBM has staked out. “It (UBM) is a bigger business, and it’s very international, which I love,” he said. “I think some of the things that probably need to be happening at UBM play to my strengths.”

Levin led a fast-paced overseas expansion of UBM’s trade show business in his nine years at the helm. He also orchestrated a shift in the company’s focus from print publications to trade shows and online events.

Reach Tim Cobbold at +44 (0)1256 605000 or; David Levin at +44 20 79215000 or

People on the Move: Christopher Griffin

Advanstar Communications named two new presidents for components of its MAGIC Market Week. Christopher Griffin was named president of WWDMAGIC and Sourcing at MAGIC. He had been vice president of the two shows. Leslie Gallin was named president of footwear for Advanstar, including the FN Platform – MAGIC, WSA, Sole Commerce and PROJECTsole NYC events. Gallin had been a vice president and was previously director of The Collections at the World Shoe Association and Sole Commerce.

Reach Christopher at (310) 857-7602 or; Leslie at (310) 857-7655 or

People on the Move: Leslie Gallin

Advanstar Communications named two new presidents for components of its MAGIC Market Week. Christopher Griffin was named president of WWDMAGIC and Sourcing at MAGIC. He had been vice president of the two shows. Leslie Gallin was named president of footwear for Advanstar, including the FN Platform – MAGIC, WSA, Sole Commerce and PROJECTsole NYC events. Gallin had been a vice president and was previously director of The Collections at the World Shoe Association and Sole Commerce.

Reach Christopher at (310) 857-7602 or; Leslie at (310) 857-7655 or

People on the Move: Linda Addaman

Linda Addaman retired as director of sales and marketing for the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on February 28. She joined the center in 1996 after a career in the hotel industry. Her replacement was not immediately named.

Reach Linda at (317) 501-6720 or

People on the Move: Lori Jenks

Emerald Exhibitions promoted Lori Jenks to senior vice president, operations. The newly created position includes responsibility for the oversight of the company’s entire portfolio of more than 85 trade shows, conferences and other events. Jenks was previously vice president, operations. “The leadership, vision and innovation she brings to this position play an integral role in the continued success and growth of our brands,” said David Loechner, CEO, Emerald Expositions.

Reach Lori at (949) 226-5700 or

People on the Move: David Levin

David Levin moved up his departure date from UBM to March 1 after being named president and CEO of McGraw-Hill Education. Levin had previously announced he would leave UBM in July. UBM Chairman Dame Helen Alexander will take over Levin’s duties in March until his replacement is selected. Levin spent more than nine years at the helm of UBM and oversaw the shift of its emphasis from print publications to online and live events. He also led an ambitious program of acquisitions that expanded UBM’s trade show portfolio, particularly overseas. Levin was named a TSE Leader & Legend in a cover story in the October 2011 issue of Trade Show Executive and was the featured Power Lunch speaker at TSE's Gold 100 Awards & Summit in September 2011.

Reach David at Reach David Levin at +44 20 79215000 or

People on the Move: Shawn Pierce

Trade Show Executive (TSE) welcomed Shawn Pierce, president of the registration & housing division of Experient, to its Exposition Forecasting Board. Pierce has more than 20 years of experience in the trade show industry and is a leader in the expanding realm of registration and lead retrieval. “Shawn’s experience in registration and show management is a valuable combination that will broaden the base of knowledge and experience used to compile our monthly Trending & Spending column and provide early warnings of shifts in the exposition industry,” said TSE Media Group President Darlene Gudea.

Before joining Experient, Pierce was a senior vice president of Hanley Wood. Prior to that, he created and developed a $3 million, 80+ trade show registration center for Miller Freeman/CMP. In 2003, Pierce was awarded the Trade Show Executive Innovation Award, and in 2008, the Meeting TechOnline Rising Star Award. He serves on the board of the International Center for Exhibitor and Event Marketing (ICEEM).

Reach Shawn at (240) 439-2344 or

People on the Move: Shura Garnett

The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) named Global Spectrum Regional Vice President Shura Garnett the recipient of the 2014 Charles A. McElravy Award. Garnett, general manager of the St. Charles (MO) Convention Center, was chair of the IAVM board in 2009-2010 and is a member of Trade Show Executive’s Exposition Forecasting Board. The McElravy Award is presented annually in recognition of extraordinary contributions to the IAVM and the field of venue management. The formal presentation will take place at VenueConnect July 26-29 in Portland, OR.

Reach Shura at (636) 669-3005 or

People on the Move: Susan Mennega

Susan Mennenga was named executive director of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Education Foundation, replacing Brad Lewis. Mennenga joined PCMA after an extensive career in the healthcare sector in the Chicago area. She was most recently vice president of the Presence Mercy Medical Center Foundation. Her role at PCMA will be increasing the foundation’s fundraising and supporting its events and new initiatives.

Reach Susan at (312) 423-7262 or

People on the Move: Amy Allen

Amy Allen was promoted to executive vice president of dmg::events USA. Adding to her existing management of the ad:tech group, Allen will assume P&L responsibility for the division’s Collectives group, which includes 13 annual conferences in the digital marketing space. Prior to joining dmg::events, and helping form the U.S. division as senior vice president, Allen was show director for Hanley Wood Exhibitions.

Reach Amy at (214) 915-8804 or

People on the Move: Val Moon

The Beverage Group @ F+W Media named Val Moon director of sales and marketing for the co-located World Tea Expo and Healthy Beverage Expo May 29-31 at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. Moon was most recently director of sales at Primm Valley Casino Resorts; before that she was director of sales and convention services for Excalibur and Luxor Resort Hotels and Casinos. She replaces Kim Jage, who left the company to spend more time with her family after helping to select her replacement. 

Reach Val at (702) 253-1893 or