This Just In
  • AVIXA, organizer of InfoComm in Las Vegas, is teaming with InfoCommAsia to launch InfoComm Southeast Asia in Bangkok May 15-17, 2019.
  • Shomex Productions will partner in the Unmukt Festival, which will target the senior citizen market in India and launch in December.
  • Lance Fensterman has been promoted to President of Global ReedPOP, the pop culture division of Reed Exhibitions.
  • The Las Vegas City Council votes April 4 on a proposal to build a new $76 million 350,000-sf downtown exhibition center.
  • Hilton will cut commissions to housing firms and other agencies that book room blocks at its U.S. and Canadian hotels from 10% to 7% in Oct.
  • The Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority announced a 4-year deal for SMG to operate four major Reno-Sparks venues.
  • RetailX will co-locate GlobalShop, Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) and RFID Journal LIVE! June 2019 in Chicago.
  • Freeman is launching cloud-based digital floorplan management system BlueprintTM in the U.S. to make real-time booking data available.
  • A new CEIR report provides benchmarks for all phases of a marketing campaign and details characteristics for success in growing attendance.
  • Mad Event Management is launching UAS/Drones for Disaster Response April 19-20 in Miami. First responders are the target audience.

People in the News

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 miker@metro-expo.com

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 Scott@ncda.com

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 steven.hacker@schneiderpublishing.com

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 mark@ipcpr.org

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
or tommobley@mac.com

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 www.ajjanoskoeducationtrust.org. Reach Chuck Yuskam, president and CEO of PMMI, at (571) 612-3200 or cyuska@pmmi.org

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 wchappell@visithouston.com

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 gortale@visithouston.com

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 dcauston@mccormickplace.com

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 tradeshowsolutions.com; Brian at (703) 424-4414 or btully@ducatetradeshowsolutions.com

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 tradeshowsolutions.com; Brian at (703) 424-4414 or btully@ducatetradeshowsolutions.com

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 finleyt@nrf.com; Mark at (202) 626-8162 or bogdanskym@nrf.com

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 david@experience-intl.com

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 Edward.strachen@ite-exhibitions.com

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 don.freeman@freemanco.com

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 nhouston@surfexpo.com

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 kwilliams@gotolouisville.com

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 fdixon@nycgo.com

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 michael.kruppe@sniec.net

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 tim.cobbold@uk.delarue.com; David Levin at +44 20 79215000 or david.levin@ubm.com