Bludworth Named COO of Service Contractor George E. Fern

DARLENE GUDEA, VP, PUBLISHER & EDITOR
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Cincinnati, OH – Aaron Bludworth will join the George E. Fern Company as chief operating officer (COO) after nearly a year at GES Exposition Services in Las Vegas where he served in a dual role of vice president of corporate events and vice president of sales. Bludworth will attend kickoff meetings at Fern this week but will begin his new position on Monday. He will relocate his family to Cincinnati.

Bludworth continues his leadership role with the Exhibition Services and Contractors Association (ESCA) as its president.

“I am very pleased with my experience at GES but a great opportunity came up at Fern which I couldn’t pass up,” Bludworth told Trade Show Executive. He will report to the board of directors of Wachovia Exhibition Partners (WEP), which oversees George E. Fern Co., headquartered in Cincinnati; Champion Nationwide Contractor headquartered in Boston; and Immersa Marketing in San Francisco. Bludworth’s position is a new one and he said there would be no changes in personnel.

Fern Continues Its Strong Growth Mode

George Budig sold the George E. Fern Company to Wachovia on September 15, 2005.  Headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, the company has ten other offices in eight other cities: Charlotte, NC; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; Indianapolis, IN; Louisville, KY; Kansas City, MO; St. Louis, MO; and Nashville, TN. It provides services for over 900 expositions and numerous corporate events.

Four days after the Fern acquisition, Wachovia made an equity investment in Champion and nearly two years later, Champion acquired the Audie Group, based in Orlando, in May 2007.

When Wachovia looked at Fern in 2005, the company decided to purchase Fern because it has a strong niche position as a regional contractor; manages profitable events for large corporations; and is running on attractive margins. Bludworth said that in his new position, he would be looking at building on Fern’s existing strong organic growth as well as acquisitions.

Reach Budworth  now at (801) 831-7114. His new email next week will be abludworth@geofern.com