This Just In
  • Tom Cindric joins Winsight as President, Exhibitions to oversee National Restaurant Show. Mary Pat Heftman now Vice Chairman of Winsight.
  • Emerald Expositions Events Inc. tapped former UBM exec, Sally Shankland, to serve as its President and CEO. Phil Evans continues as CFO.
  • The division of Informa PLC created by the combination of UBM and Informa has been renamed and rebranded as Informa Markets.
  • Trade Show Executive won three prestigious ASBPE “Azbee” Awards in Chicago. TSE is also a national finalist for Magazine of the Year Award.
  • Informa PLC launched Informa Ventures offering capital, access to markets, mentorship, and expertise to knowledge and information start-ups.
  • Freeman Vice Chair Carrie Freeman Parsons promoted to Chair replacing Don Freeman, who will become Chairman Emeritus in July.
  • Marketplace Events (MPE), producer of 66 consumer shows in North America, acquired the Arizona Bridal Shows from Townsquare Live Events LLC.
  • Nominations for 2019 Trailblazers Opens for Trade Show Executive’s Trailblazers program which recognizes the industry’s up-and-comers.
  • Informa Exhibitions reported a 6.7% jump in underlying revenues for 2018 even as it absorbed the blockbuster acquisition of UBM.

People in the News

Fernando Gorbarán

Fernando Gorbarán, President and CEO of Messe Frankfurt Argentina, was elected President of the Argentine Association of Organizers and Suppliers of Trade Fairs, Congresses and Events (AOCA) through 2019. It’s the third separate term that Gorbarán has served as AOCA President. His career in Argentina’s exhibitions industry spans more than 20 years. Reach Fernando at +54 11 4514 1400 or

Howard Gelb

UBM has expanded the responsibilities of Howard Gelb, Vice President of Sales for the Global Licensing Group, to include oversight over both event and media sales. Reach Howard at (310) 857-7687 or

Steven Ekstract

UBM expanded Steven Ekstract’s duties to include the newly created position of Brand Director of its Global Licensing Group. The group’s portfolio includes the Licensing Expo events and the NYC Licensing Summit. Ekstract had been Group Publisher of UBM’s License Global magazine. He will continue to oversee the publication. Reach Steven at (212) 600-3254 or

Jennifer Kingen Kush

Jennifer Kingen Kush was promoted to Vice President of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). She joined PCMA 12 years ago and has been Director of Experience Marketing and Director of Member Relations. Her responsibilities include leadership of the PCMA Digital Experience Institute. Reach Jennifer at (312) 423-7273 or

Alison Milgram

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) promoted Alison Milgram to Director of Events. She is in charge of logistics for Convening Leaders and PCMA’s entire events portfolio. Milgram joined the PCMA events department in 2014. Her resume includes experience with SmithBucklin and as Associate Director of Events for Conrad Chicago. Reach Alison at (312) 423-7262 or

Deborah Sexton

Deborah Sexton will enter the consulting business after stepping down as President and CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) in January. Sexton spent more than 12 years in the position. Her duties also included serving as President of the PCMA Education Foundation and publisher of PCMA’s Convene magazine. Her new consulting venture is based in Chicago and called DLS & Associates. Reach Deborah at (312) 399-5855 or

Sherrif Karamat

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) named Sherrif Karamat President and CEO effective Jan. 19. He had been Chief Operating Officer of the organization since 2008 and replaces Deborah Sexton. His new role includes expanding PCMA’s overseas presence and adapting the association’s educational content to new delivery technologies. Reach Sherrif at (312) 423-7262 or

Eric Zito

Eric Zito was promoted to the position of Vice President of Exposition and Member services by the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), one of the associations that owns the International Production & Processing Expo, a Gold 100 show for the poultry, egg, and meat processing industries. Zito joined the NAMI in 2006 and was most recently Senior Director of Exposition and Member services. Reach Eric at (202) 587-4223 or

Bob Lozier

Former Freeman executive Bob Lozier died Dec. 7 after a long illness. His family planned to hold a memorial sometime after the holidays. Lozier joined The Freeman Company in 1967 and returned for a second tenure in 1984. He retired in 2010 as Executive Vice President of Sales. Reach Freeman CEO Joe Popolo at (214) 445-1000 or

Dan Lincoln

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.

Chris McCuin

Montgomery Asia promoted Christopher McCuin to Managing Director. The move gives McCuin oversight of Montgomery’s entire Asia portfolio, effective immediately. McCuin, who will relocate to Singapore in January, joined the firm in 2010 and was most recently Director of the International Food & Drink Event and Pro2Pac.  McCuin led the launch of Montgomery Asia in 2016 and will be its first fulltime Managing Director. Reach Chris at +44 207 886 3016 or

Bill Lynch

The Specialty Food Association promoted Bill Lynch to Vice President, Engagement & Events. He had been Chief Operations Officer. In his new role he’ll oversee the association’s expanded portfolio of meetings and events while continuing to run the Summer and Winter Fancy Food Shows. Reach Bill at (212) 482-6440 or

Stuart Ruff

Stuart Ruff-Lyon, Vice President of Events and Education for the risk management society RIMS, was named Show Manager of the Year by The Expo Group. Ruff-Lyon oversees as many as 25 annual events, including the RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition, which draws 10,000 attendees. Ruff-Lyon joined RIMS in 2012 and assumed his current position last year. Reach Stuart at (212) 655-6051 or

Chad Chappell

Chad Chappell joined The Expo Group as National Sales Director. He will be based in Baltimore and will assist clients with strategic planning and execution of events. Chappell was most recently Director of Sales Development for Visit Baltimore and has past sales experience with Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Reach Chad at (972) 580-9000 or

Laura Thompson

Laura Thompson was promoted to Senior Director of Expositions for PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. She replaced Jim Pittas, who was earlier promoted to COO. Thompson has been with PMMI for 19 years and was most recently Director of Tradeshow Operations and show manager of EXPO PACK México. Her new role gives her oversight of the entire PACK EXPO portfolio. Reach Laura at (571) 612-3217 or

Eric Kaser

Ungerboeck Software International hired Eric Kaser as its Vice President of Sales, Americas. He will be based at the software firm’s headquarters in St. Louis. Kaser was most recently Vice President & Director of Sales for the Major Accounts at The Reynolds & Reynolds Company, which supplies business software and forms. Reach Eric at (636) 300-5606 or

Ahmeenah Young

Funeral services were held June 4 for Ahmeenah Young, former President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Young died June 2 at the age of 69. She served as president of the Philadelphia center from 2008 through 2013 and oversaw its $787 million expansion, which opened in 2011. Prior to being named president, Young was a vice president of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. Reach Deirdre Hopkins, Strategic Communications Manager, at (215) 418-4754 or

Rick Watson

Diversified Communications promoted Rick Watson to CEO of its DBC Pri-Med division. Pri-Med is headquartered in Boston and provides medical education to primary care physicians through digital platforms and a portfolio of specialty conferences in more than 30 cities around the country. Watson joined Diversified in 2002 and was named Chief Marketing Office of Pri-Med in 2012. Reach Rick at (877) 477-4633 or

Tom Loughran

Urban Expositions named Tom Loughran Show Director for its three restaurant and food-service exhibitions. The portfolio includes events in Orlando, Los Angeles and New York. Loughran was most recently Industry Vice President for Reed Exhibitions and worked with the International Vision Expo East and West shows. Reach Tom at (203) 484-8050 or

Mary Bender

Informa Exhibitions named Mary Bender Vice President of Consumer Marketing for its recently acquired Yachting Promotions, Inc. portfolio of boat shows. The position is focused on enhancing the marketing programs for five public shows in Florida. Bender had been the Florida-based Marketing Director for Emerald Expositions’ group of public and trade jewelry, antique and watch shows. She is also the current Chair of the IAEE Public Events Council. Reach Mary at (954) 764-7642 or