The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) will hand out eight awards to 11 recipients during the conference and tradeshow, including the Pinnacle Award, when the industry gathers for the annual Expo! Expo! meeting and exhibition Dec. 10-12 in Houston.
The Pinnacle Award, IAEE’s highest honor, will be presented to 40-year industry veteran Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“Recipients of the annual IAEE Awards personify the hard work and dedication that the exhibitions and events industry demands from each of us,” says 2013 IAEE Awards Committee Chair Mary Bender, in a release.
The honored few were chosen after review by the IAEE awards committee and final approval by the IAEE board of directors. The initial nomination process included an open call for nominees.
Others being singled out for their achievements include:
• John Patronski, executive vice president of industry development at Global Experience Specialists, who will receive the Distinguished Service Award.
• Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, CEM, president of the Marketing Design Group, who will receive the Educator of the Year Award.
• Rebecca Orens, CEM, senior exhibits coordinator for the Society for Human Resource Management, who will receive the Young Professional of the Year Award.
• Don Vaughn, retired president of The Augusta Group, and Melissa Ooi, executive vice president at ASP Inc., who will be honored for their outstanding achievements in industry leadership and marketing and sales, respectively.
• The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association will be co-honored for their outstanding achievement in innovation in business solutions.
IAEE’s Merit Award winners, recognized for their ideas and work that has benefited the organization in a special way, are:
• Gerry Eng, national sales manager for the Georgia World Congress Center;
• Mel Forehand, CEM, CMP, vice president of expositions for the Texas Restaurant Association;
• Mark Sussman, director of tradeshow sales for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.