IAEE Celebrates 2021 Award Winners at Expo! Expo! in Philadelphia

December 22, 2021

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) chose a stellar lineup of recipients for its 2021 IAEE Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions by IAEE members to the organization and to the exhibitions and events industry.

Rachel Wimberly of Tarsus Group, parent company of Trade Show News Network (TSNN) was among the 13 winners this year.

Recipients were selected after careful consideration and review by the IAEE Awards Committee and approval by the IAEE Board of Directors following an open call for nominations by IAEE members earlier in the year.

“It is a great pleasure to bestow these honors on our very deserving colleagues,” said 2021 IAEE Awards Committee Chairperson Kellie Shevlin. “These awards acknowledge the outstanding contributions IAEE members make to the advancement of the exhibitions and events industry.”

Following is the complete list of awards and winners, who were honored during a presentation at IAEE’s 2021 Expo! Expo!, which took place in Philadelphia Dec. 7-9.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award is a special award that recognizes IAEE members who, over the course of their career, shape the industry and significantly impact how the industry operates. This year’s recipient is Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). Slater’s impressive participation record with IAEE spans 35 years. He has been a long-time advocate for the trade show industry and, under his leadership, AEM has been a tremendous supporter of IAEE, Exhibitions Mean Business and the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). Slater was promoted to president of AEM after vast success in overseeing its trade shows and, during his tenure since 1982, has built an outstanding corporate culture. Slater will retire as AEM’s president, effective December 31, 2021. He will be succeeded by Megan Tanel, AEM’s senior vice president, construction and utility sector, who will become AEM’s president, effective January 1, 2022.

Pinnacle Award 

The Pinnacle Award is one of IAEE’s highest honors and recognizes an IAEE member who, over the years, has furthered IAEE’s objectives of advancing exhibitions and events management through the promotion of education, the dissemination of knowledge and the introduction or development of innovative techniques and who has been dedicated to the perpetuation of the highest ideals, trust and professionalism in this highly specialized field. The award was established in memory of the late founder and past president of IAEE (formerly NAEM), William Hunt Eisenman, and is presented by IAEE in recognition of extraordinary achievement in the exhibitions and events management field over the course of the recipient’s career. This year’s recipient of the IAEE Pinnacle Award is Jonathan “Skip” Cox. Cox’s impact on the exhibitions and events industry spans more than five decades, including four of them as an IAEE member. He devoted 55 years to Exhibit Surveys, now part of Freeman, with 25 of those at its helm. In that time, Cox has made an indisputable name for himself as a champion of ROI in the exhibitions and events industry.

Distinguished Service Award 

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to an IAEE member in recognition of an individual who has rendered distinguished service to IAEE and to the exhibitions and events industry. Qualifying criteria includes extraordinary service and contributions at both the local and national levels that have furthered the growth and development of this organization. When representing IAEE, the honoree will have served as a role model for the industry. This year’s recipient is Juan Tamez, managing director, Expo Guadalajara.

Woman of Achievement Award 

The Woman of Achievement recognizes a member who has led the way in advancing women through her outstanding leadership within the industry and her community. It is presented at the annual IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum and recognized at Expo! Expo! This year’s recipient is Rachel Wimberly, executive vice president of business development, Tarsus U.S. for Tarsus Group, parent company of Trade Show News Network (TSNN), has been a member of IAEE for 14 years and serves on the Mid-South Chapter Board. She is also a member of the Society for Independent Show Organizers and UFI, The Global Association for the Exhibition Industry.

International Excellence Award 

The International Excellence Award recognizes exceptional performance by an IAEE member in creating, launching, managing and growing international events. This year’s recipient is the Simon Wang, executive vice president, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).

Chapter Merit Award 

The Chapter Merit Award recognizes IAEE members whose ideas and/or work have benefited IAEE as an organization in some special way and is generally reserved for those who have stepped forward at the chapter/local level. This year’s recipients are Russell Callahan, director of national operations, Quest EventsPaul Treanor, senior manager, content and community, Informa Markets LimitedGwen Venable, executive vice president of communications, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association; and Steve Walker, executive director, citywide sales, MGM Resorts International.

Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award 

The Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award is presented to IAEE members who possess outstanding creativity, a positive attitude and the ability to transfer knowledge through good communication skills and innovative teaching to promote life-long learning to exhibitions and events industry professionals. This year’s award recipient is Robyn Davis, trade show trainer/consultant, Exhibitors WINH LLC.

Volunteer of the Year Award 

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes IAEE members who have dedicated their time to the progress and fulfillment of the charge of a committee or task force on which they serve. This year’s award recipient is Erika Welling, chief experience officer, Blendz Events.

Innovative Business Solution Award 

The Innovative Business Solution Award recognizes achievement by an IAEE member or member organization in the creation of new and innovative business solutions. Criteria include product/service overview; clear presentation of objectives and fulfillment of those objectives; impact on the industry, present and/or future; clear presentation of what makes the product/service innovative; growth potential; and effective use of social media. This year's recipient is Visit Orlando.

Young Professional of the Year Award 

The Young Professional of the Year Award recognizes excellent professional performance by IAEE members 35 years of age or younger who have committed their time to advancing the standing of young professionals in our industry. This year’s award recipient is Moriah Hathaway-Casey, manager, exhibit services, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Click here for more details about the IAEE Awards Program and to learn more about this year's winners.

Photo: Top row, left to right: Dennis Slater, Jonathan “Skip” Cox, Juan Tamez, Rachel Wimberly. Second row, left to right: Simon Wang, Russell Callahan, Paul Treanor, Gwen Venable. Third row, left to right: Steve Walker, Robyn Davis, Erika Welling, Moriah Hathaway-Casey

Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE and engage with us on Twitter, Facebook and  LinkedIn!

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Partner Voices

Dallas is home to some of the most impressive meeting spaces in Texas. The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas is rated one of the top convention centers in the nation, and many Dallas hotels are well-equipped to host outstanding events of all sizes. But if you are looking for something truly unique, Dallas has plenty of that, too. Here are a few of our favorites: