People News: The Expo Group, Corcoran, PMMI, VistPITTSBURGH Fill Their Ranks

July 11, 2017

In most cases, summer is a slower time of year, but hiring in the trade show industry continued at a brisk space through June and the first part of July.

The Expo Group recently brought on Chad Chappell as national sales director.

“Professionals like Chad who are true solution providers and see events holistically are vital to The Expo Group’s work as strategic partners, helping clients drive attendee, exhibitor and sponsorship revenue,” said The Expo Group President and COO Randy Pekowski.

He added, “His experience in the hospitality industry is particularly aligned with our emphasis on delivering personalized client experiences and helping people perform at a higher level.”

Chappell most recently served as director of Sales Development for Visit Baltimore, where he has built a reputation for understanding client needs and devising creative solutions. He also has worked in sales for Starwood Hotels & Resorts and the Dallas convention bureau.

Corcoran Expositions made five new hires to help meet increased growth at the firm.  

Laura Thompson has been promoted to senior director of expositions at PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, owner and producer of the PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows. Thompson will replace Jim Pittas who has been promoted to chief operating officer at PMMI.

During her 19 years with PMMI, Thompson has held several jobs within the show department and contributed to the success of PMMI's trade shows.

Thompson was most recently director of trade show operations, responsible for the operations of all PACK EXPO events in addition to managing EXPO PACK Mèxico and being part of the successful launch of EXPO PACK Guadalajara in 2013.

In her new role as senior director of expositions, Thompson will oversee PMMI's show department including all aspects of sales, promotions and operations for both international and domestic trade shows.

"Laura has made significant contributions to the growth and success of our PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows. Her leadership abilities and operational expertise will ensure the continued success of our shows. I look forward to working side-by-side with Laura to continue to build the PACK EXPO brand," said Jim Pittas, COO, PMMI.

“We are off to great start in 2017, providing services to many long-standing clients and also helping seven new clients,” said Dan Corcoran, COO at Corcoran Expositions.  “We are very excited about these five new hires as they will play a large role in serving the growing needs of our clients.”

·       Leesa Engelmann - Sponsorship Manager -- Engelmann brings 16 years of experience in the trade show industry, including running her own consulting business, “Event Marketing Girl” for eight years. Most recently she served as the Marketing and Exhibits Manager for the Orthopedic Trauma Association after three years as the Event Marketing lead for GE Critical Power. She joins as a Sponsorship Manager, developing and overseeing sponsorship programs for Corcoran’s clients. 

·       Gavin McAuliffe - Exhibit Sales -McAuliffe brings 12 years of experience in the trade show industry, most recently serving as an Account Executive for J&J Exhibitors Service. He joins the exhibit sales team, marketing exhibit space on behalf of Corcoran’s clients. 

·       Tyson Harrison - Exhibit Sales -- Harrison most recently held positions in the hospitality industry, and previously was a Meeting Rooms Conversion Manager for Aramark at McCormick Place. He joins the exhibit sales team, marketing exhibit space on behalf of Corcoran’s clients. 

·       Jennifer Kattalia - Exhibit Coordinator -- Kattalia is a graduating senior at DePaul University and a former intern at Corcoran primarily working on attendee and exhibitor marketing projects for the Chicago Golf Show. She will join the exhibit manager team, supporting marketing efforts and customer service.

·       Nicol Corcoran - Contract Administrator -- Corcoranl is new to the trade show industry, and most recently was an administrator for a student tutoring and testing center. Prior to that she had an eight-year career in the University Residence Life field, working at Universities in five different states.  

VisitPITTSBURGH, the official tourism promotion agency for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, upped Kristin (Mitchell) Wenger to the position of communications director.

Wenger joined VisitPITTSBURGH in 2000 after working at the Keebler Company in Charlotte, N.C.. Wenger has excelled in her role in the communications department at VisitPITTBSURGH and has helped Pittsburgh gain positive media coverage, not only locally, regionally and nationally, but internationally as well, through press tours and press events. 

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