Mar 25, 2022
He's worked alongside some of the world’s top chefs, but Eric Vaughn’s fondest culinary memories are of his childhood, creating delicious Sunday meals with his parents and sister and learning how to bake with his grandmother.   “It was our family tradition, and we learned a lot, especially how much fun we were having together discovering new dishes and ingredients,” he said. “It was the start of my fascination with food, touching it and seeing how it was affected by heat, and working with some of the most unique things I had ever seen food-wise—cooking things like chicken strudel with phyllo… more
Mar 24, 2022
Event tech and marketing wizard Dahlia El Gazzar is on a mission to empower event professionals with intel that helps them create next-level experiences. It’s the very reason she has been so passionate about the events industry since diving into it more than 10 years ago. “What first got me interested in event tech is the ability the solutions have to help catapult event organizers' desires to create better experiences for their stakeholders, their events and their internal teams,” she said. “And yet it's an enabler, and I found that strategizing about how to use tech and combining it with… more
Mar 21, 2022
While it’s wonderful and uplifting to celebrate the achievements of women on International Women’s Day or during Women’s History Month, it goes without saying that striving for gender equality, diversity and inclusion is a year-round effort. For example, ensuring equitable pay for women serving the same roles as their male counterparts and empowering female professionals to realize their career aspirations. Our industry still has work to do in achieving gender parity, but there has been progress. TSNN recently had the pleasure of speaking with several dynamic female event professionals to get… more
Mar 10, 2022
Growing up, Cathy Breden thought she would one day pursue a career in medicine, an aspiration her father hoped she would one day fulfill. But while putting herself through college, the Tampa, Florida native realized her life was meant to take a different path, one she would shape through trial and error. “I did not have the stereotypical college experience many students have because I was focused on keeping my head above water,” Breden says. “My grades reflected how stretched I was. I was carrying a full load of classes [at Florida State University] and working part-time at the Florida… more
Mar 04, 2022
From an early age, Sarah Soliman has been inspired to lead and driven to succeed. “I am a results-driven person, so when I see how my passion can inspire others, it ignites the fire in me to do more,” Soliman said, before describing a time that flame truly burned bright—in high school, when she created a petition after the principal of her school cancelled “seniors week.”  Soliman, along with other classmates, thought it was unfair to take away such an important experience for reasons the students had no control over, so she went from class to class collecting signatures, organized a… more
Feb 17, 2022
The rush to rebuild staff and grow leadership teams at trade show and event-related organizations continues full speed ahead as companies, associations and CVBs anticipate a more robust 2022. Take a look! UFI  UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, appointed international event management veteran Adeline Vancauwelaert as COO, effective Feb. 22. Working out of the organization’s Paris headquarters, she joins UFI from France-based global exhibition organizer Comexposium, where she served as event director and played a leading role in strategic positioning, team management and… more
Feb 14, 2022
Look around at many organizations these days, and you’ve probably noticed a fair share launching corporate programs dedicated to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), an umbrella term for policies, programs, strategies and practices that promote the representation and participation of individuals of different ages, races and ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, genders, religions, cultures and sexual orientations. But to drive an authentic culture of inclusion and belonging, it takes a special person who can not only lead the charge but also remain passionately committed to creating… more
Feb 07, 2022
A slew of promotions, as well as new hires and some executive retirements, continue as the trade show industry forges ahead toward recovery. Check out all the recent appointments and transitions happening at event-related organizations throughout the U.S. and beyond. SEMA After more than three decades of service, Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) President and CEO Chris Kersting has retired. Kersting joined SEMA in 1996 to lead the organization’s Washington, D.C, office as vice president of legislative and technical affairs, later taking the helm as SEMA’s CEO in 2002 and… more
Jan 26, 2022
In February of last year, 28-year travel and tourism industry veteran Casandra Matej took the helm at Visit Orlando as the first female president and CEO in the destination marketing organization’s 37-year history. While assuming a leadership role during a global pandemic is no walk in the park, Matej accepted the challenge, focusing the organization’s energies on spurring the recovery of the powerful Orlando tourism industry, which, pre-pandemic, drew more than 75 million visitors to the region and supports approximately 41% of the local workforce. For Matej and her teams, failure was not an… more
Jan 24, 2022
The year 2022 has kicked off with a bang as event-related organizations continue their hiring and promotion frenzy, filling positions and recognizing top-performing staff with more senior titles. Take a look! Huntington Place  Becky Bixby has been appointed assistant general manager of Detroit’s Huntington Place (formerly TCF Center). Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) with 29 years of event experience leading teams in customer service training and new technology implementations, she will be responsible for all day-to-day operational aspects of the venue, including ensuring client… more

Partner Voices

Caesars Entertainment strode into 2022 with its sights set on making the year one of innovation and renovation for the Empire as the company announced a $400 million, Las Vegas-style makeover for its Atlantic City properties. The master plan for the company’s three East Coast properties -- Caesars, Harrah’s, and Tropicana -- involves interior renovations, new celebrity dining concepts, and more to create the ultimate seaside conference destination.