Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE is the CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). In her role at CEIR, Breden provides strategic direction and manages the day-to-day activities and business operations of CEIR. CEIR houses an online library of primary, exhibition-related research studies to help exhibition stakeholders with evolving norms, shifting marketing trends and other issues that can have an impact on the channel itself or how to use if effectively in light of trends. Reports include digital/technology, attendee/exhibitor engagement, attendee acquisition and retention, generational workforce shifts, economic performance and impact, and exhibitor studies evaluating motivations for use of the exhibition marketing channel. She has been working with CEIR since 2006.
Arjun Chakravarti is Senior Vice President of Analytics and Insights Solutions at GES. His team uses a data-driven approach to uncover and deliver insights that lead to high-value engagement for customers. A thought leader at the intersection of innovation and analytics, Arjun was previously Managing Director of Level 100, a Chicago-based strategy consultancy serving major corporate clients in industries as diverse as information technology, media, food, and CPG. He was also previously a professor at the Illinois Tech, where he served as a founding faculty of the Masters in Marketing Analytics at the Stuart School of Business. Arjun graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Colorado, and received his Ph.D and MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Brett Conradt is a Managing Director at Stax Inc., regularly advising private equity and corporate clients on organic and inorganic growth initiatives, partnering to build actionable strategies.
Conradt joined Stax’s Chicago office in 2006, and has expertise in consumer / retail businesses along with industrial products and services. In his relationships with large-cap and middle market funds as well as corporate clients, he oversees extensive consulting engagements to identify, size, and prioritize international and domestic growth opportunities.
Prior to Stax, Conradt worked at StrategyOne, a subsidiary of Edelman Worldwide, where he developed strategic messaging and positioning programs for clients across multiple end industries. Conradt began his career at Salton, Inc., where he developed, grew, and maintained well-known consumer electronics brands.
Conradt has guest lectured at several universities including the University of Illinois, Texas A&M University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has also written numerous thought leadership pieces focused on retail and industrial markets.
Conradt holds an M.B.A. from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Nancy Drapeau, PRC is a 25-year market research veteran with over 18 years in the business-to-business exhibitions sector. As CEIR’s Vice President of Research, Ms. Drapeau conducts industry wide studies and reports on current trends in the exhibition industry. She holds a BA in Government from Georgetown University and a Master’s in Advanced European and International Studies from l’Institut Européen des Hautes Études Internationales. She is an AC Nielsen Burke Institute trained focus group moderator. She is a well-respected industry speaker and an active member of the Insights Association (formerly the Marketing Research Association) as well as a past participant of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Future Trends Task Force and member of the Event Industry Council’s (EIC) Research Committee.
John Gerzema is CEO of Harris Insights & Analytics/The Harris Poll, a leading public opinion, market research, corporate, brand and reputation strategy firm. John is a pioneer in the use of data to identify social change and help leaders and organizations anticipate and adapt to new trends and demands. An author, strategist, speaker and consultant, his books are on the bestseller and critics ‘best of’ lists of The New York Times, WSJ, Washington Post, Bloomberg and Fast Co and his writing and interviews have appeared in NYT, FT, Economist, NPR, Forbes, Quartz, McKinsey, HBR, WIRED among others. An expert in leadership and social change, John was named among the “Top Management Articles of the Decade” by Strategy & Business and his TED talks are widely viewed.
As a Distinguished Fellow with The Athena Center for Leadership at Barnard, he is an advocate for Women and Girls and serves as board advisor to The U.N Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign, University of The People and The National Kidney Foundation. John is among “The Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business” and “Must-Follow Marketing Minds on Twitter” by Forbes. He presented gender inequality findings in the media and workplace at The World Economic Forum in Davos and designed an analytic model with The Wharton School for U.S. News & World Report “Best Countries” rankings.
In 2015, John was named to The Medill Hall of Achievement at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. His latest book with Pulitzer-Prize winner Michael D’Antonio explores the rise of feminine values in leadership, policy and innovation. Tom Peters says, “The Athena Doctrine is a powerful book. Extraordinary research. Great storytelling. A message both timely and of monumental importance.”
John previously served as Global Chief Insights Officer at Young & Rubicam and CEO of WPP’s BAV Consulting.
As Owner, President and Chief Marketing Strategist of the nation’s leading marketing and public relations agency specializing in B2B events, Hardcastle-Geddes and her team provide solutions that increase attendance and exhibitor participation for several of the largest and most successful trade shows and conferences in the country.
Kimberly has worked in both the United States and Europe, holds an MSBA with an emphasis in Marketing and has 20 years of industry experience. She is an IAEE Krakoff Leaders Institute alumna, the editor of mdg’s trade show marketing newsletter, a presenter of industry seminars on strategic market planning and is a recipient of IAEE’s Educator of the Year Award and Trade Show Executive’s Marketing Genius Award. With offices in Southern California and Washington, D.C., she is also a frequent cross-country traveler.
Jerry Howard, Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Home Builders, has over 25 years of association experience and a lifetime in the housing industry. Jerry began his association career at the National Association of Realtors, where he served as a Legislative Analyst for tax issues. Prior to joining NAHB, Jerry served as the Chief Lobbyist for the National Council of State Housing Agencies where he was instrumental in the development of the low-income housing tax credit as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
Jerry came to NAHB as tax counsel in 1988 and served in a variety of roles, including Chief Lobbyist. He was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer in February 2001.
Before embarking on his association career, Jerry practiced real estate law in his home state of South Carolina. His exposure to the housing industry has literally encompassed a lifetime; Jerry grew up working in a variety of roles for his father, a developer.
Jerry earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina. He, his wife Christina and their children Eirann, Meaghan and Sean live in Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.
Jackie James is a 30-year industry veteran. Currently she is Group Director, responsible for all aspects of World of Concrete (WOC), including domestic and international events. WOC Las Vegas is the largest annual international construction show in the U.S. specifically for the commercial concrete and masonry industries, ranked 17 by TSNN Top Trade Shows in the U.S. in 2018. This event has garnered multiple awards: The Grand Award for the “Fastest Growing Annual Show in Sheer Numbers by Trade Show Executive (TSE) and the “Rock Star Award” in 2015. Again for 2018, WOC has been nominated in all 3 major categories by TSE for the Fastest 50 Awards taking place in June 2019.
In addition to overseeing WOC Las Vegas, Jackie has been integral to the development of the World of Concrete brand internationally, with the successful launches of World of Concrete Asia and World of Concrete Europe. For 17 years, she has worked with the Department of Commerce and the International Buyers Program (IBP) program for WOC efforts.
Prior to Informa, Jackie was a Group Director at Miller Freeman Exhibitions for more than 20 years, overseeing the Imprinted Sportswear Shows, Bobbin Americas and Bobbin World events in the U.S. and several international locations.
Simon served in the RAF for six years in the 1980s before entering the world of exhibitions in 1989. He then spent the first 10 years as a junior partner in an entrepreneurial events business, launching and then selling exhibitions to larger players. In 1999, he became MD of the joint venture between Haymarket Publishing and the BBC, responsible for the portfolio of TV-related content events in the UK.
In 2001 he joined Clarion Events as MD, a small UK exhibition organising company that was a subsidiary of the private equity backed Earls Court and Olympia Group. Clarion became a standalone business in 2004.
Since 2001, Simon has overseen and driven the growth of Clarion Events to become a leading international events company with interests in Exhibitions, Conferences, Publishing and Digital. Clarion has been owned by a succession of private equity companies, and was acquired by The Blackstone Group in September 2017. Simon continues to assume the role of Executive Chairman.
Simon’s interests vary from wine to politics – a heady mix, tempered by the joy of his five children!
Over the past three decades, Andy has built strategic advisory services at SapientNitro (now SapientRazorfish) and led digital, omnichannel, and tech innovation at companies including CVS Health and Italian eyewear company Luxottica. Throughout his career, Andy has worked on new technologies and growth platforms with a long list of market leaders, such as Fidelity, GE, GM, Tesco, Target, Staples, The Coca-Cola Company, Kimberly-Clark, and P&G. His most recent position was Managing Director at Stax Inc., a private equity and corporate advisory firm, where he led M&A and growth strategy for private equity and corporate clients.
At Freeman, Andy leads the Global Strategy – providing the experience, knowledge, and insights that are essential in helping our customers around the world create unique, memorable live experiences. Andy’s history of success in leading growth and innovation across business segments is strengthened by a methodical, analytical approach for developing comprehensive and effective strategies, roadmaps, and long-term plans.
Michelle Mason is the President and CEO of Association Forum. Association Forum is the “association of associations” in Chicago. She provides strategic leadership, fiscal responsibility, and successful delivery of member value. Prior to Association Forum, Michelle served as a managing director at the American Society for Quality (ASQ). In this role, she concentrated on business development, membership, component relations, innovation, advocacy, social responsibility, and process improvement efforts. Prior to she was Vice President of Strategic and Future Focused Research at the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE).
Michelle is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), Six Sigma Champion, and a Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA). She is an ASAE Fellow (FASAE) and an Aspen Institute Ideas Fellow. Michelle completed the SmithBucklin Leadership Institute. She has a BA, MBA and MS. Michelle was the project lead for the bestselling publication, Seven Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don’t.
Michelle has strong board experience including, ASAE Board of Directors, ABSI, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, PAVE, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, MIAD, King’s Academy Charter School, TEMPO, and Penfield Children’s Center. She is devoted to education and learning, Michelle has served as an adjunct instructor at Mount Mary University in Wisconsin and Strayer University in Washington, DC.
John Paxton is the Chief Operations Officer and CEO Designate of Material Handling Industry Association (MHI). Mr. Paxton has over 30 years of leadership experience in the material handling industry and was President of Demag Cranes and Components, North American crane manufacturing and service operations.
Mr. Paxton has been recognized for his volunteer leadership in the material handling industry. This leadership includes serving as Chairman of the Board of MHI, as well as the president of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), the Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI) and the Monorail Manufacturers association (MMA).
Mr. Paxton is a graduate of the Ohio State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and of Kent State University with an MBA focused on international business. In addition, he completed the University of Michigan executive leadership program.
Don has led the strategy and growth of Access Intelligence for 19 years, taking magazine-centric businesses and transforming them into an integrated media, event-driven, web-centric group of market-focused product clusters serving the media/marketing, energy/engineering, aerospace, defense and healthcare markets.
Don and his team have built the business through countless launches and 20 acquisitions that have been bolted onto and integrated into the Phillips Business Information newsletter and magazine platform that Veronis Suhler Stevenson bought from Tom Phillips in late 2000. Recent acquisitions include VMA Media, AdMonsters and AdExchanger for media/marketing, Exchange Monitor events and information products that span the company’s energy/aerospace groups, and P3C Events for the infrastructure development market..
In August of 2018, Don was honored as the 2018 Krakoff Leadership Institute (KLI) Legend of the Industry as selected from IAEE members whose contributions, innovation and leadership have been truly unique and remarkable. And in 2019 was awarded the Robert L. Krakoff Industry Award of Excellence.
Before joining Access Intelligence, Don worked at Miller Freeman, a subsidiary of United Business Media, for 23 years. He was named CEO in 1997.
Don is a frequent speaker at The Folio: Show, Society of Independent Show Organizers and Specialized Information Publishers Association events. He is past Chairman and serves on the SISO Board and was past vice-chair and former Board member of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).
Dr. Piegza specializes in research and analysis of economic trends and activity, world economies, financial markets and fiscal policies. Piegza joined Stifel in 2015 amid the merger with Sterne Agee where she was Chief Economist. Prior to her roles with Stifel and Sterne Agee, she was the Senior Economist for an investment bank for eight years in New York City.
In addition to more than 13 years of professional experience, Piegza has published academic papers in prestigious journals such as the Harvard Business Review and in textbooks from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
With more than 20 years in senior leadership positions in the industry, Vincent is generally recognized as a content development and execution specialist. During his career, he’s had two international postings, launched events on five continents and developed highly specialized conferences in technology, life sciences and healthcare.
Bill Reinsch holds the Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and is a senior adviser at Kelley, Drye & Warren LLP. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, teaching courses in globalization, trade policy, and politics. Previously, he served for 15 years as president of the National Foreign Trade Council. He concurrently served as a member of the U.S. and China Economic and Security Review Commission.
Roger knows that successful advocacy can change the world, it is his life’s work as the Founder & President of Voices in Advocacy® and author of 7 Actions of Highly Effective Advocates. He has more than 30 years of experience as an advocacy professional, speaker, trainer, consultant, and author. As a recognized expert in advocacy engagement and grassroots activation, Roger works with a wide cross-section of organizations from diverse industries. His vibrant personality and a good sense of humor make for engaging and interactive programming that is packaged and delivered in an easy to understand, easy to apply format combining his education, experience, and enthusiasm to drive advocacy success.
Roger is a proud Penn State Nittany Lion and self-confessed political junky having received his education in Political Science. He has been an advocate for citizen involvement since the age of 13. Elected, three times to public office as a young man, served as a state legislative staff member, and have worked on many political campaigns from his very own clear up to presidential campaigns.
He has served in numerous industry associations’ leadership roles, is a recipient of several international industry awards, and is a member of Meeting Professional International’s prestigious “Community of Honoree’s”.
Dr. Shaw is the Chief Economist of Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. He specializes in (1) analyzing the state of economy, policy issues, and risks in key developed & developing countries, (2) constructing statistical indicators for analyzing potential sizes of target markets and (3) performing customized projects. He advises clients on economic policy issues and financial risks in the US and key emerging markets. Previously, he worked as the Chief International Economist at the WEFA which was originally established by the Nobel Laureate Lawrence Klein.
Dennis Slater is President and Secretary of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), overseeing the strategic direction and operation of all AEM programs, which include market information, public policy advocacy and exhibitions.
Mr. Slater has spent most of his career representing the interests of the off-road equipment manufacturing industry. He joined an AEM construction predecessor organization, CIMA, in 1982 and held marketing and management positions with increasing responsibilities. He was named head of the CONEXPO exhibition in 1985. He oversaw growth from a single CONEXPO event every six years to a program that includes the CONEXPO-CON/AGG international exhibition and several related AEM owned and/or run shows.
Mr. Slater was named CIMA President and Secretary in 1998 and has served as President and Secretary of AEM since its inception in 2002 from the merger of the CIMA and EMI equipment manufacturer groups. Under his leadership, AEM has grown to more than 900 corporate members representing more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility equipment sectors worldwide.
Mr. Slater is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Association Committee of 100 and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), and is a former Director and 2014 Chair of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). He has held leadership roles with the International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE), including as an IAEE Director and 2004 IAEE Chair. In 2016 IAEE honored Mr. Slater with its Pinnacle Award recognizing outstanding contributions to the exhibitions and events industry, dedicated to the highest ideals, trust and professionalism.
Mr. Slater is an honors graduate of Carroll University (Waukesha, Wisconsin), where he earned degrees in communications/journalism, political science and history.
Kerry oversees the Marketing & Media Communications Division, which includes AdExchanger, AdMonsters, PR News, Cynopsis, Cablefax, FOLIO:, Event Marketer, the Chief Marketer Group, Multichannel Merchant, LeadsCon and their related event and emedia businesses. Kerry joined Access Intelligence with the sale of his company, Red 7 Media, to AI in 2011. Kerry started Red 7 Media in 2002 with a vision to create and launch magazines and conferences in niche business categories. The company was named the fastest-growing privately-held publishing company in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine in 2007 and 2008. He has launched numerous magazines and conferences/shows over the past 30 years. Prior to founding Red 7 Media, Kerry was Group Publisher at Primedia, Inc., where he was responsible for editorial, business management and brand development for a portfolio of business publications, including American Demographics, Corporate Meetings & Incentives, and PROMO Magazine, which he founded in 1987. Kerry served on the board of the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) for 5 years, and serves his community as Fire Commissioner. He is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Tom Steenburgh holds the Richard S. Reynolds Professorship in Business Administration at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. He also serves the School as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development. He is the course head for the First Year Marketing course in the MBA program and is the faculty chair for Strategic Sales Management program in Executive Education. Prior to joining Darden, he taught at the Harvard Business School, where he was the faculty chair of the Business-to-Business Marketing Strategy program in Executive Education.
Tom is an expert in business-to-business marketing and sales, and he believes that academics should engage with business leaders to solve real-world problems. He co-founded the Thought Leadership on the Sales Profession Conference, which provides a unique opportunity for leading academics and senior business leaders to discuss current issues in sales. He frequently speaks about his research at companies and in public forums, including the Global Siemens One Conference, the Money Management Institute, the Sales Management Association, and the Strategic Accounts Management Association.
Tom’s research analyzes the effectiveness of sales and marketing strategies. He has worked on issues such as “Do lump-sum bonuses motivate salespeople to work harder or to play timing games with their orders?” and “Should firms use sales and marketing actions to manage earnings?” Tom’s research has won several awards for its influence on business practice. His Harvard Business Review article, “Motivating Salespeople: What Really Works,” won the Wachovia Award for Research Aimed at the Practicing Manager. Tom won the Neil Rackham Research Dissemination Award for the broad impact of his sales research.
Tom is the author of numerous case studies that are taught in leading business schools around the world. This work primarily focuses on managerial issues in professional selling and sales force management. His case study on Hubspot is part of the HBS Premiere Case Collection and his study on EMC has been reprinted in textbooks.
Tom holds a master’s degree in statistics from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in marketing from Yale University. Before returning to academics, he held several positions in marketing and operations at the Xerox Corporation. His last position was in incentive strategy.