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Meet the 2021 Speakers

David Anderson
SEMI Americas

As President of SEMI Americas, David Anderson leads SEMI’s activities in the Americas. Anderson has P&L responsibility as well as ownership of all Americas region programs and events, including SEMICON West. He is responsible for establishing industry Standards, advocacy, community development, expositions, and programs. He manages and nurtures relationships with SEMI members in the region as well as with local association and constituents in industry, government, and academia.

Anderson has held leadership positions at Fairchild Semiconductor, National Semiconductor, the Semiconductor Industry Suppliers Association, and SEMATECH, where he helped launch the global ISMI (International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative) effort. Most recently, Anderson was CEO and chairman of Novati Technologies, a specialty manufacturing fab and provider of semiconductor and related process technology development and commercialization services. Prior to that, he held executive leadership positions for development foundries ATDF and SVTC Technologies.

Anderson has a BS MSE from Purdue University and an MBA from Nasson College with advanced Doctoral studies in Industrial Engineering at Arizona State University.

Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, CEM

Cathy Breden, CAE, CMP, CEM 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.

Breden also serves in the capacity of Executive Vice President/COO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, a trade association representing the exhibitions and events industry. She began her association management career in 1984. She is the 2021 Vice Chair of Events Industry Council Board of Directors. She has earned the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 1990, and she earned the coveted Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 1995 and the Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) in 2019.

Patricia Buckley
Managing Director of Economics

Patricia started at Deloitte in September 2012 and serves as the leader of the US firm’s economic team.

She regularly briefs members of Deloitte’s executive leadership team on changes to the US economic outlook and is responsible for producing a series of economic reports tailored to the business audience, including “Issues by the Numbers,” a data-driven examination of important economic policy issues. Additionally, she partners with various practice areas to produce topical eminence and is a frequent speaker at Deloitte events discussing current economic policy and trends.

Previously, Patricia served as the Senior Economic Policy Advisor to four Secretaries of Commerce where she provided regular briefings to the Secretary in preparation for Cabinet meetings, press interviews, and discussions with business and foreign leaders. While at Commerce, she served as policy point person for several key strategic initiatives related to maintaining U.S. competitiveness, revitalizing the manufacturing sector, and reforming the country’s immigration system. She also served as executive director to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on “Measuring Innovation in the 21st Century.” Earlier in her career, Patricia was an economist at the Manufacturers Alliance, a policy research organization, and the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.

Patricia has a Ph.D. in Economics from Georgetown University and a B.S. degree in Economics from Clemson University.

Nancy Drapeau

Nancy Drapeau, PRC
Vice President of Research

A 27-year market research veteran with over 18 years in the business-to-business exhibitions sector. As CEIR’s VP 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.

Desiree Hanson
Executive Vice President of North America Energy, Fashion and Airport Business Portfolios
Clarion Events

Des Hanson is an accomplished tradeshow industry executive with 20+ years of experience driving profitability and market share for one of the fastest growing global events business, Clarion Events. In her role of Executive Vice President of North America Energy, Fashion and Airport business portfolios, she leads face to face and digital solutions through various media, meetings and events platforms delivering best-in-class experiences achieving high customer satisfaction and loyalty over the past four years.

Her tradeshow experience started at Reed Exhibitions where she built skillsets across a variety of job functions and markets for 14 years. A firm believer in using data to inform business decisions, she joined NPD Group where she provided market trends and insights to the diamond, branded jewelry and watch industries helping them unlock critical success metrics to improve their sales and purchasing behaviors. After 3 years with NPD, she was tapped to come back to her roots in the tradeshow industry and joined Clarion Events in 2017.

Des was selected as one of Tradeshow Executive’s first “Women to Watch” in 2018 and recognized for her ability to quickly make an impact at Clarion Events making strong connections with customers, listening to their needs, and delivering quality results. She was most recently recognized for her collaborative effort in partnering with other fashion market show organizers to join forces in February 2021 to safely and effectively run a tradeshow to bring buyers and sellers of the fashion community together in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Desiree is active in industry associations and spent 8 years serving in executive positions with the Women’s Jewelry Association where she was awarded Excellence in Special Services in 2014. She resides in Madison, Connecticut with her husband, two sons and Golden Retriever.


Jennifer Hesterman, Ph.D.
USAF (Retired)

Dr. Jennifer Hesterman is a retired Air Force colonel, serving in three Pentagon tours and commanding in the field multiple times. Her final assignment was Vice Commander, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, where she led installation security and protection of Air Force One, force support, and the 1st Helicopter Squadron. She regularly met and escorted the President and other heads of state on the airfield. She is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service medal with 5 oak leaf clusters and the Global War on Terrorism medal, among others.

A counterterrorism and soft target hardening expert, she is presently Vice President at Watermark Risk Management International and instructs graduate-level security courses for the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency. She also advises the Homeland Security Training Institute at the College of DuPage and the Crisis Response Journal.

She holds a doctoral degree from Benedictine University, Master of Science degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Air University, and a Bachelor of Science from Penn State University. She was a National Defense Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; is an alumnus of the Harvard Senior Executive Fellows program and was a fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University.

Dr. Hesterman is a sought after consultant and trainer, supporting the DHS, the FBI, DoD, US Secret Service, the Department of Transportation, state and local law enforcement, Fortune 100s, Major League Baseball and soft target locations and mass gathering events.

An academic author for Taylor & Francis Group, her book Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack was the ASIS Security Industry Book of the Year for 2015. The second edition received the same honors in 2019, and was the Social Sciences Book of the Year for Taylor & Francis. She also authored Soft Target Crisis Management (2016) and The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus (2013) and published 32 articles in a variety of journals and security magazines.

Dr. Chris Kuehl
Managing Director
Armada Corporate Intelligence

Dr. Chris Kuehl is a Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence. He provides forecasts and strategic guidance for a wide variety of corporate clients around the world. He is the chief economist for several national and international organizations

Prior to starting Armada in 1999, he was a professor of economics and finance for 15 years – teaching in the U.S., Hungary, Russia, Estonia, Singapore and Taiwan. He holds advanced degrees in economics, Soviet studies and East Asian studies.

Chris is the writer/editor of Business Intelligence Briefs and a writer for the Black Owl Report – both publications from Armada. He is an economic analyst for the Armada Strategic Intelligence System and is responsible for the Credit Manager’s Index from NACM as well Fabrinomics from the FMA.

Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington
Assistant Vice President, Forecasting and Analysis
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington is NAHB Assistant Vice President for Forecasting and Analysis. She oversees the activities of the Forecasting & Analysis section of the Economics group which includes housing market analysis, industry surveys, developing and maintaining national, regional, long-term, and remodeling expenditures forecasts. Before being promoted to Assistant Vice President, she worked at NAHB as a Senior Economist, responsible for state and local analysis. Prior to joining NAHB, Danushka worked at J.D. Power as a Senior Economic Analyst in the automotive industry. She holds a B.A. degree in Economics and Business Administration from Otterbein University and M.A. degree in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University.

Vincent T. Polito
Managing Director

Vinnie spent the first part of his career as an event producer and event organizer and has successfully taken tradeshow brands around the world. He’s had two international postings and launched events on five continents. Although he still thinks like an event producer, he has been with mdg, the industry’s largest full service marketing and strategy agency since 2011 as an owner, managing director and now as president. He is a past chair of IAEE, the leading organization in the tradeshow and events industry and a recipient of that organization’s highest honor, The Pinnacle Award.

Allen Shaw, Ph.D.
Founder, President & Chief Economist Global Economic Consulting Associates Inc.

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 U.S. and key emerging markets.

Previously, he worked as the Chief International Economist at the WEFA Group (formerly Wharton Economic Forecasting Associates, Inc), which was originally established by the Nobel Laureate Lawrence Klein. He managed international forecasting, modeling, economic research, and consulting activities, including the activities of WEFA’s international economists based in Philadelphia, London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Rome.

Dr. Shaw holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Connecticut. He was also an Adjunct Full Professor at Drexel University teaching graduate economic courses.