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Meet the 2021 Speakers (2022 Updates Coming Soon!)

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.

Melissa Ashley

Melissa Ashley is currently an Advisor at Airfair.   She is a successful business executive with over 25 years of experience in event management, traditional and digital media strategy and new business development.  Melissa has served in leadership roles at Informa, Reed Exhibitions, Bloomberg BNA and most recently ICSC before moving over to Airfair.  Earlier in her career she held positions at several New York ad agencies as well at the NBA and DoubleClick.

Melissa shifted her focus to Event Tech to funnel her energies into supporting the event industry through its next evolution.

In addition to her current role, Melissa sits on a few advisory boards as well as serves on the board of Civics Unplugged, a 501(c)(3) with a mission to empower Generation Z leaders to build the future of democracy.

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.

Dr. 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.

Erin Dunstan
Managing Vice President, Sales
Maritz Global Events

Erin serves as Managing Vice President, Sales representing Maritz Global Events Association, Trade Show, and Live Events markets (AT&L). Erin began her career with Maritz Global Events through the legacy Experient brand in 2004. Erin leads a team of Sales and Account Management professionals with a focus on providing solutions that foster innovative event design, event technology, and exhibitor and guest engagement by harnessing data, experience, and behavioral science principles. Erin’s expertise in meeting and events spans complex service offerings that include large scale Event Technology, Registration, Housing, Logistics, City-Wide Hotel Contracting, and Global Strategic Meetings Management. Erin is known for her ability to lead her teams successfully into uncharted territory, her customer focused dedication, negotiating prowess, and keen ability to foster and grow successful business relationships. Erin resides north of Atlanta with her husband Craig and daughter Stella.

Brian Fanzo
Digital Futurist

Brian Fanzo is a digital futurist keynote speaker who translates the trends of tomorrow to inspire change today. His customized and personalized programs showcase real-world stories and examples of forward-thinking people and businesses. He teaches companies of all sizes how to leverage technology in real time in order to engage their customers at the right time. Brian has a gift for bringing people together online and offline. He has worked in 76 countries, highlighting his passion for change, collaboration, and technology.

At age 14, Brian won a speed typing contest and his love for computers and technology was born. After years of playing The Oregon Trail, creating in Adobe Pagemaker, and using Napster, Brian earned a Computer Science degree. Prior to speaking, he worked for nine years at the Department of Defense where he managed a global team who deployed collaboration and cybersecurity solutions across all branches of the military – which required him to maintain the highest civilian security clearance. He then pursued his dream job as a technology evangelist for a booming cloud-computing startup, helping companies embrace the rate of change and new ways to innovate. Brian is currently the Founder of iSocialFanz, which has helped launch digital and influencer strategies with the world’s most iconic brands like Dell, EMC, Adobe, IBM, UFC, Applebee’s, and SAP.

Brian has been recognized as a Top 20 Digital Transformation Influencer; a Top 50 Most-Mentioned User by CMOs on Twitter, and a Top 25 Social Business Leader of the Future by The Economist. His followers on social media and podcast downloads rank in the hundreds of thousands, resulting in Brian being an influencer for 19 of the Fortune 100 companies.

Joey Graziano
Senior Vice President of Business Operations & Strategy, Global Events Department
National Basketball Association (NBA)

Joey Graziano is the Senior Vice President of Business Operations and Strategy for the NBA’s Global Events Department.  In this role, he leads strategic planning, business development, data analytics and process improvement for the NBA’s marquee global events including the NBA All-Star Game, NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV, NBA Draft, NBA Draft Lottery, MGM Resorts NBA Summer League, Jr. NBA Global Championship, international preseason and regular-season games, and affiliate league events with USA Basketball, WNBA, and the NBA 2K League.

Prior to joining the NBA, Joey was the Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel of The Headfirst Companies – growing a 15-employee startup into an industry leading immersive live event company with more than 1,500 employees operating in 20 states and four countries.  At scale, Headfirst operated events for one-third of Major League Baseball teams, as well as the English Premier League, Barcelona Soccer, and 150 colleges and universities.

Joey was previously an associate with the international law firm Jones Day, where his practice focused on complex civil and criminal litigation. A Mitchell Scholar, Joey received an LLM in Public Law from the National University of Ireland, Galway and worked at the Office of Evaluation and Suspension within the World Bank, focusing on bribery and corruption investigations surrounding World Bank grants. Joey is an ardent supporter of veterans and has founded the Academy for Veterans and served as a law clerk with the National Veterans Legal Services Program to ensure governments honor their commitments to veterans. He also helped start a nonprofit in the Dominican Republic that uses baseball to encourage literacy for the children of a barrio in Consuelo.  Joey received his B.A. and J.D. from Georgetown University summa cum laude where he played for the baseball team.

Nicole Hallada
Senior Vice President of Exhibitions & Marketing
Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Senior Vice President of Exhibitions & Marketing Nicole Hallada joined Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) predecessor CIMA (the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association) in 1997 as a Marketing Coordinator, rising to her current role in 2020. In between, Hallada served in numerous marketing and leadership roles within AEM, including twice as Show Manager of The Utility Expo (formerly ICUEE). Before joining AEM, Hallada served in communications and marketing roles at Aurora Health Care and Metropolitan Marketing Group.

As Senior Vice President of Exhibitions & Marketing, Hallada leads exhibition management, digital services, operations, strategy planning, and marketing, for all exhibitions, and serves as liaison to AEM’s Service Group members.

Hallada has also lent her talents to a number of associations and organizations throughout her career, including TEMPO Milwaukee, Destination Imagination, Project Lead the Way, NASA’s Space Race Competition, and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), while occasionally coaching her daughters’ sports teams for Big Bend/Vernon (WI) Recreation.

Hallada holds a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a certificate in the Neuroscience of Exhibitions and Events from Madison College, and enjoys boating with her family on the “Floating Halladay.”

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.

Dr. Jennifer Hesterman
Vice President, Watermark Risk Management
Colonel, 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.

John Paxton
Material Handling Industry Association (MHI)

John Paxton is the Chief Executive Officer of Material Handling Industry Association (MHI). Mr. Paxton has over 30 years of leadership experience in the material handling industry and before joining MHI was the 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.

Vincent T. Polito
Managing Director
mdg, A Freeman Company

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.


Dr. Sam Potolicchio
Preparing Global Leaders Forum

Dr. Sam Potolicchio was named one of “America’s Best Professors” by the Princeton Review, the Future Leader of American Higher Education by the Association of Colleges and Universities, and winner of the OZY Educator Award as one of the six outstanding American educators. He was also profiled in a cover story on his leadership curriculum by Newsweek Japan as the “Best Professor in America.” Potolicchio is President of the Preparing Global Leaders Forum and Distinguished University Professor, Department Chairman and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Political Science at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. He teaches in the EMBA programs at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown and at the Mannheim Business School (Germany). He is a visiting lecturer at University of Bologna (Italy). He is a columnist for Newsweek Japan, a Distinguished Global Scholar at the Canterbury School of Fort Myers, and the lecturer on Leadership at the Library of Congress for OWLC, an international leadership program of the United States Congress. Potolicchio is an adviser to prominent business, non-profit and government leaders. He created and designed the first undergraduate degree in Global Governance and Leadership in English in the Russian Federation where he serves as Academic Director.

From 2015-2019 Potolicchio served as the Director of Global and Custom Education at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, has been a visiting professor at New York University, and joined Senator Richard Lugar as tag team senior lecturers at UIndy’s Semester in Washington. Potolicchio has delivered lectures in over 85 countries, from Oxford, LSE, Cambridge and Yale to Iraq’s Komar University and Donetsk State University. As a middle-school basketball coach he led his Little Hoyas to 6 league titles and previously served as a 5th grade Latin teacher, public high school teacher of Law and History and secondary school admissions officer.

B.A. Government, Georgetown; B.A. Psychology, Georgetown; M.T.S. Theology and Culture, Harvard; PRSE, Harvard; MA, Government, Georgetown; PhD, Government, Georgetown

David Saef, CTSM Gold
Senior Vice President of Strategy, Advisory Services
mdg, A Freeman Company

In his current position, Saef Partner works with clients on strategic planning / facilitation, growth strategies, 365 engagement, organizational transformations, partnership / sponsorship strategies and sales, audience/member evaluation and targeting, and merger & acquisition due diligence.

Saef was the previous Executive Vice President of Strategy for GES (Global Exhibition Services) and led their MarketWorks division.

During his time at GES, David developed and led multiyear growth strategies for leading medical and dental associations, led the delivery of marketing strategies and campaigns for renewable energy and industrial safety clients, and spearheaded data intelligence initiatives with Fortune 100 companies and TSNN Gold 100 show organizers to drive event enhancements. He also helped create and lead Sponsorship 2020, a thought leadership and lead generation effort. David was recognized for his strategy, sales and thought leadership with IAEE’s Outstanding Marketing and Sales Award in 2017.

Leana Salamah
Vice President, Marketing
International Housewares Association

Leana Salamah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, including all aspects of fully integrated communications for trade shows, associations and events. A keen strategist and spokesperson, she is also well versed in all types of speaking opportunities from presentations to print to television.

Salamah joined IHA in 2018 after spending seven years spearheading marketing for the National Restaurant Association Show and opening the Chicago office of event marketing agency mdg. Along with directing marketing activities for The Inspired Home Show, she concepted, supervised a team of experts and wrote the inaugural 2020 IHA Market Watch report, which identified five macro consumer lifestyle trends that shape how, what and where home and housewares products are being purchased. As the architect of IHA Market Watch, Salamah has been a frequent speaker during industry webinars on consumer trends and led a Market Watch series examining shifts in the trends in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including implications for both suppliers and retailers.

Dr. Allen Shaw
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.

Anzio Williams
Senior Vice President, of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
NBCUniversal Local

Anzio Williams was previously the Vice President of News for NBC10 / WCAU and Telemundo62 / WWSI. In his current role, Williams will is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy that will make diversity and inclusion issues a top priority across NBCUniversal’s owned stations group. He will reports directly to Valari Staab, President of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations.

A respected broadcast professional with 27 years of experience, Williams has worked at TV stations all across the country and held numerous leadership roles with increasing responsibility all-the-while mentoring and coaching colleagues and journalists to help them advance in their careers. As Vice President of News for NBCUniversal’s Philadelphia stations, Williams played a key role in the stations’ successful move to their new state-of-the-art facility located within the Comcast Technology Center. He also spearheaded the integration and launch of WWSI, the Telemundo-owned station that has ranked as Philadelphia’s #1 most-watched Spanish-language TV station for local news among key demo groups for many years. At WCAU/WWSI, he’s managed the news teams’ coverage for the most impactful stories including the 2020 protests for social justice, the Eagle’s 2018 Superbowl win, the deadly Amtrak derailment, Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia, and Hurricane Sandy’s devastation and recovery efforts, among others.

Prior to joining NBCUniversal, he spent 12 years with Hearst Television working as News Director at KCRA in Sacramento and WDSU in New Orleans. At WDSU, he spearheaded the station’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the storm’s aftermath and multi-year recovery efforts. Before this, he worked as Assistant News Director at NBC affiliate stations in Orlando, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina. At WESH, he managed the team’s coverage for the biggest hurricane season in Florida while at WCNC he directed the team’s reporting on the Columbia Shuttle disaster. Before this, he oversaw newscasts and special sports programming for WLWT in Cincinnati, and managed weekend news coverage at WSVN in Miami. He launched his career in broadcast as a Sports and News Producer for WFMY in Greensboro, North Carolina.

A recipient of nine Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement, Best Newscast, Breaking News and Continuing Coverage, he was a member of news teams honored with six Edward R. Murrow and two George Foster Peabody Awards.

Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast News from North Carolina A&T University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Temple University’s Fox School of Business Executive MBA program. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the Urban League of Philadelphia, 100 Black Men of Philadelphia, and is a Board Member for the American Association of Diabetes Philadelphia Chapter.