2011 Comes to a Close with Several Executive Changes

December 15, 2011

December may be a slower month for trade shows, but the executive shuffle was in overdrive, with several companies announcing promotions and new hires.

John P. Gallagher will take the reins as as president and CEO of Germany-based Messe Frankfurt's U.S. subsidiary Feb. 1. He will replace outgoing president and CEO David Audrain in the Atlanta office.

Gallagher previously was senior vice president at E.J. Krause & Associates, where he oversaw events such as plastimagen in Mexico (plastics), Pap for Russia (paper and pulp) and China Paper.

In his new role at Messe Frankfurt, he will be responsible for Messe Frankfurt’s U.S. events and for key account management of U.S. customers taking part in trade fairs in Frankfurt and at the company’s other locations around the world.

“We are delighted to have John Gallagher on board – an exhibition expert with years of experience and an in-depth knowledge of the North and Central American markets," said Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt,

1105 Media hired Daniel McKinnon as vice president of government events, which includes the annual flagship government technology FOSE show on tap April 3-5 at the Walter E. Washington (D.C.) Convention Center.

“We are delighted to welcome Daniel,” said Neal Vitale, president and CEO of 1105 Media. “After an outstanding career with Messe Frankfurt, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team.”

He added, “We look forward to his contributions as we expand our array of government-focused trade shows and conferences.” 

McKinnon previously was executive vice president of Messe Frankfurt and on the board of directors.

He also was executive director of international development at AmericasMart Atlanta, involved in the development of the MEDTRADE show and its parent, SEMCO Productions, and he worked in the Office of Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia.

“I am extremely excited and honored to join 1105 Media,” McKinnon said. “I am eager to work with the entire team in growing this already strong portfolio by applying the lessons and techniques that I have learned while producing successful events throughout my career.”

Matthew Rotchford, long-time sales and events manager for the Portland (Ore.) Expo Center, has been named facility director after a national industry search, according to Metro Visitor Venues, which oversees the center.  

He replaces former director Chris Bailey, who retired in September, after 17 years managing the regional venue.

Metro general manager of visitor venues Teri Dresler said the decision best supports the facility’s expansion into new markets.

“By far, Matthew demonstrated the perfect combination of drive, innovation, flexibility and financial stewardship for this position,” Dresler added. “The selection panel was wowed by his ideas, energy and enthusiasm, in addition to his commitment to staff, clients and the exhibitor industry overall.”

Since 2001, Rotchford has served as the primary manager in charge of sales, marketing, promotions and event coordination and is credited for building a solid book of business throughout his tenure and, more recently, maintaining business throughout the economic recession.

Prior to working at the expo center, Rotchford worked in the events department for the Oregon Convention Center, also managed under Metro’s visitor venues umbrella, as well as for a number of area nonprofit organizations, including Young Audiences of Oregon.

Alan Liebensohn was promoted last month to executive director of the New York International Automobile Show from his position of business manager, apost that he held for seven years. 

Prior to joining the auto show, Liebensohnwas a consultant in the trade show and exposition industry for companies such as George Little Management, Biz Bash Media, COSEP and Curves for Women.

In addition, Liebensohn previously was the director of conferences and trade shows for the gaming industry’s premier international trade show & conference, the World Gaming Congress & Expo. 

Liebensohn also previously held the position of assistant manager of event services at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in the 1980s, where the auto show is held.

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