IAEE Unveils 2012 Individual Award Winners; Gary Sain Named Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

September 17, 2012

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events recently unveiled this year’s recipients of the IAEE Individual Awards.


IAEE’s awards program recognizes professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the exhibitions and events industry.


The winners will be honored at the IAEE Annual Networking Luncheon and Awards Presentation to be held during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition Dec. 4-6 in Orlando.

"The IAEE Awards Committee looks forward to recognizing these outstanding individuals during Expo! Expo!," said 2012 IAEE Awards Committee Chair Lenay Gore.


She added, "They embody the hard work and dedication that keeps our industry growing and evolving. They truly exemplify the gold standard of excellence. We encourage members to continue to support the IAEE Awards Program so we may continue to recognize colleagues deserving of these top honors."

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has changed, during the course of his or her career, the direction of the industry and has made a significant impact on how the industry operates. It is presented to individuals who have served in the industry for many years and may only be bestowed upon an individual nominated by the IAEE Awards Committee or Board of Directors.


This year, the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award is Gary Sain, former CEO and president of Visit Orlando, who has been selected for his considerable contributions and support of IAEE, and the exhibitions and events industry.

Sain was president and CEO of the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. (Orlando CVB) where he was responsible for leading the organization that markets and sells the Orlando area before his untimely death early in 2012.


 He was a leading figure in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry and was frequently seen in the media touting the benefits of travel, and the industry’s importance to the economy as a vehicle for economic development and prosperity.


He was recognized for his leadership as one of the 25 most powerful people, forces or trends in the meetings industry by MeetingNews magazine (2007 and 2008); and as Orlando’s most influential tourism executive by Orlando Business Journal (2008).

"Those who knew Gary Sain understand how his unique and passionate commitment to, and enthusiasm for, our industry have made it a much better place," said IAEE President Steven Hacker, CAE, FASAE. "His contributions have been extraordinary and we are all grateful to have known him."

The following outstanding individuals were selected for recognition:

The Pinnacle Award (formerly known as the William Hunt Eisenman Award) recognizes an individual who, over the years, has furthered IAEE's objectives of advancing exposition management through the promotion of education, the dissemination of knowledge and the introduction or development of innovative techniques, and who has been dedicated to the perpetuation of the highest ideals, trust and professionalism in this highly specialized field.


This year’s recipient is Patricia Farias Barlow, CEM, CEO of the Puerto Vallarta/International Convention Center and CEO of Farias Global Expos.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to an IAEE member in recognition of his or her service rendered to IAEE and to the exhibitions and events industry as a whole. This year’s recipient is Jennifer Hoff, CEM, general manager of VP International.

The Merit Award recognizes those whose ideas and/or work have benefited IAEE as an organization in some special way and is generally reserved for those who have stepped forward at the chapter/local level. This year’s recipient is Jeff Mellin, associate director of sales at the Georgia World Congress Center.

The Educator of the Year Award honors IAEE members who possess outstanding creativity, a positive attitude and the ability to transfer knowledge through good communication skills and innovative teaching to promote life-long learning to exhibitions and events industry professionals. This year’s recipient is Mark Roysner, ESQ.

The Committee/Task Force Volunteer of the Year Award honors an individual who has dedicated his or her time to the progress and fulfillment of the charge of a committee or task force on which he or she serves. This year’s recipient is Rob Hamlin, president and CEO of MarketArt.

The Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have made an extraordinary personal or professional commitment that materially contributes to the advancement of the exhibitions and events industry. This year’s recipient is Errol Ahearn, vice president, Executive Administration – Design at Global Experience Specialists (GES).

The Outstanding Achievement in Marketing & Sales Award recognizes outstanding achievements by show management in marketing and sales activities such as total event revenue and profit, attendance, exhibit space sales, advertising revenue and sponsorship revenue. Merit is based on achievement of defined objectives, including measurable comparable metrics. This year’s winners are NAPE Expo: Traci Cook Lee (director) and Michelle Raczynski (event specialist) and PROCESS EXPO 2011.

The Young Professional of the Year Award honors individuals in the exhibitions and events industry 40 years of age or younger. The award recognizes excellent professional performance by someone who has committed his/her time to advancing the standing of young professionals in our industry. This year’s recipients are Lauren Bauer, national sales manager at Shepard Exposition Services; Kristy Breaux, director of Computers and Expositions at the Texas Computer Education Association; and Mary Higham, CEM, manager, Exhibits at ASIS International.

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