New Biz Deals: ASG, RJ Whyte, The Rogers Company and More Make Acquisitions, Form New Partnerships

November 12, 2021

New business agreements and acquisitions are starting to pick up speed this fall as the trade show and events industry continues its gradual comeback. Take a look!

Association Services Group Transfers Ownership

LaGrange, Ga.-based association management company Association Services Group (ASG) recently transitioned ownership from Owner and President Charles Hall to existing management partners and veteran association management professionals, Caitlin Hyatt, Samantha Kilgore and Katie Oxford. 

Oxford, who began her career in association management in 2013 and most recently served as ASG’s director of operations, will take the helm as ASG’s new CEO, while Hyatt and Kilgore will assume the roles of chief client officer and chief marketing officer, respectively.  

As CCO, Hyatt will direct client relations, partnerships and the leadership training and development of ASG’s team of more than 30 employees. She joined the ASG team in 2012 after gaining experience in the association management field working for Atlanta-based international management firm Kellen Company. Hyatt has also served as an account manager for several national professional societies and trade organizations.  

As CMO, Kilgore will direct ASG brand development and develop overall client communication strategies. She began her tenure at ASG as an intern in 2012 and now serves as an account manager for a range of organizations. 

Hall, who founded the company in 1995, will continue to serve as a senior liaison to ASG client partners as he prepares for retirement in 2022. 

“We strategically began this process in 2017, and ASG is now blessed with new, dynamic ownership dedicated to taking the company to the next level of service,” Hall said. “I am totally confident Katie, Caitlin and Samantha have the commitment to quality client service that has been the hallmark of ASG over the past 26 years.” 

RJ Whyte Event Production Acquires BRAVO! Events

Nancy Schaffer

RJ Whyte Event Production recently acquired BRAVO! Events, a national creative events and strategic experiential company founded by CEO Nancy Shaffer in 1997. As part of the agreement, Shaffer will transition into the leadership role of chief creative officer. 

A veteran of the special events industry, Shaffer brings 30 years of experience producing visionary creative designs for clients around the country to the RJ Whyte team. An outspoken advocate for her peers and partners, she serves as board president for the National Live Events Coalition and is a founding member of the DC Events Coalition.  

The acquisition and its new senior leadership will enable RJ Whyte to not only deliver venues, vendors and VIPs savvy, detail-oriented productions, but also increase its capability to build new and dynamic special event experiences, according to company officials.


Convention Data Services Establishes Partnership with APPA

Convention Data Services (CDS) has been tapped by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) to provide full-service registration, integrations and lead management for its flagship event, Global Pet Expo, for three years through 2024. 

“We are excited to begin our partnership with APPA…on their premier events,” said David Lawton, CDS chief sales officer. “We are honored that they placed their trust in us for the next three years, and we will offer best practices, robust reporting and analytics, and seamless integration with their systems, which are essential to delivering a superior visitor experience.”

As the largest annual trade show and conference for the $100 billion pet industry, Global Pet Expo is set to take place for the next three years at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. 

“Global Pet Expo is excited to be working with CDS as our registration vendor,” said Andy Darmohraj, executive vice president and COO at APPA, the leading trade association for the pet industry. “This partnership will allow us to provide the world-class experience and level of service our attendees have come to expect.”  

The Rogers Company Acquires Lucarelli Designs and Displays

The Rogers Company, an award-winning designer and manufacturer of branded environments, recently acquired Lucarelli Designs and Displays, provider of design, fabrication and production services of custom trade show exhibits, corporate interiors and meeting spaces. The acquisition will enable continued growth while providing additional products and services to Lucarelli’s customer base. 

“This acquisition greatly expands our product and services offering,” said Bill Lucarelli, former president of Lucarelli Designs and Displays, now senior account executive at The Rogers Company. “We are confident this merger will better serve our clients now and in the future.”

Founded in 1945 by scenic artist Van Rogers, The Rogers Company owns and operates more than 165,000 square feet of storage and fabrication space in Mentor, Ohio, and Las Vegas. 

Both based in greater Cleveland, Rogers and Lucarelli have more than proximity and industry in common. Dan Lucarelli, who founded Lucarelli Designs and Displays in 1981, got his start in the industry when Rogers hired him as a designer and sales representative in the 1970s. In keeping with this tradition, Rogers hired the entire Lucarelli staff as part of the acquisition. 

“We greatly value the existing relationships between the Lucarelli team and its clients,” said Rick Busby, president of The Rogers Company. “Bringing Bill Lucarelli and his team over to Rogers was a given.” 

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