People News: January Kicks Off with Bevy of New Hires

February 6, 2013

The month of January signaled a continued positive trend in the trade show industry – several suppliers and show management companies added to their employee ranks.

George Little Management named Craig Dooley to senior vice president and group show director, IR Events Group, effective Feb. 4. Working from GLM's downtown Chicago office, Dooley will report directly to GLM’s CEO Charles McCurdy.

In this newly created role, Dooley will oversee the strategy, operations, and expansion – including conference development, sales, marketing, financial management, operations and total show administration – of the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, Internet Retailer Mobile Marketing & Commerce Forum and the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference, which GLM recently acquired.

Further, he will lead the expansion of the IR Events Group through collocations with GLM shows, including the recently announced Internet Retailer event at Surf Expo, as well as anticipated freestanding IRCE-style events in North America, Asia and Europe.

Dooley also will be responsible for management of the existing IR Events team, which will remain in place.

"We are excited to welcome Craig to the senior management team at GLM," McCurdy said. "His extensive knowledge of the events business, from both the conference and exhibition perspectives, as well as his deep experience within both the vendor-to-retailer world and the technology space, will be integral to realizing the full potential of the IR Events Group. GLM aims to enhance efficiencies in the sourcing, sales and distribution of specialty merchandise throughout the supply chain, and Craig will play a key role in supporting this mission."

Veteran hospitality executive Roberta Rinker-Ludloff has been named senior vice president, sales and client services of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LA Tourism).

“Roberta is an accomplished hospitality and tourism industry executive, having spent her entire career in sales and marketing positions with top hotel brands and destination management organizations,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., the bureau’s new president and CEO.

He added, “She has a proven ability to build customer relationships and develop unique sales initiatives to drive sales both domestically and internationally. As we work to capitalize on all of the exciting new developments in Los Angeles and to capture more domestic and international sales opportunities, especially from Asia, Roberta’s expertise makes her ideal to lead LA Tourism’s selling efforts.”

Rinker-Ludloff has spent more than 30 years in executive-level sales and marketing roles with such well-known hotel brands as Hilton Hotels Corporation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, and ITT Sheraton Corporation, along with destination management leadership at the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. 

The California Market Center (CMC) recently appointed gift & home industry veteran Debra Gold, president of Gold & Company, as the strategic communications consultant for Gift & Home, and Design, at the CMC.

In her new position, Gold will lend her expertise to a variety of strategic communications projects designed to build brand awareness and media relations for the California Market Center’s Gift & Home areas on floors 12 and 13, C-Wing, and the Design Center on the CMC’s 9th floor, C-Wing.

“We are thrilled to have Debra join the CMC team,” stated Gerry Seibel, Vice President of New Business Development. “Gold & Company is a highly respected marketing and brand communications firm in the industry, and Debra has unrivaled experience in the Los Angeles marketplace, having consulted for the California Gift Show, the L.A. Mart, and the California Market Center over the past 25 years.” 

The ACTIVE Network, the leaders in cloud-based Activity and Participant Management (APM) solutions, hired travel, hospitality, and meetings industry veteran, Rick Binford, CMP, as part of its Business Solutions Group as vice president, strategic marketplace development.

In this role, Binford will further ACTIVE Network’s commitment to deliver solutions and programs that help drive growth for suppliers and intermediaries and foster strategic partnerships with industry innovators to enable smart events for customers  globally.

“ACTIVE Network’s Business Solutions Group is committed to adding value to our supplier and partner networks by expanding our team to include the best and brightest thought leaders in the industry,” said JR Sherman, senior vice president of Business Solutions at ACTIVE Network.

He added, “Rick not only has a passion for the business, but a proven track record of moving the industry forward. Having come from the partner side of the business, he clearly understands the needs and objectives of our partners, and we are excited to welcome him to our team.”

With more than 20 years of executive sales, marketing, business development and leadership experience across multiple sectors of the meetings and events industry, Binford most recently served as president of the Event Management Services division at Experient, North America’s largest full -service event management services provider.

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