People News: Los Angeles, Cleveland Venues Make new Hires, ReedPop & Connect Tap Talent

June 5, 2018

With the trade show industry continuing to grow, according to the latest Center for Exhibition Industry Research, there were plenty of new hires and promotions up the ranks recently.

The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), owned by the City of Los Angeles and managed by AEG Facilities, welcomed Nancy Walker as the new vice president of Sales and Marketing.

Walker joins the LACC with more than 20 years’ experience in the events and trade show industry, most recently as the director of sales, North America at Reed Travel Exhibitions.

Prior to her work with Reed, Walker was the vice president and associate publisher at Tradeshow Week Magazine.

“Nancy will be a great addition to the outstanding LACC sales and marketing team,” said Ellen Schwartz, assistant general manager at the LACC.

She added, “Her expertise and fresh perspective will strengthen our Sales and Marketing Department and the facility as a whole.”

The Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and the Global Center for Health Innovation, managed by SMG, appointed Travis Poppell as director of sales. Poppell will begin his new duties on June 4.

“Following an extensive national search, the Cleveland-based SMG team is delighted to welcome Travis to lead our successful sales team,” said Ron King, General Manager.

He added, “He brings more than 20 years of sales and leadership experiences across a broad spectrum within the convention and hotel industry. Travis has worked in sales and leadership positions in the convention center, hotel, and hospitality fields in Florida and Ohio and brings an extraordinary knowledge base to our facility at a time when we are experiencing extreme national and regional interest in our community as a convention destination.”

Poppell comes to the Huntington Convention Center after serving as director of sales at the International Exposition (I-X) Center for the past five years, developing and leading the facility’s sales and marketing efforts and recruiting and cultivating major trade shows, conventions,and large consumer events.

Connect has added Steven Hacker, formerly president of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, as executive director of Connect Expo.

Hacker joins the Connect team after a successful career as the CEO of several nonprofit associations.

His most recent position was as the principal of the Bravo Management Group, providing expertise to associations and event planners around the world. In his new role, Hacker will guide Connect Expo's growth as it continues to expand to serve the needs of the industry. 


"As a seasoned events professional with a reputation that precedes him, Hacker's experience and knowledge to Connect Expo comes with a warm welcome," said Chris Collinson, president of Connect.

The supervisory board of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH headed by its chairman Lord Mayor Thomas Geisel extended the contract of Werner M. Dornscheidt as president and CEO until June 30, 2020.

“It means a lot to me that I will be able to work for this company until 2020,” Dornscheidt said.

Brad Dean, CEO of the newly established Puerto Rico Destination Marketing Organization (“Corporación para la Promoción de Puerto Rico como Destino”), tapped Ed Carey as its chief sales officer, effective May 28.

Carey is the most recent executive to join the new DMO’s leadership team since Dean was appointed CEO in March 2018.

The new DMO will become the Island’s official off-Island sales and marketing organization effective July 1.

Reed Exhibitions brought on industry veteran and former head of marketing at Men’s Journal, Rob Weinstein, who will join the ReedPOP West leadership team.

Weinstein joins RXUS on the heels of the announcement of Ron Walden leading as group vice president overseeing the Fashion & Festival portfolios of ReedPOP West.

Weinstein will serve as vice president of Marketing heading ReedPOP West’s Marketing team, currently overseeing 5 events, which include Agenda Shows, Agenda Festival, ComplexCon and more to be announced.

The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau named Julie Calvert its new president and CEO.

Calvert currently is the founder and Executive Director of Source Cincinnati and returns to the CVB where she served as a senior executive from 2001-2016.

The announcement was made by CVB board chair Jim McGraw and comes after a months-long search by Minneapolis-based SearchWide, following the retirement of former CEO Dan Lincoln in December.

 AVIXA™, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, hired Hamlet Ambersoom as the organization's vice president of Sales and Marketing.

Ambarsoom will manage AVIXA's strategy for sales and marketing activities, ensuring growth in product and service areas.

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