People News: New Hires At Boulder CVB, SmartSource, IAAPA and More

September 9, 2021

From new leadership appointments to newly created positions designed to grow and expand burgeoning departments, trade show and event professionals are continuing to find new career opportunities as the industry forges ahead toward recovery. Here’s the latest news:

Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau

After 20 years with the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau, CEO Mary Ann Mahoney will retire on Oct. 15, 2021. Charlene Hoffman, the CVB’s current operations and financial officer, will assume the CEO role on Oct. 16.

A valued leader in Colorado’s tourism industry who has mentored a generation of tourism professionals in her 40-year hospitality career, Mahoney joined the Boulder CVB in 2001, and during her time, transformed the organization into one of the city’s most effective economic vitality contributors. In 2019, she was awarded the Boulder Chamber’s Celebration of Leadership President’s Award of Distinction, as well as the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to Colorado Tourism.   

Since joining the CVB in 2014, Hoffman has played an integral role in advancing its strategic priorities, overall impact and daily operations. She brings more than 25 years of diverse experience in senior level management and ownership roles in sales, marketing, management, business development, finance and business operations to her new leadership role.  


Leading business and events technology solutions provider SmartSource, an ABCOM Technology Group company, has appointed Tom Shanley as senior vice president, technology services, responsible for leading the further growth and expansion of the company’s Managed Information Technology (IT) Services. In his new role, Shanley will be directing SmartSource’s team of IT professionals to provide vital services, from help desk support to rapid deployment of equipment and ensuring customer data protection.

Shanley brings more than two decades of high-level IT technical and professional services experience to his new role. His in-depth skill set encompasses business process design, cloud computing, business intelligence, data center management and Windows Server and virtualization, among other areas of expertise. 

Prior to joining SmartSource, Shanley was vice president of information technology with the Greater Nevada Credit Union, where he was responsible for the financial institution’s broad IT operations. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president of professional services at Logically, an IT outsourcing and consulting firm that acquired his former employer, IQ Technology Solutions.  


IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, has hired Patrick Haller as vice president of global marketing, communications and membership. Bringing an extensive background in association marketing, strategic planning and management to his new role, he will lead the association’s global marketing, communications and membership strategy and plan implementation. 

With more than 15 years of association marketing and communications experience, Haller most recently served as senior director of membership and member services at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) in Washington, D.C. where he was responsible for growing the association’s membership, expanding membership value and deepening its relationships and engagement with members. Prior to joining NBAA, he served as strategy director for member and component support at the American Institute of Architects. 


Global experiential marketing partner GES Events has appointed Eugenio Callejas as director digital technologies. In this newly created position, he will focus on further expanding the company’s digital offerings as events move from virtual to hybrid, and live events include more digital components.  

Callejas has been designing experiences since 2001 and brings extensive expertise in digital media, platforms and solutions, as well as deep knowledge of both technological aspects and design, to his new role. He has created enterprise-level applications for Fortune 500 companies including GM, Ford, Toyota, Dell, IBM and Abbott Pharmaceuticals, and is an expert at 3D design, video and motion graphics, as well as various media servers and open web standards. 

Main Light

Live entertainment technology and equipment rental partner Main Light has made two new hires to bolster its burgeoning Main Light West location in Las Vegas.

As the company’s new rental executive, Steve Nancarrow is responsible for business development and client interfacing with professional production companies on the West Coast. Nancarrow previously worked for 27 years at PRG Las Vegas, most recently holding the position of entertainment lighting representative.

Mike Gaynor has been tapped to serve as operations manager. A third-generation member of the live entertainment industry, he brings a depth of experience to his new role, with logistics and assistant operations manager positions at 4Wall Entertainment and prior to that, as operations manager at Christie Lites in Las Vegas.  

Louisville Tourism

Louisville Tourism has appointed 24-year hospitality industry veteran Sonia Fong as senior vice president of convention development. Her responsibilities include managing the convention sales team to achieve annual room night goals, developing and implementing the convention sales and marketing plan, outlining specific sales objectives and priorities for the convention sales staff and establishing sales policies and procedures to maximize Louisville as a convention destination. 

Prior to coming to the Louisville CVB, Fong served as vice president of convention sales and services for the Greater Miami CVB, where she worked for 21 years in a variety of sales positions with additional responsibilities overseeing their Washington, D.C., regional sales office. Prior to the Miami CVB, she worked in several Marriott properties and the Biltmore Hotel, all in the Miami area, and has worked with many high-profile groups and national trade shows. 

The CVB also recently hired Elizabeth Berry as director of Northeast sales, responsible for Northeast sales territories. She brings an extensive sales background in the meetings and event industry to her new role, including nine years working for the Baltimore Convention Center, most recently as the assistant director of sales. 

Based in Baltimore, Berry is responsible for promoting and selling Louisville as a convention, meeting and trade show destination to Washington, Maryland and Virginia area-based national associations, government organizations and corporations. She will also serve as the official representative for Louisville Tourism in the Washington market and act as a liaison between the Louisville DMO, hotels, convention facilities and potential clients. 

Epiphan Video 

Video capture and streaming products provider Epiphan Video has appointed Nic Milani as vice president of marketing and business development, responsible for shaping the company’s marketing strategy, product development, customer success and growth. He succeeds David Kirk, who is moving to an advisory role with the company.

Milani brings a history of leadership in a variety of industries to his new role. As director of technology solutions at Herman Miller, he led the development of a workplace technology strategy that produced a patent for the company’s IoT (Internet of Things) smart furnishing. More recently, Milani spearheaded Crestron Electronics’ transition to SaaS, an initiative that earned the company Microsoft Global Partner of the Year for IoT.

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Partner Voices
Dallas already boasts 35,000 hotel rooms, award-winning global cuisine, and a walkable downtown. But we are just getting started. Visit Dallas is thrilled to announce that the city of Dallas is doubling down with a massive new convention center and entertainment district. Featuring 800,000 square feet of exhibit area, 260,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 170,000 square feet of ballroom. The center will connect business travelers with dining and shopping options in the popular Cedars District means more places to get down to business, and even more ways to unwind. “Dallas is already a great meetings and conventions destination, with the accessibility of two major airports, affordable labor, and an outstanding hotel product,” said D. Bradley Kent, Visit Dallas senior vice president and chief sales officer. “The new center and Convention Center District will enhance Dallas’ competitive position and are exactly what our customers’ need and have been asking for." What’s New – AT&T Discovery District Located in the heart of Downtown Dallas, this new district on the AT&T corporate campus is tailor-made for groups of all sizes. It boasts a multi-sensory experience, including outdoor event space, the AT&T Theater, and multiple dining outlets including JAXON Beer Garden and The Exchange, a bustling food hall. Hotels Coming Soon Names like the JW Marriott (Downtown), lnterContinental Dallas (Uptown), and Hotel Swexan (Uptown) are adding luxury amenities and bountiful event spaces. The projects will debut in 2023 and beyond. JW Marriott This new, 15-story, 283-room hotel will open in the heart of the city’s downtown Arts District this year. The property features a 25,000-square-foot grand ballroom, as well as a spa, restaurant, lobby bar, fitness center, and a rooftop pool deck and bar. InterContinental Dallas  Located in Cityplace Tower in Uptown, InterContinental Dallas will feature sweeping panoramic views of the Dallas skyline. Guests will enjoy spacious, high-end rooms and amenities, including more than 21,000 square feet of event space.   Hotel Swexan Hotel Swexan, a new, 22-story luxury property, is rising in Uptown’s Harwood District and will make its mark on the Dallas skyline. Opening this year, it is a sculptural building with cantilevered upper floors, as well as a 75-foot rooftop infinity-edge swimming pool and a hidden underground lounge.