People News: Trade Show Companies Add to Their Ranks

September 18, 2015

Fall is a busy time in more ways than one in the trade show industry and several companies recently added to their ranks.

The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau appointed Doug Bennett as senior vice president of Convention Development. He replaces Jennifer Barnett who retired from the position after 22 years of service.           

Bennett’s 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.

Bennett has worked in the hospitality industry for 32 years. Prior to coming to the Louisville Bureau, Bennett was director of sales for the Central Division of Global Experience Specialists (GES). 

Before GES, he worked at the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association as vice president of sales and for 8 years as Director of Sales & Marketing for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.  Through his past work experiences, Bennett also has worked with the NFL and the Super Bowl, the NCAA and many national trade shows through his work with GES. 

“Louisville is positioned for phenomenal growth in the convention market with the expansion of the downtown convention center, a growing number of top hotel inventory and new attractions,” said Cleo Battle, LCVB’s executive vice president.  “Doug’s extensive background with hotels, destination management and large national tradeshows will help guide our sales effort to drive business to our transforming destination.”

Bennett added, "I am very excited to join the Louisville team. The city’s future is growing as it adds some very important and game-changing assets to its hospitality infrastructure.”

Another industry veteran, Richard Staub, recently was hired by the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau as senior vice president of Convention Sales.

A hotel industry veteran with more than two decades of experience, Staub will lead the PHLCVB’s convention sales and services team in achieving booking goals by proactively positioning and marketing Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Convention Center to prospective convention groups. He will begin work at the PHLCVB in September.
Staub comes to the PHLCVB after a dynamic career, most recently serving as the Managing Director/General Manager of Philadelphia’s second largest hotel, the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown.

Prior to that, Staub held the same position at the Loews Philadelphia for seven years.

“We are absolutely thrilled that after a rigorous nationwide search, Rick will be joining our team in this very important role,” said PHLCVB President and VEO Jack Ferguson. “We worked closely with Rick in his previous positions at the Sheraton and Loews and his ability to be a diplomatic consensus builder, successfully managing relationships with various stakeholders, in addition to his knowledge of Philadelphia’s hospitality landscape, were key factors in his hiring. Rick is an incredible asset to our team and our clients can be assured that they are in great hands.” 

Staub added, “I am looking forward to working with Jack, Julie and the PHLCVB team to bring even more business to Philadelphia. It’s an exciting time to be in this city, and with the changes at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and our continued evolution as a destination of international appeal, I am eager to help Philadelphia build upon its success in this highly competitive market.”  

Shannon McDaniel is bringing her operations expertise and leadership to The Expo Group, where she will serve as a National Account Director from the Washington D.C. office.

“We are happy to add Shannon to our team as we continue to acquire top industry talent and position The Expo Group for continued strategic growth in the coming years,” said The Expo Group Vice President and COO Randy Pekowski. “Shannon is not just well-known, but well-respected for her commitment to clients, team-first attitude and deep understanding of this business.”

Many recognize Shannon from her 24 years of experience in the industry, most recently as COO for a general contractor, where she was responsible for all facets of operations and personnel management and oversaw a key acquisition.

Prior to that, Shannon was a director of Account Management, handling several multi-million dollar accounts.

Freeman promoted two executives up the ranks:

Richard Maranville was upped to executive vice president and chief digital officer. Freeman has made this important move in support of its ongoing strategy to harness big data and digital technology to bring new products, services, and insights to the expanding brand experience market, according to company officials.

Michelle Johnson was promoted to CIO of Freeman, a move that is a natural evolution of her responsibilities as CIO of Freeman’s Audio Visual division where a number of the company’s technology offerings reside.

SmartSource Computer & Audio Visual Rentals appointed Chris Andrews as an account executive serving in the company Exhibit Data Services Team.

In his new role, Andrews will be leveraging his in-depth knowledge in the registration and lead capture field to help SmartSource Rentals continue to grow its market share in the competitive conference, exposition and meeting planning industry.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact