• Professional Recognition: Cathy Breden

    As originally published on Dallas Business Journal


    Cathy Breden

    Chief Operating Officer at The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE)

    Cathy Breden is celebrating 20 years at IAEE, throughout which she has become an integral, dedicated addition to the organization’s executive team and a strong leader in the exhibitions industry. She is among the first supporters who helped establish the national Exhibitions Mean Business campaign.

  • Exhibitions Day from the Eyes of an Attendee

    By: Carrie Ferenac, President of CNTV


    That’s the best word I can come up with to describe how I feel after Exhibitions Day.  I was one of more than 100 professionals who met with members of Congress on the importance of our industry… and boy, is it important!

    First, we spent a few hours learning about the key issues with Roger Rickard and US Travel Association.  They know their stuff.   The issues were new to me, but by the end of the orientation, I was ready to rock ‘n roll.

    Bright and early, we headed to the Hill and had our first meeting with Senator Bill Nelson’s office.  The staffers were incredibly well versed, and open to our ideas.  We had a chance to thank them for supporting the Trade Promotion Authority, and to share our ideas about the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act and Open Skies.  (See why we needed an orientation??).


    We even got to meet with someone from Senator Marco Rubio’s office.   The guy is running for President, so I’m sure his staff is busy, but not too busy to hear about the importance of our industry.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if the leader of the free world supported exhibitions and events??


    I was so impressed with the Florida contingency. Brad Williams from SPI and Ryan Strowger with IAPPA are true professionals. They nailed it meeting after meeting.  They rattled off numbers about how their shows impact the Florida economy and made a real impression on the Florida delegation. I was in awe, and excited about the impact of their shows.  I grew up in Orlando, and now I’m a business owner there.  No doubt CNTV’s growth is directly related to the growth of the trade show industry, and the future looks bright.

    Throughout the day, we were joined by Scott Crawford from GES, Vinnie Polito and Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes from MDG, Wayne Crawford with CNTV and Rosa Mendoza from Ft. Lauderdale CVB. That’s an impressive group of people!

    We walked (and walked, and walked) from the Senate to the House and back, meeting with members of Congress about the importance of exhibitions and events.  Even got to ride the Senate Subway underground.  Who knew that was a thing??  Have you had lunch in the basement of the Senate?  I can now say I have!  I felt like a kid in a candy store, and I was making a difference.

    I’d like to thank David Dubois, Megan Tanel, Nicole Bowman and all the amazing folks at IAEE for organizing the event.  Their passion for the industry is contagious…. And, since they spearhead the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign throughout the year, there’s always time to get involved.  I’m proud to be an IAEE member, and more energized than ever about our incredible industry.

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