Canadian Association of Exposition Management
ABOUT CAEM MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARDS * 2010 Associate Member of the Year Award

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2010 Associate Member of the Year Award

Leslie Bruce, CEM

Director of Sales, International Centre

Introduction by Sonia Moffatt, CEM
(2009 Member of the Year Award Recipient)
I am pleased and honoured to be making the presentation for Associate Member of the Year and I thank CAEM and the nominating committee for giving me this opportunity.
This year’s recipient has a career that spans 20 years in our industry and most of those years have been spent as a volunteer on various CAEM committees.
This person is an industry leader and well-known associate member, who has offered their expertise generously and without thought as to whether she was their supplier of choice. This individual is a partner with clients always looking for innovative ways to offer better service and thereby ensuring success for all involved. She holds a senior management position in our industry and has brought much recognition, honour, and business to her company. She is the first to offer support to CAEM whether through services or sponsorship – a testament to her dedication to the association and what it stands for.
She works tirelessly behind the scenes, never saying no to any volunteer request. Through the years she has served on countless CAEM committees, education, conference and many others, never expecting recognition or reward.
However, tonight we are here to acknowledge and applaud her more recent achievements.
This past year she has co-chaired the Membership Committee, assisting in increasing membership and in driving a campaign to add a more national profile to the membership roster.
She is a dedicated hardworking member of the Board of Directors and chairs both the Associates and Facilities Committees often chairing these meetings early in the morning at the CAEM Conference after a late night of networking – of course the late nights are all in the line of duty. She does all this work with a warmth and friendliness that is renowned.
In her spare time she increased her knowledge and expertise and received her CEM designation.
Despite the many demands she is also a dedicated friend to a large social circle, a caring and concerned daughter, sister and aunt to her family and with a few moments left over for her proud partner.
She is a consummate professional who maintains a positive can-do attitude no matter what the circumstances. Whether on the job, a CAEM committee, the golf course, the ski slopes or at the cottage she brings the same enthusiasm and warmth.
She is a dedicated volunteer and someone I am proud to call my friend. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me, the Nominating Committee and the CAEM Board of Directors in thanking and congratulating, from the International Centre --- Leslie Bruce, CEM.

Leslie's Acceptance Speech

In words made famous by another famous blonde, "There is no business like show business". And believe me, there is no other business I know.
It was 20 yrs ago that Bud Rodda, GM of the International Centre offered me a position as a Junior Account Executive.  He told me that this business either “gets in your blood and you stick with a lifetime”, or, you realize it's not for you, and you make a quick exit.
We all know weekends are a big part of this business; I will always remember my first weekend. I came in on a Saturday to work the Motorcycle Show......I was as green as they come, and as I was walking down the aisle, a rather large "biker dude" jumped in the middle of the aisle.  He had a long ZZ Top style beard, and his shirt read, "Batman is a Fag"!  He picked me up off my feet, swung me around and shouted, "honey, you're riding with me this weekend"!  And that was my introduction to "show business’; 20 years later, it's still in my blood!!  Imagine how different my life might have been had I gone riding with biker dude that weekend instead.
It didn’t take me long to realize that this business isn’t all about renting space and scheduling events.  It’s the people that make it a great business. 

I attended my 1st CAEM Conference held at the Hotel Admiral, where I was introduced to a lot of people in the industry and remember thinking what a dynamic group of very interesting people, many of whom are my friends to this day …………and trust me, most of them are quite interesting!!!!  But I won’t mention any names!!!
I have attended every CAEM conference since then and every year, come away from it benefiting from the educational sessions, networking sessions along with the golf, horseback riding and jet boating sessions and the odd “cosmopolitan” debriefing session at the end of the day!

It didn’t take Sonia Moffat, long to invite me to join the education committee.  As many of you might know, Sonia is a hard person to say “No” to, and obviously I didn’t. Many committees later, well, the rest is history……

For the past couple of years, I have had the pleasure of Co- Chairing the Membership Committee with Jai Cole, and more recently, with Carol Bell Lenoury and Peter Bowie. Along with our committee members, and the dynamic CAEM team .........Serge, Michael and Christiane, I have gained invaluable experience and gained new friends.  I   also sit on the Board for CAEM ................. But this doesn't come without the support of my colleagues............for, while I was offsite at a committee meeting, or at an all day strategy planning session with the Board, it was my wonderful colleagues who "held fort" for me!!!  I have been so fortunate to work with a great group of women in the Sales Department....... Sandra Martin; Rita Medynski, Myrna Rumas, Lee-Anne Leckie, Nadena Singh, Carine Jamison and Emily Whiteside.   Then there is Joanne Attard, who has been my CAEM "conference buddy" and my sidekick at those 7am Facility Meetings that come far to early following a late night of  "networking”.  As I facilitated the meeting, Joanne was kind enough to offer to take minutes.  Not much fun at that time of day, but I thank-you Joanne!
 And of course, there are 2 men that I must thank for being supportive over the years; Ron Bentley who I have had the pleasure of working many weekends and evenings with, and   Michael Prescott, for recognizing the value of CAEM and affording me the time to participate and contribute.
I encourage all of you who are sitting in this room tonight who are not currently members to become members……but don’t just join, participate!!! There are many committees and opportunities that can benefit from your talents and help make this business more fun and rewarding for all of us.  We can all use the excuse that we are to "busy"... I assure you the benefits outweigh the  commitment. Besides, this is your business!
I am truly honored to receive this award recognizing my commitment to CAEM over the past year. It is a big deal for me to be recognized by my peers, for   there are so many members that have also volunteered their time to make this association what it is today and who deserve this award as much as me.  Having said that, I will keep it and cherish it!!

There are a few people I need to also thank, who are my family outside of the International Centre, for they have been encouraging, supportive and understanding of "me" over the years; Gail Bernstein, who is currently enjoying an extended golf vacation in Florida, my sister Sandy Gordon and my long time friend, John Jenner, who have both joined me tonight and my partner in crime Lindsay Gillespie, who unfortunately couldn't be with me tonight as he is in Memphis attending a trade show
Once again, thank-you for the recognition!