2010 Industry Builder Hall of Fame Inductee
President, Master Promotions Ltd.
Introduction by Jennifery Allaby
It is an honour for me to introduce CAEM’s Inaugural Hall of Fame Industry Builder recipient. When I was asked to do this I honestly thought it would be easy because I’ve known this person for many years and have worked closely with him. When I sat down and started to draft my words, I starting thinking about what I should say and what I shouldn’t say. For those who know me you know the line between should and shouldn’t is usually blurry or virtually non existent…so here goes…
For me our inductee embodies what it means to be an entrepreneur. He is stubborn, not afraid to share his opinion, not always politically correct and I mean all of these things in the best possible way---he is also driven, determined, fearless, decisive, focused, a leader, a survivor and a risk taker. I think it is safe to say it is these entrepreneurial qualities that have gotten him where he is today.
Like many entrepreneurs, his start was small...literally from a makeshift office in his basement. He took advantage of an opportunity and slowly but surely grew his business from one show in a small Maritime city to a stable that today represents about 40 shows across Canada, managed from offices on both coasts.
This didn’t happen overnight, expansion began in the Maritimes and as the years passed and the successes grew, creating shows across the country seemed to be the logical next step. In his nearly 30 years in the trade show business there have been many ups and downs, a lot of lessons learned, new and creative avenues explored and a tremendous amount of growth. This growth has included significant new show creation as well as the purchase of a number of highly respected shows in the Maritimes, Ontario and most recently in BC. Today, as a result, our inductee helms a company with a reputation for producing high quality, focused and very successful events.
One would think this would be enough to keep you busy – but not him – over the years he has created a full service printing company, as well as what has become Atlantic Canada’s top show services contractor. He takes the guide on the side approach to both of these businesses because as he has said to me on more than one occasion, his true passion lies in producing and managing trade shows.
The Hall of Fame Industry Builder Award is not about contributions to CAEM, in fact, to win it you do not even need to be a member – it is about an individual’s contribution to our industry. The fact that our inductee has built one of Canada’s largest independent trade show companies from the ground up while remaining based in the Maritimes makes him deserving of this honour, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention his involvement in CAEM. He has been a member for over a decade, a regular attendee at our annual conference, a sponsor and a Conference Co Chair. Like so many employers he has encouraged his employees’ CAEM volunteer efforts, in his case however he went a little bit further by supporting a former employees’ habit of flying to Toronto for board meetings and other CAEM related business by footing the bill for countless plane tickets and hotel stays….and for that I am grateful and it has not been forgotten.
So without further adieu…please join me in welcoming our 2010 Hall of Fame Industry Builder – from Master Promotions - Wendell Howes.
Wendell's Acceptance Speech
It is very gratifying to receive this award for an industry which I have spent most of my life in and from a career path that has been very rewarding. None of the success which our group of companies are fortunate to have would have been possible without some key individuals who helped the growth and stability we have managed to reach over the last quarter century. One of the individuals who has made this possible is on the stage with me and I would like to thank Jennifer Allaby for her role in obtaining this award. I would also like to mention that I have still not forgiven David LaForty for taking her out of the Maritimes. There are a number of other people in our organization that most poeole in this room may not know such as Keith Peacock, Sheri Black, Gordon O'Neill, Amy Bovaird, Catherine MacNutt and Jeff Lacey who are all part of our management team. As well as our great show management team of Brian McKiel, Mark Cusack, Rob Etmanksi, Ron Lockhart, Scott Sprague, Bev Campbell, Shawn Murphy and Jill Stanley who are dedicated to the values of our company and to their customer.
All successful businesses need partners which they can count on on an ongoing basis and we have been blessed with having great working partnerships with many outstanding suppliers.
Thank you International Centre , Olympic Stadium, Tradex, Expocite, Moncton Coliseum, Exhibition Park, Halifax, Trade Centre Limited, Harbour Station, Charlottetown Civic Centre as well as companies such as Stronco, GES, Showtech, GSS Security, Bruno Tessier, Lange and BBW only to highlight a few.
I dedicate this award to these people and this group of partners.
Last but not least I would like to thank my family for their support over the years.
Thank you CAEM and thank you very much to the people who nominated me for this award.
Have a great night!!