Thank you, Anita for those kind words and it is indeed an honour to receive this Associate Member of the Year Award from CAEM and the Nominating Committee. Quelle surprise!! Well, that covers the bi-lingual section of this speech.
41 years ago this April, April 4th to be exact, I worked at my 1st Trade Show. That seems like a very long time to be involved in the service side of our stressful Industry but believe me, it’s been terrific and I know that I still have a number of years left in me.
Simply said, everyday there are new challenges to face, new people to meet, and I still enjoy the excitement surrounding deadlines, and my goal to serve and exceed client’s expectations is still of the utmost importance to me.
Surprisingly, I have been a part of CAEM since it began in 1976 as the ACTE (Association of Consumer and Trade Exhibitions). The original meetings were held at the NEW Sheraton Centre Hotel on Queen Street and consisted of some business discussion, a few cold ones and a song or two from Jack Maclean on
the Hotel piano.
Well, CAEM has certainly matured. Today, it is a vibrant group, concentrating on Education for the members but still retaining those necessary networking opportunities. If you are here tonight and not a member consider joining, and if you are a member please get involved in the Association. Volunteer your time. It is rewarding and educational as well.
I have served as a Board Member, a Committee Member, as Emcee for Sports Day, as a Conference Committee Member and in 2010 as Co-Chair of the CAEM Kelowna Annual Conference.
It was due to my Kelowna involvement that this honour has been bestowed on me. But it would not have been possible without the assistance of the many others involved in “Catching the Energy” in Kelowna. I must thank my Co-Chairs, Kevin Legallis and Mark Romanowicz. My Committee Co-Chairs Lisa McDonald and Mary Anne Weber on Education, Trish Hayter and Mike Russell on Promotion , Vali Marling and Robert Halasz on the Social Scene, Adam Robinson and Calvin Goodkey on the Trade Show and last but not least Jennifer Allaby, definitely my better half on the Sponsorship Committee. My thanks of course extend to all the other members who worked with these people on each committee.
Special thanks to Serge, Michael, and Christiane of our CAEM office. Their tireless efforts and organizational skills made the lives of all the members working on the event significantly better.
I must say that many among this group could have been up here in my place, equally deserving of this award , however, considering my age I’m sure the Awards Committee thought “better give it to him this time”... you never know if......well you know what they thought.
So, in closing, I want to say thank you for this honour. In 1999, I was humbled to have been elected as an Associate Member to the CAEM Hall of Fame but believe me this honour tonight, the Associate Member of the Year is just as exciting.... some of you may think that I received these awards in reverse but the truth is just like Benjamin Button. I’m not getting older..... so it all works. If CAEM can wait for it, one day I will be at a first timers’ reception.
This speech would not be complete without a thank you to my Employer, The Commerce Trade Show Logistics Group Ltd who has always supported CAEM and allowed me the time to serve. The final thank you goes to my beautiful wife, Gail. She is here tonight doing what she has done for the past 33 years, offering me her full support and love as I continue to muddle through my CAEM career.
Thank you and good night.