Canadian Association of Exposition Management
ABOUT CAEM MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARDS * 2012 Exposition Member of the Year Award

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2012 Associate Member of the Year Award

Catherine MacNutt, Marketing & Operations Manager, Master Promotions Ltd.

Introduction Speech by Jennifer Allaby:

Our Expo Member of the Year Nominee may seem relatively new to CAEM, but she is not new to our industry. She began working in this business in 1982 and had some peripheral involvement in CAEM in the 1980’s, but in 2008 she officially joined our fold bringing with her an enthusiasm and energy that we immediately took advantage of.

She served as a panel member at the 2008 Conference, and became a member of the 2010 Conference Education Committee while at the same time joining the Membership Committee. She is an active participant in the CAEM Linked In group, always taking the opportunity to share her knowledge or seek input from her peers, but tonight we honour her for her significant contribution to our association in the past year.

She took on the daunting task of the 2011 Conference Education Co Chair while still remaining a very active member of the Membership Committee. She was and is a tireless ambassador for CAEM in her region, actively recruiting new members as well as spearheading the organization of education and networking sessions to support our national mandate. As if that wasn’t enough she joined the Board in June and agreed to Co Chair the 2012 Annual Conference. Being a Board member from outside the GTA poses numerous challenges which she takes in her stride and demonstrates her commitment by traveling frequently to Toronto to attend meetings.

On a personal level I had the pleasure of working side by side with this person for nearly 10 years, she managing one portfolio of business while I managed the other. When you work this closely with someone co- managing staff and sharing many common suppliers, there are inevitable personality comparisons. Without fail, people would describe her as warm, graceful, lovely, sweet and just about the nicest person you could meet – suffice is to say the same words are rarely used to describe me. She is politically correct – me – not so much. She is a conciliatory, a master at choosing the right words so as to not offend – and then there is me, born without a filter. You get the picture. But somehow it worked, I think mainly because what we share in common is a strong moral compass that guides our professionalism and a belief that we are nothing without our integrity. However, the most important thing that we share is a strong and lasting friendship.

So on that note, please join me in congratulating our Expo Member of the Year, from Master Promotions, Catherine MacNutt.

Acceptance Speech by Catherine MacNutt:

I am not a fan of long speeches but I do welcome the opportunity tonight to speak to you both briefly and from the heart.

I was also, not a huge fan of volunteering. I was more comfortable on the sidelines. But that’s only because I hadn’t yet met the people who comprise CAEM.

Within a very short time inside this association, I realized this is a group of individuals who are supportive and accepting of new members and genuinely want success for each other. So when asked to become involved by this group of people . . . it only seemed logical to say yes!

I watched a movie some time back called “Yes Man”. Like many Jim Carrey movies . . . it was admittedly inane but the premise was interesting, in that a man was convinced by a group of people to say yes to EVERYTHING, resulting in positive change for his life in general. Now, I don’t think it’s a good idea to a) say yes to EVERYTHING or b) Live your life based upon Jim Carrey movies. What I AM saying is that by saying yes to things that take you out of your comfort zone, you very often find that can result in positive change. To that end, I would encourage any member, whether they are new to the group or a veteran to say yes when called upon, because it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself both personally and professionally.

When I first joined CAEM back in the 80’s (I was of course a child then), I did so from the sidelines, not becoming fully involved or volunteering at that time. My career path changed since then and a few years ago, I found myself once again involved in the association, but this time, in a more meaningful way. I stepped away from the periphery and decided to jump in with both feet, largely due to the fact that I received positive encouragement from the members themselves. And that’s when things started to change for the better. I was able to realize the full potential of fellowship and networking with like-minded members and see the real value this association can offer.

Before I came to work for Master Promotions, I was with the Denex Group. My responsibilities included Marketing and operational support for a small handful of shows. At that time, I thought that I was the busiest person in the world, as there were so many details to keep track of and back in those days . . . and very little technology to back that work. I even recall using a “TELEX” machine to send communications overseas. NOT an efficient tool, let me tell you. When I joined Master Promotions in 2001, I must confess, I experienced a good year of “culture shock”. Imagine my surprise when I went from my little handful of shows to between twelve and fourteen events a year. And that only represented the consumer events! The trade shows were handled by a different division (thank God). I remember Jennifer Allaby trying to prepare me for the volume of work during one of our inaugural meetings in Saint John. She was forthright and honest as is her nature, and it certainly opened my eyes to the size of our operation and my new responsibilities. I also remember making an emergency trip to the wine store, directly following that meeting. Enough said.

As it turned out, the support staff and resources available to me with Master Promotions made accomplishing a seemingly impossible task, possible. And I depend upon those resources to this day.

And speaking of Master Promotions, I couldn’t participate in CAEM without the support of our President, my boss, Wendell Howes who unfortunately is out of the country tonight. He has upheld me in my efforts and I simply wouldn’t be here today without that support. So thank you Wendell.

I’d also like to thank the folks I work with back home, because without them, I wouldn’t be able to dedicate myself to this rewarding endeavour.

To my dear friend Jennifer Allaby, who has been a mentor for over 10 years now and a tireless ally, I say thank you. She picks me up from the airport at whatever Godforsaken hour I ask her to, so I can attend meetings in person. Her support and advice every step along my journey have been invaluable and I appreciate it more than she will ever know.
My husband, Doug, who has encouraged my efforts . . . taken care of the dog so I can be here when I need to be and who has made a special trip to be here showing his support tonight are actions that speak louder than words. For these actions, I am very grateful.

And to the Executive, The Board, the administration and the entire body of CAEM for their encouragement, professionalism and time, I thank you for sharing yourselves with me and I assure you, your efforts have allowed me to become the member I wanted to become and one I hope you will continue to be proud of.