2013 Associate Hall of Fame Inductee
Peter Bowie, President, Bowie Electrical Services
Introductory Speech by John Neofotistos R.I.B.O.:
Ladies and gentleman it’s my pleasure this evening to introduce to you this year’s recipient of the hall of fame award for Associate member category. At the age of 15 he obtained an apprenticeship license in his field and spent summers working in the family business providing services to the Central Canada Exhibition.
The family business is a multi-generational enterprise, having been started by this individual’s grandfather just after the First World War. During this individual’s uncle’s and father’s time at the helm it began to focus primarily on the tradeshow business in their home town. Today this individual’s sister carries on the day to day operations while her sibling looks after estimating and other business interests.
This person has been a CAEM member for over 20 years. In that time this individual has demonstrated a real commitment to CAEM, in spite of residing outside the Toronto region.
Immediately upon joining CAEM this person volunteered to be on the conference committee and helped with the following year’s conference. Every CAEM conference since 1991 has listed this person as a delegate.
This individual has served as a CAEM board member, co-chaired the membership committee and still is a committee member. This individual has always made the effort to attend board meetings in person, in spite of the personal cost.
This individual has devoted and continues to devote many hours and resources to CAEM.
In addition, this person was also one of the founding members and past president of the Ottawa Association of Exhibition Managers.
This member has two great children and five great grandchildren.
This individual graduated from Carleton University with a Masters in Philosophy and also has a Master Electrician license.
Please welcome with me to the stage this year’s hall of fame inductee associate category Mr. Peter Bowie.
Acceptance Speech by Peter Bowie:
Thank you John for the generous introduction, and also thank you, Naomi Wagschal and Bill Garrett, for thinking of me for this award; an award I truly am grateful for. But I must say that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the long time support of our staff in Ottawa and of course the support of Elaine, whose direct experience in the industry let her understand that it was anything but a ‘nine to five job’.
I’m afraid I have no jokes for you, and accordingly will be brief but also a tad preachy with two thoughts on the future of CAEM and its membership.
First, for this industry to be successful its leaders must know the industry as a whole. Show managers must not only understand their suppliers and competitors, but also the trends and innovations of unrelated types of shows and other suppliers. Likewise, suppliers and facilities must be willing to learn from outside their direct experience within the industry. This knowledge is necessary in order to effectively compete with other industries supplying similar services to our customers. We must be aware of everything our industry has to offer, and the best way to do this in through CAEM.
A second but related thought is the need to expand the scope of CAEM. And the best way to do this is by increasing our national representation. With many years as a member of the board and membership committee, I understand the fiscal reality of CAEM – that satisfying and maintaining the Toronto membership is essential. But, making CAEM truly representative of the entire country will also benefit the GTA membership. Not only will CAEM’s credibility as a national organization be increased, but so will its coffers. But importantly, the initiative to become more national in scope must come from Toronto. It is up to you to lure the rest of the country into CAEM.
And this should not be too difficult. Of the many organizations I have belonged to, CAEM has been my favorite, because through CAEM I have learned more, as well as had more fun. CAEM is uniquely diverse in many ways, including not only skill sets but also temperament. Consequently, CAEM’s success has depended on both understanding and tolerance. I urge you to carry on with this tradition and make our country both aware and appreciative of our industry.
Thank you all.