Canadian Association of Exposition Management
ABOUT CAEM MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARDS * 2015 Associate Member of the Year Award

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2015 Associate Member of the Year Award

Michael Klemm, CEM, Sales Manager - Western Canada,
GES - Global Experience Specialists

Introductory Speech from Laurie Paetz:

Good Evening CAEM Board of Directors, Members, Sponsors of tonight’s event and guests. It is my privilege tonight to introduce the 2014 Associate Member of the Year.
This individual is an Elvis impersonator, a diehard Seahawks fan, a salesman that could sell snowballs to Eskimos and also one of the biggest ambassadors for CAEM across Canada.
His passion and enthusiasm for this industry combined with his dedication and drive in sharing the benefits that CAEM offers to both associate and expo members and companies is evident to all those he talks to.
He has been a member of CAEM since 2003 and has volunteered on various committees including conference promotion, conference social, conference co-chair and the membership committee.
Our recipient tonight was instrumental in the success of launching the membership drive campaign in Western Canada which has now expanded to include an education tech day in 2015. However he has not just focused on the west as he has also assisted in the eastern membership initiatives as well. Really he talks up CAEM wherever his travels take him.
He is an out of the box thinker who also has a creative and somewhat comedic approach to life but most definitely the guy you want on your team when you are looking to succeed.
Please join me in recognizing and congratulating this year’s Associate Member of the Year – Michael Klemm

Acceptance Speech by Mike Klemm: 

To this day I would never have believed when I entered this business that I would be standing in front of my peers tonight excepting this prestigious and humbling award. I’m grateful for the recognition and honored to be a part of this amazing Association.

Back in 1990 I was graduating from college with a degree in Law Enforcement ready to join any police force in Canada that was willing to accept me. In 1990 the only way you were accepted on to a police force is you had to be a French speaking-aboriginal-female and as you can see I don’t speak French. So, the next step was to take a job in the Security field at the, then Edmonton Convention Centre, now the Shaw Conference Centre. As Security Manager I faced near riots, first aid emergencies, protests, death threats, bomb threats and that was just from my own staff. The events were much crazier. I do joke, as it was a remarkable place to work where I met some great people and experienced some great events. I would like to thank Cliff Higuchi, the General Manager of the Shaw Conference Centre as he saw something in me where he knew I could contribute to our business. He mentored me along the way, teaching me valuable lessons about facing challenges and overcoming adversity.
When I started with GES in 2002, I knew very little about them and very little on the world of Sales. I had a role model that took me under her wing, showed the ropes and taught me the most important trait of a successful sales person is ability to build that positive relationship – thank-you Rena. Rena Menzies is an amazing lady. If you have ever encountered Rena at a CAEM conference she is the last one to leave the celebration and the first one at the sessions the next morning. I don’t know where she puts her cape because she’s a Super Hero, she’s my Super Hero.
Our team at GES is a remarkable one. From the leadership of Gilles Bouchard, Mike Lecour and Pasquale Pucci in Western Canada who always encourage me to be your best, take on new challenges and stand out in our business, I thank-you for your guidance and support.
To my peers on the GES Sales team as well as our entire staff from Quebec City to Vancouver I am honored to work with such a professional group of people, value your encouragement and am proud to call you my team mates.
In 2003 I attended my first CAEM Conference in Ottawa. My roommate at the time was a former CAEM member, Duane Vienneau who said that this conference was a lot of fun. His definition of fun was way different from mine, which made me look twice at him when I returned. At that conference I met some great people and it was the beginning to some long lasting relationships. One in particular was Sarah Palmer who was the Sales Manager for the Skydome at the time. We developed a friendship at the conference that continued after to where she came out West to visit and never left. That is where I realized this is one smart lady, and beautiful too. We have been married for 10 years and have two amazing children, Heidi and Eric. She is my rock, so supportive of my career and accomplishment, and knows how much CAEM and GES means to me. Without her in my corner I wouldn’t be here and I’m blessed to have such an understanding lady in my life.
I thank-you for this award, for all of you who have inspired me, to the great friendships and relationships I have made along the way. And special thanks to Laurie Paetz for nominating me and believing in me. I’m a better person for having a great friend like you in my life.
CAEM has brought so much to my professional and personal life that to be recognized for this award is truly an honor. I am the type of person that when I experience something so gratifying and motivating I try to get everyone involved. That is why when I meet someone in the Exhibit industry that is not a member of CAEM I try to get them involved. This is led to my quest to build our membership from coast to coast to make this a bonifide national association. We have so much to offer with our outstanding education opportunities, net working events and experienced membership that if you not a member you are missing out on so many levels. I see our organization as a family – from successful Uncle Dion Burt in Toronto, to adorable Aunt Caren Kelly in Winnipeg, to my beautiful and inspiring sister Laurie Paetz in Calgary to the always funny and my very smart cousin Chris Gowe in Vancouver. We are one big happy family, who celebrate our accomplishments, embrace the good things about each other and are there when you need that helping hand. I’m blessed to be a part of this amazing Association and extremely thank-you for this award.