Canadian Association of Exposition Management
ABOUT CAEM MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARDS * 2016 Associate Member of the Year

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2016 Associate Member of the Year Award

Tony Gallagher, CEM, Sales Executive, GES - Global Experience Specialists

Introductory Speech by Ralph Scali:

Our 2016 Associate Member of the Year has volunteered on several committees over the years and has been a huge supporter of CAEM, but their significant contribution over the course of the past year is why this person is being honoured this evening.
Well known for their friendly and approachable manner, our nominee works well with others and is eager to learn.  This person takes volunteering for CAEM very seriously and works hard to get the job done, always ensuring that CAEM is successful in the process.    No greater proof of this is the fact this individual stepped up when asked and became a Co- Chair of the 2015 CAEM Annual Conference.
Being a Conference Co-Chair is no easy task.  It requires commitment, vision, organization, and the ability to motivate volunteers.  This individual succeeded brilliantly and did so while working closely with a co-chair who worked in another province. No small feat but he made it look easy and his efforts contributed to  a highly successful conference.
Always a positive presence, hardworking, respected and well-liked, our nominee has demonstrated strong leadership and made an outstanding contribution this past year. 
Please join me in congratulating CAEM’s 2016 Associate Member of the Year – Tony Gallagher, CEM from GES.

Acceptance Speech by Tony Gallagher, CEM: 

Hi everyone.  This is really overwhelming.  I’m genuinely surprised and am still very humbled to even be considered for this award.

We are a very prestigious and professional association of exposition managers and associates and I’ve been a member of CAEM as of September 16, 2008.  I remember that very well because I recently found the CAEM welcome/introduction letter which coincidently was dated the same day and year that my first child Michael or “the Legend as we call him” Gallagher was born.  At 34 years old, I had become a member of a professional association and a father for the first time in my life.   Both of these roles have taught me to be self-less, patient, to think more about the big picture and how important it is to share experience, strength and hope with those that follow me.  Since September 16, 2008 my life, career and waste line have all taken off and grown exponentially.

Those that know me, know that I really love CAEM and all that it has to offer. To get the most benefit of a CAEM membership, we need to volunteer some of our time.  I’ve spent the majority of my volunteer time with the Sponsorship & Special Events committee which I must admit was much more fun that it had been work.  Thank you to those that have led that great committee over the years and kept me busy selling raffle tickets.
I’ve also remained very loyal to the annual conference Supplier EXPO committee since 2011 and can’t imaging NOT being on a committee with Ms. Karen Maki or Mr. Kyle Dugan.  Karen & Kyle, you are both true inspirations to this industry.  I feel very lucky to work with both of you and am proud to call you my friends.

This past year I was asked to be the co-chair of our annual CAEM conference in Ottawa along with “the best co-chair ever” Bianca Kennedy.  Bianca, you’re passion, leadership and teleprompter reading skills throughout that entire experience was mind-blowing.

You are amazing.  It was pleasure to share the chair with you.  Bianca and I were also very fortunate to have an incredible conference committee.  To those you from our 2015 annual conference committee…your work helped us all achieve what I believe to be the best CAEM conference yet!   Thank you all so much.

Almost done…
There are three more groups that I completely share this award with and I would not be here without them.
The first being the CAEM office….with your workload, I don’t know how you sleep at night.  CAEM is very fortunate to have the amount of dedication, value and service that you provide to all of our members.  Serge, Michael and Christiane, I want to personally thank you for all of your help and advice this past year.  I would not be accepting this award without your support and encouragement.

Secondly, I most certainly share this award with all of my co-workers and friends at GES & SHOWTECH.   You are without a doubt, the very best team there is and I am so very proud to work with all of you….and yes, I mean every one of you from each GES city across Canada, at each of our facility offices and within each department on McLaughlin Road that pass through almost daily.  I am truly inspired by your class, your strong work ethics and overwhelming willingness to offer the very best service for our clients, our facility partners but most importantly to each other.   You are the real deal.  There are really too many names at GES to mention tonight.  However, I do want to thank you Mike Lecour for giving me my spot in the fishbowl and sharing your experiences with me.  I feel my time spent with you is golden.

As well, Heather Neale for your awesome drive, your 110% support and for allowing me the time to be involved with CAEM.  Thank you everyone at GES.

Finally, and most importantly, this award belongs to my wife Julie who is the real star in my life.  You look after our three children and tolerate my travelling or working extra hours away from our home with love & Grace.   Your positivity, affection and sense of humor make me feel like the luckiest man on earth.  Thank you for my life today.  I would be nowhere without you.  This award is really for you.

In closing, I want express my sincerest thanks to Isabella Wai, Maria Kitamura, Anita Schachter and Sandra Martin for nominating me for this award.  Congratulations to all of the award winners tonight and thank you to all of you that volunteer within CAEM.   If you are new here tonight, welcome and thank you very much for being here.  I hope we’ll have a chance to meet, please feel free to reach out to me anytime.  My door is always open.


Enjoy your evening