Canadian Association of Exposition Management

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Paul Urben, Honoured Life Member


To become an Honoured Life Member an individual must be deemed to have made a significant contribution to CAEM and our industry as a whole.  I can assure you that the person we are appointing this evening meets and exceeds this criteria.

Before I began to write this introduction I reached out to our honouree to make sure I had all my facts straight because truly this person’s career in this industry has been epic.  Very quickly our conversation took on a “four score and seven years ago” quality so I settled in with my notepad at the ready for what turned out to be a very entertaining and fascinating 30 minute conversation. 

To give you an idea of the depth our conversation I can tell you our Honouree began working in our industry on April 4, 1970.  I can tell you that the very first show they worked they did so minus a front tooth which had been lost playing hockey the night before.  You get the picture.  So I am going to give you the Coles Notes version, but I encourage you to seek out our Honouree and ask them to tell you about their time in this business.  They have worked for and with many of the trailblazers of our industry.  I guarantee that you will be entertained but more importantly you will gain a valuable education.

Our honouree has worked in customs, transportation and logistics as well as stint as show decorator.  They became a member of CAEM’s precursor  - the Association of Trade and Consumer Exhibitions in 1976 and right away began volunteering.  In total this person has spent over 20 years on the CAEM Board and without a word of a lie has chaired and served on just about every committee over the course of their career.   They are a member of the Hall of Fame and in recent years they were named a Member of the Year.  Simply put, he talks the talk and he walks the walk.
It is my great privilege on behalf of the CAEM Board of Directors to bestow an Honoured Life Membership to Paul Urben.


A special thank you to President Jennifer Allaby for that introduction. I am humbled to be recognized with this CAEM Honoured Life Member designation. I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to the members who nominated me, Bev Hill of OnPeak and John Neofotistos of An additional thank you to Ken Jattan of the  Enercare centre as I am sure he participated in pushing this along. I understand that I am now able to attend all CAEM Functions and I look forward to seeing many of you at the 2017 events and beyond.

Well, 47 years in Show Business, as a Customs Broker, Transportation/Logistics provider and/or Decorator has been exciting but it was Red Hobson of Ainsworth Electric (now Showtech) who encouraged me to get involved in the Association. Subsequently. I have been CAEM Associate Member of the year in 2011, Associate member in our CAEM Hall of Fame in 1999, a member of the CAEM Board of Directors for many years, CAEM Golf Day emcee in the 80’s and 90’s, A participant on several CAEM Annual Conferences including Co- chair of the 2010 Kelowna Conference. I was also involved in the Exhibit and Display Association of Canada where I served on their Board for many years and chaired their golf day for 22 years. I was EDAC Man of the year in 1988 and received their Presidents award in 2000.
I mention all this to brag a little but mostly to remind everyone here tonight that participation in an Association is rewarding and provides networking opportunities that cannot be equaled.  I encourage all, but especially the younger generation to be active members and you will reap the benefits.

I want to thank Serge Micheli, Michael Dargavel and Christiane Boin-Goessell for making my time on the Board so pleasant and from the old days former Executives Carol Ann Burrell and Debra Wilson for their strong support in their day.
I must thank my employers over the years, particularly the late Cliff Chapin at Mendelssohn and Eric Lange at Lange Transportation for encouraging and allowing me to participate in CAEM.  Support at all levels of a member firm is critical to the well being of any Association.

Most importantly, a big shout out to all the staff members that I worked with for all these years. My success was in large part thanks to you and I hope that I was able to make your lives a little better in some way.
Finally, I thank my wife Gail for supporting me since we 1st met in 1978. Her steadying influence has kept me grounded and believe me without her my accomplishments would be significantly less or possibly non-existent.

In closing,  and in keeping with current events, I borrow from President Donald Trump and thank you all, BIGLY.