Member of the Year

Each year, this award honours a CAEM member who, through tireless and selfless involvement with the association, has proven exceptional leadership and achievement. The Member of the Year consistently makes outstanding contributions to the CAEM and the Canadian exposition industry throughout the past year.

Award Criteria:

  • Outstanding and continuing volunteer commitment to CAEM over the past year.
  • Membership in CAEM for at least two years.
  • Current member in good-standing.
  • Participation on the CAEM Board of Directors, or at least one CAEM Committee, during the past year.

2017 Expo Member of the Year: Nancy Milani

Nancy Milani, CEM, CMP, Vice President, The Building Show and Exposition, Informa Canada

Introductory Speech by Tony Gallagher, CEM:

The Expo Member of the Year’s commitment to CAEM runs deep.

Despite that for years she was not locally based, she made a financial, emotionally and professional investment in CAEM and she has remained a dedicated and loyal member.

This past year’s efforts reached new heights, as she co-chaired last year’s conference in PEI. Never an easy task, co-chairing a major initiative like the conference is further complicated if you are located outside the GTA.  If there were geographical challenges, they were not apparent. Working with her co-chair, she coordinating numerous sub-committees, motivated dozens of volunteers while helping create a program that garnered strong attendance and elicited overwhelmingly positive reviews.

She accomplished all this, while making a career change and moving to another city. 2016 proved to be very busy indeed for our candidate.

An advocate and instructor of the CEM program, chair of numerous committees, current board member, co-chair of last year’s conference in PEI, and now Expo Member of the Year  – Nancy Milani of Informa Canada.

Acceptance Speech by Nancy Milani, CMP, CEM:

I joined CAEM in 2001 and for the first few years I attended the annual conferences.   I always felt like an outsider as I didn’t really do business with anyone in Toronto and only got to see those I had met once a year.

I believe that you get out of life what you put into and like any organization you have become involved in order to get the value and benefits from it; so I enrolled in the CEM program.

Along with the education and certification this offered me the opportunity to engage with other industry professionals more frequently as I had to fly to Toronto to take the courses.  As a result, I opened up a whole new network of colleagues and met some of my closest friends here in the city.

The next logical step was to get involved as a volunteer so I joined the Membership Committee for a few years and then was asked to consider a Board position.  I questioned whether I would be of value to them since I lived so far away and wouldn’t be present in person for most meetings.  They assured me I could still contribute from afar so in 2012 I joined the board and have sat on it since. Again, I met so many new people who are passionate and knowledgeable in our industry and it’s been wonderful to learn from them.

As part of my board duties last year I  had the opportunity  to co-chair the Conference Committee with Bev and work with the amazing CAEM admin team as well as so many talented volunteers on all the conference subcommittees.  It was an absolutely wonderful experience.

I have been very fortunate to have my former employer support all my efforts with CAEM for sixteen years and I feel equally blessed to have my new family at Informa believe in the value that CAEM brings to our employees.   I would be remiss not to thank both The Thunder Bay Chamber and Informa for their support of CAEM and to allow my involvement on the board, committees and the opportunity to be part of the CEM teaching faculty. I am so pleased to be able to share this evening with several members of our Informa team who are here tonight.

My recent move back to Toronto was actually a direct result of a friend I met working on the Board of CAEM and I cannot thank Gilbert enough for introducing me to this dynamic group who I have the pleasure of working with daily.

I would also like to thank my daughter Darcel who is with me tonight.  You inspire me to be a better person and are my biggest supporter (even though I abandoned you a few months ago to make my move to Toronto) and I so look forward to you joining me here for good at the end of summer.

Vince, I am honoured you have joined us tonight as well.  Vince is a friend of mine from Thunder Bay who is in Toronto as he accepted two awards at a luncheon earlier today.  Vince you are the greatest humanitarian; your generosity of time and money to countless local and national organizations is second to none I and I’m truly blessed to have you as a friend.

My sincere thanks to Laurie Paetz who nominated me for this award. I am humbled as there are so many deserving people who contribute to the efforts of CAEM. It is my honour to accept this award and I look forward to continue to serve the organization. For those of you who are involved with CAEM it is a pleasure to work with you and for those are not currently  I encourage you to join one of the committees and become involved  in this great organization.

In closing, I truly believe CAEM has done much more for me then I have for them   Thank you!

2017 Associate Member of the Year: Bev Hill

Bev Hill, Director of Business Development, onPeak | GES

Introductory Speech by Tony Gallagher, CEM:

Our 2017 Associate Member of the Year has been a big CAEM contributor for a number of years.  Our 2017 Associate Member of the Year has been a big CAEM contributor for a number of years.  This individual joined CAEM in 2008 and didn’t waste any time getting involved in committee work.  One of the notable accomplishments was Co-Chairing the Social Committee in Ottawa/Gatineau in 2014, and many of you here know about the great social events in Ottawa.

When you stand out by doing good work on committees for CAEM that sometimes means you are asked to step up and serve on the Board of Directors.  This person accepted the invitation without hesitation and then took on the daunting task of chairing the 2016 CAEM Conference in PEI.  In the years that conference is held outside Ontario, the committee has to work just that little bit harder to appeal to the national membership, and this 2016 committee co-chair did CAEM proud as evidenced by our strong attendance numbers in PEI.  A problem solver, a collaborator, a great listener and a wonderful sense of humour.  All pre-requisites for a CAEM member of distinction.

This individual is a wonderful ambassador for CAEM and our industry every day, but went the extra mile in 2016.  This individual’s dedication and commitment are a perfect example of why they are so deserving of our recognition tonight.

Please join me in congratulating the 2017 Associate Member of the Year, Bev Hill from onPeak | GES.

Acceptance Speech by Bev Hill:

Thank you Tony and to those that nominated me for this award. Since I attended my first CAEM Awards Gala I have secretly been hoping to be nominated for the Rising Star award but I will happily accept this one. This is the first award I’ve ever received and it is truly awesome! Definitely the highlight of my career as was the opportunity to co-chair the Conference last year. After more than 25 years in the industry it is really neat to be presented with new challenges and first time experiences. I am grateful to Sherry and the board for their faith in me and I am very lucky to have been paired with Nancy Milani. As you all know it takes a small army to put together an event and we were smart enough to recruit a talented and creative group of Sub-Committee chairs: Kristin McIntyre, Isabella Wai, Bianca Kennedy, Elani P, Laurie Paetz, Catherine McNutt, Karen Maki, Kyle Dugan, Darryl Andre and Jennifer Holland. A big thanks to all of them and their many volunteers, too many to mention now, but they all helped to provide us with a top notch program of education and fun networking events. A special thanks to the CAEM staff, Serge, Michael, Christiane and Danielle for keeping us on track and for their much needed advice. Most importantly a big thanks to everyone who attended the conference and brought all our plans to life resulting in one of the best Conferences ever.

I am glad I decided to join CAEM 6 years ago and volunteered for a committee from the start. I’ve really enjoyed meeting so many of you, this is a group of people who are very committed to improving our industry, creating quality events and helping each other out but also know how to have a good time. This year I am chairing the Social Committee for the Conference in Niagara Falls and we have put together some not to be missed events, I hope you will all plan to be there.

Thanks to my GES colleagues for being here tonight to help me celebrate and a special thanks to my partner in life, Dave Bennett who puts up with my crazy schedule and still does not understand what it is that I do every day.

Finally, I would like to say a special thanks to my friend Rena Menzies who encouraged me to volunteer for the social committee shortly after I joined CAEM and I have been involved with that committee in one way or another ever since. It has been the perfect committee for me as planning parties is one of my favourite things, now I’ve won an award for it. Thank you CAEM!

Past Winners of the Expo Member of the Year Award

2017: Nancy Milani, CEM, CMP, Informa Canada

2016: Bianca Kennedy, Power Sport Services

2015: Karen Maki, CEM, Informa Canada

2014: Laurie Paetz, Canadian National Sportsmen`s Shows

2012: Catherine MacNutt – Master Promotions Ltd.

2010: Sherry Kirkpatrick – Industrial Accident Prevention Association

2009: Isabella Wai, CEM – Ontario Hospital Association

2004: Jennifer Allaby – Master Promotions

2003: Marti Milks, C.D.E. – Premier Consumer Shows

2001: Paul Day, C.D.E. – Landscape Ontario

2000: Anita Schachter – dmg world media

1999: Scott Sillcox – Maple Leaf Productions

Past Winners of the Associate Member of the Year Award

2017: Bev Hill, onPeak | GES

2016: Tony Gallagher, CEM, GES Global Experience Specialists

2015: Mike Klemm, CEM, GES Global Experience Specialists

2014: Dion Burt, LANGE

2013: Missy Lichtenberger, CMP, CEM, Scotiabank Convention Centre

2012: Mike Russell – the Toronto Congress Centre

2011: Paul Urben – The Commerce Trade Show Logistics Group Ltd.

2010: Leslie Bruce, CEM – International Centre

2009: Sonia Moffatt, CEM – Freeman

2007: Gilles Bouchard – STRONCO

2006: Julie Brown – Reed Exhibitions; Erin Wade – Sheraton Gateway Hotel

2004: Deborah Dugan, C.D.E., CEM – CONEXSYS Registration Ltd.

2003: Marcela Marijosius – Wyndham Bristol Place Hotel

2001: Greg Smith – LANGE

2000: Ian Kerry – Freeman

1999: Rena Menzies – GES CANADA Exposition Service