IAEE Announces New President and CEO


Marsha Flanagan, M.Ed., CEM to begin a new role as president and CEO on December 1, 2023

DALLAS, 14 November 2023 – _The International Association of
Exhibitions and Events® (IAEE [2]) is pleased to announce the
appointment of Marsha Flanagan, M.Ed., CEM, as its new President and
Chief Executive Officer. With a strong focus on leading innovative
strategies and developing intentional and thoughtful collaborations,
Marsha will lead IAEE into its next phase of service to the global
exhibitions and events industry while supporting the association’s
underpinnings of advocacy, sustainability, and DE&I initiatives. She
officially begins her new role on 1 December 2023.

“Under Marsha’s leadership, IAEE will continue to serve as the leading
trade association for the global exhibitions and events industry” said
Dennis Smith, 2023 Chairperson of the IAEE Board of Directors. “Her
vision and strategic approach will ensure that IAEE remains a trusted
partner for our members by engaging in industry collaborations, and
delivering valuable resources, advocacy, and learning opportunities to
drive success in the exhibitions and events ecosystem.”

Flanagan brings a wealth of experience and expertise to IAEE. Prior to
joining the association, she served in key leadership roles at prominent
organizations in the industry, where she demonstrated exceptional
leadership and a track record of driving success. Marsha’s appointment
follows an extensive search process, during which she was identified as
the ideal candidate to lead IAEE into the future.

“IAEE plays a vital role in advancing the global exhibitions and events
industry, and I am honored to take on the position of President and
CEO,” said Marsha Flanagan, M.Ed., CEM “I am excited to work closely
with the IAEE board of directors, staff, our members, and other
stakeholders to drive community engagement and growth for the

The appointment of Ms. Flanagan comes at a crucial moment for IAEE and
the industry as a whole.

“During this period of transition, it has been business as usual with
everyone on staff continues to demonstrate a passion for the industry,
delivering exceptional programming and networking opportunities,” said
IAEE Interim CEO Cathy Breden, CMP-F, CAE, CEM.

Marsha Flanagan, M.Ed., CEM previously served as the Senior Vice
President of Events and Learning Experiences at IAEE, where she was
responsible for all events and learning initiatives including the
Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM), Certified in Exhibition
Management – Advanced Professional (CEM-AP), and CEM Fellow
(CEM-Fellow) designations.

Prior to joining IAEE, Flanagan was the Director of Content Strategy and
Development at the Promotional Products Association International
(PPAI), where she was responsible for steering strategy and the
development and delivery of all PPAI professional development and
editorial offerings.

Flanagan spent six years in the medical industry serving in various
roles overseeing operations, purchasing, revenue cycle management,
marketing and business development.

Flanagan began her career with Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
and spent 12 years in various roles including Executive Vice President
of Professional Development where she oversaw operations, including all
strategic partnerships, the design, and delivery of all professional
development offerings and meetings management.

Flanagan received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University
and her master’s in education from the University of Arkansas
specializing in Meeting, Tourism, and Recreation Management. She obtained
her Certified in Exhibition Management designation in 2021.

Flanagan is a 5th generation Texan, loves sports and the outdoors and
spending time with family.

“We are thrilled with the search committee’s selection of Marsha
Flanagan as IAEE’s next President & CEO. Working with a highly engaged
search committee that met with several candidates was a very rewarding
and successful process. Their commitment and active participation
throughout the search were invaluable. We look forward to witnessing the
positive impact Marsha will undoubtedly make in her new role,” said Mark
Gnatovic, Executive Vice President, SearchWide Global.

With a strong emphasis on advocacy and community, IAEE remains dedicated
to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the industry,
championing sustainability initiatives, and providing top-notch learning
and networking opportunities through its renowned Certification and
Learning Programs.

About IAEE
Trusted since 1928, IAEE provides quality and value to its members
through leadership, service, education, and strong relationships. IAEE is
the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the
world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors, and exhibition
suppliers. Organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller
events around the world are members of IAEE, and the organization
advocates and promotes the awareness of face-to-face exhibitions and
events as the primary medium for business development and growth. IAEE
provides relevant, timely, and innovative education to its members and
the industry. IAEE recognizes its strategic partners: 4imprint,
Convention News Television (CNTV), Freeman, GES | onPeak, Grit
Productions and Expositions, New Orleans & Company, New Orleans Ernest
N. Morial Convention Center, Personify – A2Z Events, Risk Strategies
Company | Buttine Insurance, Swapcard and Synchronicities (Visit
Anaheim, Visit Baltimore, and Visit San Antonio). Visit www.iaee.com [3]
for more information.

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