National Restaurant Association Show Grows Its Executive Leadership Team
Two veteran trade show industry leaders have been appointed to an expanded executive leadership team at Winsight, a B2B information company serving the restaurant and noncommercial foodservice, convenience and petroleum retailing and grocery industries.
Mary Pat Heftman has been promoted to vice chairman and Tom Cindric has been tapped to be the new president of Winsight Exhibitions.
“We have aggressive growth goals for the Show, and to achieve those targets, we’re doubling down on talent at the top,” said Mike Wood, CEO of Winsight. “The team has done phenomenal work and much of that credit goes to Mary Pat who provided steady leadership through a period of tremendous change.”
He added, “She has more than lived up to her reputation as a best-in-class executive, which got us thinking of how we could leverage her experience beyond the Show across the entire Winsight portfolio.”
In November of last year, Winsight acquired the National Restaurant Association Show, known as the largest annual food show in the Americas, from The National Restaurant Association. With the event came its entire show team, including Heftman, who has been at its helm for almost two decades.
In May of this year, the Show hosted its centennial event at McCormick Place in Chicago, where Heftman and her team delivered a fifth year of consecutive record-breaking exhibit space and sponsorship sales, as well as year-over-year attendance growth.
In her new role, Heftman will continue maintaining Winsight’s relationship with the National Restaurant Association, key exhibitors and other industry partners. Her responsibilities will expand to all of Winsight’s on-site events, expansion opportunities for the Show and corporate development projects.
“Immediately after the Show was acquired, the Winsight team was reaching out to offer support,” Heftman said. “Even with only a few months together, the collaboration showed how great our content was this year and how excited attendees were to have access to so much data and expertise.”
She added, “It’s this experience that has me excited about what’s to come at Winsight and eager to be part of it in a broader and more strategic role.”
On June 17, Cindric will assume day-to-day management and profit and loss responsibility for the Show.
Cindric joins Winsight from Informa, where he served as senior vice president of Informa Global Exhibitions, U.S. Commercial Events and several International Commercial Events. World of Concrete, the largest annual construction Show in the U.S., was one of several shows under his management.
He is also the current chairperson of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events.
“Together, Mary Pat and Tom create arguably the trade show industry’s most iconic leadership team, and we have tremendous confidence in their ability to evolve the Show,” Wood said.
Cindric commented that one of the challenges of his new role will be to make an already fantastic event even better.
“There is a ton of momentum coming out of the 2019 Show, which is inspiring great thinking from the team on ways to create richer experiences for our attendees and drive professionals from the most sought-after segments to the trade show floor,” Cindric said. “I’m inheriting a smart team, a strong product and the good fortune of working alongside Mary Pat as we chart a course into 2020.”
The most recent National Restaurant Association Show drew more than 65,000 attendees spanning more than 725,000 square feet of exhibit space. In 2020, the Show will take place May 16-19 at McCormick Place.