People News: CTA, WWIN and More Announce New Appointments and Team Promotions

March 12, 2024

Trade show and event-related organizations in the U.S. and abroad are appointing new leadership, elevating staff and welcoming new industry professionals to their teams this month. 

Consumer Technology Association 

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has tapped Kinsey Fabrizio as its new and first female president in the association’s history. Relinquishing the president title, Gary Shapiro, current CTA president and CEO, will continue in the latter role. 

Elevated from senior vice president CES and membership, Fabrizio now sits on the association’s executive board and will be responsible for the following departments: CES, CTA Membership, CTA Conferences and Marketing and Communications. She will also speak for the association on all matters. 

Fabrizio joined CTA in 2008 in the membership department, was promoted to vice president membership in 2019 and became senior vice president in 2022. Before joining the association, she worked at association management company Smithbucklin.  

Shapiro, who has been with CTA for more than four decades and recently agreed to another multi-year contract, will be responsible for all association activities, including CES, public policy, research and standards. 

Women’s Wear in Nevada (WWIN) 

Leading fashion apparel trade event Women’s Wear in Nevada (WWIN), a Clarion Events show, recently welcomed two fashion event industry veterans insiders to its team. DeAlva Gratz Jones and Kimberly Synnott were appointed as brand development managers, responsible for promoting and expanding the show’s brand awareness and developing and implementing strategies to connect exhibitors and attendees within the fashion industry. 

Most recently serving as executive vice president of sales and merchandising for Isle Apparel/Kozan, Jones previously worked at the Dallas Market Center as its director of sales and leasing, women’s apparel and accessories for more than six years, and before that, at BJI Fashion Group as sales director, MODA.

With a fashion apparel trade show industry career spanning nearly three decades, Synnott most recently served as sales manager for NHN Global, and spent a long tenure in director of sales and account executive roles for BJI Fashion Group’s Fame Show. 


The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) has welcomed 30-year trade show and events industry veteran Jason Ware to its executive team as vice president of events and experiences. He is responsible for the overall planning and execution of all IAEE and subsidiary-related events, including fundraisers, developing new marketplace opportunities for Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition and working to strengthen industry relationships in partnership with the association’s sales, marketing and membership teams.  

Ware brings nearly 30 years of experience to IAEE, most recently serving as vice president of convention housing operations and contracting/sourcing for MCI USA. Prior to that, he was director of meetings for the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) and director of meetings and exhibitions for the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. 

Fresh Produce Association of the Americas 

Nogales, Ariz.-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas has hired trade show industry veteran John Toner as business development director. Besides being founder and CEO of Toner Insights, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in trade show management, exhibitor strategy, event marketing and relationship-building, he acts as vice president at Produce Business Magazine, where he works on the New York Produce Show and Conference. 

Toner’s many years of industry experience includes more than 23 years at the International Fresh Produce Association, where he most recently served as vice president, political affairs.

National Marine Manufacturers Association

The National Marine Manufacturers Association and RAI Amsterdam, co-owners of the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX), promoted Anne Dunbar from show director to executive director. With more than 30 years of experience in the marine industry and more than a decade managing IBEX, Dunbar will spearhead the strategic initiatives and long-term plans for the show, including collaborate closely with the IBEX team, board of directors and external industry partners to define, refine and execute the event’s strategic vision.

EDE Corp. 

Chicago-based exhibit design company EDE Corp. has tapped Jason Weddle as COO, tasked with handling the company’s day-to-day operations while working closely with Owner, Creative Director and President Greg Tivadar to define and execute the firm’s long-term strategic vision. For nearly two decades, Weddle worked at Hamilton Exhibits, where he worked in almost every department ranging from logistics and project management to operations and senior leadership, culminating in CEO – a role in which he served for three years.

Huntington Place 

Detroit’s Huntington Place welcomed Heather Anderson as its new marketing and communications director. She is succeeding Mary Klida, who has headed the downtown convention center’s marketing and communications efforts since 2010 and is retiring March 31. 

In her new role, Anderson is responsible for leading the facility’s marketing and communications team and working closely with its sales and guest experience departments. She will also become an integral part of the LEED-certified venue’s award-winning sustainability program. She comes to Huntington Place from Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa, Okla., where she served as its strategic marketing manager for more than two years.


U.K.-based event technology company FFAIR recently appointed 20-year event marketing veteran Katie Whatley as CMO, responsible for expanding the exhibitor management platform’s presence in the global exhibition marketplace. She previously served as group head of marketing at Explori, and prior to that, ran her own marketing consultancy, 52eight3, for events and event suppliers. 

Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau 

The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) announced a bevy of promotions and a new hire.

Sheretha Bell was promoted to senior vice president, marketing and brand strategy, responsible for spearheading the strategic development and coordinated execution of ACVB’s integrated marketing efforts. With nearly 24 years of experience at ACVB, she will oversee audience engagement, creative partnerships, creative direction and brand leadership. Bell began at ACVB in August 2000 as a sales and marketing research specialist, and most recently served as vice president, brand.

In her elevated role as senior vice president, human resources, Cynthia Mokotoff is tasked with leading the overall people strategy of the organization, which includes talent acquisition, employee engagement and retention, learning and development, compensation and benefits programs, workforce management, compliance and succession planning. Mokotoff started at ACVB in 1999 and has held numerous roles in operations, finance and corporate events, supporting the board of directors, ACVB annual meeting and Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame. 

Aubree Dumas was promoted to video production creator/producer, responsible for continuing to enhance ACVB’s visual storytelling capabilities. She joined ACVB as a content specialist in 2022 while completing her master’s program in digital media strategies at Georgia State University.

Promoted to senior director, partner activation and engagement and executive director, ACVB Foundation, Jo Ann Haden-Miller will continue to foster relationships with partners while overseeing collaborations, programs and co-op fundraising as well as annual ACVB Foundation initiatives. Beginning her tenure with ACVB in 1989 as manager, Central Atlanta marketing, Haden-Miller has held various positions with ACVB throughout the years. 

With her promotion from junior graphic designer to graphic designer, So Jin Lee will continue to design collateral to ensure brand consistency and amplify destination appeal, and is responsible for developing engaging and innovative concepts, designs and templates across various platforms. 

Lauren Dismuke Rushing was promoted to senior director, group markets, responsible for promoting Atlanta as a premier destination for meetings and conventions. She began her career with the CVB in 2011 as manager, group markets, progressing into new roles as senior manager, group markets and director, group markets.

In her elevated role as manager, human resources, Ankita Varman will take on additional employee relations responsibilities, become more involved with benefits renewal, ensure ACVB remains in compliance with employment laws and focus on improving the recruitment and onboarding process. She recently earned her SHRM-SP HR certification while serving as the CVB’s human resources specialist. 

Candace Woodruff was hired as trade show project manager, responsible for managing the logistics for all trade shows, special sales events and familiarization tours, and to act as a liaison between sales, destination services, marketing and outside vendors. She joined ACVB as a sales administrative assistant in 2019 and assisted with the coordination of major shows on a part-time basis. Before joining ACVB, she worked with the AC Atlanta Hotel Downtown and the Marriott Southeast sales office.    

Promoted to data and analytics manager, LyLy Nguyen will have more responsibility over the coordination and execution of ACVB’s data management and analytics strategies and will work on an expanded range of data sources and analytical tools that can be shared with ACVB’s partners. Nguyen joined ACVB in 2022 as data and reporting specialist to assist with updating and refreshing reports. She previously served as administrative lab coordinator for Georgia State University. 


Streampoint, a marketing technology company specializing in events, tapped Chad Blaise as its new CEO to usher in a new chapter of innovation, strategic growth and advancement. Bringing more than a decade of expertise spearheading event technology ventures for industry giants, his career spans pivotal leadership roles at Microsoft, Event Farm, Bizzabo and Stova. 

Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau 

The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) announced several promotions on its communications and global tourism teams. 

As senior director of strategic communications, Robin Bloom will spearhead efforts to refine PHLCVB’s domestic and international strategy. This elevation will involve leveraging the organization’s new collaborations with agency partners, expanding reach in key international markets and a renewed focus on advocacy.

Promoted to social media and content manager, John Ryan will use his skills for creating engaging short-form videos and social content, augmented by his new responsibilities to strategize content needs and keep track of the department’s project calendar.

Chelsea Ann Rovnan is now serving as social media content specialist, focused on managing PHLCVB’s daily social media activities across all platforms. 

Melissa McClure has been promoted to senior global tourism sales manager, responsible for driving the development of sales and marketing strategies across European source markets, now expanding her scope to cover 14 countries.

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