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ESCA announces award winners

esca-webThe Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA) announced the 2011 recipients of its individual awards at the Annual Business Meeting held at the House of Blues Foundation Room in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Hotel, Las Vegas, Nev., on December 5, 2011. 

Bob Lozier and Ralph Iverson were recognized with Lifetime Achievement Awards, designed to recognize individuals for extraordinary contributions to the industry over a minimum of 20 years.

Lozier was initially hired by Buck Freeman in Iowa after a stint in the Marine Corps. He spent time with Wernecke Studios and GES Expo in Chicago and Atlanta before opening a Dallas operation for United Expo. In 1983, he rejoined Freeman as an executive vice president, forming the national sales group and handling many of the company’s largest accounts. He was recognized with the Buck Freeman Award in 1987 and joined the Freeman board of directors that same year. For over 40 years, Lozier was known for his hard work, dedication and fierce competitive nature.

Donald S. Freeman Jr., chairman of The Freeman Companies, accepted the award on Lozier’s behalf, as Lozier was unable to attend the ceremony.

Ralph Iverson is a 42-year veteran of the exhibition industry, spending 22 years as an executive vice president of Brede Exposition Services and 20 years as vice president of business development with Global Experience Specialists (GES).  Iverson served the community and industry as president of the Greater Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Bureau, president of the Trade Show Bureau (now CEIR) and was president of ESCA in 1989, where he was instrumental in starting the first ESCA Summer Conference. In 2003, the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) honored Iverson with its PMA Distinguished Service Award. Iverson worked with PMA on their event for 41 years before retiring from GES, where he mentored many and was known for his positive outlook and creativity. 

Iverson’s industry legacy includes sons Todd and Chad, both GES employees.  

ESCA President Chuck Grouzard of GES also recognized Aaron Bludworth with ESCA’s President’s Award, lauding Bludworth for his ongoing advocacy and dedication to ESCA and the needs of its members. Bludworth is chief operating officer of Fern Exposition & Event Services and was president of ESCA in 2007-2008.  

Mark Zimmerman, general manager of the Georgia World Congress Center, was honored for his commitment to ESCA, as his six-year stint on the board of directors ended.  Zimmerman also was a member of the awards committee, along with Dennis Hale of Cort Trade Show & Event Furnishings, Greg Pignatiello of Fern Exposition & Event Services and Julie Smith of GES.

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