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The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) proudly announces the late Gary Sain is this year’s recipient of the IAEE lifetime achievement award.

The lifetime achievement award recognizes an individual who has changed the direction of the industry and has made a significant impact on how the industry operates. This year, the recipient Sain, former CEO and president of Visit Orlando, who has been selected for his considerable contributions and support of IAEE, and the exhibitions and events industry. Sain passed on earlier this year.


Gary Sain

“Those who knew Gary Sain understand how his unique and passionate commitment to, and enthusiasm for, our industry have made it a much better place,” said Steven Hacker, president, IAEE. “His contributions have been extraordinary and we are all grateful to have known him.”

Sain was president and CEO of the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, where he was responsible for leading the organization that markets and sells the Orlando area, before his untimely death early in 2012. He was a leading figure in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry and was frequently seen in the media touting the benefits of travel and the industry’s importance to the economy as a vehicle for economic development and prosperity.

He was recognized for his leadership as one of the 25 most powerful people, forces or trends in the meetings industry by MeetingNews magazine in 2007 and 2008. He was named Orlando’s most influential tourism executive by the Orlando Business Journal in 2008.

IAEE’s awards program recognizes professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the exhibitions and events industry. Sain and other award winners will be honored at the IAEE Annual Networking Luncheon and Awards Presentation to be held during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition scheduled Dec. 4 through Dec. 6 in Orlando, Fla.

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