by Julia Smith
Bob Lessin passed away last month after a short illness. Bob, 65, did much to move the tradeshow industry and the relationship between labor and management forward. Bob started his career at age 17 as a tradeshow installer for Stuart Sauter, then joined the Los Angeles office of GES to work in warehouse operations.
In 1992, Bob became the business representative for Local 831, and ultimately became business manager, earning the designation of Certified Employee Benefit Specialist to better prepare him to oversee trust finances. Bob was a valued trustee for a variety of health, pension, apprenticeship and training trusts during his career. He was passionate about training, and was instrumental in establishing the training trust for Local 831, as well as assisting with training programs throughout the country.
Bob served as assistant business manager of the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades (IUPAT), District Council 36, and as a tradeshow advisor of the IUPAT, was appointed as a Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles on the Convention Center Authority, and served on the Los Angeles City Planning Association. He was a member of the ESCA board of directors, as well as the board for the Exhibit and Events Marketing Association.
Bob had a rich personal life. He came from a large close family that spends many holidays and vacations together. He and his wife, Adele, were married nearly 44 years, and raised two daughters, Carrie and Michelle, and he was a happy grandfather to two granddaughters. He and his family loved camping and hiking, and Bob was famous for cooking for large crowds of family, friends and neighbors. He was the guy who helped neighbors with home repairs and projects, and could fix almost anything. Bob never did anything part way. He loved to go to Alaska in the summers to mine for gold, and ultimately helped design a piece of equipment that is used in gold mining today. He and Adele also raised and showed Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs.
Lessin will be missed for his knowledge and enthusiasm for advancing the exhibition industry.
Although he has no online memory book, his family requests that you remember him with a donation to www.lustgarten.org/research/earlier-detection, a Foundation that is funding research for a screening to aid in early detection of pancreatic cancer. With earlier detection, his daughter believes they may have been able to prevent his stroke and prolong his life.
This story originally appeared in the January/February issue of Exhibit City News, p. 74. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/exhibitcitynews_janfeb_2020