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In Memoriam: Dennis James Oliva

June 20, 1954-Sept. 16, 2018

Dennis Oliva died unexpectedly on Sept. 16. He had worked for 25 years in tradeshow and exhibition-related jobs, including the job he held at the time of his passing, manager/business development for McRae Imaging in Mississauga, Ontario. He had spent the last 13 years at McRae Imaging, a provider of expertise and high definition fabric printing, fabrication of custom structures and light boxes for the tradeshow, event and retail sectors in Canada, U.S. and Europe.

Prior to his jump into the tradeshow and exhibition industry, he worked for many years in the newspaper and print industry and as a realtor. He entered the industry in 1995 at Stevens Exhibit Design Group, serving until 1999 as the vice president of sales and marketing. The company deals in exhibit sales custom and modular trade show exhibits. While there he developed and implemented Penguin Banners stands into North America under the brand Penguin NA.

He also worked as the sales and marketing manager for Octanorm Canada Ltd. from 2001-2004 where he worked with designers and Octanorm service partners with the design and purchasing of Octanorm extrusions in the design and build of tradeshow and exhibit structures.

Gary Parsons, sales and marketing manager at Archex Display Ltd., met Oliva when they both worked at Stevens Exhibit Design Group and he worked with him on many projects over the years in several companies and capacities. They were friends for a quarter century.

Says Parsons, “He was an absolute professional and definitely knew his products. He was always straightforward and honest and his advice, opinions and most importantly, his word could be trusted. He always went that extra five miles to make it happen. You could always rely on Dennis, he was a stand up guy.”

Todd Arnold, who worked with him at Expographiq wrote in his guest book, “We were so shocked to hear of the sudden passing of our friend Dennis. All of us at Expographiq will miss him dearly. We have worked alongside Dennis for many years including his time with our Toronto office, as our sales rep with Octanorm Canada and finally his dedication to our projects with McRae. He will be surely missed. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends. The Expographiq Team.”

Barry Matthews also wrote in his guest book, “I was very saddened to hear of the sudden loss of Dennis. Dennis also was an employee at my advertising agency in the late ‘70s. One can never forget Dennis, he was a very hard working man & always full of comical remarks. When we had company parties at the cottage Dennis was usually the entertainer. My favorite memories of Dennis are when he felt it was necessary to impress someone, he washed my car and borrowed it, then went wherever he was supposed to go…My deepest sympathy & condolences to his family. Dennis will always be remembered by those who knew him.”

He is survived by his wife Cheryl (nee James) of 37 years; children Andrew (Cathy), Craig (Kristen) and Lauren (Matt Ferraz); and grandchildren Aiden, Emmett, Ryan, Hudson and Rowan. To share a memory in his online guestbook, visit https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/cambridge-on/dennis-oliva-7992593/add-memory. His family says that as expressions of sympathy, donations to the Canadian Diabetes Assoc. or Canadian Mental Health Assoc. would be greatly appreciated.

This story originally appeared in the November/December issue of Exhibit City News, p. 73. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_flipbook_novdec2018





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