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SISO appoints new executive director

SISO, the premier organization for the for-profit show organizer, announced April 14 that it plans to appoint Exposition Development Company Inc. (ExpoDevCo) as its management company and David Audrain, CEO of ExpoDevCo, as SISO’s new executive director. The appointment will take effect on Jan. 1, 2016, when Lew Shomer and Shomex complete their seven years of leadership service to SISO.

logo_sisoAt the annual report to members’ luncheon at SISO’s CEO Summit in Kiawah Island, SC, SISO Chairman Charlie McCurdy announced Audrain’s appointment by the unanimous vote of the Board.

“SISO is in great shape with a very diverse and robust membership that spans the globe—it’s a great organization with lots of upside still to come,” said McCurdy. “[The Board] wanted to thank Shomex Productions and Lew Shomer for their success in bringing SISO to the level it has reached as the premier organization serving the for-profit show organizer.”

David Audrain, president and CEO, ExpoDevCo, will manage SISO as its executive director.
David Audrain, president and CEO, ExpoDevCo, will manage SISO as its executive director.

Founded by Audrain, president and CEO, with Stephanie Everett, executive vice president, ExpoDevCo is a 3-year-old Atlanta-based service company specializing in the organization and management of trade shows and conferences in North America that include owned events, licensed shows and show management contracts. The partners have worked together for over nine years producing both U.S. and international events.

At the launch of ExpoDevCo, Audrain also served as president and CEO, of Clarion Events North America, a joint venture between Clarion Events Limited and Audrain/ExpoDevCo.
Previously for over six years, Audrain was president and CEO of Messe Frankfurt North America where he produced a portfolio of 10 events in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, including six launches, and managed exhibitor sales and attendee promotion to the North American markets of more than 100 worldwide shows.

Audrain served as COO of ConvExx from 2001 through 2005, where they managed the world-renowned SEMA Show. He also held senior management positions with Advanstar, where he managed the MAGIC apparel shows; Hanley Wood Exhibitions, where he was responsible for the Surfaces and NACE shows; and Miller Freeman, where he was responsible for the Sewn Products & Decorated Apparel Group, which included nine tradeshows and four monthly trade publications.

Prior to beginning his career in the U.S. with the Texas Restaurant Association, Audrain owned a software development company in Europe, creating high-end, multi-currency accounting and investment management software.

Audrain has served on the Board and the Executive Committee of SISO and as Chairman in 2013-2014. He was also a past chairman of the International Association for Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).

As executive director of SISO for seven years, Lew Shomer will step down in 2016.
As executive director of SISO for seven years, Lew Shomer will step down in 2016.

“I am thrilled that the Board has chosen David to be the Executive Director when I step down,” said Lew Shomer, current executive director, SISO. “David and I have known each other for more than 10 years and I was proud to serve under his leadership when he was Chair of SISO. His unique entrepreneurial drive mixed with his managerial style for organizing and producing shows all over the world will help SISO maintain the many relationships we have developed, which make SISO such an integral part of the overall global Industry.”

According to McCurdy Tony Calanca headed the search committee that found Audrain.

“We have developed a transition program that will make the passing of the leadership virtually seamless, ensuring our members and sponsors will continue to receive the very best service that they have come to expect,” McCurdy added. “We are confident that David will continue to lead SISO at the forefront of the industry as we concentrate on member benefits and continuing education to schools, universities and our member organizations.”

For more information, visit siso.org


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