Chief Strategist, Chupka Consulting LLC
Karen Chupka is a seasoned executive in the exhibition industry whose expertise is in planning large-scale technology events. Chupka spent over 20 years at the helm of CES® and was instrumental in making it the global platform for introducing new and innovative technologies.  Chupka has a broad level of experience in both live events and digital. She led a $120 million business and had oversight for sales, marketing, operations, and content development.  She was also responsible for events outside of the U.S. including the launch of CES Asia in Shanghai, China in 2015.   She has served on many boards of various exhibition industry organizations and has received numerous awards for her contributions both to the exhibition and technology industries.  In 2022, she was recognized with an industry “Icon” award by TSNN, Trade Show Network News.  She is a member of IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events) and participates on the World Technology of Games Advisory Board.  Chupka loves traveling the globe, meeting entrepreneurs, and hearing about technology that is helping to transform lives. 
Executive Director, North American Trailer Dealers Association
Andria Gibbon, CEM has been working in the event industry for 22 years. Starting off on consumer shows, she has learned the organizer’s role in a variety of events from consumer shows and festivals to meetings, conferences and city-wide trade shows. Andria spent the majority of her career working for associations where she gained important perspective on how to run an event for a membership base. In 2011, Andria earned her Certification in Exhibition Management through IAEE which she has maintained ever since and in 2021 was recognized by TSNN with the Outstanding ShowPro Award. Andria joined the North American Trailer Dealers Association (NATDA) in September of 2019 in the role of Director of Events and Operations. She led the team through the tough times of COVID, which saw the cancellation of the annual 2020 NATDA Trailer Show and came back with the in-person 2021 Show breaking all previously set attendance records in NATDA’s history. Shortly after the event, she was promoted to Executive Director of the association and then, several months later, was tasked with leading the team through the transition of the sale of NATDA to Trifecta Collective LLC all the while guiding the team to another record-breaking trade show in 2022. Andria lives in St. Petersburg, Fla., with her husband and two rescue pups, where she also helps run a local animal rescue that has saved thousands of furry lives over the past few years.
Founder & CEO, Vesuvio Ventures
Marco is a successful entrepreneur and investor with over 25 years of intensive experience in media, technology, and the live events industry. He is the Founder and CEO of Vesuvio Ventures, where he works with startups, Venture and Private Equity investors, and corporate innovators serving as a coach, advisor, interim executive, board member, or angel investor (or a combination thereof).  After several years in a successful career as a corporate executive at Apple, Marco pursued his entrepreneurial ambitions and became: 
  • Co-founder and Board Member of Mind Opener, a leading publishing group in Latin America that was later sold to British Pearson Media Group, and 
  • Co-founder and Board Member of e-mind, an internet and media communications company that was sold to Liberty Media. 
  • President, CEO and co-founder of Mind Trainer (later Reed Exhibitions), a firm specializing in the organization of major regional trade-shows and events that was sold to Reed Elsevier after a successful long-term joint venture. 
Marco is a Harvard Business School OPM Graduate, and member of YPO, the Young Presidents Organization and a frequent speaker at industry conferences.   He is also a co-author of the best-selling books The Face of Digital focused on how digital technologies are changing the live events business industry and Reinventing Live about the “Always-On” future of live events. He is the host and speaker at the Leaderpass Business of Events Masterclass program.  
Tom Gibson always believed the best leaders cultivate a wide field of vision. That’s especially true in this time of accelerating market shifts and compressed decision-making. Leading today also requires continuous innovation to remain relevant. At MCI USA, we provide our clients the combination of strategic insights and relentless implementation that drives business success in a complex, volatile marketplace. As CEO of the U.S. subsidiary of Geneva, Switzerland-based MCI Group, the largest global marketing engagement agency serving associations, corporations and governments, Gibson sets MCI USA’s course for the U.S. market by focusing on: Sustainable Business Growth: Through a combination of organic and acquisitive growth, we very intentionally build agility into the DNA of our teams, so we’re prepared for now, next and beyond Strategic Alignment: Creating a robust, crystalline vision in the U.S., the world’s largest and most competitive source market, accelerates the end-to-end value MCI delivers in more than 30 countries and 60 cities around the world • Effective Communication: Leading is about finding and retaining incredible colleagues who listen actively, manage ethically, and act intentionally, formulating and implementing strategies and actions which enable our teams and clients to WIN   The result has been a U.S. platform that has grown 500% since 2015, a tribute to the quality – and the qualities – of our U.S. and global teams.  When not otherwise immersed in exciting work, you’ll find Gibson reading historical biography, navigating Biscayne Bay and the Florida Straits with his wife of 30 years as first mate, or satisfying his thirst for current economic and political insights.  As an unrepentant undergraduate English major, the ability to distill and convert large quantities of information into clear narrative was fortunate training for this cluttered time. 
SVP/Events, Aviation Week Network
Lydia Janow started her career at Family Weekly, a newspaper-based insert as Secretary in the Merchandising Dept., where she learned how to organize special events and incentive programs. From there, she moved onto Magazine Publishers Association, the non-profit association, organizing education seminars, annual meetings and prestigious events, such as the Henry Johnson Fisher awards. After spending two years in non-profit, Lydia made a career decision to learn the “back of the house” and became a Convention Service Manager at a Sheraton Hotel in New Jersey. Two years later, she decided to move back to event planning and became the Tradeshow Manager for Aviation Week Network (AWN), and worked her way up to her current position as SVP/Events. Lydia was instrumental in establishing the MRO global series. She oversees and manages all aspects of the AWN events of the New York, London and Manchester based teams. She will currently celebrate her 32nd anniversary with AWN in April.
CEO, Trifecta Events
Rick McConnell has a proven track record of acquiring, launching, and growing events. He is a team builder, innovator, idea generator, revenue driver, and partnership expert. From 2009-2014 he led Hanley Wood Exhibitions, growing the portfolio by 67% in four years. As President of Informa Markets North American from 2014-2020, he succeeded in growing annual revenues from $61 million to $425 million through acquisition, organic strategies and digital initiatives. He is the former Chairman of SISO (Society of Independent Show Organizers). He received the IAEE Pinnacle Award in 2020. The award recognizes an individual who, over 20 years, has furthered IAEE’s objectives of advancing exhibitions and events management through the promotion of education, the dissemination of knowledge and the introduction or development of innovative techniques, and who has been dedicated to the perpetuation of the highest ideals, trust and professionalism in this highly specialized field. Rick has an MBA from the University of Arkansas.
Executive Vice President of Exhibitions & Events, MHI
Daniel McKinnon, CEM, is the Executive Vice President of Exhibitions at MHI, the global trade association representing the material handling, supply chain and logistics industry.  Mr. McKinnon brings over 32 years of experience in exhibition management to MHI. His most recent role was Vice President of Global Client Solutions at FreemanXP where he focused on helping the enterprises’ customers grow their events and business.   Previously, as Vice President of Events for the Energy & Engineering Group at Access Intelligence, Daniel was charged with launching and developing several industry leading events.   In addition, Daniel worked as Vice President of Government Events at 1105 Media; he also served as Executive Vice President of Messe Frankfurt, Inc., with management and oversight responsibility for the company’s international trade shows and business development efforts in North America. He has also served as Executive Director of International Development for AmericasMart Atlanta, Inc., and was International Sales and Marketing Director at SEMCO Productions.   Daniel is a past Chairperson of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE); he served on the Board of Directors from 2012 – 2019.  Daniel is also a former Chair and Director of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) Board of Directors.    Daniel lives in Dallas, TX with his wife, five children, one dog and a cat.  Since the MHI offices are in Charlotte, NC; Daniel commutes during the week.  
President, Chicago Automobile Trade Association and General Manager, Chicago Auto Show
Jennifer Morand is the President of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, the association that represents area new-car dealers, and General Manager of the Chicago Auto Show. The Chicago Auto Show is the largest in the nation, as well as the longest running auto exposition in the country. Morand took over as President/General Manger just over a year ago, but is no stranger to the CATA or automotive industry. In her former role, she was Director of Public Relations and Social Media of the CATA/Chicago Auto Show, bringing more than a decade of communications and digital marketing into her new role as President/General Manager. Prior to the Chicago Auto Show, she held various leadership roles at PR agencies spreading awareness and managing media relations for clients such as the “got milk?” campaign, Heinz Ketchup and more. She lives in the southwest suburbs of Chicago with her husband, two children and English Cream golden retriever.
President and CEO, ConvExx
Jeff Pressman, CEM, is President & CEO of ConvExx, LLC, which produces events on behalf of association-clients as well as events it owns and developsConvExx serves a variety of industry segments, including currently producing events in the shooting sports, confectionery and snack, and automotive industriesConvExx currently produces two TSE Gold 100 events, with the SHOT Show and the Sweets & Snacks ExpoJeff began his career in the trade show industry in 2006, when he joined ConvExx as its Chief Operating Officer and was show manager for the SEMA ShowShortly thereafter, Jeff became its President & CEO, responsible for overseeing the company but also specifically responsible for the management of its largest show since 2014, the SHOT ShowPrior to joining the trade show industry, Jeff was a lawyer at Management Plus Enterprises and Premier Sports Management, sports agencies representing athletes such as Shaquille O’Neal, John Randle, Pete Carroll and numerous NFL players and coaches.   
Senior Vice President, Exhibition & Event Services, AVIXA
Rochelle Richardson (formerly Burt) has spent 30+ years in the Exhibitions, Events and Hospitality Industry in various leadership roles implementing effective strategies to steer companies to unparalleled growth and is currently the Senior Vice President, Exposition and Event Services for AVIXA InfoComm USA. Rochelle joined AVIXA in March 2019 and leads the growth strategy for the audiovisual and integrated experience association’s largest trade show in North America. InfoComm ranks on Trade Show Executive Magazine’s Gold 100. Previously, Rochelle held the position as Vice President at LIGHTFAIR® International (LFI) where she led an award-winning team for more than 12 years. Rochelle joined AMC, Inc. – LIGHTFAIR International in 2007 as an Executive Director for the Gift & Home Furnishings Temporaries Division before being promoted to LFI’s Managing Director and eventually to Vice President. Rochelle was responsible for sales, attendee relations, conference programming and operations. LFI® is North America’s largest annually held architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference program and was consistently ranked by Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of the top 100 trade shows in the U.S. under her leadership. Prior to joining LFI, Rochelle spent six years with NCR-a leading Fortune 500 Company as the Global Director of the Retail Solutions Division (RSD)- Marketing Services. With global responsibilities to manage Marketing Services for Americas, CLA, Canada, EMEA, APAC, and Japan, Rochelle was consistently recognized for outstanding leadership, performance and a contributor towards NCR’s growth. Rochelle began her career in the hotel industry working for various hotels and casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey and then Starwood Lodging Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia. Rochelle obtained her CEM Certification in 2011 and is a member of International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE) and Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Rochelle serves on the Orange County Convention Center Executive Client Advisory Committee and Trade Show Executive Magazine Editorial Board . Rochelle is the recent past IAEE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair (2019 – 2021) and has served on the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority Client Advisory Committees.
Professor of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara
Peter Rupert is Director of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project. He is a Professor of Economics and is also the Associate Director of the Laboratory of Aggregate Economics and Finance at UCSB with Nobel laureate Finn Kydland. Before joining the Economics faculty he was a Senior Research Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for 13 years. His areas of specialization include macroeconomics, monetary economics, and labor and family economics. Prior to joining the Cleveland Fed, he held a variety of teaching positions, including professorships at the University of Western Ontario, the SUNY Buffalo, and West Virginia University. He has also had visiting professorships at the University of Southern California and University of London. Professor Rupert earned his B.S. at Santa Clara University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. Dr. Rupert is an avid cyclist, and volunteers as the chief economist for the Santa Barbara Zoo. He hosts and presents at the annual UCB Economic Summit each May in Santa Barbara, which draws more than 1,000 attendees.
Vice President of Promoter Relations in the Americas for F1 Experiences, QuintEvents
Taylor Silva, Vice President of Promoter Relations in the Americas for F1 Experiences at QuintEvents, manages the company’s relationship with F1 promoters and oversees business development and facilitation for F1 Experiences events.  Prior to joining QuintEvents, Silva was the Vice President of Strategy and Business Development and Vice President of Commercial Partnerships at Las Vegas Grand Prix. He helped build the core team and sales strategy for the F1 race taking place in Las Vegas in November 2023.  Silva also spent more than nine years with the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, most recently as the Director of Strategy and Business Development, where he developed ancillary revenue streams and provided analysis for the NFL team’s relocation to Las Vegas from Oakland, Calif., using data-driven insights.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts, Government and Business from the University of Redlands and went on to receive his Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. 
President – North America, Informa Markets
Nancy is Informa Markets’ President of North America. Before joining Informa in January 2020, Nancy had a 32-year career with Reed Exhibitions, working her way up to President of North America there before moving to Freeman where she served as SVP, Brand Experience, designing innovative brand experiences for customers. As President of Informa Markets’ most profitable portfolio, Nancy is responsible for creating year-long, multi-channel platforms for a variety of industries spanning across Nutrition, Fashion, Construction, Aviation, Brand Licensing, and more, and has successfully led those brands to recovery and growth from 2020 until today. When she is not traveling to one of Informa Markets’ shows, she can be found enjoying live music and spending time with her children, April and Christian, and her dog, Stewie.
Michael Villani is an actor/voice over artist in Los Angeles, and has been since graduating from the University of Missouri with a Broadcast Journalism degree in 1970. After 15 years in radio, Mike started his career in Hollywood as a Page at NBC, where he worked on some classic programs, like The Tonight Show, Laugh In, and Hollywood Squares. He co-starred with Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer in Up Close and Personal, was featured in Volcano with Tommy Lee Jones and Wag the Dog with Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman. He co-starred as Merv Griffin in the Milos Forman film, Man On The Moon, the Andy Kaufman story, starring Jim Carrey, as well as appearing in Jim’s blockbuster Bruce Almighty. He was also featured in The Girl Next Door, and can be seen with Jamie Foxx and Beyoncé Knowles in Dreamgirls. Mike played himself in the Christian Bale hit VICE as the Ditech.com mortgage company Spokesman. He was seen as the newscaster in the Trailer helping to promote Universal’s blockbuster Cocaine Bear. Mike’s television credits include co-starring roles in hits like Criminal Minds, CSI and Fresh Off the Boat. Mike was the announcer for the Hollywood Film Festival for 18 years, and was the Venue announcer for Indoor Volleyball at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece and in the same capacity in the summer of 2008, at the Olympics in Beijing, China. Mike was in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics, in 2010, as the Venue announcer for Figure Skating and was the English announcer in Olympic Park at The Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, 2014. He was the announcer for Indoor Volleyball at the Arab Games in Doha, Qatar in 2011, and the Announcer for the FIVB World League Finals in Rio in July of 2015 and in August, 2015, Mike was the Beach Volleyball Announcer for The World Games, Special Olympics in Los Angeles. In May, 2016 he was in Orlando, Florida, announcing at the Invictus Games. In Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games, Mike was the Venue announcer for Indoor Volleyball and again for Sitting Volleyball at the Paralympics. He was the PA, Stadium1, announcer for the BNP Paribas Tennis Tournament, for two years, in Indian Wells, California. He also worked the Warrior Games at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where he announced the Opening and Closing Ceremony and the Sitting Volleyball competition. Mike was in Lima, Peru in August 2019, as the PA announcer for Softball at the Pan American Games. In 2021 he announced Sitting Volleyball at the Paralympics, in Tokyo, Japan, and in November of that year, was the Gymnastics announcer at the Junior Pan American Games, in Cali, Colombia. In June of 2022, Mike announced the USA Gymnastics National Finals in Des Moines, Iowa. And in July of that year was the Venue announcer for Gymnastics at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama. Mike is “Inside the Ropes” with the PGA, as a starter at the Genesis Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, in Los Angeles. Mike “voiced” the characters of Peach Wilkins in the game “BIOSHOCK” and Lord Ignatius in “WORLD OF WARCRAFT”! Commercially, Mike was the national spokesman for DiTech.com for eleven years and the international voice for Warner Brothers Television, just to name a few of his long list of credits. He’s the Voice of the Anaheim Police Department, where he’s been a Technical Reserve for the past 41 years. He was honored with the Reserve Officer of the Year Award for 2016. Mike is also the Master of Ceremonies for many corporate, charitable events and golf tournaments in and around Southern California