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CIC Names Gary Sain Posthumously to Class of 2014 Hall of Leaders


Alexandria, VA – The Convention Industry Council (CIC) has announced its class of 2014 inductees into the CIC Hall of Leaders, the highest honor bestowed in the industry.

The first is a posthumous award for Gary Sain, former president and CEO of Visit Orlando and partner in the Florida marketing company YPBR. Sain, who died suddenly in May 2012, was nominated by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events for his numerous contributions to the trade show industry.

Sain was a high-profile leader and an articulate speaker but a truly down-to-earth kind of guy whose trademark orange silk tie made him stand out even more in the crowd.  He was credited with elevating Orlando to the ranks of the leading trade show venues and landing a 10-year deal with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). He was known as a visionary who could see the big picture and worked tirelessly to make those visions happen. His enthusiasm was reflected in board positions with the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and the Trade Show Executive Exposition Forecasting Board.

Also to be honored this year: John Christison, now principal and managing member of Seattle-based BCI+Network and former CEO of the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle; and Patti Shock, academic consultant for The International School of Hospitality and adjunct professor for Florida International University.

Christison, nominated by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), also previously led the facilities under the auspices of the Oregon Exposition Recreation Commission and several venues in Orlando, including the Orlando Expo Center. He also is past president of the IAVM and a founder and past chair of the World Council for Venue Management.

Shock, nominated by the National Association for Catering and Events, taught at the University of Nevada Hotel School for 25 years and has been with The International School of Hospitality for five years. She recently began teaching online for the Meetings and Events classes at Florida International University, after retiring from her position as Professor at UNLV last summer. “I am truly appreciative of all of the industry support over the years,” Shock told Trade Show Executive. “All of my accomplishments have been due to the help of others. I was just the catalyst,” she said.

The Hall of Leaders program recognizes specific achievements of industry pioneers and emerging leaders who have changed the landscape and the culture of the meetings and conventions industry. This year’s nominees will join 111 others already inducted into the Hall of Leaders. The honorees will be formally recognized at the CIC Hall of Leaders Gala on October 12 at the MGM Grand Resort & Casino in Las Vegas at the start of IMEX America Week.

Reach John Christison at (425) 644-7266; Patti Shock at (702) 895-0875 or