Portland, ME – Diversified Communications, a privately held, family-owned business that produces 80 events worldwide and serves the broadcasting, exhibition, publishing and emerging media industries, announced today that Nancy Hasselback, president and CEO, will retire June 28, 2013. Ted Wirth, Diversified’s vice president of business development, will become president and CEO after Hasselback’s retirement. Matthew Pearce, managing director of Diversified Communications Asia, will take on an expanded role in international business development.
Hasselback, who joined Diversified 33 years ago, became president of Diversified Business Communications in 2003 and assumed her current role at Diversified Communications in 2009. During her tenure, she spearheaded the rapid growth of the company, which produced four trade shows and three magazines in 1993. Since then, Diversified has launched and acquired more than 90 products and established new divisions in Australia, Hong Kong, India, the United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S.
In the past two years, Diversified has expanded its investment in the primary care and medical specialty industry with the acquisition of Pri-Med and Amazing Charts. Since 2003, Diversified Business Communications’ revenue has grown more than 300%.
Diversified also serves industries including seafood, food service, organic, healthcare, commercial marine and business management. Diversified’s flagship event in North America, the International WorkBoat Show, ranked No. 91 on the Trade Show Executive Gold 100 last year. In 2011, the event attracted 13,979 attendees and featured 1,002 exhibiting companies covering 199,175 nsf.
The company’s largest event, the European Seafood Exposition and Seafood Processing Europe, will be held April 23-25 in Brussels, Belgium. In 2012, the annual event attracted 25,600 attendees and featured more than 365,000 nsf of exhibit space. Hasselback was instrumental in launching the European Seafood Exposition and Seafood Processing Europe in 1993.
“For many years, Nancy has been at the heart of Diversified Business Communications’ expansion from the U.S. to a truly global business as well as being responsible for diversification into new industries,” said Daniel Hildreth, chairman of the board for Diversified. “Though perhaps the most important legacy Nancy leaves is from her commitment to Diversified’s values and making the company such a great place to work.”
“It’s daunting to take over from a legend like Nancy, but we’ve got a great team of vice presidents with at least 15 years of tenure with the company,” Wirth told Trade Show Executive. He said he plans to follow a three-prong attack for continuing to grow the company. “We will maintain the core products, focus on organic growth and look for opportunities to diverse revenue beyond events through data and other products.”
Hasselback began her professional career in the seafood business as a commercial fisherman, owning and operating vessels fishing in Rhode Island and Alaska. In her retirement, she will return to life on the sea. She and her husband have immediate plans to set sail and pursue their long-time dream to explore the world’s oceans.
Hasselback has served as the chair of the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). She is a member of the board of directors of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.
When Wirth assumes his new position, he will lead an organization of nearly 700 hundred employees operating on four continents. Wirth first joined the company as finance director in 1994 and then served as vice president of commercial marine expositions. In 1999, he left Diversified to launch a magazine and subsequently a high-end personalized stationery company.
Since returning to Diversified in 2008 in his current role, Wirth has played a critical role in the company’s expansion, including the acquisition of Pri-Med and Amazing Charts, as well as entrance into the Hong Kong and Indian markets.