Kontich, Belgium – Vincent Gérard, former Managing Director of UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry and Secretary-General of InterEXPO, died yesterday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The Belgian-born Gérard joined UFI in 2001 and worked there until he stepped down in 2010. His earlier experience included 15 years as an organizer of the Brussels agricultural trade fair Agrlbex and a term as chairman of Febelux, the exhibition industry association in Belgium and Luxemburg.
“We have lost a great colleague, a strong promoter of our industry and a close friend,” said UFI President Sergej Alexeev, Vice President of ExpoForum International. “Despite his health fading away, Vincent was following UFI and the industry all the time, and he stayed in touch with many friends from all over the world. He will be missed, and we remain grateful for everything he did during his years at UFI and beyond.”
After leaving UFI, Gérard joined InterEXPO in 2011. “Vincent was popular throughout the exhibition and trade fair community worldwide,” said Jerry Kallman, Managing Director for Kallman Global Consulting. “He assumed the leadership of UFI at a challenging time and introduced good management principles and a steadying hand when they were sorely needed. His stewardship of InterEXPO also reflected his dedication to orderliness and even-handed guidance.”
“Although he understood the inevitability of ALS, he never complained or lost his joie de vie,” said Kallman. “His devoted wife, Caroline, displayed the same stoic attitude and simple courage.”