Hacker Stepping Down as IAEE Head

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Dallas, TX – Steven Hacker will step down as the president of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) next year. Hacker told Trade Show Executive (TSE) he would leave the association September 30, 2012. The IAEE board of directors is appointing a search committee to find a replacement.

Hacker said he planned to remain in the exhibition industry, although his next stop had yet to be determined. “I’ll be looking around the industry to see if there is a good fit for my experience and skills,” he told TSE.

Hacker has been a venerable and dominant figure in the exhibition industry since the 1970s. He helped build IAEE, formerly known as the International Association for Exhibition Management, into a pre-eminent organization in the trade show industry with more than 9,000 members and an international reach. With two decades of leadership at IAEE, a large percentage of show managers have spent all of their career with Hacker at the helm of the industry’s largest and most influential industry association.

Since beginning his association management career in 1970, Hacker has served on dozens of boards of directors; earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 1976; and was named a “Fellow” of the American Society of  Association Executives (ASAE) in 1988. He was inducted into the prestigious Convention Industry Council’s Hall of Leaders in December 2007; was named “One of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings and Conventions Industry” for 12 consecutive years beginning in 1996; and in August 2009 was named “One of Ten Industry Leaders to Watch” by Trade Show Executive magazine.

When asked about the mark his career has left on the industry thus far, Hacker was humble. “That’s for others to determine,” he said. “It has been a terrific experience but after 20-plus years it’s time to move on to the next challenge.”

Hacker’s departure would be the latest recent shift in the leadership ranks of major industry associations. The International Association of Venue Managers last month named Vickie Hawarden, a former IAEE executive, as its new president and CEO when Dexter King retired.

Reach Steven Hacker at  (972) 458-8002 or shacker@iaee.com; IAEE Chairman Vinnie Polito at (203) 500-1586 or vpolito@vpelevate.com