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Industry Leader Peter Nathan Passes Away

head shot of Peter Nathan

CHICAGO — Industry icon Peter Nathan passed away, leaving behind a legacy of service and dedication to the trade show industry. He spent nearly 60 years in the trade show space. 

Nathan served as President of PWN Exhibicon International LLC, a company that he formed in 1996, and in 2000 he organized the first U.S. exhibition held in Cuba in 40 years. Before the launch of PWN Exhibicon International, Nathan worked at Clapp & Poliak, which is credited with organizing some of the first U.S. shows in the former Soviet Union and China. Nathan also served as Executive Vice President of Expocon Management, Vice President of Reed Exhibitions (now RX) and in a senior management role at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York in the 1980s, after Clapp & Poliak was acquired by what was then Reed Exhibitions.  

He retired in 2012 after serving more than 58 years in the industry and organizing more than 500 trade shows and events for a diverse range of industries. 

Related. Peter Nathan Retiring after Nearly 60 Years in Trade Shows

Nathan was a founding member of the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and Major American Trade Show Organizers (MATSO) and received many accolades over the years. He was awarded the King’s Glove Award by the New York Area Chapter of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), The Expo Group Show Manager of the Year Award, the Robert L. Krakoff SISO Leadership Award, was inducted into the Events Industry Council Hall of Leaders and received the Pinnacle Award from IAEE. 

“Peter Nathan’s impact will resonate in our industry forever,” SISO CEO Vincent Polito said. “He accomplished so much and always exuded class, grace and professionalism. SISO serves the for-profit producer today in large part because of his efforts. He will be missed by me, by SISO and by the entire events industry.” 

Nathan was passionate about mentorship and provided coworkers, associates and industry newcomers with guidance. He also volunteered at SCORE, an organization that connects business executives and entrepreneurs for mentorship and counseling, showing how important it was to him to share his experiences and knowledge with those both in the exhibition industry and outside of it.  

A date for a celebration of life will be announced later. 

Reach Vincent Polito at

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