Keep an Eye on TSE’s Inaugural ‘Women to Watch’ List


CHICAGO – Six rising stars in the trade show industry were named honorees on the first annual Trade Show Executive (TSE) Women to Watch list and will be saluted at this Fall’s TSE Gold 100 Awards & Summit.

The half-dozen names, along with three runners up, were selected from a superior group of managers submitted by show organizers and association executives nationwide.

“The number of women entering our industry is remarkable and we want to recognize and embrace this rising trend,” said TSE Publisher and Editor Gabrielle Weiss. “This program is meant to be substantive. So, it is designed to put a special focus on networking, recognition and education.”

The honorees are invited to attend the Gold 100 at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA, Oct. 10-12, where they will receive some valuable networking time and career coaching from C-suite adviser Angela Scalpello. The all-star group will also be featured in an upcoming issue of TSE.

The 2019 Women to Watch include:

  • Christine Flanagan, Vice President of Operations, Reed Exhibitions
  • Kirsten Khoury, Operations Manager, Emerald Expositions
  • Megan Hall, Event Director, Diversified Communications
  • Shari Sally, Director of Sales, Consumer Technology Association
  • Desiree Hanson, VP of WWIN and AXN, Clarion UX
  • Melissa Schilling, Director, Exhibitions & Conferences, National Shooting Sports Foundation

The honorees were selected by a team of TSE editors. The criteria included: professional achievements, leadership qualities, and professional expertise demonstrated within the last year. TSE received an outpouring of outstanding entries. All who were not chosen this year are encouraged to resubmit next year.

According to a recent survey by the Society of Independent Show Organizers, women make up 64% of the workforce among independent show organizers with 9% of companies having a female CEO, compared to a 6.7% average for the Fortune 500 list. Women represent 35% of senior-level management of those companies surveyed, and 51% of mid-level management positions.

“The outpouring of support from industry executives for this initiative was impressive,” said Weiss. “Women contribute a great deal to the success of the trade show industry and we are proud to have these talented and inspiring people on the first TSE Women to Watch team.”

Reach Gabrielle Weiss at (312) 493-7753 or