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Lew Shomer to Step Down as SISO Executive Director in 2015


Santa Monica, CA – The Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) announced that they are seeking a new executive director to take over management of the high-profile association next year when current Executive Director Lew Shomer steps down.

Shomer informed the SISO board of directors that he would not seek a renewal of his contract, which expires September 30, 2015.

Chairman Rick McConnell said the board “wished that Lew would stay on, but having already convinced him to extend his contract twice before, they understood that he wants to concentrate his efforts on his own show, Abilities Expo.”

The search for a new executive director will be conducted by the board’s executive committee. RFPs can be requested before November 21 from Tony Calanca, executive VP of Advanstar Communications, Inc. at

Shomer, who owns Shomex Productions in Santa Monica, told Trade Show Executive he expected SISO to again look within the ranks of independent show organizers rather than seek an association management firm. “One of our strengths is that our point of view comes from the CEOs in our industry,” he said. “We have an extremely high level of visibility and vision as to where the industry is headed.”

Shomer had been the executive director of SISO since October 2008. Prior to that, Shomer was a member of the SISO board of directors for nine years and spent a term as its chairman.

Shomer has significantly grown in international membership and participation in SISO events.  Today, international members are 25% of the total roster of 165 members.

Shomer’s career in the trade show industry stretched back to the glory days of COMDEX, when he was vice president, marketing and sales for The Interface Group, which organized the landmark computer exhibition.

Shomer also serves as chairman of 5NET4 Productions, which organizes Abilities Expo shows in five major U.S. cities.

Reach Lew Shomer at  (310) 450-8831, x2, or

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