This Just In

Staff Bios


Vice President, Sponsorship and Engagement

April Walsh joined Trade Show Executive as Vice President, Sponsorship and Engagement, and now oversees multimedia sponsorships and drives engagement within the live events community. She develops partnerships, content opportunities, and in-person experiences for Trade Show Executive Magazine and its leading events: TSE’s Fastest 50 Awards & Summit and Gold 100 Awards & Summit.

April is a seasoned industry professional with a background in marketing and strategy. Most recently she worked for CloserStill Media where she provided leadership, strategic and commercial direction for three U.S. Vet Shows held in Chicago, Reno and New York. She used market trends, forecasts, consumer insights and data to drive revenue growth and build customer relationships within the veterinary industry while coaching and developing marketing, conference, sales, operations, and customer success. 

Prior to CloserStill Media, April worked at Freeman for seven years in several disciplines in marketing, communications and agency services. April championed the creation and execution of integrated marketing campaigns for Freeman’s B2B customers which contributed to increased demand generation and revenue growth. She also launched the customer-focused Freeman Inside Live Program, a series of experiences: webinars, in-person events, and social media engagement to reach and support the industry through the pandemic and created resources to address client needs such as health and safety materials. During her time at Freeman, April also led live events for Freeman marketing and managing the brand activations from creative development to delivery for 10-plus events annually including SXSW, Experiential Marketing Summit, CEMA Summit, PCMA Convening Leaders, NHL Stadium Series, and Exhibitor Live to name a few. April also facilitated public relations and social media coverage for the Field of Dreams game in Iowa.

April is also very active in the events industry, participating in the launch team for the Association for Women in Events inaugural meeting Elevate. She previously served on the IAEE Women’s Leadership Conference Committee and currently is part of the Women in Exhibitions Network. She recently was named a Woman to Watch by Trade Show Executive Magazine for demonstrated leadership qualities, creativity, problem solving skills and a high level of excellence in show management. April is based in New York City and enjoys spending time with family in South Carolina. 



Managing Editor

Maddy Ryley is the Managing Editor at Trade Show Executive (TSE), where she oversees assignments and content for the print magazine and continues to write for both the print and digital sides of the publication. She started at TSE in May of 2020 as an intern and found a passion for reporting on the trade show industry. She joined TSE full time as an Associate Editor following her graduation from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism in May of 2022, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Honor’s Certificate.

As Associate Editor, Ryley was recognized with Azbee’s Regional Bronze Award in the Group Profile category of the 2023 for her coverage on the TSE’s Women to Watch recipients. She also earned Azbee’s Regional Bronze Award in the E-Newsletter – General Excellence category for her work on TSE’s widely read weekly e-newsletter. In January 2023, Maddy was promoted to Senior Associate Editor, as she took on more responsibilities with digital content and feature articles for the magazine. In June 2023, she accepted the Managing Editor position.

Maddy is excited to continue learning and covering the trade show industry at TSE while improving on her journalistic skills and confidence as a young professional in an active and innovative industry. Reach Maddy at or (815) 955-7032.



Digital Associate Editor

Andrew Warrick is the Digital Associate Editor at Trade Show Executive (TSE). He is thrilled to assist Maddy Ryley with TSE’s E-newsletter, email campaigns, website and social media channels, and more digital projects. Andrew joined TSE in February 2024, after receiving his MFA in Writing from Columbia College Chicago, where he worked as an Assistant Acquisitions Editor for Allium Literary Journal. He earned his bachelor’s degree, with Highest Honors, in Creative Writing and History from the University of Michigan in 2021. As an undergraduate, Andrew worked as an Arts Writer for The Michigan Daily, covering film, music, and literature, a Film Writer for SEEN Magazine, and an Editorial and Marketing Intern at Pegasus Books. Reach Andrew at (734) 834-3086 or 



Director of Research

Carri Jensen is director of research for Trade Show Executive. She joined TSE in 2011 as manager of directories. Carri leads TSE’s research team in compiling all of TSE’s annual directories including the World’s Top Convention Centers directory, the Who’s Who Mega Guide, the Gold 100 directory and the Fastest 50 directory. She also oversees the production of TSE’s monthly Dashboard of Trade Show Performance, TSE’s monthly ZOOM trade show calendar, a number of statistical reports, and TSE custom research projects. She serves on the planning committee for the TSE Gold 100 Awards & Summit and the TSE Fastest 50 Awards & Summit. Carri’s background includes 14 years with Reed Business Information where she served as Tradeshow Week’s editor of directory publications. Carri started her publishing career in the sales department of another Reed publication, The Parker Directory of California Attorneys. As a Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management graduate of Oregon State University, Carri worked for several years in the tourism industry in Hawaii prior to returning to the U.S. mainland. Reach Carri at (541) 286-4014 or



Assistant Editor, Research

Carson Stoolmiller joined TSE in April of 2022 and assists Carri Jensen in compiling TSE’s directories, including the Pardon Our Dust report and the Hotel/Convention Center Complexes report. Before coming to TSE, Carson worked as a Trade Show Coordinator for Checkers Safety Group, coordinating the company’s presence at several major trade shows, including the NAB Show and MINExpo INTERNATIONAL®. Carson also worked as an Exhibits Coordinator the American Water Works Association, coordinating the exhibit hall for AWWA’s Annual Conference & Exposition (ACE), Water Quality and Technology Conference and Membrane Technology Conference & Exposition. Carson is a University of Michigan graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English. Reach Carson at (303) 356-4818 or



Sara Gebhardt

Event Planner

Sara Gebhardt started working as the Event Planner for Trade Show Executive in October 2023. She manages the Trade Show Executive Fastest 50 Awards & Summit and the Trade Show Executive Gold 100 Awards & Summit. Sara has almost 10 years of experience in marketing and events. In her most recent role, Sara produced high-profile events of over two hundred guests, partnering with prestigious publications such as Chicago Magazine and Chicago Agents Magazine. She is an events and communication manager, excelling in social media marketing, PR, and leading all stages of innovative, branded, and revenue-generating events. In 2014, she was hired by Related Realty/Related Midwest, the largest privately-owned real estate firm, as the lead graphic designer and marketing manager. Her role involved creating brand materials for luxury real estate, copywriting for communication materials, and overseeing all print, digital, web, and large-scale design. Sara graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in Fine Arts and Art History. You can reach Sara at or (630) 638-2004.



President Emeritus

Darlene Gudea is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience as a writer, researcher, editor, and publisher in the trade show industry. She began her career in the trade show business in 1978 as managing editor of Tradeshow Week, published by Reed Business Information in Los Angeles. She rose through the ranks and was named VP/publisher & editor-in-chief in December 1986. In March 2000, she joined Advanstar Communications in Santa Ana, CA as a group publisher of the Call Center/CRM Group, responsible for Customer Interface magazine, the Customer Interface Buyer’s Guide, two show dailies, five exhibitor directories, and five conference guides. In September 2001, she was named director of the Magazine Division of Hispanic Business in Santa Barbara, CA, overseeing its editorial, research, circulation, sales, and production departments.

Gudea joined Trade Show Executive magazine in September 2002, expanding the bi-monthly publication to 12 issues per year; launched five directories including the World’s Top Convention Centers and the popular Who’s Who series; launched a website and E-clips Breaking News; added an event division to launch the Gold 100 Awards & Summit; and formed a strategic partnership with Simmons Market Research Bureau and Mark Rothman & Associates to conduct custom research projects for convention bureaus, convention centers, and private equity firms.

Gudea is active in many trade show industry associations, and has served on the board of directors of the International Association of Exhibition & Events (IAEE), IAEE Education Foundation, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) Foundation, the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) and the Exhibit Designer & Producers Association Foundation (ED&PA). She was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE) as well as from the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA). Gudea and the publications she directed have won over 56 awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, the Western Publications Association, TABPI and APEX /Communications Concepts for excellence in the areas of design, feature-writing, “How-To” articles, news writing, surveys and for the “Most Improved Publication.” Darlene has a B.A. in Advertising from Michigan State University. Reach Darlene at (760) 630-9111 or

TSE Sales

TJ Clifford

Sales Representative



TSE Data Center