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The Jimmie Fore Scholarship Endowment Approaches Six Figures


Houston, TX – The scholarship endowment set up in memory of long time convention center manager Jimmie Fore reached $90,000 less than a year after its establishment.

A $25,000 donation from Shepard Exposition Services, Inc. in May spurred the growth of the Jimmie Fore Endowment Scholarship, which was established last August. The total fund has also grown through sustaining grants from various exhibition industry companies and foundations and from matching grants from the Conrad Hilton Foundation.

“We are very pleased,” said Wayne Chappell, vice president of trade show relations for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We were delighted by Shepard’s shot in the arm.”

Shepard delivered its contribution during an open house for its new regional hub facility in Houston, the city where Fore spent 15 years as executive vice president of the Astrodome-Astrohall Stadium Corp. and where Shepard just opened its 10th national office.

“Jimmie had a significant impact on this industry and this business,” said Shepard President Carl Mitchell. “We are honored to be able to contribute in his memory.”

Fore died last year at the age of 73. He had retired to his Texas ranch in 2007 after a stellar career that also included running McCormick Place in Chicago and riding out Hurricane Katrina and overseeing the rebuilding of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Chappell told Trade Show Executive it was particularly fitting that Shepard announced its gift in Houston, a city he said Fore had helped put on the exhibition map in the 1960s at a time when the convention scene was dominated by Chicago.

Industry colleagues established the Jimmie Fore Endowment Scholarship at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. The scholarship will assist in the early training of students who may eventually become leaders of the trade show industry.

The Fore endowment was joined recently by a scholarship fund established in memory of the late Gary Sain, the long time CEO of Visit Orlando who died suddenly this Spring.

“They are both valuable and show there are places where members of the industry can make contributions where they will really help,” Chappell said.

Contributions can be made to the Jimmie Fore Endowment Scholarship by contacting Miguel Cabrera, program manager, development, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston, at (713) 743-1523 or

Reach Wayne Chappell at (713) 427-5219 or; Carl Mitchell at (404) 720-8600 or

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