NEW YORK — In most cases, the glass ceiling, the invisible barrier that blocks women from top jobs, still exists, but that is not the case at Informa Markets.
Nancy Walsh has been named Informa Markets’ President, North America, leading a team of 900 and overseeing all of North American-based brands, including Natural Products Expo, MAGIC, World of Concrete, Licensing Expo, Farm Progress, COTERIE, SupplySide and TISE.
A hands-on leader, Walsh plans to work side by side with her team. “I will be in the trenches with my people, talking to our customers myself,” she says.
Walsh joined the Informa Markets team in January to lead its fashion portfolio and has been instrumental in developing innovative digital solutions and new partnerships that have helped Informa not only adapt to new customer needs, but also grow and transform the fashion retail space.
She joins Margaret Ma Connolly, president, Asia and Peter Hall, president of EMEA in Informa’s C suite.
With this move, Informa Markets is consolidating all its North America-headquartered brands under Walsh.
“Since joining us, Nancy has immersed herself in understanding what value we can offer to our customers through our brands and also developed solutions that keep our communities connected, 365 days a year,” Charlie McCurdy, CEO Informa Markets, says. “She and her team have demonstrated innovation and entrepreneurship – two fundamental attributes to our culture at Informa Markets. By elevating Nancy to this broader role, I have every faith that she will help all our North America-headquartered brands to continue to develop sustainable and effective physical events and evolving digital solutions.”
Walsh has had many successes as president of the company’s fashion portfolio. Most recently, she helped launch a first-of-its-kind digital tradeshow for the fashion industry through a strategic partnership with ecommerce platform provider, NuORDER. During the pandemic, she also launched a learning series with fashion, financial, and lobbying experts to help support struggling brands and retailers during the pandemic, in addition to an incubator program called Fashion for Change which provides booth space and mentorship for up-and-coming black designers.
This year, she was named the International Association of Exhibitions and Events’ Woman of the Year.
She plans to focus on the areas of digital and data in her new role and is looking forward to getting physical events back as soon as it is safe to do so. “Our intention is to start with some hybrid and some micro events,” she said.
Another goal is to identify opportunities for Informa to both physically and digitally bring buyers and sellers together. “I also plan to get high retention and satisfaction rates from both customers and employees,” she said. “I will do my best to ensure all on my team are extremely motivated.”
Walsh joined Informa Markets from Freeman, where she held the position of Senior Vice President, Brand Experience, and prior to that she spent 32 years at Reed Exhibitions, where she worked her way up to President – North America.
With these changes, two long-standing members of Informa’s senior management team, Rick McConnell and Fred Linder, who led the former North America group and Health & Nutrition group, respectively, will be stepping down.
McConnell and Linder will both leave the business at the end of this year.
“That is the bittersweet part of this. Rick and Fred are colleagues and friends of mine and that piece is very hard,” Walsh said.
Reach Nancy Walsh at (203) 981-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.