WSA CEO Skip Farber Retires

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Encino, CA – Skip Farber announced he that he is stepping down as CEO of the WSA Show and dropping the hectic pace and the heavy workload he had shouldered in his three-decade career in the trade show industry. “Having had serious health-related issues this year, I have decided to make a lifestyle change,” Farber told Trade Show Executive. “I have great faith in the ENK/WSA team and will continue to serve as a consultant to the company.”

Farber sold the semi-annual footwear and accessories exhibition to ENK International nearly a year ago.

There was no immediate announcement on whom, if anyone, would replace Farber as CEO.

Farber joined the World Shoe Association as CEO in 2004 and re-energized the flagging event into the premier event for the industry. The shows are held twice a year in Las Vegas and draw an average of 37,000 attendees.

Farber is known for his extreme generosity to both the shoe industry and exposition industry. On  behalf of the WSA, Farber made a $1 million grant to CEIR, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, in October 2006, and $37 million to five shoe industry organizations and charities. The grants were possible due to WSA’s decision to sell its assets to WSA Global Holdings, LLC, the new, privately held company headed by CEO Skip Farber and COO Diane Stone at the time.

In an interview for Trade Show Executive’s “Power Lunch” series (see February 2008 issue), Farber said he brought in Diane Stone as chief operating officer and began an extensive upgrade of the venerable event’s marketing, branding and exhibitor services. “We really didn’t do anything magical,” he said. “We simply recognized where the opportunities were and matched those to the customers’ marketing budget.”

Farber’s career includes executive stints with Security World Publishing, Cahners Exhibition Group, Reed Exhibitions and Advanstar Communications.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past several years, and believe our marriage with ENK has added great value to our events and to our customers,” Farber said. “I’m looking forward to what the future may bring.”

Reach Skip Farber at (818) 379-9400 or sfarber@wsashow.com