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A Word of Thanks

Winning the Krakoff Award.

The other day, while attending the annual SISO CEO Summit, I was stunned to hear Hervé Sedky announce my name as the winner of the Robert L Krakoff SISO Leadership Award.

I love the events industry. I am proud of what we do, and that comes from being on the show organizer side as well as supporting it on the supplier side with Freeman. So, to be honored with the Krakoff Award is beyond gratifying.

For those of you outside of the industry, SISO is the Society of Independent Show Organizers. And as  Hervé explained in his announcement, “no award matters more in our industry than this one.”

Just to stand in the company of past winners — a who’s-who of industry giants — is huge.

It’s also a huge responsibility. It means living up to the standard set by all the previous winners… and the expectations of future winners, too. Because it’s about so much more than “walking the talk” or setting a good example. It’s about continuing to carry the torch. It’s about working to advance the industry I love toward a future that is both progressive and prosperous for the millions of people who are part of the events ecosystem.   

Of course, the ultimate lesson is that no leader does it alone. For me, this award is a big reminder that I have been blessed throughout my career to work with the best people. That’s the secret, right? Work with the best people.

When I accepted this award, I felt as if there were a legion of personal heroes and loyal colleagues standing right behind me. Some of them were actually in the room that evening. Many of them were still at work. Several are no longer on the planet. I am grateful to you all.

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