Meetings Canada


IAEE Honors Freeman Canada President

Johanne Belanger, president of Freeman Audio Visual │ Canada,  is the 2014 recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership Award from the International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE). She will receive the award during IAEE’s annual meeting and exhibition, being held December 9-11, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Johanne Belanger, President, Freeman Audio Visual Canada

“I would not have been considered for this award had it not been for the various industry associations which have allowed me to play a role in fulfilling their missions and visions,” said Johanne Bélanger, Freeman Audio Visual Canada President. “I am truly grateful to them, as well as IAEE and the international events community, for this overwhelming honour.”

The Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership Award honours individuals who have made an extraordinary personal or professional commitment that materially contributes to the advancement of the exhibitions and events industry. Belanger was inducted into M+IT’s Hall of Fame this summer in the Industry Builder category.

The IAEE Awards program recognizes professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the exhibitions and events industry. In addition to Belanger, this year’s recipients are:

  • PINNACLE AWARD: Vinnie Polito, managing director, VP International (New York, NY). The Pinnacle Award recognizes an individual who, over the years, has furthered IAEE’s objectives of advancing exhibition management through the promotion of education, the dissemination of knowledge and the introduction or development of innovative techniques; and who has been dedicated to perpetuating the highest ideals, trust and professionalism in the field.
  • ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD: Sarah Soliman, producer/talent at Convention News Television (CNTV), Orlando, FL. The Rookie of the Year Award recognizes excellent professional performance by an individual with three or less years of full-time exhibitions and events industry experience. 
  • MERIT AWARDS: Tessa Harding, CEM, exhibits manager, Texas Music Educators Association; Carolyn Hilderbrand, national sales manager, AVTS; Tom Malek, CEM, national sales manager, GES; and Jennifer Kimball, senior vice-president, Operations, OnPeak. The Merit Award recognizes individuals whose ideas and/or work have benefitted IAEE as an organization in some special way.
  • EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR AWARDS: Bob Kelley, CEM, CMM and Curtis Love, Ph.D., professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This award honors IAEE members who possess outstanding creativity, a positive attitude and the ability to transfer knowledge.
  • OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN INNOVATION IN BUSINESS SOLUTIONS AWARD: Amandeep Sandhu, vice-president, Customer Insights, UBM Tech. This award recognizes achievement in the creation of new and innovative business solutions.
  • YOUNG PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR AWARDS: Jennifer Hardee, CEM, national sales manager, Freeman; and Barbara Myers, CAE, vice-president, Association Services, IMN Solutions. This award honors individuals in the exhibitions and events industry 40 years old and younger. It recognizes excellent professional performance by someone who has committed his/her time to advancing the standing of young professionals in the industry.


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