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GES Launches Corporate Blog – Defying Convention

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LAS VEGAS — Global Experience Specialists, a leading provider of exhibition, event and retail marketing services recently announced the launch of its corporate blog, Defying Convention.

For more than 70 years, GES has worked with clients and employees to create memorable experiences. With the blog, GES now offers a new type of experience designed to make readers’ jobs easier. Defying Convention is the name chosen by GES employees and followers through an interactive poll on its official Facebook page.

Defying Convention is a place where ideas start. A few of GES’ many passionate employees and special guests share their experiences, vision, creativity and innovation in an effort to bring readers ideas and inspiration. Posts covering topics such as Aerospace, Design, Exhibitions, Experiences, Green, Healthcare and Marketing provide insights from the bloggers’ personal experiences and award-winning client programs. GES’ regular bloggers, and their areas of expertise, include:

Aerospace – Tom Merrill, GES’ vice president of client relations, vertical markets, is a 25-year team member. He works with large-scale program accounts including Bell Helicopter, Textron, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Nortel and Tetra Pak. His knowledge of worldwide aerospace, defense venues, and his work with GES’ international teams provides insight into a wide range of client and program requirements.

Design – Errol Ahearn, GES’ executive creative director, is an award-winning designer with 22 years of experience, including 15 years with GES. He recently was honored as Exhibit Designers and Producers Association’s Designer of the Year. He has designed global programs for clients such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis, Wyeth and Schering-Plough.

Design – Clay Lovelace, GES’ executive creative director, has more than 25 years of experience including 10 years with GES. He oversees a team of exhibition, exhibits and events creative directors. His key clients include Macworld, New Hope Media, International Council of Shopping Centers and Orgill. He is a member of the Plymouth Artists Guild.

Exhibitions – Julia Smith, CEM, GES’ vice president of national sales, began her events industry career in Washington, D.C., as an exposition manager and joined GES in its Southern California operation in 1989. Smith has taught Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) modules in the U.S., China, Europe and Canada. She is a past recipient of IAEE’s Distinguished Service Award and was named one of the “25 Women to Know” by Tradeshow Week magazine.

Experiences – Jeff Salmon, GES’ vice president of business development and events, has managed live events for audiences from 100 to 100,000. Having management roles in organizations such as Dick Clark Productions, Jack Morton Worldwide and TBA Global, he brings expertise in the areas of sales meetings, customer events, shareholders meetings and product launches. He specializes in putting custom teams in place from creative development through project execution, always ensuring that the message stays on target as well as on budget.

Experiences – Robin Stapley, GES’ executive creative director, has more than 20 years of design experience, including ten years with GES. He has designed exhibitions and experiences for a wide range of clients including Discovery Science Center, Disney/Pixar, Warner Bros., The History Channel and Taubman Centers. Some of his most recent notable projects include GES’ highly acclaimed tour, Harry Potter: The Exhibition and Taubman’s Ice Palaces.

Green – Sheila LeMaster, GES’ director of exhibitor services is passionate about sustainability. She is president-elect of the Green Meetings Industry Council, Las Vegas chapter, was GES’ Environmental Responsibility Employee of the Year in 2010 and was honored as an industry Eco-Leader by Trade Show Week magazine. She has more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry and was previously the director of trade show operations and convention services for the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Healthcare – Terry Campanaro, GES’ vice president of client relations, has more than 22 years of exhibit industry expertise, including experience on both the client and supplier side. Steeped in knowledge of the healthcare industry, she has directly managed some of the company’s largest global accounts including Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Gambro Healthcare, Pfizer and Schering-Plough.

Marketing – Gina McDuffie, GES’ senior vice president corporate marketing, is responsible for building brand awareness and optimizing client programs through a variety of integrated marketing efforts. She has more than 15 years of experience in direct marketing, sports marketing, customer relationship management and retention and loyalty programs. Before joining GES, McDuffie spent five years as senior director of marketing with DirecTV.

Marketing – David Saef, GES’ executive vice president of strategy and marketing, manages a team of marketing professionals and leads the growth of the company’s strategic services. He also serves as a strategic advisor to clients, providing insight on establishing and managing face-to-face marketing objectives, program performance, and best-in-class program optimization. Prior to joining GES, David spent seven years with L.E.K. Consulting, a global strategy consulting firm specializing in corporate strategy, operations management and mergers and acquisitions.


Las Vegas-based Global Experience Specialists, Inc., is a leading provider of exhibition, event and retail marketing services. GES provides a wide range of services, including turn-key official show services, cutting-edge creative and design, marketing and measurement services – all with an unrivaled global reach.
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