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The ABEA pulls in the big names to fill 15 leading roles

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The ABEA pulls in the big names to fill 15 leading roles
New industry body, the Australian Business Events Association (ABEA), will have major industry leaders chairing its state and territory chapters, its sector pillars and its special interest groups.

Ahead of its new CEO, Melissa Brown, starting her new role next week, the association has announced chapter chairs for six out of eight states and territories, ongoing chairs for three of four sector pillars and chairs for all five of its special interest groups, covering sustainability, education, skills and industry pathways, emerging leaders, life members and health, safety and risk management.

Reflecting its origins, these roles are still being primarily filled with exhibition, convention centre and convention bureau stakeholders.

ICC Sydney’s Helen Mantellato will chair the NSW chapter, Tim Hancock from ASN Events will chair the Victorian chapter, Simon Burgess, now with the National Wine Centre of Australia, will chair the South Australian chapter, Darwin Convention Centre’s GM, Peter Savoff, will chair the Northern Territory’s chapter, head of Business Events Tasmania, Marnie Craig, will look after Tasmania, while the Western Australian chapter will be chaired by Jessica Ferguson from Arinex. Chairs for Queensland and the ACT are still to be confirmed.

The organiser pillar will be chaired by Matt Pearce from Talk2 Media and Events, AV1’s managing director Keith Wootton will chair the suppliers pillar, Nigel Keen from Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre will helm the venues pillar, while Canberra Convention Bureau head Michael Matthews will oversee the bureaux pillar for now, with a longer term appointment set to be made by the end of the year.

On the SIGs front, ICC Sydney’s Samantha Glass will chair the sustainability group, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre’s GM, Kym Guesdon, will chair the education, skills and pathways group, an emerging leader herself, Amy Saleh from Hannover Fairs will chair the Emerging Leaders group, while founder of Info Salons, Jo-Anne Kelleway – now with Freeman Company – will oversee the life members group. David Longman from Diversified Communications will look after the safety and risk group.

In a note to the industry, ABEA chair, Peter King, also flagged that the association has achieved 65 per cent of its membership targets for the full financial year within its first eight weeks.

The association is also planning a national event for December 13.

Meanwhile, Melissa Brown, its highly credentialled new CEO will take the reins next week and she is keen to meet the industry.

“I have many priorities but they can be best summarised as meeting the industry and understanding the key issues, so I may work with the Board to create and drive strategies that address these issues.

“I’m really looking forward to getting out there amongst it on the 4th of September to meet you, to hear your ideas and initiatives and thoughts on the role and on the new association,” she said.

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