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High Point Market Authority Chooses President

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The High Point International Home Furnishings Market Authority announced that it has hired Brian D. Casey as its new president, effective April 18. He replaces Judy Mendenhall, who is retiring. In announcing the selection, Market Authority Board Chairman Paul Toms cited Casey’s 26-year career exclusively dedicated to association and tradeshow management, with a particular focus on tradeshow marketing and operations. “After an exhaustive nationwide search and interviews with numerous well-qualified candidates, the search committee unanimously chose Brian Casey, because of his extensive background in trade shows and strong communication and leadership skills,” Toms said. Toms, who is Chairman/CEO of Hooker Furniture, praised Judy Mendenhall, the Market Authority’s first president, who was hired to get the authority off the ground more than four years ago. “Judy Mendenhall brought the Market Authority from its infancy to a strong, well-run, cohesive organization that is continually improving and delivering better services each market. We owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude.” Casey is president/owner of Next Generation Event Group, Inc., in Chicago. He launched the convention and trade show services business in 2003, specializing in trade show and conference development. His company has operated successful trade shows for associations, increasing exhibit and sponsorship revenue performance. Before forming his own company, Casey was executive vice president/conventions and trade shows with Smith, Bucklin & Associates, Inc., which is the world’s largest association management company. He joined Smith, Bucklin in 1991, as director of trade shows, and later led a team that directed all of the company’s tradeshows and conventions, totaling some 40 events. Casey is a board member of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research and the International Association of Exposition Managers. He is a member of the Professional Convention Management Association, the Society of Independent Show Organizers, and the American Society of Association Executives, and a past member of the Major American Trade Show Organizers, which he chaired. “Brian is a good fit for us,” Toms said. “One of his strengths is his experience in helping organizations focus on making their customers their first priority. He will guide us through the process of continuing to improve the business experience in High Point for all of our Market attendees.” The High Point International Home Furnishings Market Authority was created in 2001 as the official sponsor of the High Point Market, the world’s largest wholesale home furnishings trade show. The authority’s major responsibilities include handling market logistics and promotion as well as serving as the official “voice” for the Market. It is governed by a 12-member board and has a fulltime staff of five people. Additional information is available on the Authority’s web site, www.highpointmarket.org.

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