vincent polito

WASHINGTON, DC The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) announced the winners of its 2014 individual awards program, recognizing professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the exhibitions and events industry. Among the honorees is Vinnie Polito, recipient of the association’s highest tribute, the prestigious Pinnacle Award. The Pinnacle Award recognizes an individual who has advanced exhibition management through the promotion of education, the dissemination of knowledge, the introduction of innovative techniques and the demonstration of the highest ideals, trust and professionalism. The awards will be presented during IAEE’s Annual Meeting on December 11, 2014.

“It’s an honor to have been selected as the recipient of this year’s IAEE Pinnacle Award,” the award winner stated. “I am very fortunate to be in this business, surrounded by so many people I consider friends, while working collaboratively to advance the industries, communities and economies served by face-to-face events. My work is my passion; and being recognized for that is a tremendous feeling.”

Bob Bierman, general manager of Washington Post Live, commented “In our business, everyone leaves a unique fingerprint on the events they produce. In the 20 years I’ve known Vinnie, he has always taken that a step further and left an impression on the people with whom he works. Even now, I trace some of the best elements of my own management style back to things I learned under his mentorship at COMDEX.”

Vinnie is an accomplished professional in the exhibitions and events space. After graduating from Cornell University and working for the publishing company that launched Applfest, Vinnie rose to positions of increasing responsibility with the Interface Group, owned by Sheldon Adelson, and served as a portfolio senior vice president and global head of Life Science and Healthcare for Reed Exhibitions before founding VP International in 2009. An entrepreneur at heart, Vinnie and Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes purchased in 2012 mdg, the country’s leading marketing and public relations agency for events and associations, where he continues to intently promote and improve events across the nation.

Nancy Walsh, president of Reed Exhibitions North America, stated “I am so pleased Vinnie is the recipient of this award. I have had the experience of working with Vinnie at RX. He is a teacher and a mentor to many.  He is dedicated to the industry and has always been involved in pertinent organizations to raise the profile of the industry.”

Vinnie was the chairman of IAEE in 2011, is a leader on the public relations task force and was involved in the creation of the Exhibition Industry Summit. He is also an active member of PCMA and ASAE and donates his time as both a formal and informal mentor for several emerging professionals in the events business. Vinnie’s work, both past and present, has helped shape the industry and his continuous efforts only serve to better his colleagues in this specialized field.

According to Skip Cox, president of Exhibit Surveys and IAEE Chair, “Vinnie played a very important leadership role as IAEE’s Chairperson at a critical time for IAEE and I credit him with being the impetus of positive change for the organization.” He added, “Those of us that have followed in his footsteps realize that we owe Vinnie a large debt of gratitude for paving the way to our recent successes.  And Vinnie has continued his commitment to IAEE as he has stayed very actively involved, particularly in our advocacy and international growth initiatives.  The Pinnacle Award is a well-deserved honor for Vinnie.”