2015 Exposition Member Hall of Fame Inductee
Julie Pike, Event Manager, SME Canada
Introductory Speech by Mike Russell:
It is my pleasure to present the 2015 CAEM Hall of Fame Award in the Exposition Management Category and I am sure you will agree that this year’s recipient is very deserving to be in the CAEM Hall of Fame.
This individual is a long serving Member of CAEM to say the least joining before the turn of the Century, in 1998. This person is also a terrific leader and volunteer for the association as well as the industry as a whole, and has already served as President of CAEM.
Not only does this individual think outside the box and will not take no for an answer, they always find a way to get things done. They are not afraid to take the lead on issues, but also can easily slide into the role of a great team player and always make sure that the greater good is served by the outcome of any item taken on.
This member is always willing to share experiences and ideas with industry colleagues to assist them in making all of their events as relevant as possible. Evidence of this comes to light when you look at the various committees this person has served on and is still serving on.
I had the pleasure of serving as Conference Co-Chair with this member and enjoyed the process immensely. We were tasked with having to organize a conference starting with putting together the Conference Committee Co-Chairs. During the process this member always tried to recruit new volunteers as well as new members, encouraging involvement from a variety of people. During the same Conference this individual introduced CAEM to the Horseshoe Exchange, which encourages the sharing of experiences and ideas amongst the attendees and members of the Industry.
Together our goal was to provide the best CAEM Conference ever and she never settled for less even when I had to leave the conference early, she carried on without me. In fact we wanted to introduce another new event to the conference and we came up with the first Social Responsibility Program launching it in Niagara Falls to help raise funds and awareness for the CAEM charity of choice, the Kids Help Link Foundation.
I look up to this individual and her ability to take charge and lead and I love the fact that she so readily shares her industry knowledge. I find her to be a true professional and a kind, caring colleague and friend. She seems to find balance between her home and work/volunteer lives making sure all the work gets done and that she is there for her family as well.
These are just a few of the examples of why Julie Pike is the recipient of the 2015 Hall of Fame Award in the Exposition Category. Ladies and Gentlemen please join me in welcoming Julie Pike to the stage.
Acceptance Speech by Julie Pike:
Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
What an honour! I'll try to be brief – Serge tells me that I get 2-3 minutes but he also promised he wouldn't play me off the stage if I go over...may I a say a big round of applause for all of tonight’s award recipients! Congratulations on much deserved honours.
Well…What a nice way to start off a CMTS year! I think I like this new decade I just recently joined.
HALL OF FAME – that sure has a nice sound to it. Although I will say - I’m rather humbled by the fine company I get to join with this recognition. Wow. I’m blown away by the honour. Thank you.
First of all, to Mike Russell – my awesome Co-Chair of PEOPLE! POWER! POSSIBILITIES! Niagara Falls 2013 Conference. Mike is great to work with. He’s very easy going. But he speaks up. He and I really had a ball planning the conference with so many great people. Thank you so much Mike. To the others who were a part of my nomination - thank you for the kind words and support. And to the Nominating Committee and the CAEM Board of Directors – you all play a special role in these awards tonight - thank you all so much for this. It is a real honour.
So I have a little list of people. And a couple little stories actually. So indulge me if you don’t mind. As I’ve told my folks – this is pretty much the Oscars of the Events Industry and tonight your daughter gets to rock the stage. Well for a few minutes anyways J And for those I miss – and if I should end up forgetting someone – please forgive me. My whole CAEM family deserves thanks from me tonight for this great honour. If our paths have crossed in some way over the past 17 years – you’re part of that family to me. I’m so very proud to be part of an amazing community of professionals that on a pretty regular basis put on some rather amazing events.
Going back to my early day supporters there are many people who were instrumental in me getting involved and staying involved in CAEM. With my heartfelt thanks I’d like to extend a special note of acknowledgement to these great industry leaders: in no particular order – Jennifer Sickinger, Anita Schachter, Deborah Dugan, Jennifer Allaby, Sheila Wong, Naomi Wagschal, Sonia Moffatt, Rena Menzies, Jeff Gay, John Neo, Marti Milks, and Paul Day were among the many I worked with closely in the early years. And yes – so many more.
I can’t help but recall my time as President with the Ministry of Labour shining their spotlight on our industry. There were MANY people who first helped CAEM during and after the initial crisis and then afterwards as we began to establish the Health & Safety Best Practices Guidelines, but three gentlemen come to mind who I think you’ll agree all offer this industry great expertise and credibility for their contributions – Mike Lecour, Ron Bentley and Randy Bailey – thank you for your support and leadership during a challenging time for CAEM, its members and me personally on such a significant issue for the industry.
So Serge tells me that tonight CAEM is celebrating its 7th Annual Awards Gala. That’s impressive. I remember a time when we sat around talking about having an awards gala. That’s what so impressive to me about this Association. It’s evolution. CAEM is always working to be relevant and meaningful to this industry. And it really shows.
I know an army of volunteers make every great event at CAEM a success. And all of us should be commended for the great things we do. (pat on our backs). But I think you’ll all agree – behind EVERY single one of those events is an amazing team – small but mighty. Led by Serge Micheli – a dear friend for whom my respect and admiration only grows daily (this man juggles a ton of stuff!) – Thank you for your encouragement, support and leadership over the past several years. It truly has been an honour to work with you on a number of projects. Michael and Christiane – and Danielle whom I’m just getting to know – each of you with your respective strengths and commitment to a top-notch experience make all of CAEM activities glow with your touch of professionalism and class. We are all so blessed to have such a great team leading our CAEM interests.
Speaking of CAEM interests – Forgive a little public service announcement here: Don’t miss our first education session of 2015 – Breaking the Barriers Surrounding WiFi. We’re flying in the big guns – Hall of Famer Jon Denman to moderate a great panel discussion. We’re hosting lunch first then the panel at 1pm because we are also embarking on a webinar concept to connect all of the great CAEM members across Canada. We are committed to making this work. Technology is far too superior today not to. So join us February 26 at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel. Or online!
Well – I’m pretty sure I’ve exceeded my time but I can’t finish off without mentioning some other really important people and organizations. I do think it’s important to recognize all of the organizations that support CAEM. You allow us to help move this industry forward in bigger and better ways by getting involved. To my boss Debbie Holton, and my company SME, thank you for continuing to support my interests in CAEM and giving back to this great events industry. I love my job, I love the team I get to work with and I sure do believe we have the best event partners and suppliers at SME that an Event Manager could ask for.
On a personal/professional level – I would NOT BE the person I am today if it wasn’t for some amazing people who showed me the light on many levels along the way. Janine Saperson – I’m really enjoying this bus ride that is taking me down river, going with the flow on this great journey of life. Thank you for opening my eyes Jan. Maria – I swear I’ll never forget that in our earliest of days the staff would call you a “Booth Cop” for enforcing our rules and regulations like no other. And then you were Martha to all of us at the office. Maria is a precious part of my past and present that share a great time - the Reed memories. I treasure the many, many brilliant people I had the pleasure of working with at Reed Exhibitions.
I never knew my career would bring me life-long friends – I’m so glad to count you among them Janine and Maria and Rita – where are you? And on a professional level - last but personal mention to the man I call my mentor, Steve Prahalis. Thank you as always for your wisdom, perspective and encouragement over the years.
So I’ll close out with a little call out to my family here tonight. My dear little sister, Cheryl Ricker, who until just recently spent more than a decade starting her career in this business all while being a wonder-mom too boot – remember that speech at the townhouse in Ajax? That was for nights like tonight. I’m special. You’re special. We are all special. It’s been pretty cool having someone in the family understands this weird and wacky world of events business together. I know you’ve moved on and I know you will bring your same passion, wit and drive to this new opportunity and I know you’ll find success beyond your wildest beliefs. Brilliance knows no bounds Cher.
And my mom and dad – you know how much you mean to me. It doesn’t really matter how old we get – we still want to make our parents proud. I’m so very happy that you are BOTH here tonight to celebrate this great evening with me. I love you.
Thank you all. Thank you for believing in me. And thank you for this beautiful gift.