Chapter Leaders Council Spotlight… An Interview with Mary Ellen Chapdelaine, CEM, Vice President of Sales, Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services

Mary Ellen Chapdelaine, CEM, is Vice President of Sales at Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services and a member of IAEE’s Chapter Leaders Council. Mary Ellen has been an IAEE member for 20 years. She recently shared with IAEE her perspective on the importance of connecting with her peers and the benefits she gains from her chapter leadership activities.

How did you get involved in leadership within your chapter?

I was recruited by Anna Roa in 1997 to serve on a committee for the Northern California Chapter. She was the Chapter Chair and encouraged me to get involved. Anna was my mentor, inspiration and became a dear friend. She passed away in December after a 31-year career with the Santa Clara CVB. I have been on a committee and/or the Board of Directors since that first volunteer committee position.

Connect with your IAEE Chapter

What chapter committees do you serve on currently and/or have served on in the past?

I have served on Program and Membership Committees and am currently Chair of the Northern California Chapter.

What have you gotten out of volunteering for your chapter?

I have made many great friends, enjoyed networking opportunities and valuable education. I am passionate about making connections. Connecting people together who will benefit from meeting  – that’s what I love to do.

How are you fostering future volunteer leaders?

We have recently made new connections with professors from San Jose University and University of San Francisco. We are working on connecting their students with show organizers to create volunteer opportunities as well as a chance to see a trade show and/or event in progress. We anticipate this will increase their interest levels towards pursuing careers in our industry and foster a new group of future leaders.

What do you find most satisfying about having stepped into a leadership role within your chapter?

Bringing people together – working with our Board of Directors and outreach to our membership. We are committed to providing relevant education and networking opportunities.

What is your favorite chapter activity?

Hosting CEM Learning Program courses. Our chapter has hosted a CEM course in San Francisco since 2011. We felt that bringing a CEM course to San Francisco would provide an opportunity for local members who may not be attending Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition to experience the value of this program and continue towards their certification.

Chapter Leaders Council Spotlight… An Interview with Peter Abraham, CEM, Sr. Business Development Manager, Freeman

By Mary Tucker, IAEE Sr. PR/Communications Manager

Peter Abraham, CEM, is Sr. Business Development Manager with Freeman and a member of IAEE’s Chapter Leaders Council. Peter has been an IAEE member for 10 years. He recently shared with IAEE his perspective on the advantages of being an IAEE member and what prompted him to take on a leadership role in his local chapter.

How did you get involved in leadership within your chapter?

The company for whom I worked at the time was interested in having a greater presence locally, and sought volunteers to attend IAEE events in the greater Boston area. At the end of one of the presentations, the then-chapter chair made an announcement that they were seeking volunteers to join the board, and it piqued my interest. After learning more about how I could contribute, it was a no-brainer. I’ve loved every minute of being part of IAEE.

What chapter committees do you serve on currently and/or have served on in the past?

I have been part of the Events Committee, Community Service Committee, and have served as Treasurer, Vice Chair and Chair.

What have you gotten out of volunteering for your chapter?

Where do I begin? The industry connections and the friends that I have made in these past 10 years are amazing. And in doing so, it’s put me in the position to introduce so many people. I also love the idea of bringing the younger generation in, showing them the ropes and helping to get them started.

How are you fostering future volunteer leaders?

The most important “recruiting tool,” I believe, is in hosting successful events. It entices others to participate. I also love to see the younger generation, who may not initially understand the value of face-to-face, overcome this – and often become our biggest supporters.

What do you find most satisfying about having stepped into a leadership role within your chapter?

Stepping into a leadership role has shown me that I have the ability to impact change. By working with such a diverse, talented board, our educational and networking events, as well as our community service has such a significant impact on not only our membership, but to the community at large.

What is your favorite chapter activity?

My favorite chapter activities are the networking events! I love seeing people of so many different facets of the industry come together and share. I love to see the energy they bring to our events. And I love to see people relax and make those same connections that can only enhance both their personal and professional lives.

What other IAEE Councils, Committees and task forces are you currently involved in aside from your chapter activities?

I’m currently involved in the Member Meet-Up Committee.