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Vice President, Food & Beverage Group
Rita has been with Clarion for one year and in the tradeshow industry for over 20 years. She loves everything about bringing people together face to face and the opportunity for constant improvement year over year – the ability to plan, deliver, analyze and begin again - each time more informed and better able to serve customers and deliver value.
She lives in Tampa with her husband of 30 years and together they have two sons and their beloved lab-mix rescue Beaux.
Cruz joined Clarion Events in 2018 with a background in Special Events Planning and Retail Operations at Nike, Inc. After servicing the Digital Marketing, Fire & Rescue, and Fashion portfolios, she transitioned into the Food & Beverage team in 2019 to develop key buyer programs and attendee-acquisition tools for its events. Cruz was promoted into the NGA Show’s Event Director role in November 2021 and continues to enjoy collaborating with her team on generating elevated experiences, products, and solutions that “move the needle” for the industry.
A born and raised New Yorker, Cruz is an avid Yankee fan, a proud island girl, nature lover, and a bookworm. She currently lives in Bridgeport, CT.
Director of Conference
Aileen has been leading the education program of the NGA Show since 2012. Prior to joining the Clarion Events team as a consultant, she was VP of Education and Research at the National Grocers Association. She has over 30 years of experience developing educational programs and other forums for executive engagement in the grocery industry.
Ed has been working at Clarion Events for 9+ years and is a Senior Level Sales Leader with a proven 25+ year track record within the Event Management Industry. He has a strong background in Gaming (Casino), Grocery, MMA (UFC), Eyewear/Eyecare Industries, Sponsorship Sales, and New Business Development.
He lives in Florida with his wife, Kathleen, and 3 daughters, Riley, Reese & Regan plus 2 large dogs, Sammy & Blaze. His passions are Family, Fitness & Food.
Senior Account Manager
Mary has an extensive background in trade show sales and has crossed into many sectors in the trade show industry from Security-to Gaming- to Foodservice and Retail. She is very customer service oriented and has won awards for her dedication and sales efforts. She plays a leading sales role in engaging in high-level meetings and is a trusted advisor to her clients.
Mary lives in CT, with her husband and 2 children. Has a daughter in college, and is a hockey mom to a high school son. When not selling, you can find her at the ice rink.
Angela joined Clarion Events in September 2022. She’s gained a wealth of knowledge through years of experience in the trade show industry. She’s worked for small privately owned companies to large corporations producing lifestyle B2B wholesale markets. She enjoys cultivating relationships and is driven to make a positive impact on the customer’s experience and business growth with the huge opportunity in-person events has to offer.
Angela lives in NY with her husband and together they have two beautiful, smart, kind, spunky and strong willed daughters. She values family, honesty, diligence and loyalty. She has a love for the Arts (music, theater, dance, interior design, movies and crafts).
Exhibitor Services Manager
Stacey is your primary contact for any questions once you have secured your booth space. She can assist with any questions that come up from pre-show to onsite at the show! She has been in the events industry for many years, developing a love of timelines, inventory, and a good spreadsheet.
Outside of work, Stacey enjoys trying new foods, exploring theme parks, and taking road trips.
Group Marketing Director
Andrea joined Clarion in 2013 and brings an extensive background in event marketing spanning more than 30 years. She has been recognized by her peers with the Marketer of the Year award and Influential Women in Foodservice, among others.
Andrea is the mom of a teen, who keeps her busy with college planning and keeping the car filled with gas. She’s happy to help with any marketing questions.
Brittany joined Clarion in 2020 and is our Marketing Manager. She has a background in trade show event marketing for a numerous amount of brands. She leads all pre-show, onsite and post show marketing initiatives.
Brittany is a mom of two, which keep her on her toes! She enjoys spending time with family & friends, going to the beach, and discovering new restaurants wherever she goes.
Allison joined Clarion in 2021 and brings a fresh perspective on marketing initiatives. Throughout the year, Allison takes lead on our social media channels, collaborates with the Marketing team to drive participation, and helps keep the website up-to-date. Allison will be easy to spot during the show days with her colorful hair (feel free to say 'Hi' or ask for a team photo!).
Outside of work, Allison is kept busy with making paintings and other graphic design projects, entertaining her two cats Spunky and Bandit, and loves cooking for friends and family.
Sabrina works in the marketing department producing many of the online communications leading up to, during, and after the show. She works alongside our Marketing Manager to deliver the most up-to-date information for those involved with The NGA Show.
Outside of work, Sabrina loves spending most of her time at the beach, enjoys traveling and exploring new places, and always looks forward to spending time with her family and friends.
Senior Manager, Audience Engagement
Melissa is the Senior Manager of Audience Engagement for the NGA Show. She joined Clarion Events in 2020 with a background in conferences and small events. As the Senior Audience Engagement Manager, she works directly with our key attendees and exhibitors to connect them through the MATCH! program – our one-on-one meeting program that allows pre-scheduling of appointments on the show floor.
Melissa also works on Clarion Events Restaurant shows and FDIC. She enjoys cooking for her friends and family and will try any recipe at least once!
Key Accounts Manager
Lisa recently joined Clarion Events with a background in Specialty Food Trade Shows and Events. She has over 12 years of experience working in buyer relations developing, growing, and executing a variety of key buyer programs. She is enthusiastic about providing VIP services to the buyers, as well as streamlining and enhancing their show experience.
Event Operations Manager
Karen joined Clarion in August of 2021 and brings over 30 years of extensive event experience handling all levels and sizes of events that include grocery, restaurant, and hospitality technology, public safety, aviation, VIP, and white-glove events. Karen was awarded the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award for her logistical execution on a top-level premier event.
Karen lives in Minnesota, enjoys traveling, and enjoys all aspects of event operation, but truly her satisfaction comes from making sure the customers are happy.