Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, works in Dallas as executive vice president and COO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, and CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. As a 2019 15 Over 50 honoree, Breden discusses her passion for the events industry.
*Connect with Breden on Twitter.
What I do: I am an ambassador for the International Association of Exhibitions and Events and oversee the events and exhibitions, education and learning, membership, marketing and governance departments.
How I got here: For most of my career, I’ve worked for associations. My university degree had an emphasis on association management. I worked for state associations and worked on my first trade show in the late 1990s. When my husband and I relocated to Dallas, I was studying for the CAE exam and one of the facilitators was my predecessor. She hired me and I’ve never looked back.
Greatest career accomplishment: Launching IAEE’s Women’s Initiative and being appointed both the executive vice president and COO of IAEE and, in 2013, being appointed the CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research.
Impressive stats: We’ve grown our Certified in Exhibition Management Learning Program to have more than 3,000 CEMs worldwide.
Specific improvement I’ve made: My team and I launched the Summit Club at Expo! Expo! to recognize long-time, loyal members and attendees. We also purchased a new association management system and have been diligent with our integrations to get all of our data into one system to help create better experiences for our customers.
What I do outside of work: I currently serve on the Events Industry Council’s board of directors and am adjunct faculty at Richland College. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and visiting my kids, both of whom do not live in Dallas.