(12/01/2013 / nho)

Fespa Expands Leadership Team with Two Senior Appointments

Fespa is expanding its leadership team, with the addition of two experienced senior executives. Neil Felton now assumes the role of CEO, making him responsible for the overall direction of all the organisation’s activities, including the global exhibitions and events portfolio, interaction with Fespa’s 37 national associations, and direction of Fespa’s Profit for Purpose mission.

Neil retains specific accountability for the strategic direction of Fespa’s developing markets and its online and new media portfolio. The developing market events include the established exhibitions in Mexico, Brazil and Eurasia, as well as Fespa Africa which launches in Johannesburg, South Africa, in July 2014.

Roz McGuinness joins Fespa as Divisional Director, taking full responsibility for Fespa’s market-leading European exhibitions – including the flagship ‘screen + digital + textile’ event, the focussed Fespa Digital edition, and the recently launched European Sign Expo. Roz’s portfolio will also include Fespa’s Asian events. Roz will oversee all aspects of these events, including sales, marketing and operations, working with an eight-strong team.

Roz is an exhibitions management professional with over 17 years’ experience, including four years as Group Exhibitions Manager for printing industry research and consultancy body Pira International. More recently, Roz worked for nine years at i2i Events, where she steered the sustained growth of the Autumn Fair and Spring Fair, annual business-to-business events covering 90000m2 at the Birmingham NEC, hosting 4000 international exhibitors from 11 sectors, and attracting an audience of 75000 professional buyers.

Neil Felton comments, “Roz’s experience of directing a major B2B exhibition addressing multiple sectors will be important in helping Fespa to expand its reach and attract new audiences for our exhibitors. In addition to her grounding in the digital print sector, Roz’s recent career has given her invaluable insights into several vertical markets which represent growth opportunities for Fespa’s community of print service providers, including retail, interior décor and housewares, promotional products and fashion.”

Fespa has also appointed Sean Holt to the position of General Secretary, to coordinate Fespa’s support for its national associations, including the organisation of educational, knowledge-sharing and networking initiatives funded through the Profit for Purpose programme. Sean will foster deeper relationships with Fespa’s community of member associations, supporting them to expand and develop their services to members, and devising new initiatives with Fespa’s financial and practical support.

Sean Holt calls on career experience gained over 17 years in the not-for-profit sector, most recently as CEO of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMPSA). In more than three years in this role, he set the strategic direction of the organisation, engaging with multiple stakeholders and partners and over 5000 members. He directed and developed CIMPSA’s service offering, which comprises education, training, professional development, events, conferences and other member services. Prior to joining CIMPSA, his 13-year service with Sport England culminated in a two-year tenure as director, with responsibility for planning towards the London 2012 Olympics.

Neil Felton will work closely with the two new members of the senior team, and will continue to draw on the experience of Nigel Steffens, who now assumes a part-time consultative and ambassadorial role. Nigel joined Fespa in 1993 as Assistant General Secretary and has occupied the role of CEO since 2003.

Fespa President and Board Member Lascelle Barrow comments: “In the two and a half years since his appointment with Fespa, Neil has driven an ambitious growth strategy with determination. While continuing to grow and improve our market-leading European and Mexican events, he has directed the successful launches of new Fespa editions in three key global growth markets – Brazil, Eurasia and China – and has formed an important joint venture in South Africa which will establish the Fespa brand on a fourth continent in 2014.

“By attracting these highly experienced people to work alongside Neil, we will be able to give equal focus to all areas of our organisation’s ongoing development. The Fespa Board - which represents the interests of Fespa’s 37 national associations – has absolute confidence that Neil and his enlarged team will continue to deliver all Fespa initiatives with consideration of the rapidly evolving needs of our global community of members, exhibitors, and visitors.”

Caption: Roz McGuinness, Neil Felton, Sean Holt.