HCEA is turning the Spotlight on HCEA members. Each interview allows you the opportunity to get to know your colleagues within the HCEA community, inspires future HCEA professionals and leaders, and strengthens awareness of the diversity of professions within our industry.
Vice President of Operations & Global Business Development
GWF Associates, LLC
HCEA: How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the industry full time for about 14 years. Although, technically I suppose you could say I have been in the business my entire life. My father was an exhibit manager for E.R. Squibb and Sons.
HCEA: Where do you reside?
I live in Red Bank, New Jersey.
HCEA: Which college did you attend?
Butler University in Indianapolis.
HCEA: What are three adjectives which best describe you?
Committed, Creative and Adventurous.
HCEA: What was your very first job?
My very first job was working as a summer camp counselor.
HCEA: How did you get started in the industry?
Being from an "exhibit family" means I started at the ground floor. I would help pack equipment for shows when I was in my early teens, then moved on to project management during and after college. Eventually, I made it up to sales and operations management.
HCEA: What do you enjoy most about your job?
I would say it's a tie. The travel is always great, but overcoming challenges is up there as well. We once had an entire shipment of interactive equipment float away down the Bosphorus River in Instanbul 3 days before a show. You don't know what excess baggage is until you've tried to carry six 46" monitors onto a plane!
HCEA: What is the biggest challenge facing you today in your current job?
Finding ways to help evolve the perception of exhibits as an integral part of a strategic marketing plan and not a "one off" opportunity. For example, we are working with our clients to create a more integrated approach to developing their exhibit interactives to ensure that the tools can be used in the field as well.
HCEA: How long have you been a member with HCEA?
I've been involved with HCEA for 14 years.
HCEA: How has your HCEA membership helped you in your career?
The networking opportunities offered as a member of HCEA are, in my opinion, the best in the industry.
HCEA: What's something on your lifelong "bucket” list?
I would like to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I have been to most of the places on my bucket list thanks to the career I have chosen, but haven't yet made it to Africa.
HCEA: What is the last good book you read?
"Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer"
HCEA: In your opinion, what is the best destination to do business or hold a meeting?
Munich is one of my favorite work destinations. It has the right mix of convenience and old world European history to make a trip both productive and fun. Stop in to the Hofbrauhaus if you get the chance!
HCEA: How about for vacation?
I am an avid surfer, so I would have to go with Hawaii!
A big thank you to Sean for taking the time to "hang 10' and let us get to know him a little more!
If you (or someone you know) would like to be featured in an HCEA Spotlight column, please contact Steve Gigantiello, HCEA Manager of Member Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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