The Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA) announced that Julie Kagy will assume the role of executive director, taking over from the retiring Larry Arnaudet, effective Jan. 1.
Arnaudet, a veteran with more than five decades of experience in the meetings and conventions industry, will be stepping down from his role as executive director. His retirement marks the end of an illustrious career, characterized by his invaluable contributions to ESCA and his unwavering dedication to its mission.
“Larry Arnaudet has been an invaluable asset to ESCA, and he leaves behind a legacy of audacious leadership and strategic acumen. Under his guidance, ESCA has become a cornerstone of our industry,” he said. “With her deep industry knowledge and proven expertise, Julie is the right person to propel ESCA into its next chapter.”
Kagy’s career began after graduating from Purdue University Northwest, and she gained extensive experience at the Ritz-Carlton Four Seasons Chicago, where her leadership led to multiple prestigious awards.
She also spent 12 years in various leadership positions at GES. Since 2015, Kagy has been serving as the director of operations at ESCA, where she has been instrumental in implementing key improvements, engaging with industry leaders and overseeing program enhancements.
Kagy will focus on several key areas including automating and streamlining processes, member services, and enhancing existing programs like the ESCA Badge program and an official educational program.
“In this role, I am honoured to lead this organization and to be trusted with ushering ESCA into its next chapter,” Kagy said. “I’m eager to work collaboratively with our board, staff and members to shape the future of the trade show industry.”
ESCA has more than 175 member companies throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom and maintains alliances with IAEE, IAVM, EDPA, and SISO to promote the exhibition industry. ESCA is dedicated to advancing the industries of exhibitions, meetings, and special events.