Arinex’s Nicole Walker elected president of EEAA

The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) has announced a new-look board of directors following its annual general meeting on 28 September.

Nicole Walker (Arinex) was elected president of the association, with Helen Mantellato (ICC Sydney) chosen as vice president, Paul Elliott (Harry the hirer) elected as treasurer and Elissa Duke (Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre) named as secretary.

The EEAA’s now-former president, Spiro Anemogiannis, said Walker, Mantellato, Elliott and Duke were all elected unopposed, while the two venue-designated board positions remain vacant.

“The board has agreed to call for expressions of interest from venue members, which close on 10 December,” he said.

“The EEAA board understands and appreciates that our venue members around the country are currently focused on rescheduling and resourcing of events.

“This extended EOI period allows them to re-emerge from this hectic time and be in a position to nominate for these vacancies.

“I welcome the new board – especially the new president, who will contribute energy, drive and different perspectives as an Australian business owner. I look forward to remaining on the board to continue our hard work and delivery of member benefits.”

Walker said it was “a true honour” to be elected as president of the EEAA.

“I will continue the advocacy work, provide our members with clear outcomes, drive quality training and best practice to grow their businesses,” she said.

“Together with the board and the EEAA team, I will ensure the value of this sector is recognised in Australasia, not only for the industries it supports, but for the legacies it leaves long after.

“Spiro stated in his outgoing message about the difficulties in bringing the industry together under one umbrella however, I would like to thank Spiro and the EEAA outgoing board for having this conversation with the Australian events industry, and look forward to continuing these discussions.

“I hope to provide enthusiasm for collaboration to ensure consolidation and strength of unity and voice of the exhibition and events industry.”

Spiro Anemogiannis

Walker also welcomed the other newly elected EEAA board members Rodney Cox (Delaro), Rod Peter (Coleman Group) and Kym De Britt (Australian Dental Industry Association).

Mantellato thanked Anemogiannis for his six-year stint as president of the EEAA.

“Spiro has devoted so much of his time, effort and passion to the benefit of our industry,” she said.

Over the past two years, he presided over the most difficult times of our lives and, despite the challenges we all faced due to COVID-19, his focus was on supporting the association.

“He unfailingly advocated for each and every one of the members from all sectors of the business events industry.

“On behalf of the EEAA board, we thank Spiro for his leadership, perseverance, pragmatism and dedication, and the legacy he is leaving for the benefit of the industry.”

EEAA chief executive Claudia Sagripanti said the association had strong interest this year from a wide range of our member companies who were keen to contribute to the development and recovery of the business events industry.

“Congratulations to those who were nominated for positions in this year’s board election, and to those newly elected,” she said.

“We encourage all members to get involved in the EEAA activities, and welcome collaboration and feedback.

“The EEAA secretariat and I look forward to supporting the board and implementing the rebuild strategy, including the roll-out of our marketing activity, supporting our emerging leaders, and programs including sustainability, risk and safety, digital and technology, and skills and training.”