Urban Expositions produces and manages a portfolio of 35 events covering six sectors. Based in Kennesaw, GA, the company also has offices in Trumbull, CT, Chicago, IL and Boca Raton, FL, as well as many remote employees based in areas that are rich with customers.
Urban was launched by Partners Doug Miller, President and CEO and Tim vonGal, COO, in 1995 with the Philadelphia Gift Show and focused on the gift, home décor, and souvenir business. After a number of strategic acquisitions and startups, the company quickly became one of the largest and most successful regional gift and national souvenir trade show organizers in the United States.
Urban Expositions is well known for its very hands-on approach with customers. It is not uncommon to see the owners of the company walking around during show set up to talk to the customers and offer a hand. Doug & Tim have been known to help mop floors, carry heavy objects and always treat employees and customers in the most respectful manner. It’s fair to say that new business continues to come their way because people just want to work with them. Urban has a high standard for the kinds of people that work at the company and expects and breeds very sincere and service oriented employees.
In 2008 Urban began to diversify outside of Gift & Souvenir and now produces events in sectors including Art, Aviation, Foodservice & Restaurant, Jewelry and Gaming. The company also publishes a monthly magazine, Airport Revenue News, and the Airport Revenue News Fact Book which focus on the airport concession industry.
Urban has acquired the Halloween & Party Expo in conjunction with the Halloween Industry Association the WWIN (Women’s Wear in Nevada) apparel event, and HAuNTcon an event for the Haunted Attractions Industry.
Most recently, Urban Expositions acquired LeftField Media, LLC a boutique events company focused on developing face-to-face events in a range of communities rooted in contemporary culture and shared passion. LeftField Media was formed in 2014 by Greg Topalian (20+ year event veteran and founder of New York Comic Con) and is owned by Topalian and Urban Expositions.
In September of 2015 Urban announced that the majority ownership of the company was purchased by London based Clarion Events. Clarion Events is one of the most respected event organizers in the U.K. and produces 200 events in 35 countries. The partnership of Clarion Events and Urban extended Clarion’s reach into the U.S. market, giving them a strong platform for growth and an expansion of their global footprint.
The Clarion Events portfolio spans a number of product sectors, including ones they share with Urban including Art, Gaming & Retail Trade. Clarion Events also produces a multitude of consumer events, industry conferences and trade events in sectors including power/utilities, oil/gas and more. The company website is www.clarionevents.com.
Urban offers a complete roster of trade show management services, including strategic planning, exhibit sales, marketing including research and customer insights, operations, exhibitor/attendee promotions and services, media relations, conference management, database development and management. Urban is a nimble company that can be called upon to help or take over at any point in a show cycle.
Through a logical, hands-on approach, Urban Expositions has become one of the fastest growing and most successful trade show companies in the United States.
Click on a team member’s picture to read their biography.
The first time Greg attended a tradeshow he was 10 years old and it was the Boston Seafood Show at the Hynes, he was hooked. The idea of creating engaging and epic experiences has always been the most appealing part of the tradeshow industry but rarely is achieved. This is the driving force behind the creation of LeftField Media which Greg launched in 2014.
Greg started his career in the event business over 20 years ago where the first event he worked on was The International Restaurant Show of New York, which is now part of Clarion UX. He spent 17 years at Reed Exhibitions where he was responsible for a portfolio of 38 events, established the One2One events group and led the creation of an enthusiast consumer events business, the fastest growing division within the global company. Greg has consistently created new concepts and challenged the status quo and it shows in all of the events and teams he has been a part of creating – including being the founder of New York Comic Con in 2006.
Greg comes from a long line of innovators. Greg’s father Harry Topalian was a Director of R&D at General Foods for 35 years and worked on the invention of notable products such as Stove Top stuffing, Jell-O, Shake and Bake, and Bear Naked Granola. It’s no surprise that Greg caught the innovation bug, which has led directly to the creation of LeftField Media which has rapidly grown becoming the fastest growing division of Clarion UX.
Throughout his career, Greg has built businesses by hand-selecting top talent and focusing on a people first-approach which sets his teams apart from the competition. Greg is a very active participant in the event industry and currently serves on the SISO (Society of Independent Show Organizers) Executive Board. He has also been a part of a number of partnerships working alongside media groups and associations which have proven to be a fruitful part of his career.
Greg’s passions include being an insane Yankees fan (he named his son Derek!), classic arcade games, classic cars, cooking and craft beer. His wife Andrea is an amazing photographer (check out the headshot) and they have 3 wonderful kids.
Doug Miller, a trade show industry veteran of 33 years, began his career by creating the Orlando Gift Show. The successful launch and development of that project attracted the attention of the Atlanta Market Center which brought Doug in as General Manager and VP of AMC Trade Shows at the Atlanta Market Center. Doug ran some of the of largest and most diverse trade show divisions in the country overseeing an extensive portfolio of events in a variety of categories.
In 1995 Doug founded Urban Expositions by launching the Philadelphia Gift Show amid a blizzard! The team pressed on and ran the show despite 36” of snow. From 1995 to 2011 Urban acquired and launched and became one of the largest producers of Gift & Souvenir events in the country. Doug’s trade show roots keep him very engaged in the Gift & Souvenir industry and if you want to walk from one end of the Philadelphia Gift Show to the other with Doug, you will need many hours, Doug’s kind and even keeled manner make him popular wherever he goes.
Doug is also an extremely aggressive and smart business leader and understood the need for diversity in the Urban business. He started to acquire events outside the Gift & Souvenir space by purchasing Airport Revenue News in 2012. By 2015 Urban had continued its growth trajectory and was producing events in 6 sectors including: Gift & Souvenir, Airport Concessions, Art, Halloween & Party, Foodservice & Gaming.
In 2015, after 20 years of growing his company, Doug sold the majority interest in Urban to UK based Clarion Events. Still a significant equity holder in the newly named Clarion UX, Doug maintains an important and visible role as Chairman of the business. While Doug’s focus has turned to new business development and acquisitions, he still closely with the CEO and Senior team to lend his knowledge and history with the company, making himself available wherever he is needed.
Doug is married with three grown children and 4 grandchildren. He is a classic car enthusiast and resides in Georgia where he lives with his wife and dog. Doug’s grandchildren refer to him as “Boss” and anyone who has worked with Doug knows that this is one of the best bosses you can have.
Doug is a graduate of Florida International University.
Courtney Muller lived in 8 states before she was 14 years old. Which might be the reason she loves the travel and pace of the events industry! Courtney started her career in events in 1991. She joined Urban Exposition in 2014 as Executive Vice President and is currently Chief Corporate Development and Strategy Officer. In her role she is responsible for new business, partnerships and commercial development for Clarion UX and also works as the Global Gaming Industry Advisor.
Courtney has 26 years of trade show experience which includes a 20 year career at Reed Exhibitions where she rose to the role of Senior Vice President overseeing a portfolio of 10 industry leading events in five sectors, including multiple Trade Show 200 events (Global Gaming Expo Las Vegas and Macau, The Vision Expos, Interphex and BookExpo America as well as New York Restaurant, Florida Restaurant & Lodging and California Restaurant events). She also oversaw the sponsorship revenue team as well as the conference teams.
Courtney is recognized for building strong relationships with association partners and customers. Over her career she has worked with The American Booksellers Association, The American Gaming Association, The Vision Council, The New York State Restaurant Association and the National Indian Gaming Association to name a few. Courtney’s creative approaches to growing business are further exemplified by her strong leadership and team building skills.
Throughout her career Courtney has developed award-winning teams that grow businesses, deliver results and create meaningful and lasting relationships with the partners, customers and industries they serve. Her teams have won multiple corporate and industry excellence awards including Fastest 50 honors. Most recently she has brought together a number of the key members of the current Clarion UX senior team.
Courtney was named as a “Great Woman in Gaming” by Casino Enterprise Management Magazine in 2006. She was also featured on the cover of Trade Show Executive in 2012 as an industry leader. She has worked as head of the International Committee for IAEE and is a current board member of SISO (Society of Independent Show Organizers) where she is the Chair and co-founder of SISO Women.
Courtney is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She enjoys gardening and cooking and adores the natural beauty of her island home in North Carolina. She and her husband and dog live on the Topsail Island Sound and only steps from the beach! They have three grown children and two grandsons.
Jeff Dixon joined Urban Expositions in 2016 as the CFO and is tasked with building a first class financial reporting and planning team, improving financial processes throughout the organization as Urban seeks to grow organically and through acquisitions.
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in London, England with PwC, Jeff became the finance director for the events business, Clarion Events in 2005. In his 7 years at Clarion the group achieved significant growth that included 20 international acquisitions. More recently, Jeff was the CFO in a European and US technology group but moved to Connecticut in 2013 with his family.
Everyone in the events industry has an interesting story of they entered this business, no two paths are the same and most involve an interesting journey of eclectic experiences and a diverse set of skills. Kelly’s story follows suit and can best be summarized by a pursuit of challenges that can be solved by smart, creative, high energy doers and thinkers.
Starting in the summer following her freshman year at Drew University, Kelly began her journey with an internship and an Account Executive Assistant position with an advertising agency working on the launch of several new products including bringing the Jolly Rancher Lollipop to market – providing her first taste on launching businesses. Kelly’s career continued to launching eBooks with Rodale books and working with a team to put three of their trade books on the NY Times Bestseller List. In the midst of Kelly’s book publishing years, there were many trips to BookExpo America, Frankfurt Book Fair and Bologna Children’s Book Fair as both exhibitor and attendee.
In 2004, Kelly joined Reed Exhibitions handling the marketing for a newly formed small team called Launch Pad working with Greg Topalian, the now President of LeftField Media. While with Reed, Kelly oversaw the marketing and brand development for major events such as New York Comic Con and BookExpo America. Kelly was recruited by IQPC as the Global Marketing Director of the Americas overseeing the marketing efforts and teams for the conference events businesses in United States, Brazil and Canada. After a few years of traveling, Kelly took a step out of the events business to start her family.
Kelly is beyond ecstatic to be part of LeftField Media as President. Kelly lives in Old Saybrook with her husband, two boys, their English Bulldog and their flock of backyard chickens.
With over 15 years of experience, Liz Irving is the Vice President of Marketing for Urban Expositions. In her current role, Liz oversees brand strategy development, customer insights and marketing execution on the Halloween, Gaming, Souvenir, and Auto events. In addition, she assumes responsibility for leading marketing effectiveness and innovation across the organization.
Liz brings extensive experience delivering results by building brand strategies and providing innovative approaches to meet the customer need. Liz's endless curiosity and desire for learning always delivers impressive results. She constantly has her eye on the customer experience.
Before joining Urban Expositions, Liz was with Reed Exhibitions for 14 years, in a variety of marketing leadership positions across several events, including the leading jewelry media brand, JCK. Liz earned her bachelor’s degree from Niagara University and a master’s degree from the University of New Haven. Liz and her family live in Connecticut.
Mike Carlucci, Senior Vice President, Specialty Shows, oversees sales and media across Urban's Specialty Shows division. In his role, Mike is responsible for overall sales and media results across all Urban events.
Mike has 14 years of experience in the trade show industry and previously served as a Portfolio Sales Director for Reed Exhibitions across a diverse portfolio of events, including: Global Gaming Expo, International Vision Expo, Book Expo America and a number of fashion events.
Mike is highly regarded for his energetic and motivational leadership style within his teams, as well as his strategic customer approach.
Mike is a graduate of Bentley University, and lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughter.
As Vice President of Operations, Glenn Celentano oversees operations for Urban Expositions’ entire portfolio of events. In addition to managing operations teams based in Shelton CT, Kennessaw GA, and Chicago IL, Glenn is also responsible for managing venue contracts as well as procurement across the business.
Glenn has nearly 20 years of experience in the tradeshow industry, getting his start in sales, and growing through the ranks over his 13 year tenure at Reed Exhibitions. Prior to that, he worked in Finance, and even spent several years in broadcast radio as an on-air personality. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Glenn was born and raised in Connecticut, where he still resides to this day with his family.
Donna Davies, Vice President of the Art Group, oversees all art fairs for Urban Expositions, including Art Aspen, Art Hamptons, Houston Art Fair, Art Palm Springs and SOFA CHICAGO. Donna works closely with the sales, marketing, and programming team members on all five art fairs to create strong, energetic and unique elements for each fair. As a former art dealer, Donna brings a curatorial perspective to the management and needs of art fairs.
Prior to joining Urban, Donna was Director of Marx-Saunders Gallery in Chicago. Previously, she was Assistant Director of Contemporary Art at Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Donna has a B.A. and M.A. in Art History and lives in Chicago.
Christina Bell Davis, Vice President of Gift & Souvenir, oversees strategy, portfolio branding, market positioning and overall growth direction for the portfolio’s Philadelphia Gift Show, Smoky Mountain Gift Show, Grand Strand Gift & Resort Merchandise Show, and Windy City Gift Show.
Christina joined Urban Expositions in 2005 as a show coordinator, earning a number of promotions during her 11-plus year history with the company’s Gift and Souvenir portfolio, including Director of Advertising Sales and Show Director. When Urban acquired the souvenir and resort industry’s oldest show, the Smoky Mountain Gift Show, in 2011, Christina led the drive to rebrand and grow the event, restoring it to the leadership position it holds today.
In 2015 Christina was presented with the company’s prestigious Urban Legend Award, which recognizes the individual who best displays the most upbeat and positive spirit and exemplifies its core values in the best possible way.
Christina is very passionate and dedicated to Urban –always seeking ways to make the shows a success for buyers and exhibitors alike.
Christina lives in Kennesaw, GA with her husband and his daughter.
Lisa Glosson, Vice President of Gift & Souvenir, oversees strategy, branding, market positioning and overall growth direction for the portfolio’s Las Vegas Souvenir and Resort Gift Show, Ocean City Resort Gift Expo, and semi-annual Seattle Gift Show.
Joining Urban Expositions as receptionist in 2001, Lisa quickly moved up through the ranks with roles in buyer relations, show administration, sales support and management. In addition to past positions as sales manager and show director, Lisa most recently served as Group Show Director. Holding the leadership sales and marketing role for the company’s Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show since 2008, she has been instrumental in guiding it to its current day position as the nation’s largest souvenir trade show.
Throughout her career she has received numerous awards and industry recognition for her dedication and commitment to excellence. In 2015 she received the company’s Best Show Director and Highest Revenue Increase Awards. In 2014, she was part of the team recognized as Best Team of the Year for Urban’s invitation-only Gathering event.
For Lisa, teamwork is everything. She looks forward to working closely with each member of her respective teams to continue expanding and enhancing their collective show offerings.
Lisa lives in Acworth with her daughter, Sarah, and two feisty pups, Pepi and Max.
In over a decade with ARN, Ramon has been involved in virtually every aspect of the business such as production, marketing, business development and editorial. Now serving as publisher, Ramon is responsible for ARN’s business operations and growth, overseeing the company’s current products while expanding and advancing its offerings.
Prior to ARN, Ramon worked for Trammell Crow Co., serving as the South Florida division’s marketing director. For six years, he developed and implemented marketing initiatives for the business unit’s 2 million-square-foot office, retail and industrial portfolio.
Ramon holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Florida Atlantic University as well as a degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. He lives in Lake Worth, Florida with his wife and two children, enjoys South Florida professional sports and is a huge fan of The Beatles.
Desiree Hanson became captivated with the event industry in 2000 and her passion for creating experiences for her customers continue to drive her success as she has expanded her horizon working in different industries. She joined Urban Expositions as Vice President of Fashion Events in 2017 after working for NPD Group, a global market research company. In her role, she is responsible for the management of the sales, marketing, content experiences with her team and growth of the Fashion Portfolio.
Desiree’s career started at Reed Exhibitions where she was directly involved in the development of the JCK brand and building relationships and year-round content for retailers. Most recently, Desiree was directly responsible for the boutique LUXURY, and LUXURY Prive event, where she created exclusive experiences for her customers in unique and sophisticated environments. Her strong work ethic, which she attributes to her father’s sound advice of working hard in life and focusing on what you want to accomplish, shows in her work today.
Desiree’s strong relationships and ability to connect customers combined with her genuine passion for the industry has shown in the work she has done with the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA). Desiree has held many roles on WJA including, a seat on the International Board of Directors for 10 years. Desiree was recognized for her work in the industry by WJA in 2014 and received the WJA Awards for Excellence in Special Services. Today, she continues supporting women in the industry as she holds the position of VP of New Chapter Development.
Desiree is a graduate of Roger Williams, in Rhode Island. She enjoys an active lifestyle with her family which includes hiking, exploring the beach near her home, rock climbing, running and skiing – always looking forward to her next adventure. She and her husband live in Connecticut with her two sons, and two Golden Retrievers.
Tom Loughran is an 18 year veteran of the trade show industry. He began his career at Reed Exhibitions as a sales executive on International Vision Expo in 1999. After being promoted to sales manager on other Reed events, Loughran returned to Vision Expo in 2004. He was promoted to Group Sales Director in 2006 and Event Director the following year. Since 2007 Loughran has been managing events and has held positions as Vice President and Group Vice President for International Vision Expo East and West, Global Gaming Expo and G2E Macau. In managing events he has been responsible for all aspects of a trade show including sales, marketing, conference, finance and operations.
Through successful relationships with show co-owners, The Vision Council for Vision Expo and the AGA for Global Gaming Expo, the portfolio of events enjoy market-leading status, educating thousands of professionals annually through a comprehensive educational program and by supporting professional associations, societies and groups each year.
In May Loughran joined Urban Expositions as Vice President for the Foodservice Portfolio managing three restaurant shows; Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show and International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of NY. In June Loughran integrated a new acquisition; three Coffee Fest Shows one of which will be co-located with Western Foodservice in 2018.
Before joining the trade show industry, Loughran served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, and is a graduate of Army Ranger and Airborne Schools. He is a veteran of Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Operation Sea Angel, a humanitarian relief effort in Bangladesh.