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About JD Events 

The JDE Staff has over 200 years of combined tradeshow, conference and publishing experience. 


Joel Davis – Founder & CEO

Prior to founding JD Events in January of 2002, Joel spent 16 years as a senior executive in the tradeshow and conference industry. He began his event management career as a sales executive in 1986 with Reed Exhibition Companies and eventually held the position of Industry Vice President. He left Reed in 1996 to serve as President of Primedia/Intertec Exhibitions (now Penton Media), and subsequently served as President and COO of eMarketWorld and Vice President/General Manager of Imark Communications. Joel has a genuine passion for the events business combined with a deeply held belief in the value of face-to-face marketing and community building. He has been a member of the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) since 1996 and has served on the SISO Executive Committee.

Lou Mancini – Chief Operating Officer

Lou came to JD Events in 2004 in the role of VP, Trade Show Operations. Lou recently added the VP, Finance role. As VP, Lou is responsible for all of JD Events financial operations, facility management and IT. Lou also oversees the logistical preplanning and onsite execution of all JD Events trade shows across the country.  He brings with him an extensive knowledge of day to day financial operations, planning, mergers & acquisitions and all facets of daily show management. Prior to joining JD Events, Lou began his career in the publishing/trade show industry with Cowles Business Media (now known as Penton Media) in 1995. During his tenure with Cowles, Lou held numerous positions in the finance division before moving over to the trade show division in a management role in 1999. Lou continued his trade show career as VP of Operations at eMarketWorld, Director of Operations Worldwide at PBI Media (Access Intelligence) and VP-Operations at Radius Events.

Liz Miller Smith – VP, Marketing, Technology & Customer Experience; Event Director, AXPONA

Liz started her trade show career as an Event Coordinator at JD Events in May 2005. Since then she has managed the conference programs for Content & Communications World, SATCON and Customer Engagement Technology World and managed the marketing campaigns for the Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo. Currently Liz is the Event Director for AXPONA (Audio Expo North America). On the AXPONA team Liz utilizes her passion for music and marketing to drive the strategic direction of AXPONA and all audience growth initiatives.  Liz launched the annual evening concert series, an attendee advisory board, and develops strategic partnerships. In her spare time Liz is an avid baker, studies dance, and attends as many live concerts as possible every year.  

Mark Freed- VP, Business Development, AXPONA

Mark has been a key player on the JD Events team since its inception in 2002, beginning with a major role in the building of AD:TECH into the #1 global event focused on interactive advertising and marketing. Mark has a strong history of successfully working with clients, from SMBs to large scale companies such as Oracle, Google, The New York Times, SAP, BusinessWeek, INC. Magazine, Tiffany & Co., and Steinway & Sons. A self-proclaimed audiophile, Mark believes that his current role on AXPONA is his favorite assignment yet.

Jenabeth Ferguson – Vice President/Symposium Director, Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo

Jenabeth joined JD Events in 2005 to head up the Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo. She provides strategic direction on the formulation and execution of the event and is fully responsible for directing the educational program. The extensive industry Advisory Board for HFSE has grown under Jenabeth’s direction to include leaders from prestigious design firms as well as some of the largest health systems in the country. Jenabeth formed the annual raffle at HFSE with 100% of the proceeds being donated to several charitable organizations over the years such as the Rick Hansen Foundation and Shriners Children Hospital. In addition to her work on HFSE, Jenabeth provides operational onsite support for other JDE events including managing registration at AXPONA. Jenabeth began her event career in 1997 and has gained diverse tradeshow experience having worked in both the client and vendor communities for companies including Imark Communications and CDS Registration Services prior to joining JD Events.

Ann Belz – VP Sales, Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo

Ann joined JD Events in September 2013 as Sales Director for the Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo. She brings over 20 years of proven sales experience to JD Events having spent the last 6 years in the trade show and conference industry serving the healthcare, eldercare and construction/legal markets and government IT community previously with Vendome Group and 1105 Media. Prior to events, she worked in healthcare selling through distributor channels, direct to hospitals, physicians markets and private label partners. Ann’s strengths include a consultative sales approach working closely with clients to design custom programs to meet their needs while building long term relationships. Ann is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and enjoys skiing, snowmobiling, gardening and cheering on her three children at football, wrestling, lacrosse, baseball, rugby games and cheer competitions.

Jonathan Morley – General Manager, Plant Based World Expo

Jonathan joined JD Events in October 2019, specifically to form our first non-US entity (JD Events Ltd London) in order to launch Plant Based World Expo Europe. Prior to this he spent 10 years in the Healthcare sector, running events across Europe for Doctors and other health professionals, as Managing Director of Pri-Med and then OmniaMed, which he grew to become the leading live educator of Primary Care physicians in Europe. This background has made Jonathan passionate about the importance of diet and lifestyle in preventing and even reversing long term disease states such as Type 2 Diabetes, and was a major driver in his interest in the Plant Based Food sector.  Jonathan’s trade show career started with Reed Exhibitions, where he worked in a number of sectors in the US, Asia, Europe and Latin America, involved in Mergers and Acquisitions at a global and local level, along with event launch projects and corporate strategy.

Abigail Stevens – Global Marketing Director North America and Europe, Plant Based World Expo

Abigail, like so many others, gave up meat and dairy during her university years. Motivated by this lifestyle change, she began her career at a non-profit organisation which focused on promoting a plant-based vegan lifestyle. Abigail worked directly with hundreds of brands, from start-ups to multi-million-dollar corporations, providing advice and helping to market their products.  It was therefore natural progression that she would join JD Events as the Marketing and Content Manager for Plant Based World Europe. Utilising knowledge of the market, including the key players and upcoming trends, she oversees all marketing activities for the show. Heading up the conference program and managing strategic partnerships, Abigail works to create the engaging content that keeps Plant Based World at the forefront of this industry. Plant-based products aren’t the only plants Abigail is interested in, she spends her spare time tending to over 35 house plants and vegetable patch. That is, when she isn’t driving around the English countryside in her childhood dream car (a classic VW beetle).

Deanna Tursellino – Marketing Coordinator

Deanna joined JD Events in April 2022, having graduated from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University with a BBA in Arts and Entertainment Management. Her previous experience includes working for a small PR firm in New York, Lisa Long Adler Communications, that specializes in hospitality clients and event planning, where she got her start in the event scene. As the Marketing Coordinator at JD Events, her main responsibilities include attendee communications and social media, website development and maintenance, and organizing advertising materials. Deanna recently moved from New York to Rhode Island, and in her spare time she’s an avid reader and enjoys planning her next travel destination.

Casey Altmannsberger – Trade Show Coordinator

Casey joined JD Events in April 2022. She graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Casey brings great energy and a positive attitude to her role at JDE. She found her passion for the events industry shortly after college while working as an Event Manager. Casey’s primary responsibilities are exhibitor communications, sponsorship fulfillment, and support for the operations department. Her hands-on event experience and attention to detail and customer service skills make her a strong addition to the JDE team. In her free time, Casey enjoys taking weekend trips on the East Coast and indulging in New Haven style pizza with friends!

Benjamin Davis – Content Chair and Strategic Advisor, Plant Based World Expo

As Content Chair for Plant Based World Expo, Benjamin Davis programs the world’s first and only fully plant-based trade expo and accompanying news site and newsletter. He developed the original concept of Plant Based World for trade show management company JD Events, inspired by his own personal plant-based journey. The event launched successfully in 2019 in the U.S. at the Javits Convention Center in New York City and then expanded to London for Plant Based World Expo Europe. Ben’s mission is to make delicious, natural foods accessible to everyone. He believes that diet and lifestyle are the keys to a balanced and prosperous future for all beings on Earth. Outside of his work in food, Ben is a music producer and performer under the stage name Vibe Street. His greatest joy is making people smile, dance and come alive to the magic of the present moment. Ben is determined to spend his life building community and celebrating this mysterious human experience to the fullest!

Sam Morley – Sales Director Key Accounts, Plant Based World Expo

Sam Morley is no stranger to the trade show. He has grown up in and around trade shows for most of his life and spent time working with events teams at shows in Toronto, Boston and in the UK.As salesperson for Plant Based World Expo, Sam is committed to facilitating the biggest and best possible show that the plant based industry deserves. Graduating from the University of Brighton with a degree in Philosophy Politics and Ethics, Sam navigates the world with a keen interest in all innovation that benefits the environment around him; particularly in the efforts of plant based alternatives to meats.

Katie Nehmer – Sales Manager, Plant Based World Expo North America

Katie joined JD Events in May 2022 working on exhibit sales for Plant Based World Expo North America. Katie is driven to pursue a career in sales and is excited to be working in a fast growing and exciting space. She earned her 4-year degree in 2020 from the University of Brighton, England with a BA in Social and Cultural Geography. Her work experience includes multiple sales roles within retail environments. Having a personal, charismatic approach to life and work makes her a great fit for PBW’s Sales Manager. Katie is a world traveler, yoga enthusiasts, who loves making an impact within her community. Katie has also has volunteered on animal sanctuaries in Greece and rural mountain communities in Northern Morocco. Her love for the Plant Based movement is a combination of her own values in coalition with her studies in sustainability and she is thrilled to bring that passion to Plant Based World Expo.

James Cowell-Crook – Sales Director, Plant Based World Expo Europe

James joined JD Events in March 2023 as a Sales Director for Plant Based World Expo Europe. Prior to this, James has worked as a National Key Account launching creator/influencer founded brands, which were mainly in the Plant Based sector, into National Retailers across the UK such as Superdrug, Holland & Barrett, WHSmith and many more. Before this he worked as an Account Manager growing the USA side of this business for a UK based party decorations manufacturer in Surrey. This included managing range reviews for retailers such as Target, Walmart, Urban Outfitters to name a few, managing their Global Amazon accounts and working across multiple trade shows in the UK, Europe and USA. Outside of work, he splits his time up between running, cycling, playing the piano and walking his dog around Richmond Park.

Dawn Jeffrey – Strategic Advisor and Marketing Consultant

As an original team member of JD Events since its inception in 2002, Dawn has worked on all aspects of our business and spent over 10 years as the General Manager and Senior Vice President.  Her specialty is in attendance development and acquisition as well as P&L development, management and workflow process.  She developed our human resource department including talent acquisition and handling of all healthcare and payroll issues.  She currently acts as a strategic advisor in a marketing capacity and takes on other special projects as needed. She also is passionate about the non-profit sector and currently is a hospice volunteer and serves on the Benefit Committee for the Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County.  Prior to joining JD Events she was the Group Show Director for six marketing events with Primedia/Intertec Exhibitions (now Penton Media.). Her career in Show Business started in 1985 at Reed Exhibition Companies, where she headed up the Database Marketing and Registration Departments and implemented customer loyalty programs for over 30 trade shows and conferences.