Celebrating the tradeshow industry’s hardworking women who also perform double duty as mothers is a must this Mother’s Day. One of these mothers is a newcomer to the industry, Anne Marie Newman.
As vice president of sales at showNets, Newman highlights her company’s custom Internet services for events, facility management and consulting. While attending tradeshows and networking events as part of her duties, she noticed an unfamiliar sight – a large amount of dynamic women executives. This surprised her. After all, she started her career more than 30 years ago in an industry just as male dominated as the tradeshow industry.
“Upon entering the telecommunications industry, MCI, in the early ‘80s, female executives were rare,” Newman explained. “I was fortunate during my young career to become a national account manager with my account being Coca-Cola worldwide. There were very few under 30 female national account managers in the country. Female mentors were far and few between, and male mentors were not as prevalent either.”
The growing number of women in the tradeshow industry pleased Newman as it could ensure more opportunities for her daughter, Ashley Newman, than she had. Declaring themselves overachievers who have strong work ethics, Anne Marie and Ashley work together at showNets. Beginning as a contractor when the company set up Internet services for E3 Expo in Los Angeles, Ashley now serves as an executive assistant and social media coordinator.
“I am extremely pleased Ashley’s first career has so many dynamic females and mentors. I attended the IAEE [Expo! Expo!] in December 2013 and loved meeting so may dynamic women leaders and seeing numerous sessions dedicated to Women’s Leadership,” Anne Marie added. “Ashley brings a fresh young view and represents showNets as a member of IAEE and a 20 under 30 committee member. She has also set a goal to become an IAEE board member.”
When both women are on the road for work, Ashley’s fresh perspective comes in handy, according to Anne Marie, and even though their work responsibilities differ, they continue to bounce ideas off each other.
“We know each other so well, yet [we] each have different skill sets. Ashley in her early 20s is light years ahead of me technologically; she is also very creative and extremely efficient and organized. We are also very direct and confident and clear about our own strengths and weaknesses, which makes brainstorming quick and productive,” Anne Marie explained.
Having similar personalities is another reason the duo enjoy working together, with both citing their shared sense of humor allowing them to laugh at themselves and each other.
“We are both team players and enjoy working with people. We are solution orientated and open to new ideas; we learn quickly and are dependable, decision makers and creative. We rarely meet a stranger and enjoy networking and learning,” added Anne Marie. “We often take turns taking the lead on a task.”
Collaborating since Ashley was a small child prepared the pair for their interlinked roles at showNets.
“We have worked together our entire lives. Our partnership began when Ashley was in kindergarten with a canned food drive,” Anne Marie said. “Throughout her school years, we worked together creating and organizing service projects, 12 international service trips and founded three non-profit organization chapters. Through our myriad of experiences and projects, we have developed our successful team work ethic.”
With Anne Marie living in Atlanta and Ashley in Los Angeles, their working relationship also allows them to spend extra time with each other, ensuring a higher chance of the duo being together for Mother’s Day on May 11.
“To date, [Mother’s Days] have all been special thanks to Ashley and her brother, Weston. I feel so blessed we are in each other’s lives. This Mother’s Day will be extra special as my son, Weston, will be graduating from college the Saturday before Mother’s Day!” Anne Marie said. “I have embraced every stage of being a mother and have so many treasured memories of their childhood. Yet what is so exciting is the ever-evolving relationship adult-to-adult and all the present and future experiences and memories we are and will make.”
A few days after Mother’s Day, Anne Marie will also celebrate women in the tradeshow industry at the International Association of Exhibitions and Events’ Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C., from May 13-14, and then she’ll be back to her showNets duties.
Providing Internet and technology services at the third largest convention center in the U.S., the Las Vegas Convention Center, through its partnership with Cox Communications, showNets also services or will service 40 percent of the top 10 tradeshows in the country this year. The growing company has spent 17 years in the custom network arena.
See related article: “A Father’s Day tale at E3 – showNets style.”