The National Restaurant Association Show Expands Executive Leadership Team

Heftman named vice chairman of Winsight Exhibitions
Photograph courtesy of National Restaurant Association

CHICAGO — Winsight LLC, a leading information services company in the foodservice industry, announced the promotion of Mary Pat Heftman to vice chairman of Winsight Exhibitions and the addition of Tom Cindric as president of Winsight Exhibitions.

In November 2018, Winsight acquired the National Restaurant Association Show, the largest annual food show in the Americas, ranked No. 19  on Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100, from The National Restaurant Association and with it came the entire show team, including its leader for the past 18 years, Heftman. In May 2019, the Show hosted it’s centennial event at McCormick Place in Chicago, where Heftman and team delivered a fifth year of consecutive record-breaking exhibit space and sponsorship sales, as well as posting impressive year-over-year attendance growth. 

“We have aggressive growth goals for the Show, and to achieve those targets, we’re doubling down on talent at the top,” said Mike Wood, CEO of Winsight. “The team has done phenomenal work and much of that credit goes to Mary Pat who provided steady leadership through a period of tremendous change. She has more than lived up to her reputation as a best-in-class executive, which got us thinking of how we could leverage her experience beyond the Show across the entire Winsight portfolio.” 

Heftman will continue maintaining Winsight’s relationship with the National Restaurant Association, key exhibitors and other industry partners. As vice chairman her purview will expand to all of Winsight’s on-site events, expansion opportunities for the Show and corporate development projects.

“Immediately after the Show was acquired, the Winsight team was reaching out to offer support. Even with only a few months together the collaboration showed in how great our content was this year and how excited attendees were to have access to so much data and expertise. It’s this experience that has me excited about what’s to come at Winsight and eager to be part of it in a broader and more strategic role,” Heftman said.

On June 17, Cindric will assume day-to-day management and P&L responsibility for the Show. Cindric joins Winsight from Informa, where he served as SVP of Informa Global Exhibitions, U.S. Commercial Events and several International Commercial Events. World of Concrete, the largest annual construction Show in the U.S. ranked No. 18 on Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100, was one of several shows under his management. Additionally, Cindric is the current chairperson of The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the global association for the exhibitions and events industry,

“Together Mary Pat and Tom create arguably the trade-show industry’s most iconic leadership team, and we have tremendous confidence in their ability to evolve the Show,” Wood said.

“The National Restaurant Association Show is already a fantastic event so the challenge will be finding ways to make it even better. There is a ton of momentum coming out of the 2019 Show, which is inspiring great thinking from the team on ways to create richer experiences for our attendees and drive professionals from the most sought-after segments to the trade-show floor. I’m inheriting a smart team, a strong product and the good fortune of working alongside Mary Pat as we chart course into 2020,” Cindric said.

The most recent National Restaurant Association Show drew more than 65,000 attendees and covered more than 725,000 square feet of exhibit space. In 2020, the Show will take place May 16-19 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

Winsight LLC is a business-to-business information company serving the restaurant and noncommercial foodservice, convenience and petroleum retailing and grocery industries. Its publications include CSP magazine and Convenience Store Products magazine.

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