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Emerald Expositions shakes up management at Outdoor Retailer

Published November 5, 2014
Longtime show director Kenji Haroutunian let go; OR sales director Marisa Nicholson takes over role.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Kenji Haroutunian, Outdoor Retailer’s veteran show director, has been let go by Emerald Expositions, Haroutunian told BRAIN on Wednesday.

Haroutunian said Emerald Expositions has appointed Marisa Nicholson, OR’s national sales director, to the role of show director. Her position will remain unfilled, he added. Nicholson joined the OR group in 2003.

While his ouster came as a surprise, Haroutunian said, he praised the staff at OR including executives at Emerald. “As I look back, who would have thought that a retail jockey at Adventure 16 would have risen to one of the best positions in the outdoor industry,” he said.

Haroutunian joined Outdoor Retailer in 1999 as an account executive. He was later promoted to senior account executive and then named show director as Peter Devin’s health declined. Devin had been the show director and has since passed away.

Haroutunian said he has already reached out to friends in the industry and predicts he will remain in the business. “I feel good about this. I’ve had a great run and it’s been an amazing experience to have been in a growth industry like outdoor. I still have a passion for the industry and the people, and I look back on my role with a great deal of pride,” he said.

This is the second major shake-up in two highly visible positions within the multibillion-dollar outdoor market. Frank Hugelmeyer, the Outdoor Industry Association’s president and CEO for 14 years, was abruptly let go in September.

Topics associated with this article: People, Events, Tradeshows and conferences

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