In December, PPAI Executive Vice President Robert “Bob” McLean, Jr., CPA, CAE, CEM, assumed his role as board chairperson of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) during its annual IAEE Expo! Expo! event in Las Vegas, Nevada. McLean (pictured, right) accepted the gavel from outgoing Chairperson Tom Cindric, Jr., CEM. McLean is also featured on the cover of the December special edition of IAEE’s Trade Show Executive in an extensive interview and he’s a guest on the TSE Talks podcast with host and TSE Editor-at-Large Danica Tormohlen.

“I am honored to serve as the 2020 IAEE chair of the board,” McLean says. “It never fails to amaze me the amount of work that IAEE staff and volunteers undertake to make the exhibitions and events industry the best it can be. We are striving not just to be good, but to be great by providing our members and stakeholders with outstanding service, great programs and valued information to help our industry continue to thrive and grow.”

IAEE is the world’s largest association serving the exhibitions and events industry, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. IAEE counts the organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world among its members, and the organization advocates and promotes the awareness of face-to-face exhibitions and events as the primary medium for business development and growth, and provides education to its members and the industry.

In 2019, McLean served as chairperson of the Center of Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). At PPAI, he is responsible for overseeing all trade shows, membership, information technology, finance and administration, as well as the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF).

Before joining PPAI, McLean was the chief financial officer and chief operating officer of QI Systems Inc., a publicly-traded designer and manufacturer of smart card systems for unattended payment devices used on vending machines, parking meters and laundry machines. While at QI, he was responsible for the company’s SEC reporting and accounting, and oversaw engineering and operations in its Vancouver facility. Prior to QI, McLean was executive vice president of business development and global account management for Teleplan International of the Netherlands, a $300 million publicly-traded technology company. His major customers included Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway Computers. Prior to his appointment as executive vice president of Teleplan, McLean was treasurer of Teleplan’s Americas operations. Before that, he was senior vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer with PC Service Source of Dallas, a publicly-traded independent computer parts distributor and repair services company. He started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Miami.

McLean has a bachelor’s in accounting from Drexel University in Philadelphia and a master’s in finance from the University of Miami. Along with his membership in the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, he is a member of the American and Florida Institutes of Certified Public Accountants and the American Society of Association Executives.


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.