Agri-Trade founder preparing to hand over reins to successor

After organizing every Agri-Trade since founding the annual agricultural equipment exposition in 1984, Patrick Kennedy is passing the torch to a successor.

After organizing every Agri-Trade since founding the annual agricultural equipment exposition in 1984, Patrick Kennedy is passing the torch to a successor.

But it’ll be more than a year before that torch has left Kennedy’s grasp.

The Red Deer Chamber of Commerce and the Westerner Exposition Association announced on Monday that Dianne Smirl is the new event manager for Agri-Trade.

But Kennedy will remain on the scene to assist her with this year’s Nov. 7 to 10 event, as well as the 2013 show.

A news release issued by the Chamber and the Westerner Exposition Association, which are jointly responsible for Agri-Trade, said Smirl has more than 20 years experience in organizing trade shows and other events.

A certified manager of exhibits through the Trade Show Exhibitor’s Association, she has diplomas in business administration, event marketing and public relations, and is preparing to write the exam to become a certified special event professional.

Smirl previously worked for such companies as Canadian Tire, The Portables, Deloitte and Shimano, as well as on industry shows like the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show and the Computer Dealers’ Exhibition, and on outdoor, and home and garden shows throughout Canada.

“The ability to attract an event professional of Dianne’s caliber guarantees a smooth transition for everyone involved in Agri-Trade, whether exhibitor, sponsor or attendee,” said Tim Creedon, the Chamber’s executive director.

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