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The Right Kind Of Leaders

For more than 100 years, we’ve been dedicated to doing what’s right. And that commitment starts with our leaders.

Carl F. Mitchell

Executive Chairman

Carl is a Georgia native, having grown up on a dairy farm. He was educated in Morgan County public schools, University of Maryland and Georgia State University. He spent 18 months on active duty with the U.S. Army in South Korea.

He has spent his entire career in the trade show industry, starting with Manncraft in Atlanta in 1971. He was appointed vice president and general manager of GES in 1976, moving up to regional vice president of GES in 1978. Carl purchased Shepard with his then partner, Sherman Wade, in 1982.

He has served on the board of the Atlanta Convention Visitor Bureau and the local boards of the American Red Cross and the National Kidney Foundation. He was one of the original commissioners representing the convention services companies on the APEX Initiative of the Convention Industry Council. In addition to all of this, Carl has served on the board of the Exhibition Service Contractors Association, acting for two terms as ESCA president.

As Shepard has grown to a combination of 16 offices nationwide, Carl has transitioned to the role of Executive Chairman – still active and involved with Shepard business on a daily basis.

Steve Basch

Chief Executive Officer

Steve Basch joined Shepard in 2013 as Chief Financial Officer, leading all aspects of the company’s financial management, including his instrumental role in implementing Shepard’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Shepard in 2016, assuming an expanded leadership role in all aspects of the company.

Prior to joining Shepard, he held leadership roles in financial planning and analysis, operations planning, investor relations, and tax with Price WaterhouseCoopers, Twelve Baskets, and Star Packaging Corporation.

Frank Villamar

Chief Financial Officer

Frank is a seasoned professional. After receiving his first Master’s degree in accounting from Florida State University, he successfully established himself in the accounting and “start-up” spaces. He earned his second Master’s degree from Emory in 2007, and from there he has held titles such as Controller, Senior Director of Finance, and VP of Finance. Most recently, he was the Chief Financial Officer at Turnberry Innovations. Outside of work, Frank enjoys spending time with his wife and four dogs, traveling, and wine tasting.

Kevin Bird

Executive Vice President, Sales

With more than 20 years of sales and event industry experience, Kevin Bird’s career has been marked by establishing high-performing sales teams and achieving outstanding results in driving business efficiency and growth in fast-paced markets. He stepped into the role of Executive Vice President of Sales in spring 2018 to oversee the global championing of innovation in sales, marketing, and new product and service deployment with a focus on driving profitable growth and customer satisfaction. In his prior role at Shepard as Vice President of Sales Operations, Bird led the company’s strategy in creating a sustainable infrastructure to increase customer engagement and growth in strategic accounts.

Prior to Shepard, Kevin was with Nielsen Business Media (now Emerald Expositions) where he was Group Show Director for their healthcare portfolio of events.

Steve Margos

Executive Vice President, Operations

In winter 2017, Steve Margos became Shepard’s Executive Vice President of Operations, taking on the pivotal role of spearheading Shepard’s industry-leading operations and logistics. Serving various leadership roles within Shepard since 2013, Steve has more than 15 years of event operational experience, including General Manager of the Las Vegas branch where he was instrumental in the branches exponential growth from 2007-2016.

Kimberly Vess

Vice President, Client Services

Kimberly Vess is Shepard’s Vice President of Client Services. She and her team work to ensure Shepard provides the highest level of service to every customer. Kimberly oversees call center operations, phone and chat agents, and all onsite service centers, in addition to other key service channels for our customers. Her position spearheads the development, maintenance, and training of Shepard’s signature Blue Diamond Customer Experience company-wide.

Kimberly has over twenty years of experience in the events industry. She has grown her career within Shepard, operating in various positions including exhibit sales manager, national account executive, regional director of account executives and most recently moved into her current position, spearheading Shepard’s vision to be the best in customer experience. Kimberly’s out-of-the-box thinking and passion for service has resulted in an impressive track recording of expertly executing some of the industry’s leading events.

Jody Weathington

Head of Information Technology

Jody Weathington started his career at Shepard in 2005 where he has progressed from warehouse associate to logistics and accounting. In 2009, he took over as IT Director. Jody holds Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Managerial Sciences. Jody is the proud father of four children; two boys and two girls.

Sarah Feske

Senior Vice President, Account Production

Sarah Feske is Shepard’s Senior Vice President of Account Production. She oversees all aspects of account management and department productivity. She is responsible for Shepard’s strategic and systematic approach to account management and has a heavy hand in the development of innovative tools that will improve customer experience during all aspects of the event planning cycle.

Sarah began her career with Shepard as an intern while enrolled in Georgia State University’s Hospitality Program and returned to Shepard immediately after graduation to begin her events career as an Account Executive. She has grown her career at Shepard, occupying several positions within the account management team that have provided her the knowledge and skill set to succeed in her current role.

Sarah is passionate about customer service and is known by her colleagues for her creativity, responsiveness, and problem-solving abilities. When Sarah isn’t on the road, she’s enjoying time at home with her dogs or can be found hitting the soccer fields to get her heart rate up.

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