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IAEH is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee governed by the following directors.

The IAEH board is open and any member willing to act to be a director can be appointed. Directors are appointed by vote in general meeting or by other directors through ordinary resolution.

Directors’ proceedings are regulated by the IAEH’s governing document.



Susan Sawbridge (IAEH Chair)

Manager - New Zealand Major Events

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Susan Sawbridge leads New Zealand Major Events, an arm of New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. New Zealand Major Events partners, identifies and invests in major events that generate and maximise economic, social and cultural benefits for New Zealand. Susan has a background in destination development and promotion across tourism, international education, business events and major events. Before joining New Zealand Major Events, Susan led major events prospecting and bidding for the city of Auckland, New Zealand.

Susan was reappointed to serve as IAEH director in May 2019.

Al Kidd

President & CEO - Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA)

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Al Kidd is the President & CEO of the Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA). He joined Sports ETA in April 2017, bringing more than 35 years of advertising, sales, marketing, venture capital investing, risk management, executive leadership and non-profit experience to his role with the association.

Kidd manages the strategic and financial direction at Sports ETA, while overseeing events, education, marketing and communications, membership, and sponsorship. Since joining Sports ETA, Kidd has repositioned and rebranded the association establishing a more inclusive brand to lead the sports events and tourism industry and its membership. He has also implemented a new strategic plan, 2020 Vision, to advance the future of sports tourism.
Kidd serves on the board of directors for USA Fencing, and the International Association of Event Hosts (IAEH).

Alan was appointed to serve as IAEH director in July 2020.


Head of Major Events - UK Sport

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Esther leads the Major Events Team at UK Sport, an arm’s length government body in the UK. Her team works with partners across the UK to strategically identify and invest in major sporting events. A key part of this role is to identify and programme out all the major and mega sporting events the UK looks to host on a rolling 5-10 year programme.
Esther has a passion for sport at all levels and a former hockey player and umpire Esther has been involved with a huge range of sports events across the globe formally working for England Netball and London 2012 Organising Committee.

Esther was appointed to serve as IAEH director in June 2021.

Lars Lundov

CEO - Sport Event Denmark

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Lars has been the head of Sport Event Denmark from the outset. With enthusiasm and commitment, Lars Lundov has lead the way for his team of employees all through the years. Lars Lundov’s main focus is on international relations within the international sports world / Olympic Movement and bidding for major international sports events. Through his wide, global network and because of the remarkable Danish results on the market for sports events, Lars Lundov is requested as a speaker at international conferences/congresses.

Lars was reappointed to serve as IAEH director in June 2021.

Paul Bush

Director of Events - EventScotland

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Paul leads VisitScotland’s Events Directorate which includes Industry Development, Business Events and EventScotland. The directorate takes a strategic role in the Scottish events industry and is responsible for attracting, bidding for and securing major sporting, cultural and business events worldwide. Over the past decade, Scotland has brought some of the biggest event properties to the country, including The Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games in 2014, many European and World Championships and the MTV Music Awards.

Paul was appointed Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland in May 2015 and previous roles include Chef De Mission for The Scottish Commonwealth Games. He was awarded an OBE for Services to Commonwealth Sport.

Paul was reappointed to serve as IAEH director in May 2019.

Perttu Pesä

COO - Visit Tampere Ltd.

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Perttu started his work in the event sector at the end of last century. He produced music festivals, TV-productions and theatre plays, and was also the festival director of Scandinavia’s largest comedy festival. In 2009−2012 he was the Deputy Mayor of Tampere, Finland and in charge of economic development, sports and culture. In 2012 the city decided to open Tampere Major Event Office and Perttu went from politics to life as a civil servant as the director of the new department. In 2017 Tampere Major Event Office joined forces with Tampere Convention Bureau and Visit Tampere, and now Perttu is the COO of Visit Tampere Ltd… Still developing event business.

Perttu was reappointed to serve as IAEH director in July 2020.

Peter Hunt

Events and Experiences Director - Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ)

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As Events and Experiences Director at Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), Peter leads a team that works collaboratively with government, industry and destination partners to identify, attract, develop and promote high value events in Queensland that attract visitors, contribute to the economy, raise the State's profile and foster community pride. Peter's time at TEQ has also seen him lead leveraging activity to optimise the tourism value of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and contribute to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Value Proposition Assessment as part of the Queensland Government's 2032 Taskforce. Prior to his time at TEQ, Peter led the lifestyle events portfolio at Destination New South Wales and has rights holder experience having led the delivery of surfing events for domestic sports federation Surfing New South Wales for 6 years.

Peter was appointed to serve as IAEH director in June 2021.

Rick Traer

CEO Emeritus - Sport Tourism Canada

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Rick served as the CEO between 2000 and 2021 and continues to represent Sport Tourism Canada internationally as CEO Emeritus. Prior to his involvement with the STC, Rick spent approximately 15 years in the national and provincial sport systems in Canada, including eight years as Executive Director of Basketball Canada. He also served two terms as President of FIBA Americas from 2000-2006, the governing body for basketball in the Americas based in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Rick was reappointed to serve as IAEH director in July 2020.

Sally Edwards

Senior Advisor, Events and Festivals - Dubai Tourism

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Sally Edwards is the Senior Advisor, Events and Festivals at Dubai Tourism leading a professional team who manage the planning and implementation of Dubai Calendar, Dubai Food Festival and Dubai Fitness Challenge. With the overall aim of increasing attendees to Dubai’s rich annual calendar of events and festivals, Sally and her team attract, create and market a year-round programme of world-class leisure events in the city through facilitating industry relationships, providing marketing support to event organisers and hosting the official portal for all of Dubai’s events - The team leads the planning and delivery of Dubai Food Festival and Dubai Fitness Challenge engaging industry, key partners and the public achieving year on year growth and success of both festivals.

Prior to joining Dubai Tourism, Sally was a founding member of Events NSW in the role of General Manager, Operations and Communications.

Sally was appointed to serve as IAEH director in July 2020.

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