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GMDC Management Transition Completion Set

May 20, 2015

Industry visionary Dave McConnell hands GMDC leadership to Patrick Spear effective June 1

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 18, 2015 – Global Market Development Center, a premiere global trade association, today announced the completion of its management transition on June 1, during the organization’s annual General Merchandise Conference (May 28-June 1, 2015 in Orlando).  CEO and industry leader Dave McConnell will transfer his role to GMDC President Patrick Spear.

McConnell served as GMDC president and CEO for 15 of his 35-year career with the association. He will remain with the association consulting on special projects until the end of the 2015.

He joined GMDC in 1980 and served in a number of capacities, including roles in business development, meetings management, recruitment and most recently, CEO. An Ohio native, McConnell earned a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

During its 45-year history, GMDC had two other association leaders: Executive Director Robert Keats, who served 4 years; and President/CEO Rick Tilton, who served 26 years. 

The transition plan was announced last October, when Spear was named the association’s president.

A Nashville resident, Spear brought 25-plus years in the consumer and office products industry to GMDC’s senior management team, including work with BIC, Newell Rubbermaid, Mapa Spontex and The Identity Group. His experience spans from retails sales representative with BIC Corporation to President and CEO of Identity Group and founding partner and managing director of Mammoth Office Products.

GMDC continues its mission and focus, based on retailer and wholesaler priorities, to foster growth in the Health Beauty Wellness and General Merchandise industries through collaboration, productivity and knowledge