Toronto, Canada -- "On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA), I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Virginia Ludy as the new General Manager of the CNE," Brian Ashton, President of the CNEA, stated today.
"Following the announcement last fall that the CNE's current General Manager David Bednar would be retiring in the spring of 2015, the CNEA Board engaged in extensive discussions taking into account a complexity of considerations as to how best to fill David's shoes," Mr. Ashton said. "As a newly independent organization that is 136 years old, we were keenly aware of the need to mobilize our post-independence gains and stabilize our business environment, while at the same time greeting the future with enthusiasm and innovative thinking."
"Virginia Ludy knows 'The Ex', loves 'The Ex' and is best prepared to move this organization forward in these ever changing times," Mr. Ashton elaborated. "She is the first woman ever to serve as General Manager of this fair, and will assume leadership of the organization in the spring."
"I believe tremendous opportunities lie ahead for the CNE and I am very excited and honoured to have been appointed to lead the organization in fulfilling the vision established for the event by President Ashton and the Board of Directors," Ms. Ludy said.
Serving most recently as the CNE's Assistant General Manager and Director of Operations, Ms. Ludy has wide ranging experience in the fair industry that encompasses more than 30 years. She is currently President of the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE), the fair-industry's national association, a Director of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), and serves as Chair of the Amusement Devices Advisory Council for Ontario's Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA).
Virginia has been a force within the CNE for more than three decades. As part of the CNEA Executive Team, she played a leadership role in designing a new Strategic Plan for the CNE. As Director of Operations, she managed a diverse and talented team in the areas of Emergency Planning and Preparedness, Security, Parking and Traffic Management, Gate Operations, Midway Rides and Food Services, Safety Engineering, Visitor Services and Guest Relations, Site Planning, and Event Services for the annual fair. She also leads the organization in the area of Business Development, a new portfolio, which has been created now that the CNEA is independent from Exhibition Place and the City of Toronto.
"I have every confidence that Virginia will take the organization in exciting new directions while building on all that we have achieved as a team during my seventeen years as General Manager," David Bednar said.
Virginia Ludy has a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Honours) in Geography from Ryerson University. She also has the following industry designations: Certified Fair Executive (CFE) from the International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE), has completed and graduated from the Fair Institute Program, and has also successfully completed the Certified Exposition Manager (CEM) program with the Canadian Association of Exposition Managers (CAEM). She is a life-long resident of resident of Toronto where she resides with her husband and two children.
The Canadian National Exhibition is Canada's largest fair and one of the top 10 agricultural exhibitions in North America. Founded in 1879, the CNE generates an economic impact of approximately $69.3 million for the Greater Toronto Area and $102.3 million for the province of Ontario each year. It is celebrated as the "greenest" fair in North America and attracted 1.43 million visitors over 18 days in 2014.
The 2015 Canadian National Exhibition takes place from August 21 to September 7, 2015 at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Canada.