Sunday, May 6th, 2012
SPI is the producer of NPE, the triennial international plastics trade show. Held in Orlando on April 1-5, NPE2012 was considered a triumphant success by most observers. After being held for 40 years in Chicago, NPE2012 marked the first time the show was held in Orlando. The following statement concerning the death of Visit Orlando President and CEO Gary Sain was issued by SPI President and CEO William “Bill” Carteaux.
It is with deep sadness that I share the news with the entire plastics industry that Gary Sain, the President and CEO of Visit Orlando (The Orlando Tourism Bureau), passed away unexpectedly on the evening of May 4th at an event in Orlando.
As many of you may recall from SPI events and articles in various trade publications, over the past three years Gary was extremely instrumental in helping to attract SPI to Orlando for NPE2012. His tireless efforts and commitment to the show and our industry helped us create one of the best NPEs in its history. Gary took some huge risks to ensure our success that could have cost him not only his job, but also his outstanding reputation. But as I got to know him better along the journey, I realized there was no way he would allow SPI, or himself, to fail in helping create the special event that we did with NPE2012.
Over the past three-plus years, Gary and I developed a close, personal relationship. He was a true visionary in the trade show and tourism industry and probably had the best marketing mind of anyone that I have known in my professional career. His ability to look at every problem and obstacle as an opportunity was tremendously refreshing. Gary truly believed and lived by Orlando’s theme — “ORLANDO MAKES ME SMILE” — as he was always on top of the world with a positive attitude and a smile on his face.
The entire global plastics industry owes Gary Sain a generous amount of appreciation for all that he did for us. Without his help, support and unwavering commitment to our success, NPE2012 would not have been nearly as successful as it was. For that Mr. Sain, we are all ‘smiling up at you.’
From a personal perspective, I will miss our friendship dearly. On behalf of SPI Sr. Vice President of Trade Shows Gene Sanders and the rest of the SPI staff, I want to express my deepest condolences to Gary’s family, loved ones and the staff at Visit Orlando.