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Edmonton Event Awards | Judges

Edmonton Event Awards 2018

Thank you to our judges!

It is important to us to engage judges who are in your local industry. Thus we are very strategic in selecting judges. We look to engage 4-5 individuals that are upper management in larger organizations or individuals who have been in the industry for a long time. These individuals bring extensive experience and industry involvement to the process. We also feel they are more likely to have and be perceived as having minimal bias. We welcome your recommendations on potential judges for future awards programs.

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Chris Buerger

Prior to launching LHAS Corp. in October of 2004, Chris started Edmonton’s premiere event management company in 1989 and sold it in 2004. Remembering back to her early years, Chris recalls the perplexed look on the faces of those who asked what she did for a living. She also remembers being at an international industry event in the early 90’s where discussions evolved around how we become regarded as professionals.

Fast forward to now … a time when our event industry is filled to the brim with true professionals. As a former Advisory Board Member for the Canadian Special Events Society and a past member of International Board of Governors for the organization formerly known as the International Special Events Society, Chris has witnessed impressive industry growth. Chris and her team have been proud recipients of numerous special event industry nominations and awards over the years and while her list of voluntary efforts is diverse, her proudest moments are those spent mentoring people in our great industry.

28 years spent growing two successful companies and Chris remains passionate about the world of events and loves the people it attracts. She’s excited that industry professionals are being celebrated and is truly honoured to be a part of the judging team again for the 2018 Edmonton Event Awards.


Richard Wong

Richard has been appointed as a new General Manager of the Shaw Conference Centre effective November 2017. Formerly, he was Executive Vice-President of Nova Hotels after serving as Vice-President and General Manager of the Chateau Lacombe Hotel.  

Prior to the Chateau Lacombe Hotel, Richard led the Travel Alberta’s Industry Relations Team as Vice President and was accountable for the delivery of Travel Alberta’s stakeholder engagement strategy, which includes industry and government relations, marketing, Travel Alberta’s Industry Conference, industry education and industry co-op program.

Richard moved to Edmonton, Alberta to transition the former Sheraton Hotel Edmonton into a Sutton Place Hotel brand. Active in the Community Richard has served as a board member of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, Edmonton Police Foundation, Fort Edmonton Park Management Company, Fort Edmonton Park Foundation, Canada 150 Society, Chair of the Edmonton Downtown Business Association, Edmonton Destination Marketing Hotels, NorQuest College Workforce Advisory Council, NAIT Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Council, President of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market, The Foundation of St.Josephs Seminary And Newman Theological College, Chair, Pilgrims Hospice Society, Kids Kottage, Glenora Rotary Club and many other community and charitable organizations.


Gay Derk

Gay Derk is CEO of Derks Fine Group of Companies which includes Derks Formals & Menswear and The Bridal Fantasy Group. The Derks Group of Companies is dedicated to being leaders in their touch points with customers by providing unparalleled one-on-one customer care for our clients, their family and their friends and to our community. To this end we focus on charities and causes that involve the community.

Bridal Fantasy is composed of tradeshows, the magazine and the online components. Bridal Fantasy has been recognized by the University of Alberta’s School of Business for its Outstanding Contribution to the Retailing Industry for the Development and Enhancement of Bridal Fantasy as a National Brand. In September 2017 Western Canadian Fashion Week honored Bridal Fantasy and Derks with The Canadian Fashion Industry Distinction Award. Bridal Fantasy received the 2017 Star Award from Bridal Show Producers International for Best Bridal Show.