Emerald has acquired its third female-led company in the past year. With diversity, equity, and inclusion a focus, 50 percent of Emerald’s leadership team identifies as female and 20 percent as a person of color.
Trade show organizer Emerald has acquired Lodestone Events, producers of the Overland Expo series of vehicle-based, adventure travel consumer shows, the third acquisition of a company led by female founders in the last year. MJBiz and Bulletin were the first and second.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are longtime focuses at Emerald. In 2021, Ren Akinci joined as executive vice president, people and culture officer to expand and strengthen its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
“Investing in under-represented groups is at the heart of Emerald — this reflects in our partnerships with female-led businesses like Lodestone, as well as in our hiring decisions,” said Akinci. “We are proud to share that 50 percent of our senior leadership team identifies as female and 20 percent of our senior leadership team identifies as a person of color. Our goal is to continue to increase representation.”
This latest acquisition also builds on Emerald’s decades of experience in outdoor recreation with its Outdoor Retailer wholesale trade show and aligns with its focus to expand into the growing business-to-consumer (B2C) event space. The company has been focused on expansion, introducing its new accelerator division, Emerald Xcelerator, last May.
“The acquisition of Lodestone Events represents Emerald’s portfolio optimization strategy and underscores our expansion into high-growth markets in both the B2B and B2C sectors. Looking ahead into 2023 and beyond, we are thrilled to be officially launching into the B2C event space with Outdoor Adventure X this June 2023 and look forward to harnessing Emerald’s Xcelerator division to build both B2B and B2C brands in new and emerging industries,” said Hervé Sedky, Emerald’s president and Chief Executive Officer.
All Lodestone employees will join the Emerald team, with Lodestone founders Lindsay Hubley and Jessica Kirchner joining Emerald’s management team and continuing to lead the Overland Expo series. The team will also oversee Emerald’s previously announced Outdoor Adventure X show, Emerald’s new consumer lifestyle event for the outdoor recreation enthusiast. Outdoor Adventure X will take place on June 17-18, 2023, at Snowbasin Resort in Huntsville, Utah, the weekend preceding Outdoor Retailer’s business-to-business summer show in Salt Lake City.
Last July, Emerald, the owner and organizer of NY NOW, the wholesale market for retail where brands, buyers, and designer gather, acquired Bulletin, a wholesale marketplace connecting more than 3,000 independent brands with over 26,000 retailers. Bulletin was founded by Alana Branston and Ali Kriegsman, who joined Emerald as part of the acquisition.
Last January, Emerald completed the acquisition of MJBiz, the leading event producer and content platform for the cannabis industry. MJBiz was founded by Cassandra Farrington and Anne Holland.