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In Memoriam
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We mourn the passing of the following IASB Members and Speakers who have contributed to our industry....our thoughts are with their family and friends as they grieve for their loss and cherish the memories they have of their loved one.



Larry Baltz / Republic Speakers Bureau

Larry was a Managing Partner at Republic Speakers Bureau, and recently launched Build Team One, a teambuilding company.  Larry gave tirelessly of his speaker expertise and was eager to share his knowledge with industry friends. His smile and gentle nature put others at ease. (July 28, 2010)


Kaaren Cheney / Keynote Speakers

Kaaren showed an immense dedication and love for her job. She was there every day, rain, shine, or illness aside, always with a positive attitude and a determination to do the best job she could.  She shook off temporary setbacks with ease and was productive in the extreme, maximizing each minute of her time here, focusing on the clients and speakers she knew best.  She had a good sense of humor, and the complete inability to harbor a grudge, two qualities everyone treasures in a colleague and a friend.   One of the reasons Kaaren loved her job so much was because she felt close to the people she worked with; it was never just a transaction, but always a personal relationship.  (July 2011)


Donny "Conn" Clap / Convention Connection

An 85-year adventure marked the life of Donny Conn, musician, comedian, speaker and creative spirit who entertained and enriched our lives. Donny was born in Waterbury, Conn., where he attended schools and where he started playing drums. He went on and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was one of the founders of Beta Sigma Gamma, the first intercultural fraternity in New England. After college he went on the road leading his "Playmates Trio" to clubs and records success. "Beep Beep," the story of the Nash Rambler and the Cadillac, was a million-record seller.  He was able to successfully reinvent himself as a stand-up comedian and then turned his comic talents to acclaim as a professional speaker. At the same time he started one of the first speakers bureaus to help book other speakers for conventions and business meetings. Provided courtesy of The Republican American -  (September 2, 2015)  


Mark French /Leading Authorities

Mark started Leading Authorities in 1990 and led the company to become a leader in the speaking, video, and live production industries. Mark was also the publisher of CEO Update, the association sector's top resource for c-level executives focused on trends, best practices, and careers. A lifelong traveler, skier, and friend to many, Mark became an advocate for stroke awareness and prevention after suffering a stroke in 2015. In the years following, he raised money and supported many organizations in an effort to reduce the risk of stroke in the lives of others. (May 5, 2019)


Barbara Kincaide / Speakers Bureau International 

Barbara was the founder of Speakers Bureau International (Retired Member) and President of the International Group of Agencies and Bureaus (IGAB) from 1989 - 1990 (IGAB was the organization that became IASB in 2002).   In 1973, Barbara and her business partner founded Convention Consultants of Canada, an independent convention management company and in 1974 developed The Time of Day artistic calendar featuring theatres and restaurants across Canada.  In 1975, Barbara introduced Meeting Planners International to Canada and became its first President.  (May 8, 2011)



Steve Bridges

More info.


Chin-Ning Chu

Chin-Ning Chu, an inspirational leader to women in business all over the world, was an acclaimed author and speaker, an Eastern philosopher and historian and a marketing, business, and political consultant.  Not only was she an international sales warrior, but she was also an accomplished fashion designer, classical music historian, opera singer, actress and filmmaker.   (December 10, 2009)

Keith Harrell, CSP, CPAE

Keith Harrell was President and CEO of Harrell Performance Systems, an international speaking and training firm that focused on improving behavior, attitude, and performance.  Many knew Keith as "Dr. Attitude" or Mr. Super Fantastic", but to his family he was a son, brother, uncles, cousin and dear friend.  He loved blessing others and he will be truly missed, especially his laughter and the smile that lit up any room.  (October 18, 2010)


Retired Colonel Richard Alan “Rick” Searfoss 

Retired Colonel Richard Alan “Rick” Searfoss passed away at the age of 62 at his home in Bear Valley Springs, California.   After a full career in the Air Force and NASA, Rick became a professional speaker, using his experiences to provide leadership presentations and keynote speeches around the world. (September 29, 2018)


Randy Snow

Randy had a flare for life, an exuberance and a wacky sense of humor. He passed away suddenly while volunteering at a wheelchair tennis camp in El Salvador.  He has endeared himself to everyone he has come in contact with and will be deeply missed.  (November 19, 2009)


Jeffrey Zaslow

Jeffrey Zaslow Through his Wall Street Journal column and bestselling books, The Last Lecture, The Girls from Ames, and Highest Duty, Jeffrey Zaslow has told the stories of some of the most inspirational people of our time.  He was tragically killed in an auto crash in Northern Michigan.  More info.  (February 10, 2012)


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