Each member of our team is ready to help you create the trade show exhibit that will help you stand out from the crowd. From lightboxes to tabletop displays, from portables and pop ups to custom designs, we have the expertise to create the right exhibit design for you.
Operations Support / I&D Supervisor
Originally from South Texas, Bob comes to Nichols with over 30 years of experience working in commercial and industrial construction and carpentry, including professional installations. Bob also played eight years of professional baseball in Mexico, where he learned to take a strong team approach, which has made him a great fit with our team. He has three grandchildren, and has taught bible classes for 12 years.
As a former product development engineer with a great ability to understand exhibit hardware and think three dimensionally, Bud is ideally suited to head up our sales efforts and lead our dynamic team. He has over 30 years of experience in the tradeshow industry, and has grown Nichols from a product rep firm to the more customer-focused, full-service exhibit company that we are today. Bud holds a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. When he’s not working, Bud loves to be behind the helm of his boat or on stage. He is the harmonica player and a vocalist for the Chicago band, Hoopla (visit www.hooplarocks.com).
Christopher brings a keen eye for detail and a background in Graphic Illustration from the Kendall College of Art & Design to his role on the Nichols team. As a Sales Representative, he calls on his extensive experience in direct sales and business development, and when paired with his artistic background he has found that he’s able to assist clients in concept as well as with design. In fact, he was a finalist for Art and Design in the Chicago Red Eye 2014 Big Idea Awards. He has already begun to build great relationships, and is ready to help meet client needs through his unique lens of creativity plus business savvy.
Outside of his work with Nichols, Christopher is an independent artist in Chicago, specializing in skyline and architecture. He also enjoys spending time with his family, and doing anything with a creative element.
Graphic Production and Design
Dan has been a part of the Nichols team since 2011, taking on client artwork submission, graphic design, and also 3D exhibit rendering. Dan has fine arts training in graphic design, 3D design, illustration, photography, drawing, painting, and video. His expert skills in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop, along with a specialization in large format printing, help you get the highest quality product for your show. Dan holds a bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Eastern Illinois University. He particularly loves when technical skills can be applied to artistic endeavors.
Shipping & Receiving / Operations Support
A great addition to our operations team, Daniel has strong organization skills, is highly detailed, and is a great communicator. He has a strong background in customer service, which has helped him to fit in right away as he learns and supports all aspects of Nichols operations. His degree from Elgin Community College in Industrial Manufacturing Technology has also given him a unique insight into our business. In his free time, Daniel enjoys building things, from puzzles to home improvement projects, attending live music and sporting events, playing sports, and staying fit.
Derek comes to us with numerous years of sales experience in the exhibit and logistics industries. Most recently, he worked for Duo Display selling portable and modular turnkey exhibit systems. His responsibilities include new business development as well as working with existing Nichols clients. His energetic and helpful nature ensures that every aspect of your exhibit will be a success. Derek has a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a certificate in Entrepreneurship from the University of Iowa. He is an avid Chicago sports fan and volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Sportivo, an organization that brings sports camp opportunities to underserved Chicago youth.
Her extensive administrative, bookkeeping, and customer service experience have made Donna a great addition to the client support team at Nichols. She is organized and helpful, sincere, a quick learner, and always looks out for our clients’ best interests. Some of Donna’s particular tasks include organizing and managing client events, keeping trade show calendars, coordinating shipping logistics, updating inventory, preparing quotes, and invoicing, and she completes each of these with a positive and happy disposition. Donna has many years of office experience, as well as a degree in Business from Robert Morris University. In her free time, Donna loves spending time with her family and friends, barbecuing and playing bags, going to the beach, taking walks, making crafts and cheering on all Chicago sports teams—but the team Donna supports the most is the Nichols team!
Director of Production
Gus brings nearly 20 years of leadership experience to Nichols, developing teams in the fields of distribution, production and logistics. After serving our country as an Aerial Delivery Specialist in the U.S. Air Force, Gus worked in 3PL and fulfillment, overseeing multiple facility start-ups. Outside of his professional endeavors, Gus enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, and is a huge fan of his hometown Chicago sports teams. He also enjoys traveling, tech, business and politics.
Graphic Production and Design
With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Biola University and a variety of experience from graphic design to gallery exhibitions, Jennifer brings a strong background in visual arts and an eye for design to her role in our Graphic Design Department. She will use her high level of taste to explore design and maintain the integrity of our brand as well as our clients’ brands. Jennifer has a passion for materials and textures, and she is a practicing artist, as well as a stage and media designer at Immanuel Church. In her free time, she enjoys fishing, antiquing and crafting.
Portable Sales Coordinator
Joan oversees the Nichols production schedule, making sure every component of an order is on track and where it needs to be. She directs our tradeshow services department and is the expert on ShowRunner™, our online asset management and project management site. After 17 years with Nichols, Joan leads our customer service efforts, handles accounts payable and receivable, and much more. Outside of work, Joan is passionate about family, friends, and music. She loves to garden, play tennis and enjoys home improvement projects. Joan is a native Chicagoan and attended Mundelein College.
With twelve years of experience in the nonprofit and public sectors, and project management skills honed during her long career with AmeriCorps (a National Service Program), we are glad to welcome Kelly’s expertise to the Nichols team. She is skilled at organizing variables and keeping an eye on the details to ensure a great experience for our customers. Her degree is in Interpersonal Communication from Western Michigan University. Kelly recently returned to Chicago, where she was born and raised, after living in Denver for seven years. Though she misses the mountains, she has a deep love for everything that makes Chicago her home. In her free time, she volunteers with PAWS Tinley Park and loves to spend time with her dog, Brinny.
Kristen comes to us from Massachusetts with five years of experience in customer service and retail entertainment management. She also gained six years of experience working in show management with a non-profit organization that runs a show in Boston every spring. Kristen’s experience leading teams in these fast-paced industries has helped her become great at thinking on her feet and solving problems. She thrives on keeping a busy schedule and enjoys handling all the little details for our clients. Kristen holds an English degree from Salem State University. She’s a big Boston Bruins fan (no hard feelings) and enjoys camping, cooking on the grill year-round, and spending time with her loved ones.
Director of Projects
With nine years of management experience in a variety of industries and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with an emphasis on business development, Maxwell has been a welcome addition to the Nichols team. He serves as account manager, estimator, and leader in the implementation of our project management software. Maxwell is a problem solver at heart and enjoys thinking outside of the box. He is capable, unflappable, and willing to tackle any project no matter how big. He enjoys cooking, the theatre and traveling to new places, such as when he lived in Tver, Russia. He is very excited to contribute and join the talented team here at Nichols.
An Account Manager and event enthusiast, Melissa has found a passion for the trade show industry here at Nichols. Her event coordination experience ranges from weddings and special occasions to corporate events and fundraisers. Known for her highly collaborative nature and professional demeanor, Melissa thrives in both team and independent settings. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Business Administration from The University of Kansas in 2016. When she is not at work you might find her walking trails near Lake Michigan with her dachshund, spending time with family and friends, or cooking Italian cuisine!
Exhibit Specialist, I&D Supervisor
Omar is our hands-on exhibit expert. He is a master at keeping your exhibit looking great and show ready due to his innate mechanical ability. His deep knowledge of client properties makes him a valuable asset both in our warehouse and on the show floor, where he takes care of all of your I&D needs. In and out of work, Omar keeps his cool, enabling him to handle any situation that may arise on the show floor and beyond. He has been a tattoo artist for ten years, which has cultivated his patience and strong attention to detail. He likes to work on cars and rides sport motorcycles.
Peggy behind the scene work helps keep Nichols running smoothly. Most of her efforts are directed towards marketing, human resources and finance. She takes on special projects and especially enjoys strategic planning. Peggy holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from the University of Cincinnati. Outside of Nichols, she’s an instructor for Gordon Training International teaching communication, problem solving and leadership skills to families and organizations. Peggy loves to spend her free time with family and friends, learning new things and traveling.
Custom Production / I&D Supervisor
With a variety of work experiences over 25 years, Samir has honed his skills in carpentry and woodworking, art welding and metalworking, and can shape any type of material to create beautiful exhibits. It’s no wonder he says that if “you dream it, I’ll make it happen!” We all benefit from his experience, as he can fix virtually anything. Samir completed four years at the Electro Technical Institute in Bosnia. He has lived in four countries and speaks three languages. Though he’s a self-described workaholic whose goal is 100% customer satisfaction, he enjoys music and travel, seeking out a piano bar in every city he visits.