Organisers of the European Pizza & Pasta Show have paid tribute to the man who founded the event, Roger Shashoua, following his death this month.
Mr Shashoua, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on 17 January, was the founder and director of IPR Events London, which runs the exhibition.
He was highly regarded as a serial entrepreneur and a household name in the UK event’s industry, where he had worked all of his life.
ITE Group, a company he founded with little capital when he entered the Russian market, was ranked by Business Week in 1998 as the fastest growing small company in Europe and first in Europe’s 500 top companies in terms of growth and turnover. It went onto become the largest trade fair organiser in Eastern Europe and the CIS.
Stanislava Blagoeva, managing director of IPR Events London, said: “He was a creator, a genius, a maverick, a man of dignity and honour, a one-of-a-kind human being.
“He created successful businesses, he had his ups and downs, but one thing he never did – give up! His energy and enthusiasm were captivating. He had in him the power to light up the universe and quite possibly make an exhibition out of it!”
Speaking on behalf of IPR Events London Ltd team, Ms Blagoeva said: “There is a big empty table in our office now. His papers – unread, his glasses – untouched and neatly folded, his books and paintings tacked away, wrapped and never opened, the wine bottle he never took home, his father’s antique chairs adorning the corners.
“We will remember you until the end of days. We will carry your light forward! Our European Pizza and Pasta Show will grow bigger and bigger, in your honour.”