About the Team
Founder & CEO
Mary Dolaher is the founder and chief executive officer of Dolaher Events, an award-winning producer of entertainment and technology trade shows and fan fests in areas ranging from video games, anime, and K-Pop, to hardware and user-specialized conferences.
Dolaher Events (formerly IRL Events) was launched in summer 2016 with a group of seasoned industry professionals, the vast majority of whom have worked in the events industry for ten or more years. The business is based in Framingham, MA (near Boston), and has staff located in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Phoenix. Dolaher Events provides services from the most turnkey to the extremely customized, and has a track record of great success in partnering with others. Current partners include E3, SiliCon and Anime Expo (AX).
Prior to launching Dolaher Events, Dolaher was the former Chief Executive Officer of IDG World Expo. In this role, she led a broad suite of industry-leading expo events including E3, Digital Entertainment World (DEW), Anime Expo, KCON, Agenda, CIO 100, IT Roadmap, Macworld, and hundreds of custom events. Additionally, Dolaher facilitated new business development, with a unique focus on creating market-leading events that feature dynamic year-round communities for attendees within each event industry.
Before joining IDG World Expo in 2006, Dolaher was Senior Vice President at the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), where she planned and managed the video game industry’s annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the world’s leading interactive entertainment event, from its launch. E3 was ranked in the top 25 trade shows in the country, and drew over 70,000 attendees and 400 exhibitors. Prior to her 12 years heading E3, Dolaher was Director of Corporate Communications at IDG, where she managed communications functions for the chairman of the board.
Ms. Dolaher has been named to Expo’s top 20 Elite leaders in the trade show industry. Expo explained, “In the face of ever-higher stakes, these leaders have proven that they have the right stuff when it comes to expanding their shows, by using innovative, new ideas to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time. These 20 EXPO Elite leaders—representing a wide variety of types of shows—continue to assume new responsibilities and effortlessly, expertly drive growth.” Dolaher also earned a place on the BizBash list of most innovative people in the event industry. BizBash wrote, “Mary Dolaher is among the…professionals who stand out as the drivers behind groundbreaking, purpose-driven concepts that shape the way we think about events today.” In addition, Dolaher was honored by BtoB’s Media Business magazine as the first-ever “Top Innovator” in Events for her work on E3 Expo, was recognized by the Women’s Image Network as its inaugural Interactive Industry Achievement Honoree for her numerous contributions to the video game industry, and was selected as a delegate to the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. Dolaher was several times named one of the top 25 people in the video game industry by Next Generation Magazine, and was the recipient of American Business Media’s inaugural Gertrude Crain award recognizing the achievements of the country’s leading female executives. In addition, she has been named as one of the 100 most influential people in the exhibition business by Tradeshow Week several times. The events that Dolaher runs have won numerous awards, including TradeShow Executive’s Gold 100 and “Greatest Show on Earth” awards, Expo Magazine’s Top 25-Fastest Growth Shows, multiple IAEE “Art of the Show” awards, Trade Show News Network’s “Top 250 Trade Shows”, and EVENTtech Event Technology awards.
Ms. Dolaher also serves on the Boards of Extra Life, the Children’s Miracle Network, and the LA Inc. Advisory Committee. She also works closely with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the National Micro-Loan Foundation.
Executive Vice President
Carolyn Rauch, Dolaher Events’ Executive Vice President, was most recently Senior Vice President, Strategic Communication & Event Development at IDG World Expo, where she was responsible for strategic planning, development, and event positioning. Rauch brings more than 25 years of experience to her position. She served for more than a decade as Senior Vice President of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) where she managed public relations for E3 as well as communications and research for the video game industry as a whole. Previously, Rauch was a vice president at Robinson Lake Sawyer Miller, a strategic communications firm specializing in the entertainment industry, where her clients included MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comcast. Rauch has also served as deputy national press secretary to U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey’s 1992 presidential campaign, deputy press secretary to former U.S. Senator and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Jim Sasser, and New Hampshire press secretary for former Governor Bruce Babbitt’s 1988 presidential campaign.
Show Director of E3 | General Manager of SiliCon
Mariella Ley, CEM, Show Director E3/ General Manager SiliCon, is a highly qualified and accomplished meetings and expositions professional with extensive experience in directing all aspects of event management (exhibitions, conferences and special events), both domestic and international. Mariella has served as: General Manager, Silicon Valley Comic Con; General Manager, KCON; General Manager, MLG Finals 2015; General Manager, DEW (Digital Entertainment World); and has worked on a significant number of other events as well. Mariella started her career with over a decade at Marketing International Corp., managing international events all over Latin America, Asia and Europe, and then worked on events at VNU for five years, where she began her work on E3. Ley has a Communications degree from the University of Lima, in Lima, Peru, and is a member of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE).