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WSA Changes Name to Reflect International Status

NEWPORT BEACH, CA (March 15, 2000) - After 50 years of growing and expanding into the largest trade show of its kind in the U.S., WSA (formerly Western Shoe Associates) has changed its name to World Shoe Association to better reflect its far reaching impact on the footwear industry. Additionally, the organization has redesigned its logo and created an updated, functional website at www.wsashow.com.

The new name - WORLD SHOE ASSOCIATIONTM - allows the organization to both maintain the well-known acronym of WSA, while acknowledging its world wide status. The name change, endorsed by the organization's Board of Directors, was approved through a vote of the membership during a meeting held at last month's trade show in Las Vegas.

WSA, a California nonprofit mutual benefit corporation, first surfaced more than 50 years ago in Los Angeles as part of a new organization known as the West Coast Shoe Travelers Association. This group incorporated 23 years later in California as Western Shoe Associates with the purpose of "promoting a higher standard of ethics" and "encouraging a spirit of cooperation" within the growing footwear industry.

WSA flourished as a regional market during the ensuing years, boasting a membership of 500. As the shoe industry grew and America's appetite for fashion increased, the need for a larger trade show came with it. By the 1980's WSA was turning into a national presence as one of the premier markets for the trade, and was fast outgrowing its Long Beach, California home.

WSA moved to the Los Angeles Convention Center in 1987 and then hit the big time in 1989 when it switched its still expanding show to the convention capital of the world, Las Vegas. Today, this market encompasses over 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space for more than 1100 exhibitors at the Sands Expo Congress Center and nearby Desert Inn Resort.

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