2008 David I. Levy Award


Ted Johnson

Ted Johnson - Hadley Exhibits

Criteria: The David I. Levy Award was created to recognize outstanding achievement and service in the communications industry. Recipients should have a distinguished record of achievement over an extended period of time, which includes contributions to his/her company, the industry and the community.


Before he was selected for the David I. Levy Award, Ted Johnson had already made it into the Smithsonian and the Baseball Hall of Fame. And those are just two of the national and international clients Ted has introduced to the talent, creativity, hard work and great service found right here in Buffalo.

Not bad for a guy who in 1977 started out in the family business as a janitor. Since 2004, Ted has served as president of Hadley Exhibits, which has grown dramatically under his leadership. Today, Hadley has 118 employees —108 here in Buffalo.

For clients from across the country and around the world, Ted has made Buffalo a regional epicenter of
creativity in trade show and museum display design. He’s headed the Ericsson and Sony Ericsson accounts since 1992, supervising 34 major trade show exhibits for Ericsson throughout North America in a single year. He began the Hadley Exhibits Museum business in 1985, fi rst establishing a relationship with the USDA, then the National Park Service. He also managed the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library project. In 1998, he began a relationship with the Smithsonian Institution that has led to projects for the National Museum of the American Indian, the American Museum of Natural History, the National Zoo, and currently the U. S. Capitol.

Ted has created an environment at Hadley where designers, craftsmen, project managers and account
executives are empowered to create and compete on a national level. He’s encouraged, cajoled, harangued, inspired, and most important, led by example. He’s also been known to round up everyone and take them next door for barbecue and beer.

Ted brings the same focus to helping our community. He’s a two-time president of the Children’s Growth Foundation. He also received the group’s President’s Award and serves on the board of directors. He has supported the Martin House Restoration, the Nash House Restoration, the Buffalo Historical Society, the Buffalo Zoo and Cradle Beach Camp.

Not surprisingly, Ted even relaxes in the fast lane. He’s a longtime member of the Buffalo Ski Club, where he was the youngest board member in club history. He’s a 20-year member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America, and has taught skiing for 32 years. He’s a member of the Buffalo Yacht Club, where he was only the third skipper in 50 years to capture consecutive wins in the Lake Erie Interclub Cruise. Married for 26 years, with five children and two grandchildren, Ted Johnson isn’t just at home in Western New York. He’s made Buffalo a center for excellence and a magnet for companies seeking the best in three-dimensional design and communications. For that achievement, we’re proud to present him with the David I. Levy Award.