From ASM Global PR
ASM Global—the world’s leading producer of entertainment experiences, venue management and event strategy—has named industry veteran Kelvin D. Moore, CMP, as regional vice president and general manager of McCormick Place Convention Center, North America’s largest convention center located in Chicago, Illinois.
Moore’s appointment coincides with ASM Global’s ambition to define the future of convention centers through innovative strategies. These include technology enhancements, experiential activations, and integrations that unite business and leisure experiences. As general manager, Moore’s focus will be on providing strategic leadership that goes beyond day-to-day operational management—an area in which he has excelled—to creating new programs and partnerships that differentiate Chicago as the destination of choice for the next generation visitor.
“Implementing innovative ideas, leaning into the reality of hybrid events, and working with the MPEA, Choose Chicago and McCormick Place teams to fully optimize the overall guest experience are high on our list of priorities,” Moore said. “Event organizers have evolving needs and having the ability to leverage the resources of ASM Global while working with our customers and strategic partners to help usher in this new era is beyond exciting. There is no better place to lead that effort than McCormick Place.”
Moore, a 30-year facility-operations veteran, has held leadership positions at convention centers, stadiums, and multipurpose facilities throughout the United States, most recently as regional vice president and general manager for ASM at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Prior to his time in Philadelphia, Moore was in Chicago as regional general manager for the Festival Hall Complex at Navy Pier. His operational successes, fiscal stewardship, and production expertise will all be critical factors in his new role.
“Kelvin is an industry veteran and visionary leader with the institutional knowledge necessary to lead one of the most important convention centers in the world,” said Dan Hoffend, executive vice president of convention centers for ASM Global. “His track record of enhancing operational efficiency at various convention centers across the country is second to none. He has big shoes to fill, but we are confident he will pave the way for what we expect to be a new and exciting era for McCormick Place.”
Moore succeeds David Causton who has served in the role of general manager since 2004. During his tenure, Causton oversaw strong revenue growth as well as the convention center campus expansion including planning and construction of the McCormick Place West Building, which greatly expanded the convention center’s capabilities, and the construction of the 10,000-seat Wintrust Arena.
“We are thrilled to welcome Kelvin Moore to the McCormick Square campus,” said Larita Clark, CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), owner of McCormick Place. “McCormick Place has rebounded from COVID, welcoming more than two million guests with an economic impact of more than $1.8 billion in the past 18 months. Our calendar ahead is robust, and it will be great to have Kelvin at the helm. As a CEO committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the events industry, and as MPEA’s African American CEO, I am also thrilled that Kelvin will be the first African American general manager of McCormick Place.”
“I’m excited to return to Chicago and reconnect with the business, tourism and labor sectors who are critical partners to surpassing pre-pandemic event volume and attendance levels,” Moore said. “Working with MPEA, we have a great opportunity to think and act for the future. The time is now.”
By Michael Mack
Las Vegas Events announced that Tim Keener will become the new president of the organization, effective Jan. 1, 2023. Keener currently serves as the vice president of event and ticket operations for LVE. Keener will replace its long-tenured president Pat Christenson who will transition to a consultant role to the Las Vegas Events Board of Trustees through 2023.
“Tim brings a wealth of experience, leadership skills, and institutional knowledge to the position,” said LVE Board of Trustees Chairman Bill McBeath. “For more than 21 years, Las Vegas Events has enjoyed tremendous continuity and success under the direction of Pat Christenson. Our expectation is that Tim will continue to build on the core tenets of the organization and lead it into the future.”
Keener, a native of West Virginia and a graduate from West Virginia University with both an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Sports Administration, has extensive experience in the development, operation, and management of special events.
In 1988, Keener began his career in sports management in Charlotte, where he spent the next six years working at Raycom Sports and GNI Sports. While at Raycom Sports and GNI Sports, he served in a variety of roles overseeing the operation and execution of numerous collegiate football and basketball events.
In 1994, Keener moved across town to ESPN Regional Television where he worked for nearly eight years in the management and operations of various special events, including collegiate basketball, football and golf events. During his time at ERT, he developed extensive experience in the television production of special events.
While at ERT, Keener was responsible for coordinating the Las Vegas Showdown, a collegiate basketball event which included UNLV as the anchor team. It was during this time that Keener developed a relationship with Christenson and UNLV, as well as the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. This relationship led Keener to Las Vegas after being hired by Christenson at LVE in 2001.
For more than 21 years at LVE, Keener has been responsible for the administration and operation of all company-related events pertaining to operational planning, event ticketing, sponsor fulfillment and sales, and game day-execution. Most notably, Keener has overseen the planning and execution of a variety of events, including the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo®, the Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas, FEI World Cup Jumping and Dressage Finals, SCORE Off-Road Racing, USA Men’s Basketball Training Camp and Exhibition, the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Championship and several NCAA Championship events (2008 USA Olympic Wrestling and Judo Trials).
In particular, Keener’s role with the Wrangler NFR has allowed him to work closely with General Manager Allen Rheinheimer, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Thomas & Mack Center senior staff on many aspects of the production and operation of the event. During his tenure, he has coordinated the front of house setup, shuttle bus operations, the outside interactive plaza, installation of on-site branding and the management of both the Cowboy Corral and Ace’s High Saloon & Exhibit. Keener’s department also oversees all aspects of event ticketing for the NFR.
In addition, Keener has led LVE’s coordination of the America’s Party citywide pyrotechnic display on New Year’s Eve and currently oversees the NCAA Championship bid process that takes place every four years. Through this relationship with the NCAA, Keener will manage the 2026 NCAA Frozen Four Hockey Finals that was awarded to the destination.
Tim makes his home in Las Vegas with his wife, Bridget. Their son, Tim, Jr., is a teacher in the Clark County School District.
Michael Mack is vice president – marketing for Las Vegas Events.
By Jude-Anne Spencer-Phillip
The Pennsylvania Convention Center and its trade show labor partners are building upon their already strong working relationship with the launch of a joint initiative – believed to be the only one of its kind in the country – dedicated to expanding and building upon existing training programs in the areas of safety, development of technical skills, customer service, and hospitality.
The new Hospitality Industry Advancement Trust (HIAT) Fund represents a partnership between the management of the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the organizations responsible for providing show floor labor to the facility’s customers. The HIAT Fund will support enhanced training opportunities focused in three general categories: “Safety, Skills, and Smiles.”
Safety programs will provide participants with opportunities to obtain general and specialized Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety certifications.
Skills training will be coordinated with contractors in the convention and meeting industry, such as Installation & Dismantle (I&D) and Decorator companies to provide the workforce with the latest technical training so that the workforce can offer the most efficient and economical builds possible.
Hospitality 1.0 and 2.0 programs will focus on providing customers and guests with memory-making experiences that consistently exceed expectations through prioritizing customers, positive attitude and engagement, and a commitment to success.
“The signatory labor unions of the Pennsylvania Convention Center are proud to be participating in the new Hospitality Industry Advancement Trust,” said Michael J. Barnes, 1st International Vice President of the International Alliance of Theatrical & Stage Employees and Chair of the HIAT Fund Board. “This innovative, joint initiative between Convention Center labor and management will improve workplace safety, provide additional skills training to enable the Center to offer customers the most economical build-outs possible, and provide all guests with so many wonderful memories that they’ll want to return, again and again. The signatory unions of the Convention Center thank CEO John McNichol for his spirit of partnership and forward-thinking leadership.”
“We are fortunate to have a team of labor partners that appreciate and understand the importance of delivering the best possible experience to our trade show, event, convention, and meeting customers,” said John McNichol, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. “They are making a long-term commitment to ensuring the labor personnel who work in our facility not only have the latest safety and skills training, but also a high-level of hospitality-focused training. The partnership and cooperative relationship between management and our show floor labor workforce is remarkable and it’s having a real, substantive impact on the customer-experience. In fact, customer satisfaction survey scores at the PA Convention Center demonstrate the results with an 87.2% overall rating and an outstanding score of 95.5% for utility services.”
“This program is another illustration of management and labor at the Center working together to deliver meeting planners, exhibitors, and attendees the best possible experience and value,” said Martin J. Sobol, Esquire, a member of the PCCA’s Board of Directors and chair of the board’s Customer Satisfaction Committee. “We are a united team that understands that strong customer service improves our competitiveness, puts us in a position to make every customer a repeat customer, and ensures Philadelphia will remain one of the country’s most desirable convention destinations for many years to come.”
The Pennsylvania Convention Center and its trade show labor partners have established a method of ensuring the trust receives consistent funding – approximately $250,000 to $400,000 per year — to meet the ongoing and evolving training needs of its workforce. The trade show labor unions will make a donation to the fund for every hour worked with a union member, an amount that will then be matched by the Pennsylvania Convention Center’s management. The PCC’s four trade show labor partners include: Laborers’ International Local 332, IATSE Local 8 (Stagehands), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98, and Iron Workers Local 405.
The ongoing cooperative working relationship between management and labor was further solidified last year with the extension of the facility’s labor agreement, known as the Customer Satisfaction Agreement (CSA), an additional five years until 2034. That additional five-year commitment provides customers with an added level of predictability and stability for their long-term event planning.
Jude-Anne Spencer-Phillip is senior communications manager at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The Toronto Blue Jays have completed the first stage of the major renovation of Rogers Centre with a number of areas having been demolished.
The Major League Baseball team said the first stage of the two-year, C$300m project focused mainly on the 500 Level, which covers the venue’s entire fifth level, and the outfield. All 500 Level seats have been torn up – nearly 17,000 of them – and will be replaced prior to next season, which begins in March 2023.
The team said crews are beginning to build the new infrastructure, which will make up a noticeable portion of the project that will continue at the 49,000-seat Rogers Centre through next offseason. On the lower levels, this offseason will see the addition of new social spaces and bars, raised bullpens, and 100 Level seats brought closer to the action. There will also be some major renovations to player facilities, including a family room, a 5,000-sq. ft weight room and staff locker room.
“We are committed to building a sustainable championship organization for years to come, and this renovation to Rogers Centre will give new and lifelong Blue Jays fans a ballpark where they can proudly cheer on their team,” said Mark Shapiro, the team’s president and chief executive.
“This project would not be possible without the support of Edward Rogers, Tony Staffieri, and our Rogers ownership group, who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Blue Jays, both in fielding the best team to win championships, as well as in the infrastructure needed to create a modern ballpark for our fans and players.”
The team said 2.2 million pounds of materials were recycled during the work, including 1.3 million pounds of concrete and 900,000 pounds of steel. Over the 35-day demolition, the average construction crew size each day was 110 workers inside Rogers Centre, six days a week.
Rogers Centre was previously home to the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts and has hosted major concerts since it opened in 1989.
“From the idea stages through early announcements and now the demolition, the Blue Jays have maintained the same philosophy with this project: turning a stadium into a ballpark,” the team said in a statement.
“While the building has done well and undergone some smaller changes, this is the first large-scale renovation in its history.”
Plans for the major renovation were announced in July 2022.
By Corey Eldridge
Ungerboeck, the global leader in venue and event management software, announced the appointment of Alex Alexandrov as its new chief executive officer. Alexandrov has spent his career at the forefront of innovation as an established senior executive with an extensive background in high growth global technology markets.
Alexandrov joins Ungerboeck from SoftwareONE where he served as a member of the executive board, chief operating officer and president of the Latin American region. During his tenure at SoftwareONE, Alexandrov and the executive team grew revenue by more than 300% and quadrupled EBITDA. Alexandrov was instrumental in driving profitable growth, industrializing global shared service centers, building an M&A and post-merger integration program with 20 acquisitions, and creating internal digital transformation. He also led the company’s successful IPO in 2019. Prior to this, Alexandrov was a managing director at Thomas H. Lee Partners, where he participated and led investments in technology services and fintech with Systems Maintenance Services, CompuCom, Black Knight, ServiceLink, System One, Nielsen, and FIS.
“Alex has the professional background, customer centricity, business expertise, and strategic acumen to lead and inspire the next phase of excellence at Ungerboeck,” said Vic Chynoweth, managing director at Cove Hill Partners and Ungerboeck board member. “We are confident that under his leadership we will see accelerated innovation, extreme focus on customer success, and continued global growth.”
“The venue and events industry has experienced an important inflection point in the last few years and Ungerboeck is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the market opportunities that have emerged as a result,” Alexandrov said. “We have a sharp leadership team that is ready to realize new and exciting growth avenues. I am honored to be taking the helm as we build on an impressive reputation for quality and reliability.”
Alexandrov holds bachelor’s degrees in finance and economics from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Corey Eldridge is with Force4 Technology Communications, LLC.