In the six months since the Metropolitan Pier and Exhibition Authority (MPEA) selected SMG to manage the McCormick Place Complex in Chicago, the firm has moved to bring the best and brightest industry executives into the operation. The senior leadership team comes from within McCormick Place, from SMG’s corporate headquarters, and leading industry veterans.
“We were very pleased when the MPEA agreed that SMG keep David Causton on as general manager,” said Wes Westley, president and CEO, SMG. “The relationship he has with both clients and staff is now just as strong with David’s new SMG family. The next step was to build a strong support team for him.”
Adrienne Tiritilli has been promoted to assistant general manager, sales and services. This newly created title highlights the critical nature of both selling and servicing events for the nation’s largest convention center.
“We have been impressed with Adrienne from the very beginning,” said Gregg Caren, senior vice president of strategic business development, SMG. “It was clear that the optimum step to enhance our level of customer service and to expand our sales efforts would be to promote from within.” In this role, Tiritilli will continue as the facility’s primary liaison with the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB), as well as the local hospitality community.
“As a company, we have long held the vital connection between sales and event services,” said Bob McClintock, senior vice president, SMG. “This not only enhances the critical communication among staff, but also acknowledges the vital need for client communication in the booking cycle.”
Shortly after SMG was awarded the contract, SMG named company veteran Joseph Scheper to the position of assistant general manager of finance and administration. Previously, Scheper had worked in the company’s headquarters in Philadelphia. Scheper was responsible for the facility accounting processes at all of SMG’s convention centers and worked with in the establishment and operation of SMG’s proprietary accounting systems and processes. Prior to his corporate role, Scheper served as director of finance at the SMG-managed Hawaii Convention Center.
SMG returnee Ryan Thorpe was named McCormick Place’s new director of facilities. In his new role, Thorpe will oversee engineering, maintenance, contracted services, security and short-term capital projects. Thorpe comes to McCormick Place/SMG with 18 years of experience in facility operations management and technical systems design and maintenance. He most recently worked as director of operations at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore. Prior to that, Thorpe was the director of facilities for SMG at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.
“As we move forward into the new year, we could not be more pleased with the combination of talent we have assembled in Chicago,” said McClintock. “We are proud to acknowledge the talent of both the incumbent team and our SMG bench strength as we help move the needle for this landmark venue.”