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BUSINESS
June 8, 2013 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
SMG manages convention centers as large as McCormick Place, the Chicago behemoth on the shores of Lake Michigan, and as small as the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda, Fla. But winning control of Philadelphia's Convention Center has special meaning. "This time it's personal," said SMG president and CEO Wes Westley on Thursday, a day after the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority board voted to make the West Conshohocken-based firm the manager of the challenged facility.
BUSINESS
June 10, 1991 | By Valerie Reitman, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Motorola Inc. wanted to give its seasoned sales force a refresher course, it turned to Strategic Management Group. SMG developed a computer simulation to illustrate how to clinch a sale - whether it meant climbing over repair-shop engines or bypassing secretaries to get to the decision-makers in the executive suite. The West Philadelphia company developed a software program featuring mythical customer accounts - and gave sales representatives multiple paths to cement deals.
BUSINESS
June 7, 2013 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a move to reposition the Convention Center amid fierce competition, the board of the troubled facility voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to privatize a range of management functions and hire an outside firm to lead it. The board also voted, 13-2, to hire SMG, a West Conshohocken-based management group that runs arenas and other large facilities in the United States and overseas. The board selected SMG over Global Spectrum, a unit of Comcast-Spectacor. The decisions leave unanswered what role the Convention Center's current president and chief executive, Ahmeenah Young, will have under the new management structure, said Board Chairman Gregory J. Fox. In other cities, such as Chicago, where SMG now directs the convention center, the authority's CEO was retained and works closely with SMG. "I am thrilled that the board today has embraced a bold and bright future for the Convention Center, born of a new management model that sets the stage for future improvements," Fox said after the board voted 12-3 to privatize and before selecting SMG. "It's a willingness to depart from the past and embrace the future.
BUSINESS
July 10, 1992 | By Susan Warner, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Subaru of America's president, Thomas R. Gibson, said yesterday that he would resign from the Cherry Hill auto company to become president and chief executive of SMG, the Philadelphia company that operates the Spectrum and arenas and convention centers in the United States and Europe. SMG says it is the largest public-facility management company in the world. It runs 36 arenas, convention centers and theaters, including Moscone Center in San Francisco, Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, Los Angeles Coliseum, the Superdome in New Orleans and Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.
BUSINESS
January 20, 2005 | By Tom Belden INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Convention Center Authority agreed yesterday to hire SMG, the Philadelphia company that runs 171 U.S. and European exhibit halls, arenas and stadiums, to help manage the construction and promotion of a bigger Convention Center. The board's action came a day after Gov. Rendell, a longtime proponent of hiring a professional management company to oversee the building, released $50 million in state funds that will let Convention Center officials start acquiring land for the $632 million expansion project.
BUSINESS
June 13, 2015 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
In yet another complicated twist to the Pennsylvania Convention Center saga, members of the Teamsters local that had lost the right to work in the building are back in the building working. How did it happen? When it comes to this building, nothing is ever straightforward. In May 2014, two of the six unions that worked in the building setting up trade shows lost jurisdiction when their leaders failed to sign a new customer satisfaction agreement by a management-imposed deadline.
BUSINESS
September 23, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The state and city officials and business and labor union representatives who oversee the Convention Center haven't fixed the national problem of too many taxpayer-funded exhibit halls chasing too few big conventions. Nor has the board rewritten the local labor contracts that pit unions protecting workers' hours against exhibitors who want to hook up their own stuff. The center's contracts have been extended into next year. But the center's board is going ahead, almost on schedule, to farm out management of the Center City complex to Conshohocken-based SMG , which beat Comcast affiliate Global Spectrum to get the job. Lawyer Greg Fox , the board's chairman, had hoped to install SMG by Oct. 1. But Gov. Corbett's budget office responded to the draft proposal with a fat file of questions, which Corbett spokesman Jay Pagni wouldn't show me because, he says, they are "pre-decisional.
BUSINESS
November 17, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
SMG, the West Conshohocken facilities manager that will start running Philadelphia's vast but underused Convention Center on Dec. 1, has tapped Lorenz Hassenstein, former vice president at Trevose-based Advertising Specialty Institute Inc., for a new job supervising most of the center's operating staff. Hassenstein will head the group that runs the center and deals with shows, contractors, hotels, and unions. He will report to SMG chief operating officer Bob McClintock and to the state-owned center's new executive director, whom the Convention Center board plans to approve and name next week.
BUSINESS
June 15, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority Board on Friday formalized the relationship between the management company operating the center and its longtime electrical contractor. SMG, the West Conshohocken arena management company that now operates the center, says the new arrangement with Elliott-Lewis Corp., a 550-employee electrical, heating, and air-conditioning contractor, has the potential to save the center $1 million a year. The contracts, renewable yearly, are worth up to $825,000 a year to the Northeast Philadelphia company.
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BUSINESS
June 28, 2015 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Concerned about minority access to contracts, two members of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority board asked Friday to delay a vote on a $1.28 million heating and air-conditioning contract. "It's not to ensure the fairness of the outcome, but the fairness of the process," said board member Ryan Boyer, business manager of the Laborers District Council of Philadelphia, one of four unions handling show work at the center. Facilities director Janet Mitrocsak had prepared a report for the board meeting on the bids for maintenance of the heating, air-conditioning, and ventilation system, with the winning bidder, Johnson Controls Inc., having the lowest price.
BUSINESS
June 13, 2015 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
In yet another complicated twist to the Pennsylvania Convention Center saga, members of the Teamsters local that had lost the right to work in the building are back in the building working. How did it happen? When it comes to this building, nothing is ever straightforward. In May 2014, two of the six unions that worked in the building setting up trade shows lost jurisdiction when their leaders failed to sign a new customer satisfaction agreement by a management-imposed deadline.
NEWS
December 5, 2014
FOR THE PAST few years, the chart-tracking bookings at the city's huge Pennsylvania Convention Center has looked like a ski slope - with all the lines headed down. The $780 million expansion, completed in 2011, was supposed to bring more and bigger conventions to the city, in turn meaning more work for the city's 62,000 hospitality-sector employees. But a decade of labor strife had soured convention organizers on booking the facility. Philadelphia had a national reputation for being a hostile and costly venue.
NEWS
June 21, 2014
ISSUE | COMMUNITY Studying history where it happened We should all be ashamed of the callous and cavalier attitude taken by some Haddon Heights residents who objected to the installation of memorial plaques to enslaved African Americans ("Slavery markers stir a local debate," June 10). According to Mayor Ed Forte, "The slavery issue seems to have upset people. " Forte also suggests that a library might be a more fitting place to acknowledge this history. But I humbly submit that the American people are not willing to move the Martin Luther King Jr. statue or the Lincoln Memorial or Philadelphia's President's House from their historic locations.
BUSINESS
June 15, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority Board on Friday formalized the relationship between the management company operating the center and its longtime electrical contractor. SMG, the West Conshohocken arena management company that now operates the center, says the new arrangement with Elliott-Lewis Corp., a 550-employee electrical, heating, and air-conditioning contractor, has the potential to save the center $1 million a year. The contracts, renewable yearly, are worth up to $825,000 a year to the Northeast Philadelphia company.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
The American Industrial Hygiene Association's annual convention with its 6,000 attendees and $16.2 million worth of economic impact could have gone anywhere. And it did - anywhere but Philadelphia. But in 2018, after 11 years, the convention will return to Philadelphia, thanks, its executive says, to changes in work rules at the Convention Center. "It was practically an easy decision," said Peter O'Neil, executive director of the association for occupational and environmental health professionals.
BUSINESS
June 10, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Just over a quarter-century ago, Robert "Bob" McClintock, a top executive in the management company that now runs the Convention Center, landed his first real job in convention center management. "I started out as a housekeeping supervisor at the old Philadelphia Civic Center," McClintock said. He was working there as part of an outside management firm hired to improve labor relations at the Civic Center. Does anything ever change in Philadelphia? Maybe not, because now McClintock works for SMG, the management company hired in December by the Convention Center, the Civic Center's successor building.
NEWS
May 11, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano and Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writers
Two unions that failed to accept new work rules at the Convention Center belatedly offered signed agreements to center management on Friday in hopes of retaining employment there. The apparent reversal on the rules was rebuffed, however, with center management saying it considers the matter closed. As things stand, neither the Carpenters Local 8, viewed by management as the center's most difficult and disruptive union, nor the Teamsters Local 107 will be permitted to work at the center after their contracts expire at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
NEWS
May 4, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
THE UNITED Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 8 may have stopped picketing outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Thursday, but both sides say the issues at heart are far from over. Late Thursday, after about eight hours of protesting, the union shut down its picket line and reached out to the board of SMG - the firm that operates the convention center - after receiving calls to end the fight from "people in government," according to union leader Ed Coryell Sr., who didn't identify the callers.
NEWS
May 2, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
IF EXHIBITORS at the Pennsylvania Convention Center need any carpentry work in the coming days, they're out of luck. A dispute between the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and the convention center's board has stymied the union's work there, and a group of the woodworkers formed a picket line outside the center's entrance at 11th and Race streets early yesterday afternoon. One of the protest organizers yesterday referred questions to union leader Ed Coryell Sr., who didn't return a call for comment last night.
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