John J. McNichol Named President and CEO of Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority

PHILADELPHIA (February 19, 2014) – The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (PCCA) voted today to approve the appointment of John J. McNichol to the position of President and CEO of the agency.  McNichol has served as Vice Chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors and has been serving in an unpaid capacity as Acting President and CEO of the PCCA since December 2013.  His appointment will be effective March 1, 2014.

“John has been an integral part of the board’s efforts to put the Pennsylvania Convention Center in the best position to deliver on its promise as a regional economic engine and a major driver of the region’s hospitality industry,” said Gregory J. Fox, Chairman of the PCCA Board of Directors.  “After meeting with and talking with a number of candidates, it became clear to me that we already had the best candidate right here all along.  John’s expertise and knowledge of the Center, his relationships with stakeholders, leadership skills, and expertise in state government will be important assets to the Center as we work to enhance the customer experience and attract more shows and conventions to Philadelphia.”

Fox said that with SMG in place to privately manage and operate the Center and implement industry best practices, he felt it was important to have someone in the position of President and CEO who possessed institutional knowledge, could interact with stakeholders, and would work to protect the interests of the Commonwealth, city, and region. Fox said he appreciated McNichol’s willingness to take this position, noting that it required McNichol to take a significant pay cut and divest himself as a partner at the government relations firm Greenlee Partners.

“The Pennsylvania Convention Center is a real asset to the state and the region, and we are on the path to helping the Center reach its full potential as a major economic driver for the region,” said McNichol. “I see so much potential here at the Center and, while we have our challenges, I look forward to the opportunity to have a substantial impact on our region.”

McNichol was originally appointed to serve on the PCCA Board of Directors by Pennsylvania House Speaker Sam Smith,  He has been a partner in the government relations firm of Greenlee Partners since 2000.  He currently serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of Rugby Pennsylvania and coaches high school rugby at Cardinal O’Hara High School.  He also serves as an independent member of the Board of Directors of Gateway Health Plan.  Prior to joining Greenlee, McNichol served for six years as a Senior Vice President and Director of Government Affairs for Tierney Communications in Philadelphia and Washington, DC.  John’s background includes public service as legislative aide to a former Member of Congress. He also established and ran the Congressional Fire Services Institute, one of the largest legislative service organizations in Congress.

As President and CEO, McNichol will provide general administrative oversight of the authority’s staff, as well as interact and coordinate the Center’s activities with stakeholders including the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Hotel Association, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, labor unions, and SMG.

Here is a complete summary of coverage from the announcement:

Sports Travel Magazine

Meetings Focus

Delaware County Daily Times

Conference & Meeting World

Association News