This Just In
  • SMG has been acquired by private equity firm Onex Corporation for an undisclosed sum. Onex says its acquisition of
  • SMG Holdings Inc. will close in early 2018. SMG manages 240 venues, including many of the major convention centers in the U.S.
  • Halifax Convention Centre in Nova Scotia, Canada, to debut Dec. 15 with first client event scheduled for Jan. 20, 2018. …
  • Three other events — Brides 2018, the Halifax Business Awards and the Franchise Expo —
  • also are booked for early 2018. … In all, the new facility already has 90 events on the books for 2018
  • Dan Lincoln will retire as President and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau at the end of the year. He spent 11 years on
  • the job. COO Mike Laatsch will be interim CEO while a nationwide search for Lincoln’s successor takes place.
  • Shepard has acquired McCune Audio-Video-Lighting in a move to bolster Shepard’s presence in the western U.S. market. McCune has California
  • operations in Anaheim, Monterey and San Francisco and will be absorbed by Shepard’s AV department.

Juan Ochoa Resigns as CEO of Chicago’s MPEA

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
May 5, 2010
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By Hil Anderson, senior editor

Chicago, IL – Juan Ochoa announced his resignation May 5 as CEO of Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority (MPEA), the agency that oversees the city’s massive McCormick Place.

Ochoa’s departure was effective immediately, although he planned to remain on the job until an interim CEO was appointed.

The announcement was not unexpected and came as the Illinois General Assembly put the finishing touches on legislation that would launch a major overhaul of McCormick Place operations. The reforms are aimed at making it easier and more affordable for trade shows to take place at the center, but some are controversial and are opposed by exposition industry stakeholders.

Ochoa was appointed to the position in 2007 by Gov. Rod Blagojevich. His departure came as the legislature prepared to vote by May 7 on reforms that will likely also include a reduction of MPEA staff and the appointment by the state of a special advisor to oversee the agency.

Ochoa said in a statement issued by the MPEA that he planned to work in an unspecified capacity on immigration reform. Ochoa spent ten years as president and CEO of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce prior to his appointment to the MPEA.

Reach Juan Ochoa at (312) 791-7500 or jochoa@mpea.com; David Causton, general manager of McCormick Place, at (312) 791-7000 or dcauston@mpea.com

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