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Moscone Center VP Dick Shaff Passes Away


San Francisco, CA – Richard Shaff, Vice President and General Manager of Moscone Center and a highly respected leader in venue management nationwide, passed away this week. Arrangements for funeral services were not immediately announced.

Shaff belonged to the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) for 50 years and received the group’s Charles A. McElravy Award in 2002.

“Dick and I became close colleagues while serving together as IAVM senior officers as well the Executive Committee,” former IAVM President and CEO Dexter King said in a statement. “His candor and direct approach was incredibly valuable in his various leadership roles he executed on behalf of the membership and the industry at large.”

Shaff served a term as chair of the IAVM Foundation in 1988-1989 and was president of the association in 1994-1995. In 2011, he received the International Convention Center Conference (ICCC) Lifetime Achievement.

Shaff’s career began in 1965 when he was named Assistant General Manager of the Long Beach Convention Center. He joined SMG as General Manager of Moscone Center In 1981. Both are managed by SMG.

While at the helm of Moscone Center, Shaff oversaw a $56 million renovation that was completed in 2012. Moscone Center North/South is currently ranked 34th on the Trade Show Executive World’s Top Convention Centers (WTCC) list with 442,000 square feet (sf) of prime exhibit space. The neighboring Moscone West has 296,092 sf of prime space and is ranked 45th on the WTCC.

“One of Shaff’s latest passions was his Harleys and the rides with industry friends like Cliff Wallace and his SMG colleagues,” said IAVM member,Leonard Zerilli. “On weekends, you could see him on rides in the foothills or oceanfront with his grandson on the back.”

Zerilli noted, “Whether it was a staff meeting, boardroom, or labor negotiation, Dick was beyond reproach. His fairness can be verified by all who knew him, a dear friend who will be dearly missed.”

Reach Acting General Manager Bob Sauter at (415) 974-4013 or

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