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Convention Center Executives




Ric Booth

Gregg Caren

John Chan

General Manager Duke Energy Convention Center Cincinnati, OH

Executive Vice President Convention Centers & Business Development, SMG

Director Phoenix Convention Center & Venues Phoenix, AZ

One of Spectra Venue Management’s most experienced managers, Ric Booth has worked for private management, an NBA team, and city and state governments. From convention centers to arenas, stadiums and amphitheaters, Booth has led his teams to greater accomplishments and improved results in every area. In Houston, TX at Reliant Park, during an extensive construction phase, Booth managed more than 350 events while keeping the construction plans on track. At the George R. Brown Convention Center, he facilitated the transition to a larger and more complex facility, built a relationship with a new headquarter hotel partner and helped his staff maintain high levels of productivity and service. In Cincinnati, he successfully directed the hiring of a new staff, helped create the new culture of service and worked with the CVB and local hotels to put Cincinnati back in the forefront to host national and regional conventions. In the past 10 years, the Duke Energy Convention Center has exceeded budget annually, built a strong base of repeat business and developed a team that is able to accommodate complex conventions and events with great success.


A graduate of Penn State’s Hotel & Restaurant Management program, Gregg Caren started his hospitality career with Marriott Hotels & Resorts, subsequently working with Hilton and Sheraton properties. He then developed a number of privately owned exhibition facilities in the New York metropolitan area prior to joining SMG in 1998. Caren moved to SMG’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia in 2000, as the company experienced tremendous growth through new accounts and acquisitions. Today, he is responsible for oversight of the company’s Convention Center Division, which he has helped expand to over 75 properties, including premier venues such as McCormick Place, Cobo Center and the Pennsylvania Convention Center. He also leads global business development and sales efforts for the entire SMG network, including facilities in Fort Lauderdale, Long Beach and Cleveland, as well as San Francisco’s world-renowned Moscone Center. Caren has a unique perspective on the convention and tradeshow industry, instilling the best practices in the industry and managing the most recognized “brand” of convention centers, much in the same way as international hotel chains. In recent years, he has focused much of his energy exploring expansion opportunities in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

John Chan was appointed Director of the Phoenix Convention Center in 2009 shortly after the completion of a $600 million expansion project that tripled its size. Under his leadership, Phoenix has hosted several of the largest and most high-profile conventions and tradeshows in the city’s history, including the NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits, US Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, VFW National Convention, General Council of the Assemblies of God and Phoenix Comicon. In addition, Chan has been responsible for planning and coordinating major events for the city of Phoenix as a host to Major League Baseball’s 2011 All-Star Game, NFL Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship and the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four. Chan joined the city of Phoenix in 1992, and since that time he has held executive management positions in the city’s Downtown Development Office and Community & Economic Development Department. He currently serves on the City Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Board, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Downtown Phoenix Hotel Corporation and the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Facilities & Destinations 2016-2017 Winter

Profile for Facilities Media Group

Facilities & Destinations - Winter 2016-2017  

F&D's Winter edition, includes: Q&A with Atlantic City Convention Center's new GM, Dean Dennis. F&D A-List: Woman CVB Executives. Planne...

Facilities & Destinations - Winter 2016-2017  

F&D's Winter edition, includes: Q&A with Atlantic City Convention Center's new GM, Dean Dennis. F&D A-List: Woman CVB Executives. Planne...