The Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) announced recently that Frank Poe, a 38-year convention center veteran from Dallas, was appointed executive director. Poe will assume the reigns at one of the world’s largest convention, sports and entertainment complexes, which includes the Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park on April 1.
Prior to accepting the position, Poe was director of the Dallas Convention Center where he started his career in 1972 as a part-time laborer. He was appointed general manager of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from 1979 to 1980, and found his way back to Dallas for the next 17 years holding several leadership positions in the center’s event services and cultural affairs departments.
In his previous director position, Poe had fiscal control of an annual budget in excess of $60 million and was responsible for the management of the Dallas Convention Center, Reunion Arena, Dallas Farmer’s Market, Union Station and the Office of Special Events.
“We are extremely pleased to have someone with the credentials, leadership and experience that Frank brings to the Georgia World Congress Authority,” said Bob Prather, GWCCA board chairman, “He is a welcome addition to our strong leadership team.” Poe will take over the executive director position that Dan Graveline held for 33 years. Graveline announced his retirement in late July and retired at the end of 2009.
Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park welcomed more than 6.4 million visitors in the 2009 fiscal year. Those visitors directly injected over $1.4 billion new dollars into Georgia’s economy and generated $2.2 billion total economic impact as well as $171 million in new tax revenue.