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MCCA board appoints interim executive director

The Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), a facilities owner and operator, voted to appoint an interim executive director.

Fred Peterson has been with the Authority for 16 years. He most recently served as the director of facilities operations, managing operational and external relationships. This included the public safety department, the transportation department, loading dock management at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, parking operations at the BCEC, Hynes and the Boston Common Garage. Additionally, he oversaw more than 20 contract partners involved in event operations at all MCCA properties.

Peterson will assume the interim role effective July 1, 2015. In March, MCCA’s current Executive Director James E. Rooney announced that he would be leaving the Authority on June 30, 2015 to become the next president & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

“On behalf of the entire board, we are pleased to have a candidate with Fred’s qualifications take the lead as our interim executive director,” said John McDonnell, board chair, MCCA, and managing director international, Fifth Generation, Inc., Tito’s Handmade Vodka. “With his long history at the MCCA, his experience managing operations from a high level and his understanding of the smallest details that go into what makes the Authority run day-to-day, we have great confidence that the MCCA will continue to do outstanding work while we search for a permanent executive director.

“I am honored to have been chosen for this interim leadership role while our Board’s search committee works to find the permanent Executive Director for the Authority,” said Peterson. “The MCCA is a complex organization that does important work for the Commonwealth, and I am confident in my ability to lead the organization in a way that ensures that we keep delivering the world class service our facilities are known for, from Boston to Springfield. With our strong team and culture, I know that we will continue to build upon our successes and reputation for excellence in the meetings and conventions industry.”

At its May meeting, the Authority’s Board of Directors established a search committee to find a permanent Executive Director for the organization. This committee met for the first time today and has contracted Korn Ferry, an executive recruitment and talent management firm, to assist in the search efforts. The Board estimates the search for the permanent Executive Director will take four to six months. Peterson will not be a candidate for the permanent Executive Director position.

In his 16-year history with the MCCA, Peterson has held a number of critical roles including Community Liaison during the development and construction of the BCEC; director of business, government & community relations; and deputy chief operating officer, among other positions. He has extensive experience in facility operations and management and holds several leadership roles throughout the meetings industry including: board member for the International Association of Venue Management (IAVM) and IAVM Region I director; board member for the IAVM Foundation Board; chair of the IAVM Industry Affairs Council; and board member for the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA).

In addition, Peterson is the board chair for the Seaport Transportation Management Association and is a member of the Professional Convention Management Association, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, the Back Bay Association and A Better City.

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