ATLANTIC CITY CONVENTION CENTER GENERAL MANAGER KAREN TOTARO CAPTURES NATIONAL “WOMAN OF INFLUENCE” RECOGNITION
Totaro and Spectra by Comcast Spectacor Are Driving Convention Business to Atlantic City
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Atlantic City Convention Center General Manager Karen Totaro, CFE, is a “Woman of Influence” according to Venues Today Magazine. The publication, which covers the live event industry, presented her with the award at the IAVM VenueConnect in Baltimore Md., on Aug. 2. Totaro is employed by Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, which provides Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality for the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall.
Since becoming general manager of the Convention Center on Jan. 1, 2014, Totaro was instrumental in booking three new major conventions, renewing 70 percent of former clients and contracting 30 percent new national conventions. In her first year, she has also concentrated on raising satisfaction ratings from clients with the introduction of a post-event survey and has since seen a three-percent increase in scores; and on training and mentoring her Spectra staff, which is benefitting the Convention Center, its clients and Spectra.
“Karen has a terrific ‘can do’ quality that is contagious to everyone she works with. She brings professionalism and good judgment to the convention trades market in Atlantic City at a critical time,” said John Palmieri, Executive Director, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
“Karen and her team have done an outstanding job of enhancing and improving the Atlantic City Convention Center through their attention to detail, passion for meeting all guests’ expectations and insuring that they are providing the highest level of service possible. With Karen’s leadership, we will continue to grow the convention business for Atlantic City,” said Jim Wood, President & CEO for Meet AC.
“She and her staff at the center have introduced a welcoming and flexible approach that has ultimately helped drive new business here in Atlantic City. Karen’s created essential industry relationships throughout her career that have enabled her to bring successes to each venue that she’s worked at,” said Spectra’s Fran Rodowicz, General Manager of Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center.
Totaro relocated from Cincinnati where she held the position of Assistant General Manager of the Duke Energy Convention Center, which was also proudly managed by Spectra. Prior to Cincinnati, Totaro served as the Assistant Executive Director of the Oregon Convention Center in Portland for nine years and the Associate Director of the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio for five years. She started in the business at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana as the Marketing Manager for the Assembly Hall Arena.
Totaro currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the 5,000 member International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). She has also served in several other capacities which have included: Board of Directors (three terms), District IV Regional Director, a seat on the Board of Governors, Chair of the Transition Committee, Chair of the Education Council, Chair of the Board Development Committee, Chair of the Governance Committee, a member of the Allied Task Force, member of the Leadership/Nominating Committee and a member of the Board of Trustees to name a few.
Totaro was instrumental in the planning for the IAVM Region IV Conferences in Portland, Vancouver, Spokane and Seattle as well as the International Convention Center Conference in Portland in 2010. Karen was also most recently the Chair of the VenueConnect Planning Committee for Portland 2014.
Totaro is a graduate of the University of Illinois. In addition to being a 1995 graduate of the Public Assembly Facility Management School, she completed the three-year IAVM Senior Executive Symposium curriculum in 2007 and received her Certified Facilities Executive distinction in 2009.
Originally from Chicago, she grew up in the shadow of the old Comiskey Park (former home of the Chicago White Sox) so venues have always played a significant role in her life and continue to do so. Totaro has an obvious passion for the venue industry, as well as an enduring passion for her beloved Chicago Bears.
Spectra by Comcast Spectacor is the expert in hosting and entertainment, partnering with over 300 clients at 400 global properties to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra’s expertise is embodied within three divisions: Venue Management (formerly Global Spectrum), Food Services & Hospitality (formerly Ovations Food Services) and Ticketing & Fan Engagement (formerly Paciolan). Learn more at SpectraExperiences.com.
Comcast Spectacor is part of Comcast Corporation, a Fortune 50 media and technology company that operates Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., in addition to Spectra, Comcast Spectacor owns and operates the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center venue. Visit us at ComcastSpectacor.com, PhiladelphiaFlyers.com and WellsFargoCenterPhilly.com for more information.
Erin Bilton September 11, 2015
Director of Marketing
Boardwalk Hall and Atlantic City Convention Center
Spectra Venue Management 609.348.7072
Global Spectrum is now Spectra Venue Management