SMG and the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority (FCCFA) announce the promotion of John R. Page to general manager of the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC).
He succeeds Craig M. Liston, who was promoted to regional vice president for SMG and is now responsible for overseeing an expanded regional network of SMG accounts. Liston will remain based in Columbus.
As general manager, Page will have direct overall management responsibilities for the GCCC in regard to facility sales, finance, event coordination, parking and operations. He previously was the venue’s assistant general manager/director of operations, a role he accepted in August 2010. In that role, Page was responsible for an $8 million annual operating budget, an eight-person management team and more than 100 full-time and part-time employees.
“John’s promotion is well-deserved and a natural progression for him,” said SMG Regional Vice President Craig M. Liston. “During his tenure, he has also played a significant role in assisting the operations of established and newly acquired SMG accounts in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Juan, Shreveport and Jackson, providing them with a template of best practices to implement and measure.”
“I am humbled by this next step in my career, one made that more special as it takes place in the facility where I got my start with SMG. Craig has placed this organization on solid standing and I look forward to working with our top-notch staff and building upon that success as we strive daily to raise the bar of excellence that symbolizes the Greater Columbus Convention Center,” Page said.
Page held a variety of positions as project coordinator, projects manager and senior operations manager for the GCCC from 1998 to 2003. He then moved to Savannah, Georgia upon promotion to director of operations of the 330,000-square-foot Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, another SMG-managed facility.
Page resided in Savannah for seven years, being promoted to the position of the facility’s assistant general manager in 2006. He returned to Columbus in 2010 to accept a similar role at the 1.7 million-square-foot GCCC.
A Dayton, Ohio native, Page is a graduate of The Ohio State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in sports management. He and his wife Kelly, a middle school teacher with the Columbus City Schools, reside in Lewis Center with their three sons, Thomas, Quentin and Robert.
“When we were selecting an assistant general manager in 2010 for the position in Columbus, John immediately came to mind for a variety of reasons,” said Robert McClintock, SMG chief operating officer of convention centers. “Promoting him to the top management position for this facility as general manager rewards the excellence he achieved in his previous role and throughout his tenure with SMG.”
The Greater Columbus Convention Center, located in downtown Columbus, hosted an estimated 2.5 million visitors in 2012. The facility is owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and is managed by SMG.
Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place and Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.