After a major renovation was completed at the downtown convention center in 2015, ASM Global rebuilt the venue’s business model, resulting in a $20 million reduction of operating deficit, and a quadrupling of the number of major events held annually in the center through 2019.
“Karen Totaro is the right person at the right time to take the TCF Center back to hosting visitors and providing world-class service to its valued customers as the pandemic eases,” said Bob McClintock, ASM Global’s executive vice president of convention centers. “Over the last decade, TCF Center became a gold standard in areas of security, sustainability, technology and corporate social responsibility. I know with Karen’s leadership events will build on that success.”
Totaro most recently served as the chief operating officer for the San Diego Convention Center Corporation. Before that, she served as general manager of the Atlantic City Convention Center in New Jersey, assistant general manager of the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati and the assistant executive director at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.
“The decision to take the job at TCF Center was an easy one,” she said. “I was so impressed by how progressive the center is and the high-caliber and professionalism of the staff.”
Larry Alexander, board chairman of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, said that Totaro comes with expertise and knowledge of facility operations, labor contracts, sales and service that will serve the center well in getting past COVID-19. “I believe she is the best leader to continue to inspire the center’s talented team in helping us sprint forward from the pandemic impact,” he said.