David M. Gibbons Named New Executive Director for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority

December 13, 2015

Longtime hospitality executive, David M. Gibbons of Rockport, Mass., was named by board of directors for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority as its executive director.

Gibbons becomes the third leader in the history of the MCCA, taking over most recently for James Rooney, who left to run the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Gibbons appointment comes after a several-month search process led by executive search firm Korn Ferry.  In his role, Gibbons will oversee ownership and operations of the Authority’s four facilities, including the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in the South Boston Waterfront, the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston’s Back Bay, the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass., and the 1,350-space Boston Common Parking Garage.

“David brings a very unique leadership skillset that matches with our plans for growing the MCCA brand globally." said John McDonnell, chairman of the Selection Committee and MCCA Board and managing director International of Fifth Generation, Inc., Tito’s Handmade Vodka. 

He added, "He has a proven track record as an innovator, team builder and positive change agent.  He knows how to take established facilities and bring them to new levels of success."

Gibbons has spent 30 years in leadership roles in the hospitality industry.  He has held the role of general manager at Swissotel (Boston), The Drake (New York City), and the Taj Boston. Gibbons is highly regarded for his leadership experience in operations, food and beverage, finance, labor relations, and overall general management. He is also a former chairman of the Massachusetts Lodging Association and was awarded General Manager of the Year by the association. 

“Thank you to Chairman McDonnell, the search committee and the full board for entrusting me with this enormous responsibility," Gibbons said.

He added, "I look forward to working with the Gov. Baker, Mayor Walsh, Mayor Sarno, and the many other important stakeholders across Massachusetts to enhance the MCCA's role in the convention industry and lead the authority towards a self-sustainable business model.”

“I am pleased to welcome David to the MCCA,” said Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. “As a former hospitality executive and head of the Massachusetts Lodging Association, David brings the leadership experience and credentials needed to maintain a thriving convention and tourism industry in Massachusetts. 

The Board assembled a Selection Committee comprised of five board members: board chairman, John McDonnell; Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration & Finance Secretary, Kristen Lepore; Amy Lattimer; Michelle Consalvo; and David Sweeney.  Led by Korn Ferry, the group reviewed or discussed over 100 resumes, and conducted several interviews before coming to consensus to present Gibbons as the new leader of the MCCA.

Fred Peterson, the MCCA’s Director of Facilities Operations, has served as interim executive director since July 1, 2015. 

He will return to this role with the Authority upon Gibbons assuming the executive role Jan. 4.  

"We greatly appreciate Fred for stepping up and leading the MCCA as the interim executive director, and are pleased that he will remain in a leadership role within the organization,” McDonnell said.


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Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact