AUSTIN, Texas – Trisha Tatro has been announced and selected as the new Director of the Austin Convention Center Department (ACCD) by Rodney Gonzales, the Austin Assistant City Manager, on June 30, 2021.
Tatro has served as Interim Director since Feb. 2020, when Mark Tester departed to head the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. She has been Assistant Director since 2018 and a member of the Austin Convention Center Department’s executive team. Her duties as Assistant Director include administration over Facility Operations, Sustainability, Capital Improvement Projects, Event Utilities, Building Maintenance and Parking Operation departments, both at the Austin Convention Center (ACC) and the Palmer Events Center (PEC).
“Trisha has more than 19 years of experience within the ACCD,” said Rodney Gonzales, City of Austin Assistant City Manager, who announced the appointment. “For the past 16 months, Trisha has led the ACCD Team through the industry’s most vulnerable time period with poise, resilience, and strength. She has successfully navigated and mitigated the COVID-19 impact on ACCD operations, our community, and our convention and hospitality industry.”
“I am honored to be selected and will work hard to support our community, clients, visitors, and the staff of the Austin Convention Center Department,” said Tatro, the first woman to serve as Director of the department. “As we return to more events, I want to continue to showcase Austin, increase the leverage of our facilities, and continue the surge of innovative ideas and energy to current and future events.”
As Interim Director, Tatro directed the department’s efforts to update staff operations, support pandemic relief efforts, which included shelter and food bank operations, and staff volunteer work. Both the Austin Convention Center and Palmer Events Center achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation for cleaning and disinfection. As the Austin Convention Center Department welcomes back in-person meetings and events, Tatro has continued progress on convention center expansion and the joint project with Capital Metro.
Tatro spent her first 14 years successfully overseeing the management and execution of world-class meetings and conventions while establishing strong relationships with valuable clients both locally and internationally. She then served as Facility Manager and was ultimately appointed as Assistant Director.
As Assistant Director, Tatro managed the $74 million Capital Improvement Project budget for the Austin Convention Center Department that includes the Marshalling Yard and Warehouse design projects and the exterior restoration of the Castleman Bull House. Other successful projects with Tatro serving as liaison include completing the walkways that now connect the Hilton and Fairmont Hotels to the convention center.
Tatro joined the department in 2002 as an intern while working on her Bachelor of Science in Sports Management from the University of Texas at Austin. Since then, she has moved up the ladder as an Event Coordinator, Senior Event Coordinator, Event Coordinator Supervisor, Events Services Manager, Convention Facility Manager, and the ACCD Assistant Director.
Located in the heart of downtown, the Austin Convention Center Department operates the Austin Convention Center and Palmer Events Center. The Austin Convention Center Department is comprised of 301 full-time staff positions and is an enterprise department for the City of Austin. As an enterprise department, ACCD is not funded by property taxes, sales taxes, or through transfers from the electric and water utilities.
The Austin Convention Center serves as a model to facilities around the country and has been honored to receive numerous industry awards for excellence. Events at both the Austin Convention Center and the Palmer Events Center can be accessed at www.austinconventioncenter.com.
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