Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Exclusive: Management shakeup at B.C. Place

One week after the BC Liberals were re-elected, a management shakeup at B.C. Place Stadium. 

B.C. Pavilion Corporation CEO Dana Hayden notified staff on May 21 that Howard Crosley, the stadium’s general manager of 15 years, is out. 

Vancouver Convention Centre general manager Ken Cretney’s responsibilities have been expanded to cover B.C. Place. His new title is chief operating officer.

“I know we all wish Howard well, and I want to thank him for his work and dedication over the years,” said Hayden’s memo.

Crosley managed the stadium through the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the $514 million, taxpayer-funded renovation. Under his watch, however, the November 2006 death of janitorial worker Pritam Kaur Sandhu went unreported to WorkSafeBC and the roof ripped and collapsed in a preventable January 2007 incident that led to the controversial renovation. 

Reporting to Cretney are B.C. Place assistant general manager Kathy deLisser and Vancouver Convention Centre assistant general manager Craig Lehto. 

The stadium’s director of sales and marketing Graham Ramsay and convention centre’s vice-president of sales and marketing Claire Smith report directly to Hayden. Stadium spokesman Duncan Blomfield and his convention centre counterpart Jenny Wu report to Kate Hunter, PavCo’s director of communications and stakeholder relations. 

Expect a PavCo board shuffle soon. Chair Peter Fassbender was elected as a BC Liberal MLA in Surrey-Fleetwood in the May 14 election. He did not step aside while seeking political office, despite Board Resourcing and Development Office Conduct Principles. Director Suzanne Anton won election for the BC Liberals in Vancouver-Fraserview. 

Meanwhile, National Hockey League staff planning the 2014 Stadium Series paid B.C. Place a scouting visit earlier this month. The official announcement is coming soon. The Vancouver Canucks are expected to host the Ottawa Senators in front of as many a 59,000 people next March. 

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