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Industry Briefs
Interim Director Appointed At The Phoenix Convention Center
The Phoenix Convention Center, Arizona’s premier meetings and events facility, welcomes Debbie Cotton as its Interim Director. She will lead the organization’s daily operations with oversight of a budget of $47.5 million and a staff of 273 employees.



Cotton brings over eight years of executive management experience from her previous position as Phoenix Public Transit Director where she oversaw operations of an extensive multimodal bus system providing more than 16 million miles of service annually. She managed a team of 126 employees and an annual operating budget of $242 million in a department that oversees the largest transit system in Arizona. During her tenure, Cotton expanded public transit services for customers and collaborated with regional partners to successfully launch the city’s first light rail line in December of 2008.

Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, the Phoenix Convention Center is one of the Public Transit Department’s regional partners. The two agencies often partner to provide convention center guests with convenient public transit options. “Debbie is an exceptional manager with proven leadership skills,” said Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos. “Under her leadership, the Phoenix Public Transit System has grown exponentially and even launched the city’s light rail line. I am confident that her experience and connections within the community will be an asset to the Phoenix Convention Center.”

Cotton is dedicated to service excellence and believes that staying client-focused, seeking innovative cost-saving practices and motivating employees are the keys to business success. Her professional career includes more than nineteen years of local government experience where she has served in several management positions as well as co-chair of the city of Phoenix’s Innovation and Efficiency Task Force, which has saved more than $35 million citywide to date through cost-cutting and responsible service streamlining. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Science from Western Illinois University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Arizona State University. Her professional affiliations include memberships with the Arizona Transit Association, National Forum for Black Public Administrators, Conference for Minority Transportation Officials, Women’s Transportation Society, and the American Public Transportation Association.

About the Phoenix Convention Center & Venues:
The award-winning Phoenix Convention Center is one of the 25 largest convention venues in the United States. It offers nearly 900,000 sq. ft. of rentable meeting and exhibition space and can accommodate 80% of the convention meetings market. Established in 1969 as a department of the city of Phoenix, the Phoenix Convention Center is a critical economic enterprise for the state and local economy. The Phoenix Convention Center & Venues include the Phoenix Convention Center, Executive Conference Center - Downtown Phoenix, Symphony Hall, Orpheum Theatre and five parking garages.
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