A familiar face returns to Long Beach to run the Convention Center.
Robert Smit, who served as vice president and general manager of the Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport Hotel and Conference Center from 2011 to 2016, has been named general manager of the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center effective Aug. 1, the center’s operator . ASM Global announced this on Thursday.
Since leaving Long Beach, he has held a variety of positions, including Director of Customer Success for hotel technology services company Mews, Principal Innovator for Rancho Cucamonga-based consultant Pacific Global Hospitality, and Vice President regional for outdoor hospitality provider AutoCamp in San Francisco. .
Smit will replace Charlie Beirne, who left Long Beach in April after 11 years at the helm of the Convention Center to accept a general manager position at the Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
“I am thrilled to return to Long Beach to manage the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, which has been repeatedly recognized for its innovation and creativity in the meetings and events space,” Smit said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the ASM Global team, the city and the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau to position the center as a premier convention, event and entertainment destination.”
Beirne’s replacement brings more than 40 years of experience in the hospitality and meetings industry, including executive positions at major hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott.
“In recruiting for this position, we were looking for someone with a broad skill set and varied experience,” said Bob McClintock, ASM’s global executive vice president. “Robert’s experience, business acumen and attention to detail align with ASM’s commitment to guest experience and the shared vision for the future of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.”
As General Manager, Smit will oversee day-to-day operations and long-range planning for the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center.
“Robert not only has incredible experience in the convention and hospitality industry, but he also has a strong working knowledge of the local industry and our convention center as a former Local General Manager and Past President of the Long Beach CVB,” President and CEO of the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, Steve Goodling said. “We look forward to working with the incredible team at the center under his leadership.”
Going forward, some of the Convention Center’s top priorities include expanding programming, identifying funding opportunities for center enhancements, and continuing to build the center’s image as a host. attractive for meetings and congresses.