Debbie Cotton – Interim director, Phoenix Convention Center
Cotton oversees daily operations of the Phoenix Convention Center, Executive Conference Center, Orpheum Theatre, Symphony Hall and five parking garages. She manages a staff of 240 employees, a budget of $47.5 million, and is the city’s chief representative to the state’s tourism and hospitality industry.
Surprising fact: “I have a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing science from Western Illinois University and began my career working for Xerox Corporation.”
Biggest challenge: “Stepping up to manage the Phoenix Convention Center in the midst of a global economic crisis that greatly impacted the hospitality industry. Not only did I have to deal with the effects of the economic crisis, but I had to quickly learn about an industry that was new to me.”
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