The nation's fourth-largest convention center has a new leader.
Frank Poe, a 38-year convention center veteran from Dallas, was named executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority on Tuesday.
He will start April 1 and will be paid a base salary of $240,000. He will get a bonus of up to about 15 percent based on performance.
"He came across as a very dedicated guy who has known the industry for a long time," said Bob Prather, chairman of the GWCCA. "He's got a very good manner about him. He's a low-key guy, but he comes across as knowing his business."
In addition to the behemoth convention center in downtown Atlanta, Poe will oversee operations of the Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park.
Before taking the GWCC post, Poe was director of the Dallas Convention Center and before that was general manager of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.
Poe replaces longtime GWCCA leader Dan Graveline, who stepped down from the post at the end of last year. The GWCCA board interviewed 10 people before narrowing the list to four, Prather said. Gov. Sonny Perdue talked with Poe two weeks ago during the interview process.
Poe takes the reins of the World Congress Center at a time when the facility is expected to end the fiscal year about $4 million in the red. Leaders cited falling convention attendance, poor sales of food and beverages, and a slump in the amount of space rented by exhibitors as the cause.
Graveline, who has known Poe for years, said he is a great selection who will bring fresh ideas to the organization.
"He's a known commodity in the industry," Graveline said. "He's in a market that is very similar to Atlanta.
"What's equally important is he is known to our customers," Graveline said.