Dan Fenton

Airport Director Taking Over Team San Jose’s CEO Role

Team San Jose announced Wednesday that Bill Sherry, Mineta-San Jose International Airport’s aviation director, will be its new CEO. Sherry has served as aviation director at Mineta for the past six years. He will continue in his role with the airport while also leading sales, marketing, and communications management for Team San Jose, which controls the city’s Convention Center and arts and entertainment venues.

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Team San Jose’s New Flack Delivers

David Satterfield doesn’t claim to be Don Draper, but you’d be a mad man to think the former Mercury News managing editor didn’t help soften the paper’s stance toward Team San Jose. Just a week after Team San Jose signed with Satterfield’s public relations firm, Sitrick and Company, Satterfield put together a meeting between the financially delinquent venue operators and the Merc’s editorial board.

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Dan Fenton’s Goodbye Letter

Team San Jose chief Dan Fenton resigned this week, following critical audits of TSJ’s financial management of city facilities.  Team San Jose was formed in 2004 in a coalition between labor groups and the city’s hospitality sector. It serves as San Jose’s Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as the operator of the convention center and performing arts facilities, including the Center for Performing Arts, the Civic Auditorium and the California Theater. Exceprts from Fenton’s resignation letter follow.

I wanted to take this opportunity to inform you of a recent decision I have made. I have decided to step down as the CEO of Team San Jose. I have had 14 plus years in the San Jose community and it is time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life. I have thought about the wonderful accomplishments and experiences I have had and want to share some of them with you.


The End Is Nigh for Team San Jose

City Councilwoman Rose Herrera didn’t mince her words. “If we were the private sector we would be asking for resignations,” she said about Team San Jose, which runs the McEnery Convention Center and Visitors Bureau.

Councilman Sam Liccardo reported that when compared with six other similar-sized California cities, San Jose comes in dead last in the number of conventions booked. Meanwhile, special events like the Genghis Khan exhibition not only end up losing money—they have to be bailed out by the city. Yet shortly after CEO Dan Fenton informed the city that Team San Jose was $950,000 over budget, he went and gave bonuses to himself and his staff


City Didn’t Follow the Team San Jose Money Trail

Like an underwater homeowner on an adjustable-rate mortgage in late 2008, Team San Jose was unfazed by money issues in the months leading up to its being slapped with a default notice. And like a feckless federal regulator, the city official charged with overseeing the local business-union-municipal alliance was upbeat—right up until the report that $750,000 had fallen off the truck.


Team San Jose in Crisis

Team San Jose, the peculiar alliance of hoteliers, unions and city bureaucrats that runs the city’s entertainment and convention venues, is facing the biggest crisis in its short, contentious history.

Last Wednesday, finance chief Scott P. Johnson issued a report showing that the quasi-public entity overshot its budget by $750,000, and tangled its bookkeeping so badly that director Dan Fenton can’t even say exactly where the missing money went. Then on Monday, City Councilmember Sam Liccardo turned up the heat, asking city manager Deb Figone to dig into the hotel-tax-funded entity, which is run by Fenton and an executive committee including South Bay Labor Council boss Cindy Chavez.


Team Takes San Jose.org

It looks like the lines between the city’s visitors bureau and the labor-business coalition that runs city-owned facilities is being further blurred, if they exist at all. Until very recently, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, a quasi-public, hotel tax–funded organization, and one of the three entities that make up Team San Jose, operated the SanJose.org website.

The site made mention of Team San Jose as an “innovative public-private” partnership between the CVB, South Bay Labor Council and a group of local hoteliers, who joined forces to streamline the process by which out-of-towners can spend their cash.

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Team San Jose Lifts Union Rule

In a major reversal of a controversial decision, Dan Fenton of Team San Jose, the group that operates the San Jose Convention Center, has backed down from an earlier decision granting Teamsters Local 287 exclusive rights to set up trade shows at the Convention Center.

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Labor Issues Still Plague Convention Center

While the San Jose Redevelopment Agency struggles to scrounge together enough money to expand and refurbish San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center, Team San Jose CEO Dan Fenton is on his way to Dallas to try and protect the convention center’s existing business.

At the heart of the problem is a contract that the convention center signed with San Jose Teamsters Local 287, granting them exclusive rights to set up trade shows at the Center. The contract is contested by Teamsters Local 85 of San Francisco, which argues that businesses should have the option of choosing who gets to set up their trade shows


Could the Convention Center Get the Axe?

The expansion of the McEnery Convention Center has long been the crown jewel of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency’s list of projects. Then came the budget crisis—city and state—which clobbered potential funding for the project, and caused the proposal to be scaled down by more than half, from $300 million to $140 million. Now Mayor Chuck Reed is asking the most fundamental question of all: Can we really afford to go ahead with the expansion?