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February Member Spotlight!!!

02/15/2016 3:36 PM | Steven Rodriguez (Administrator)


Member Spotlight-Rick Hamilton-February 2016

I am delighted to bring back our monthly member spotlight.  We all enjoy getting to know each other (and our operations) better.  Rick Hamilton has really jumped in and made the most out of SKAL Tampa Bay with his high level of participation.  We welcome Rick as a Board member for 2016. He has hosted our last two years “Salute to Tourism” events at The Tampa Bay Convention Center.

What brought you to join SKAL?

I was invited by a friend, Troy Manthey, of Yacht Starship to see if I would enjoy an organization of industry related individuals having a good time with no business agenda.

How long have you been a member of SKAL?

I have been a member a little more than a year.

What was the most memorable event or experience you’ve had during your years (months) as a member?

I have enjoyed visiting the other locations and seeing how they do things at their individual properties. 

Who was the most inspirational person you have met because of SKAL?

It was a pleasure to meet Roger Dow and listen to his remarks at the November event. He is a true professional in every sense and I hope to visit with him more in the future.

What words of guidance could you impart to our members that incorporates your past SKAL experience with the current environment – both economically and socially?

Watch and listen to fellow SKAL members and observe how things are done when visiting their venues. I learn something new with every meeting and new ideas gained have been incorporated into our operation at the convention center.

Considering how our society and the Hospitality, travel and tour industries are changing so quickly, can you suggest a way to get or keep members more involved?

Keep the social events social but allow more interaction on social media and with the newsletter to encourage members’ participation through sharing ideas. Allow them to post questions and receive answers. The membership has a vast knowledge base that can be of tremendous value to younger and newer members. Maybe… a membership blog?

What motivates YOU to attend meetings?

I love talking and getting to know members in the Tampa Bay Area. Having just been here 4 years, the meetings have vastly improved my knowledge of the destination and have become a source for new acquaintances and friends.

What direction / vision would YOU like to see our Tampa Bay SKAL Club move in the future?

The new Young SKAL program is tremendous and as it grows it would be fantastic to allow the young members to have a voice in the direction of the club. Their direction can provide a roadway for continued membership growth by encouraging new ideas from the next generation that will lead to increased membership.

Rick serves as Convention Center and Tourism Director for the City of Tampa, a venue he has admired for several years. In this most recent capacity he also serves on the Boards of Visit Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County Hotel/Motel Association, Tampa Historic Streetcar, Friends of the Riverwalk, and Tampa Attractions Association.

“A treasure worth discovering”… www.tampaconventioncenter.com


He feels his greatest accomplishment was being elected by his peers to be President of the Florida Facility Managers Association in 2007 – 2008

Rick is a leader in the hospitality industry and as a result has served as consultant on many projects in the South East while maintaining his career as a venue manager.


He managed the Knoxville, Tennessee Civic Auditorium and Coliseum concurrently with the Convention and Exhibition Center from 1980 to 1990 and in 1982 he also served as the Assistant Director of off-site entertainment for the 1982 World’s Fair. He managed three sold-out performances a day for six months for the Fair that hosted every internationally recognized entertainment act to the City for the event. He left Knoxville in 1990 to serve as Director of the Daytona Beach Ocean Center and turned a community white elephant into a remarkable success.

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