Team San Jose CEO Dan Fenton Resigns

Dan Fenton, CEO of Team San Jose, the nonprofit corporation created to streamline management of the city's convention center, several performing arts theaters, and the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, has resigned.

Fenton will leave his post on Jan. 31, 2011. An acting CEO has not been named, but a transition team of senior officials of the organization has been put in place.

“I am proud of the unique meetings services model we created, which has received a 95 percent customer service rating and is a nationally recognized approach being studied by other destinations for possible emulation,” said Fenton, in a released statement. “We knew our previous model as a traditional CVB acting separately from the management of the [McEnery Convention Center] was broken, and we developed [an] approach that has 97 percent of meeting planners surveyed saying they’d return to San Jose ... I believe ... we have built a great foundation, and it’s time for me to move on to consulting, where I can constantly innovate new projects.”

Team San Jose was created six years ago to streamline the selling and customer support approach to the city's hospitality product, including the convention center and area hotels and attractions. Additionally, local labor, arts organizations, and businesses were pooled in and active in the management of the organization. Over the six years, Team San Jose says it increased convention center revenues by 95 percent compared to the city department that managed it prior, and grew its operating fund to over $10 million in 2008.

According to published reports, however, an audit of the organization showed Team San Jose ran over budget and is in default by $750,000, while draining its operating fund to $5.3 million. The audit, the reports say, also showed that big bonuses were given to executives and non-executives of Team San Jose in spite of the fiscal troubles. San Jose's city council has voted to seek bids for a new management team to run the McEnery Center, California Theatre, Center for the Performing Arts, Montgomery Theater, Parkside Hall, San Jose Civic, and South Hall.

Fenton joined the San Jose CVB in 1996 and served as its president from 1998 to 2008, when Team San Jose and the CVB merged into one corporation. He was also the chairman of Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) from July 2009 to June 2010. He has spent the last 14 years as a veteran of the San Jose hospitality and tourism industry.