November 2, 2023

CFA Appoints Ken Paul as Executive Director

COLUMBUS, Ohio (November 1, 2023) — The Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority (FCCFA) today voted to name Ken Paul as its next executive director. He will transition into the new role in early 2024. Paul will succeed Don Brown, who served as the FCCFA’s executive director for nine years.

Paul currently serves as chief of staff to Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, and has been part of Ginther’s leadership team for more than 16 years. He directs the mayor’s staff and cabinet, including department directors who are responsible for 8,000 full-time employees and a $1.2 billion budget.

In addition to guiding daily operations of the city and executing the mayor’s policy agenda, Paul has represented the city in collaborations with Franklin County and the FCCFA, including the financing of both Hilton hotels, the renovation and expansion of the Convention Center and parking facilities, as well as agreements impacting the ownership, funding and maintenance of Nationwide Arena. Paul also worked with the FCCFA to invest American Rescue Plan Act funding into health and safety upgrades to better position the Convention Center to operate competitively in a post-pandemic environment.

FCCFA Board Chairman Joe Savarise said Paul will lead the FCCFA into a new era. “We are engaged in planning for the FCCFA of tomorrow, and everyone involved in that future is excited about appointing Ken to this critical role. He is the right person to help us navigate this strategic process,” Savarise said.

Savarise called Paul’s appointment “a historic transition” after Brown’s tenure, during which central Ohio’s profile in the convention industry grew substantially. Brown led the FCCFA through unprecedented growth and development despite the unforeseen challenges of the pandemic. He oversaw a $140 million renovation and expansion of the Convention Center, construction of two parking garages and the historic expansion of the Hilton to become Ohio’s largest hotel.

Paul, originally from Dayton, has lived in Columbus for nearly 25 years. A graduate of Ohio University, Paul also earned his MBA from Franklin University. He serves on several boards and commissions, including more than a decade of service on the board of Experience Columbus. During that time, Columbus secured many significant conferences and events, including most recently the American Society of Association Executives annual conference, the 2023 Professional Convention Management Association, Convening Leaders conference and the United States Conference of Mayors annual meeting.

Paul said he views the position as a natural evolution. “I have had the privilege to serve our community and promote Columbus as an incredible place to live, work and to visit,” he said. “I’m excited to shift my full focus to promote Columbus as a destination, to build on the strong foundation that has been laid, and to help position the FCCFA for the future.”

About the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority

As a special purpose government unit, the Convention Authority is responsible for developing, building and operating convention facilities. The Convention Authority owns and operates the Greater Columbus Convention Center, the Hilton Columbus Downtown Hotel, Nationwide Arena, and more than 4,700 parking spaces in six parking facilities attached or adjacent to
the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The Convention Authority owns the largest contemporary collection of local art and displays the largest collection of art within any U.S. convention center. Completely self-sustaining, the Convention Authority is overseen by an 11-member board appointed by the Franklin County Commissioners (six members), the City of Columbus (three members) and suburban mayors (two members).



Lindsey Shapiro

Paul Werth Associates


Phone: 614-224-8114

Cellphone: 330-717-1699

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