FOR the first time since it opened in 1995, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) is taking on new leadership.
City council officials announced this week that former private healthcare boss Marshall Dallas has been named the centre’s new chief executive, effective from October 1.
Mr Dallas, who had previously been the head of Nuffield Health, will be filling the shoes of long-time chief Hans Rissman, who managed the centre for over two decades.
The announcement follows “serious concerns” over the EICC’s finances earlier this year, when council officials raised doubts about its performance following a £30 million extension.
But Mr Dallas, who has over 25 years worth of experience in the hospitality and healthcare sectors, believes the centre’s recently-added Lennox Suite will turn out to be a huge asset to the centre.
“I am delighted to have been given this exciting opportunity to lead one of the world’s most cutting-edge conference and exhibition centres. Scotland’s capital city has much to offer both national and international business tourists,” he said.
“The addition of the new Lennox Suite, with its unique hall-wide moving floor system, puts the venue in the first rank of city centre destinations in a global meetings marketplace.”
Originally from Dumfries, the executive is now based out of Gargunnock, where he lives with his wife and two children.
His career has been far-reaching and varied – although the vast majority of his appointments have pertained to senior management roles in the hospitality sector.
Serving at the likes of Macdonald Hotels, Queens Moat House and Trust House Forte, Mr Dallas has racked up considerable experience in a sector that is inarguably the EICC’s bread and butter.
He also spent a three-year spell as the food and beverage manager at Diageo’s Gleneagles Hotel.
However, his more recent appointments included a two-year stint at BMI Healthcare, as its executive director.
After that, he moved on to Nuffield Health – where he worked as its chief executive until this month.
Yet according to city councillor Gordon Munro, who also chairs the EICC board, Mr Dallas was a natural choice to succeed Mr Rissman – who last year announced his intention to step down from his role at the conference centre.
“I am delighted with Marshall’s appointment, after what has been a wide ranging search,” he said. “We are confident that he has the skillset required to take the expanded, award-winning business forward.”
Mr Rissman will hand over all operational responsibility to Dallas on October 31 after a month-long transition period.
The gala opening of the EICC’s new conference suite is set to take place on January 15, 2015.