The Venue Management Association (VMA) congratulate President, Leighton Wood on his pending retirement from the venue management industry.
In July this year Leighton will officially step down from his role as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of the award-winning Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre which he joined in 2010.
Leighton joined the Board of the VMA in 2016 before being elected President in May 2020 for a three-year term.
The VMA Board has requested Leighton to continue in his role as VMA President for the remaining 2 years of his term. This is testament to Leighton’s strong leadership of the Association and his ongoing commitment to work with the Board, membership and industry stakeholders as the Association embarks on the development and implementation of its next four-year strategic plan, all the more important as our industry and members continue to navigate through the devastating impact and implications of Covid-19.
In asking Leighton to continue as Chair, the Board acknowledges the significant investment of time and energy Leighton has been contributing to the VMA, and his desire to continue to do so post retirement. The Board recognises the importance of strong, stable and steady leadership through these challenging times as new Directors are elected through the current election process.
‘I am delighted to be invited by the Board to continue in my role as President of the VMA, an organisation I have enormous affection and regard for. The VMA comprises members who are professional managers of, and suppliers to, some of the finest facilities in the world, they are also a fraternity that support each other and never has this support been more evident than over the past twelve months. The Association needs to see this challenging period through, for the long term benefit of our membership. The Board and I, along with management, are committed to this objective.’ Leighton said.
During his tenure at the MCEC, Leighton has overseen a team of more than 700 employees across Operations, Food and Beverage, Technology, Planning, Security & Safety, Sustainability and Capital Works while also managing the working relationship with MCEC’s partners, Plenary Group and BGIS.
Leighton has been responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the MCEC product and provided high-level strategic advice to the Executive Team and Trust, particularly in the areas of future business planning and ongoing organisational improvement. He is also passionate about sustainability and has driven significant reductions in MCEC’s environmental footprint.
Leighton stellar career in event, sport and venue management saw him hold Chief Executive roles at Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, Melbourne Major Events Company and Sport Knowledge Australia.
Leighton’s passion and commitment to the industry has seen him make valuable contributions across many voluntary roles including Director of the Exhibition and Events Association of Australia and the Board of Women’s Golf Australia.
Leighton discovered his passion for the industry having completed a Physical Education degree at Victoria University, went on to complete a MBA at Bond University, attended Harvard Business School and graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.