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Lobbyist is interim chief at Convention Center; ex-CEO gets consulting gig

John McNichol is temporary replacement for Ahmeenah Young

Ahmeenah Young, departing  President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, is expected to receive a $460,000 consulting contract payable over the next 18 months after she leaves at the end of the year, according to sources familiar with the agreement, which is on the agenda for today's PCC Authority board meeting. UPDATE: She'll advise her successors at SMG. Approved by directors at the meeting this afternoon.

Effective last month, the board replaced Young in her role as the center's day-to-day boss with SMG, a private company based in West Conshohocken that also manages dozens of public facilities including convention centers in Chicago, Detroit and Miami.

Separately, the PCC authority's board is expected to name vice chairman and Greenlee Partners lobbyist John McNichol as Young's acting replacement, though the role has been reduced to representing Pennsylvania, the center's owner, in dealing with its new outside management firm, while SMG runs day to day operations. McNichol will not be paid for his service. McNichol is a member of a family active in Delaware County Republican circles.

The board is trying to find a permanent president; once filled, the post will pay around $220,000 plus benefits. 

The board also voted to confirm Carol Hunt as vice president of finance, Shamyune Jones as general counsel/vp, and Tara Waltenbaugh as acting VP for administration. All are PCC veterans who will now work for the reduced convention center staff; some other staffers have joined SMG and will be part of its operating team.

When she's done consulting, Young will also qualify for a Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System pension. Under SERS rules, state employees who have accumulated enough state service may retire with yearly pensions worth almost as much as their peak-year earnings, which in Young's case total around $270,000 annually.