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2. Ronald A. Willner Bio

2. Ronald A. Willner

Ron Willner Bio A native Clevelander, Ron Willner has a tremendous passion for working and living in Downtown Cleveland. His career background in event and facility management, planning and production, spans a course of 25 years, and has provided him with the opportunity to open and manage six prominent event facilities within Northeast Ohio. In his current role as the General Manager of Public Square, Ron has further expanded his event and venue management expertise in Downtown Cleveland. His many years of leadership and management experiences are laying the programming groundwork for Cleveland’s long awaited Downtown public jewel. His initial years in event and facility management began with Cleveland State University when Ron was hired as the Convocation Center’s Event Services Manager in 1991. It was during this initial start that he began to develop a passion for the event management field and earned his first Master’s Degree in Sports Management. Ron continued to work in all aspects of the facility, which included Director of Arena Administration with Centre Management from 1991 to 1999. When SMG took over management of the Wolstein Center in 1999, he became the Director of Operations and Event Management, moving up to the Assistant General Manager position in 2003, and promoted to the General Manager role in 2007. In 2010, the University entrusted Ron to take on a newly created role as the Assistant Director of Conference Services, and the operation and management of the new University Student Center. He also served as the Chair of the Student Center Policies Committee, and also took a position with the Student Center Advisory Committee. While managing the operations of the University’s Student Center, Ron earned a second Master’s Degree, this time in Higher Education. As the Director of Event Services with the newly opened Global Center for Health Innovation and Cleveland Convention Center in 2013, Ron was provided with yet another opportunity to open a new multipurpose venue in the Downtown area. His many years of experience and knowledge in the facility management industry provided successful event operations for both local and national trade show clientele. In 2007, Ron utilized his professional expertise as an Adjunct Professor with the University in Sports Management, where he taught classes in Events and Promotions Management (PED 493/593) and Sport Facility Management (PED 466/566). He also landed as an Adjunct Professor with Baldwin Wallace University, where he has taught courses in Event/Facility Management, as well as Program Organization and Administration. Ron is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) and is currently working towards his certification as a Certified Facilities Executive. In 2012, he was selected as a City Advocate with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. He currently sits on the strategic planning committees for both the Historic Warehouse District and the Downtown Cleveland Residents Association.

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