News: Beach Convention Center Board Seeks to Honor the Late Leon A. Manne

This past December, the Miami Beach hospitality industry and the community at-large lost a longtime supporter in Leon A. Manne.

In suit, the Miami Beach Convention Center Advisory Board voted unanimously last week to honor their fellow member by renaming the center’s Executive Board room after him.

“We the members of the Miami Beach Convention Center Advisory Board ask that the City of Miami Beach Mayor and Commission, at its first official Commission meeting in January 2014, rename the Executive Board room in the Convention Center, “ THE LEON A. MANNE EXECUTIVE BOARD ROOM,” honoring his contribution to both the Center and the community,” wrote the board’s Chairman Stuart Blumberg to the commission.

The letter asked that any usual process, which would be time consuming, be waived so that an announcement could be made at a special service in February that coincided with what would have been Manne’s 96 birthday.

Manne spent over 50 years associated with the MBCC and the industry it serves. He spent time as the head of the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association, and the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce to name only a fraction of the organizations he was involved with in his lifetime.

This year he would have been termed out of the center’s advisory board, where it had become a playful custom that Manne called to adjourn their meetings.

“Leon Manne was a dedicated member of the the Miami Beach Community that was active in always making our community a better place to live. As a fellow board member on the Miami Beach Convention Center he will be missed,” wrote Roger Abramson wrote on an online tribute.

The board also included letters from users of the center who spoke highly of Manne, and supported the naming dedication.

“I had the privilege of working with Leon since 1960 and Leon was not only an honorable business associate but also a trusted friend and pioneer in the infant days of the Tradeshow industry,” said Leonard Swimmer, CEO Emeritus of Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services. “The City of Miami Beach, the Convention Center nor the Tradeshow industry would be the same today without Leon’s 70+ years of dedication and deep love for Miami Beach.”

Robert Spiegelman was hired by Manne in 1975, and says his life was changed by knowing him.

“He was a mentor,friend, adviser, and assistant to not only me, but the whole community,” wrote Spiegelman. “He served on many boards over the years giving tirelessly of himself always for the betterment of the individual and or the community, without regard for his time or personal benefit.”

The Global Spectrum team, the company who runs the MBCC for the city, all signed a short letter in support of the dedication.

“His dedication to improve the building never wavered. It was a pleasure knowing him and he will be missed,” said the collective letter.

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