Trisha Tatro is the Director of the Austin Convention Center Department (ACCD). She previously served as the Assistant Director since 2018.
As Assistant Director, her duties included administration over Facility Operations, Sustainability, Capital Improvement Projects, Event Utilities, Building Maintenance and Parking Operation departments, both at the Austin Convention Center (ACC) and the Palmer Events Center (PEC).
Tatro managed the $74 million Capital Improvement Project budget for the Austin Convention Center Department that includes the Marshalling Yard and Warehouse design projects and the exterior restoration of the Castleman Bull House. Another successful project led by Tatro was a joint effort in completing the walkways that now connect the Hilton and Fairmont Hotels to the convention center.
Tatro joined the department in 2002 as an intern while working on her Bachelor of Science in Sports Management from the University of Texas at Austin. Since she has moved up the ladder as an Event Coordinator, Senior Event Coordinator, Event Coordinator Supervisor, Events Services Manager, Convention Facility Manager and as the ACCD Assistant Director.
Paul Barnes has been the Deputy Director – Chief Operations Officer since 2017. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the Austin Convention Center (ACC), Palmer Events Center (PEC), and three parking garages.
Barnes oversees six divisions at ACCD including Building Operations, Event and Exhibitor Services, Sales, Security, Marketing/Public Information and IT, as well as all Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) and special projects allocated to the department.
He joined the department in 2008, as the Convention Facility Manager.
Overall, Barnes has over 30 years of experience in the meeting and convention industry and hails from New Orleans where he attained decades of experience in the hospitality industry.
Barnes is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business.
His extensive experience and strong credentials have been vital to the continued growth and success of the ACC and PEC, helping ensure that these city facilities continue to retain and capture convention and trade show businesses that economically benefit the City of Austin.
In 2022, Taje Allen was named Assistant Director of the Austin Convention Center Department. He is a member of the ACCD Executive Team and is responsible for 140 full-time employees. He oversees six managers and 13 supervisors that manage the day-to-day operations of the Austin Convention Center, Palmer Events Center, Convention Center Warehouse and Marshalling Yard, and three parking garages. Allen oversees facility maintenance, event set-ups and tear-downs, event electrical, rigging, recycling, custodial, building and grounds, and Capital Improvement Projects.
Previously serving as the Interim Facility Manager from 2021-22, Allen excelled in facilities operations, strategic planning, and problem-solving during the pandemic. He guided the efforts in obtaining the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s (GBAC) Star Accreditation that led to the validation of the Austin Convention Center and Palmer Events Center cleaning programs and demonstrated best work practices to prevent and respond to outbreaks. Allen has also spent time as ACCD Event Services Manager, ACCD Event Coordinator, ACCD Event Coordinator Intern, and Event Operations Assistant for the University of Texas. He has a total of 17 years of experience with ACCD.
Allen earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also played football for the Longhorns before playing six seasons in the NFL.
Since August 2021, Katy Zamesnik has been the Chief Administrative Officer of the Austin Convention Center Department, providing guidance and oversite for the redevelopment and expansion of the Austin Convention Center, the department’s overall budget, funding mechanisms, and debt services. She also serves as the liaison and contract manager for Visit Austin, the City’s Direct Marketing Organization, and City Hall. As a member of the Austin Convention Center Department’s Executive Team, she oversees the the Department’s budget and the Community Engagement and Arts Programs.
Zamesnik previously served as the department’s Acting Chief Administrative Officer from March 2020 to July 2021, researching and developing financial models for expansion during the pandemic, and the management of contracts with consultants for real estate and development. She has also served as a Business Process Consultant, Bond Development Coordinator, and Senior Budget Analyst for various City of Austin departments.
Zamesnik earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and International Affairs from Florida State University in 2008, and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012.
Rolando Fernandez Jr.
Rolando Fernandez Jr. is part of the Austin Convention Center Department’s executive team as a Deputy Director. He is a member of the redevelopment and expansion project team and will lead the department’s purchasing, contracts, and project management teams.
Fernandez is a United States Air Force veteran and a local government executive with more than 26 years of experience. He comes to ACCD from the City of Austin’s Central Procurement group within the Financial Services Department, where he served as a Capital Contracting Officer. There, he was responsible for leading the procurement, execution, and contract management for professional and construction services for the City’s Capital Improvement Programs.
With 17 years of overall experience with the City of Austin, Fernandez previously served as Interim Capital Contracting Officer, Assistant Director, and Assistant to the City Manager, focusing on Capital Improvement Programs, construction services, contract procurement, and development.