Director uses ‘conventional’ wisdom

Switch from tourism to convention center director an easy choice

By Lindsey Erdody Published:

Becoming the Frankfort Convention Center director seemed the best thing to do for Robin Antenucci.

After the previous director, Rob Minerich, left in August, the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet asked her about taking the job because of her experience working as the director of the Frankfort Tourist Commission.

“They had my name, and they approached me,” Antenucci said. “I was very honored to be asked.”

She worked as the director of sales and marketing for the tourist commission for five years and had weekly meetings with the convention center to discuss plans and upcoming events. She also served on the tourist commission’s board of directors for 12 years.

“It kind of made sense for me to fit into this,” Antenucci said. “I think my experience in tourism ties in very nicely.”

Antenucci doesn’t start her new position until Nov. 1, but she’s excited to get to work.

“It’s an opportunity to see a different side of things,” she said. “I’m just switching chairs, so to speak.”

She said the job will be similar to her last because she will still be involved with attracting people to Frankfort and making sure guests are pleased with their visits.

The difference is that her focus will be on the convention center instead marketing the entire city to visitors.

She said the director basically oversees all the events, employees and budget. She will work with the staff to coordinate current plans and brainstorm ideas for the future.

“We’re going to look for new opportunities and new things,” she said. “Whatever can fit here, we’ll certainly look into it and see if it makes sense.”

So far, she said she likes the variety of events the convention center attracts, from book fairs to religious events to body building.

“From September to June this is very busy,” Antenucci said while looking at the calendar for the upcoming months.

Almost every week through the rest of the year will be filled, if it isn’t already.

“We’ve got a lot of great events and great customers,” she said.

She also said it’s a popular place for meetings, especially when the legislature is in session.

“It’s a busy place and people might not realize it,” Antenucci said. “I think the people in Frankfort might not realize what’s going on in here because it might not look that crowded.”

However, Antenucci knows there’s a possibility she could lose her job in three years when the governor changes since the position is appointed by the governor’s office.

She said that factor weighed into her decision, but she isn’t going to let it bother her.

“I’m going to do the best I can and roll with whatever the politics might be,” Antenucci said. “I’m not going to worry about it.”

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