How Denzil Skinner’s example helped government-run venues evolve Denzil Skinner’s influence was felt across the facility management industry. As co-founder of FMG, among the first companies to privately operate public assembly facilities, Skinner helped steer others toward that business model, including Frank Russo. Skinner died last month of cancer at age 91. Russo, now an executive vice president with Spectra, ran the Hartford (Conn.) Civic Center, now XL Center, for nine years. The city-owned arena opened in 1975 as the home of the old Hartford Whalers hockey team. For Russo, originally trained as a city manager, what started out as a temporary assignment turned into a full-time job. “I found out how difficult it is in many cases for a city to run a business function of government,” he said. “When I saw that Denzil was privatizing buildings, it got me looking into ways that we could, if not privatize,… Continue Reading ‘If Not Privatize, at Least Professionalize’

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