McGiffin quits as downtown events coordinator


By GUY D’ASTOLFO

dastolfo@vindy.com

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Michael McGiffin

YOUNGSTOWN

Michael McGiffin will step down as the city’s downtown events coordinator at the end of the month, in order to take a new job at Stambaugh Auditorium.

Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said McGiffin did a “great job” for the city and he is sorry to see him go.

“It was a better opportunity for him, maybe a greater challenge,” Brown said.

The position is among a handful that the new mayor had planned to seek applicants for, even before McGiffin tendered his resignation Thursday.

Brown said he could seek to advertise for that post, as well as community planning and economic development director and attorneys in the law department, as early as today.

McGiffin served as coordinator for downtown events and citywide special projects since November 2014.

He was the city’s point man for downtown festivals and other events, as well as communitywide marketing efforts.

McGiffin said his biggest successes were the City of You campaign, building Federal Frenzy into a major downtown event, growing the Christmas Parade and celebration, and “increasing the standard of what our events look like and how downtown is presented and how it functions.”

Part of his job was working with the bars and restaurants in the downtown entertainment district to ensure their success.

McGiffin said Stambaugh first approached him about a month ago about the newly created position of director of development and community relations. The landmark facility on Fifth Avenue, which has a concert hall and ballroom, will use him in several capacities.

“They were looking for someone to facilitate their capital campaign, centennial celebration and other upcoming projects,” he said.

Stambaugh will turn 100 in 2026.

One ongoing project that McGiffin will immediately address is the replacement of the massive stone staircase on the Fifth Avenue side of the building. “It’s part of the appeal of the building,” he said.

McGiffin’s duties will also include representing Stambaugh to the media and community organizations, as well as helping with event promotion. “I will wear multiple hats,” he said.

Matt Pagac, general manager of Stambaugh, said the venue staff is excited to add McGiffin to its team.

“Not only will he bring an authoritative knowledge on community relations but also a multitalented skill set to our general management team,” he said.

Contributor: Staff writer David Skolnick

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