Late Tuesday afternoon the USA Pavilion at Expo 2010 (World’s Fair) announced that Nick Winslow, one of two founding partners of the non-profit that manages the pavilion, and its CEO and President, has resigned. He will maintain a seat on the pavilion’s board. The complete press release can be found after the page jump, below.
To note: the press release gives no reason for Winslow’s resignation. However, regular readers of this blog are aware that serious allegations have been raised about potential conflicts of interest between Winslow and the USA pavilion’s chief contractor, BRC Imagination Arts of Burbank, California; that such conflicts may, in fact, place the USA pavilion’s tax-deductible non-profit 501(c)(3) status at risk; that – on this basis and several others – at least one complaint against the USA pavilion has been filed with the Internal Revenue Service; and that, when questioned about these issues, Winslow provided me with a bizarre set of contradictory and highly legalistic answers. Are these issues the reason for Winslow’s resignation? I’ve just emailed a set of questions to a contact at the USA pavilion in hope of sussing out some answers; if I receive those answers, I’ll add them to this post (or, depending upon their usefulness/newsworthiness, write a new one). In the meantime, for those readers interested in background on the USA pavilion, recent questions surrounding Winslow, and – most important – supporting documents (including documents obtained from the IRS) regarding Winslow’s questionable professional relationships – see these posts:
- The Gun Almost Smokes Pt. II: Potential Conflicts of Interest at the USA Pavilion
- Conflicts of Interest at the USA Expo 2010 Pavilion? Nick Winslow responds legalistically
- How did the US manage to spend $61 million on an Expo 2010 pavilion? IRS filings offer some insights.
For those interested in additional information about the USA pavilion, including the murky circumstances under which it was awarded to Winslow by the Bush State Department, see Shanghai Scrap’s USA Pavilion category, and “A Sorry Spectacle,” my March 2010 piece for Foreign Policy.
[UPDATED 6-10: This morning Will Clem of the South China Morning Post has a good story about the Winslow resignation and the questions that still revolve around Winslow and the USA pavilion, here (subscriber only). So far, and to its considerable discredit, the US media in Shanghai appear uninterested in covering the USA pavilion - on this issue, or any other.]
I’ll have more to say about this major development if and when I receive additional information on it. After the page jump, today’s carefully worded press release from the USA Pavilion.
UNITED STATES PAVILION AT SHANGHAI EXPO 2010 ANNOUNCES NEW PRESIDENT/CEO
[Shanghai, June 8, 2010] – Shanghai Expo 2010, the organizing body of the United States of America Pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai, announced today that Martin Alintuck has been appointed president/CEO of the organization.
Alintuck replaces Nick Winslow who guided SE 2010 from its inception, through the successful May launch of the USA Pavilion, to its first month of operation in which it welcomed one million guests. Winslow, who is stepping back from day-to-day management responsibilities, will remain on the Board of Directors.
“Nick brought us from merely an idea to an extraordinary presence at the Expo,” said Kenneth Jarrett, chairman of the board of SE 2010. “We thank him greatly for his contributions as president/CEO and are glad we will have his continued advice and counsel on the Board.”
Alintuck, previously director of communications at the USA Pavilion, brings significant China management and leadership success to SE 2010. Prior to receiving a master’s in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Alintuck was managing director, China for Edelman, the largest independent PR firm in the world. He also served two years as vice chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.
“Martin’s seven years of experience leading organizations in China will be a great asset to our presence at the Expo, as we enter a new phase, having had such a successful first month,” said Jose H. Villarreal, commissioner general of the USA Pavilion. “In choosing Martin to lead an already-strong management team with Mark Germyn, chief operations officer and Jun Ma, chief financial officer, we are set up for a tremendous presence throughout the Expo.”
Also announced is the addition of Robert Roche to the Board of Directors of SE 2010. Roche is the current chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and founder and director of Acorn International (NYSE: ATV), one of the largest direct response TV companies in China.
Since its launch on May 1, the USA Pavilion has hosted more than 1 million visitors from around the globe, China President Hu Jintao and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary. The USA Pavilion remains one of the most popular pavilions at the Expo hosting more than 45,000 visitors per day.
At over 60,000 square feet (6,000 square meters), the USA Pavilion is one of the largest national pavilions at the Expo. With the theme of “Rising to the Challenge”, the United States presence will showcase American culture, values, innovation and business in one of China’s most dynamic cities, while celebrating the friendship and cooperation between the United States, China and the rest of the world.