DETROIT— Sept. 27, 2022 – Today, Karen Totaro, general manager for Huntington Place/ASM
Global, is pleased to announce that ASM Global has welcomed Marlon C. Wilson as the new
Public Safety Director at Huntington Place. Wilson will immediately assume the senior
leadership responsibilities of overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of the Department of
Public Safety and Security, taking on proactive initiatives with a focus on protection and service.
“Safety is one of the top concerns for meeting planners,” said Totaro. “Having the depth of
Marlon Wilson’s experience along with his ability to articulate plans in a way that makes our
clients feel safe and cared for will be instrumental to our future.”
Wilson comes to the venue with 26 years of law enforcement and critical management
experience. Most recently, Wilson served as Deputy Chief of the Detroit Police Department
(DPD) and as Executive Officer in both the Major Crimes and Organized Crime Divisions. He
rose through the ranks throughout his career in the DPD since 1995 receiving numerous
awards including Officer of the Year. He formed the agency’s Cyber Crimes and Arson Units.
He also served as Commanding Officer of the Professional Standards Bureau.
“This is truly a monumental moment in my career, and I am extremely excited to have this role
launch the next phase of my law enforcement and public safety journey,” said Wilson. “For over
27 years, I have been given the honor and privilege to help protect and serve the citizens of
Public Safety is increasingly becoming a top priority for convention centers and other venues.
Wilson will be working to train Huntington Place staff on the latest safety and security protocols
for venues in conjunction with the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) later this
year. The IAVM is committed to providing innovative safety and security guidelines and training so
as to assist venues and their executive teams in managing with the priority of protecting all
aspects related to life safety and physical assets. They also provide education, resources,
advocacy, and certification to event industry professionals and venue managers.
“I look forward to continuing my mission of the highest standard of safety and security for every
team member, patron, and vendor who visits and interacts with Huntington Place,” Wilson
added. “I plan to use my longstanding law enforcement background to implement protocols and
procedures that create the safest and most conducive environment possible for all.”
Mark Herrera, director of safety and security for the IAVM, oversees the industry’s Academy for
Venue Safety and Security will work with Wilson to roll out the training in Huntington Place.
Herrera has seen a growing demand for guidance related to security issues in the aftermath of
the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol. He has conducted over 350 training sessions for leadership
and frontline teams on Behavioral Indication and Risk Mitigation through Guest Service
Interjection. The training emphasizes developing teams capable of providing exceptional focus,
performance, and control in extreme situations.
“Facilities such as Huntington Place under the direction of GM Karen Totaro pride themselves
with creating better experiences within the venue industry inclusive of all facilities which is more
important now than ever before,” said Herrera. “Training teams to forecast and expect those
unexpected challenges in the future provide them with the tools to mitigate the risks our world
Convention centers across the country are coming out of the COVID pandemic with changed
sets of customer expectations for service delivery and environmental hygiene. Public safety
departments have broadened their reach to not only include crisis communications, crowd
control, and policing strategy, but also guest experience and customer service. Wilson’s Detroit
focus and vast experience put him at the right place (Huntington Place) at the right time in the
“We are thrilled to add this new role into Huntington Place’s Public Safety department,” said
Totaro. “With Marlon having an extensive background in law enforcement and knowledge of our
community, it makes sense that he is the right fit for our team. We are excited to bring Marlon
onboard and know that he will take us to an even greater level of preparedness and