Former Tacoma City Councilman Kevin Phelps is leaving his post as general manager of the Landmark Convention Center to seek “a life of significance.”
Phelps informed his staff today that he sold his interest in the former Masonic Temple (later the Temple Theater) to his business partner. While the Landmark is doing well, he said, he’s ready for a change after 16 years of running the business.
I asked Phelps why he decided on the move:
After 16 years, I think I have taken the company about as far as I can. The business is as healthy as it has ever been year. In fact, in 2006 the Landmark did more food & beverage sales (catering) than both the $120m Convention Center and the Tacoma Dome combined. And sales are up 10.6% thus far for 2007. But there is still more upside to the business and new management may be able to grow the company even further.
I have missed the “public service” role I had while I served in my capacity as Tacoma City Councilman. While I do NOT have plans to run for elected office, I do miss being involved with helping to make our community a better place. Thus if the right opportunity comes along, I would consider working either in the government or non-profit sectors. With the sale of the Landmark and other investments, I will be in a position to look for the right opportunity and not have to be as concerned with the financial ramifications of the opportunity.
Now that I am at the ripe old age of 52, I want to make sure that what I do in the future is (at least in my assessment) make a difference in the community. It is a mindset change of going from pursuing a life of success to pursuing a life that has significance.
I have our first grandchild (Sophia), and I want her to know who her Grandpa is!
Owning the Landmark has been a real privilege. It only took me a few months after I bought the building in 1991 to realize how much of an institution the Temple Theatre / Masonic Temple was. Running it these past 16 years has been one of the real pleasures in my life. The shock of not coming to work will probably hit me in the next few days.
When Phelps resigned from the council, he also left the boards of Sound Transit, Pierce Transit, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. As head of Sound Transit’s finance committee, he was credited with a key role in restoring fiscal discipline to the once-troubled agency.