Turns out that 2018 is becoming quite a year for Michael Marion, CVE, general manager of the Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Marion ascends to IAVM’s highest volunteer position next month at VenueConnect in Toronto when he becomes the chairman of the board of IAVM, joining an illustrious list of predecessors.
But before Marion gets to accept the gavel from Doug Booher, CVE, and make some remarks in Toronto, first came the little matter of his being named the 2018 recipient of the distinguished Ray Ward Award given during the recently concluded Venue Management School (VMS) at Oglebay. Actually, the award is a huge matter and named after an industry icon in Ray Ward. This year’s award carries extra significance as Ward passed away in early May.
The award is bestowed upon an individual associated with VMS whose dedicated service and extraordinary contributions over a period of at least six years have resulted in significant and long lasting improvements to the overall success and quality of the school. The award was created and initially presented to namesake and industry icon Ray Ward in August 1996.
“I was sitting at the table the night of graduation and Bob Hunter, VMS chair, started talking about the recipient,” Marion said. “I had no idea it was me, but when he said the recipient had been teaching nine years, I thought to myself, ‘I’ve been here 9 years, umm.’ Once he started talking about Mississippi State, the cuss jar and the fact I was friends with Saved By the Bell’s Mr. Belding, I figured it out.
“It was quite moving. Ray taught me when I was in school in the early 90’s. After coming to teach, I sought him out and made a point of getting him to tell me some Bill Graham stories. He was super committed to VMS and when I went through the chairs, he sent me a file of documents of ideas that he had collected over the years to improve the school. I was saddened to hear of his passing, but I know his legacy will live on at VMS. As overwhelmed as I was, I did have a sad moment that I couldn’t call Ray and let him know.
Marion is also very respectful of the list of winners, the school itself, and what it all means to an industry he loves.
“I feel I am in rarefied air with the other winners,” he said. “The folks who have led VMS are a special bunch who have done so much to advance the venue industry. The fact that such a great program is put on by volunteers with support from IAVM staff speaks to the commitment of the Regents. My annual trek to Wheeling is one of the highlights of my year. The energy of the students and instructors charges my batteries like nothing else.”
Inclusion seems to be a hot word right now. Just what does it mean? Allow the following, taken from the website of speaker and author Joe Gerstandt to provide a solid base to answer: While difference is a property of relationships, inclusion is what we do with it. How do we respond to the difference that we’ve created? Do we allow it in? And, how do we utilize it? Our actions and reactions can shape our personal and professional networks.
Now that we have a better snippet of definition, you will want to be sure to attend Joe’s session on “Inclusive Leadership” at VenueConnect in Toronto. These days inclusion really is not an option, but is necessary for success at all levels of an organization. Why?
“Leaders play a critical role in providing an inclusive employee experience, and research suggests that the wrong kind of leadership is one of the biggest barriers to inclusion,” Gerstandt says. “Not only is inclusion poorly understood, and often misunderstood by managers, inclusive leadership is simply not the path of least resistance.
“Even if we see the importance and value of inclusion intellectually, in the moment it makes life a lot easier if everyone just thinks and acts in the same ways. Inclusion is hard work and is about much more than having good intentions. Being an inclusive leader is not about ‘getting it,’ ’embracing it,’ or having a killer business case for it … you have to actually do stuff.”
It is here where Gerstandt is equipped to help attendees figure out exactly what that “stuff” is, with his background in bringing greater clarity, action, and impact to organizational diversity and inclusion efforts.
That background also include work with Fortune 100 corporations, small non-profits, and everything in between. He speaks at numerous conferences and summits, and blogs at joegerstandt.com. He is a featured contributor for the Workforce Diversity Network Expert Forum and his insights have been published in Diversity Best Practices, Diversity Executive, HR Executive, The Diversity Factor, The American Diversity Report, the Corporate Recruiting Leadership Journal, Associations Now, other print and on-line journals and he co-authored the book Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships.
Gerstandt grew up on a family farm in northwest Iowa, served four years in the United States Marine Corps, including participation in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, attended Iowa State University and then spent six years working in management and business development for technology and communication companies. He then made a career change and went to work for a grassroots non-profit organization, and this is where he found himself drawn to issues related to diversity and inclusion and then became actively involved in that work.
Be prepared to go back home from this session with several key takeaways including a more tangible understanding of what inclusion is and how it can impact performance, exploration of dynamics which make inclusion difficult, including practices of traditional management, and to be introduced to a basic toolkit for inclusive leadership consisting of knowledge, behavior, and practices.
Populous announced a new service, Populous Design Build, aimed at helping clients complete their off-season projects. Created to decrease project production time and increase the quality of renovated spaces, Populous Design Build offers clients a streamlined solution for off-season venue renovations. Through a design-led approach to design build, Populous Design Build will operate as the sole point of contact for clients and coordinate all project partners from design through construction.
“Today’s fans expect new and exciting experiences at a more rapid rate than ever before,” said Adam Stover, director, Populous Design Build. “With Populous Design Build, we’re applying the best of everything we’ve learned over the past 35 years to improve the in-venue experience, but more importantly we’re simplifying the design and build process for clients on these short turnaround projects.”
Populous Design Build advocates for a client’s brand by maintaining the quality of a project from concept through to delivery. Communication is streamlined between owner, architect and contractor, and live pricing provides cost information to create more predictability around results – all of this is driven to maintain important design features and ensure brand integrity. To provide additional efficiency and confidence, the process includes valuation to provide an outlook on ROI and also FF&E procurement.
“After 35 years in the sports business, we uniquely understand our clients’ challenges. We’ve seen there can be quite a few pitfalls in getting off-season renovations done, whether it is uncertainty in pricing, costly change orders or untested ideas,” said Earl Santee, Populous Americas managing director. “Our new design build service is a one-stop solution to help projects get completed faster and more efficiently while delivering a higher quality product.”
Examples of Populous Design Build projects include the new Kids Corner in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the Legends Lobby at the University of Oklahoma’s Barry Switzer Center and Esports Stadium Arlington, which is set to open at the end of 2018.
Populous Design Build is the firm’s latest growth and diversification effort, following the recent opening of a Tokyo office, numerous leadership additions and paving the way for the esports-specific venue of the future. Learn more at populous.com/designbuild.
VenuesNow revealed the names of their 2018 Women of Influence honorees, and it is noteworthy for among many reasons including the fact that four of the recipients are distinguished IAVM members.
In a voting from peers, the five join 42 previous winners who have had a positive impact on the public assembly venue industry. The awards will be made official at a reception at VenueConnect on July 24.
Jeanie Buss, one of the most powerful women in professional sports who serves as owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and counts on her resume managing The Forum in Inglewood, the previous home of the Lakers, was on a Women in Leadership panel last year in Nashville and this year is among the honorees.
Lynda Reinhart has long been associated with the University of Florida and is one of the most noteworthy names in university management as she leads the Stephen C. O’Connell Center at the Gainesville university.
Ingram serves as vice president of sales for EventBooking and counts a number of associations and corporations among her clients. It is that range and scope of work that has helped shape Ingram’s successful career.
Lischick is a well-known industry veteran and serves as general manager of the Broadmoor World Arena and Pike Peak Performing Arts Center in Colorado springs. She has been involved with the facility since its design inception and a familiar face in the local community.
DiBenedetto works as director of touring for AEG Presents in New York and is known for being very instrumental in the touring success of some of the most well-known musical artists including the likes of Carrie Underwood and Justin Bieber.
IAVM extends a hearty congratulations to all of the deserving and distinguished honorees and looks forward to helping share in the celebration of their accomplishments at VenueConnect in Toronto.
The iCommit member referral campaign is winding down. There are just 19 days left (campaign ends on June 30) to sign up new members to our community!
With your support, we have now added 57 new members due to your referrals.
For each new member you refer, your name will be entered in a raffle to win great prizes! The current leaderboard is shown below:
Do you have interns, students or young professionals working for you now? Is there a long-time employee who hasn’t gotten involved yet? Encourage them to become a part of our network.
If you know of a venue in your community that is not a part of IAVM, encourage them to consider Group Membership. As of today, 160 venues are participating as group members.
Do you have a vendor that is not an Allied Member? Urge them to join now and experience all that membership has to offer!
To ensure you are eligible to win one of the prizes, ask your new member to do the following:
We need your help to add more new members to our network. Let’s finish strong! The campaign ends June 30, 2018.
If you have any questions, please contact Gina Brydson, Director of Membership.