It’s 9 o’clock on a Saturday … regular crowd shuffles in. –Billy Joel, Piano Man
OK, so it was 9 am and not 9 pm, although Billy Joel’s hit from 1973 does not actually indicate morning or night. And this regular crowd did not shuffle “in,” since the “in” was still outside the yet-to-be-completed Coppell Arts Center.
Still, on the morning of August 10, the public was invited to a steel signing ceremony for the new venue slated to open in May 2020. Under a very blazing Texas sun, guests got to don hard hats to take a tour into the portion of the venue that is actually enclosed under the guidance of Managing Director Alex Hargis. Others, meanwhile, enjoyed fruits and pastries while enjoying some cold water or hot coffee.
Markers were set aside for all guests to put their names on a giant steel beam that was later raised into place.
The event first included a private reception for local dignitaries, resident art group members, and Coppell-based business leaders who have worked closely on the project. In true performing arts fashion, artists played a mini-symphony before appreciative guests.
“Topping out ceremonies are typically attended by a small group of key stakeholders,” Hargis said. “But for this venue, we truly feel every Coppell citizen is a stakeholder who has played a part in making this dream a reality, which is why we wanted to extend the invitation to the entire community.”
Long-time IAVM member and performing arts friend Jack Hagler, Schuler Shook, took in the event and recalled that one of his earliest projects was just a few miles down the road with the Irving Arts Center.
It was brought to Hargis’s attention that of the 6,800-plus members, he just might win the title of IAVM Member Whose Venue Is Closest To World Headquarters.
“I’ve thought about that,” he said. “That’s a pretty cool thing.”
So is the Coppell Arts Center, even if we have still yet to see the final look for the venue that will be home to Coppell artists, fine art exhibitions, performing arts, education classes, touring arts, nightlife entertainment, community events, corporate meetings, and more.
Portland’s Moda Center is the first arena to receive LEED O+M (v4.1) Platinum Certification, a major milestone in the greening of sports. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building and community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.
The Platinum certification, awarded to Moda Center by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), identifies and rewards best practices for a building’s energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experience.
“We are very proud to be the first existing professional sports arena to receive LEED Platinum certification,” said Chris McGowan, President and CEO of the Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter. “Nine years ago, we were the first existing arena to achieve LEED Gold status, and we continue to innovate and develop our sustainable processes and procedures to provide a healthy, sustainable arena for our community. Sustainability is and always will be a crucial part of our culture. We would not have gotten here without our dedicated guests, staff and our partners at Levy Restaurants.”
“Moda Center has been a leader in sustainability within our league and across the sports and entertainment industry,” said Erin Schnieders, NBA Head of Arena Development & Standards. “Since their initial certification almost a decade ago to now achieving the highest level of accreditation, they have demonstrated a continued commitment to maintaining a healthy and safe space while reducing their environmental impact.”
Moda Center has shown that they are leaders with their continued commitment to sustainable resources and renewable energy. This is demonstrated through strong partnerships with companies sharing similar goals, including DeSantis Landscapes. Food waste in the building is turned into soil that DeSantis Landscapes uses throughout the Rose Quarter campus, contributing to the 1 million pounds of material diverted from landfills annually. The Moda Center Environmental Services crew post-sorts after every event, going through the items of every bag of waste and properly sorting materials into the appropriate streams.
“On behalf of the Green Sports Alliance and RWDI, I want to congratulate Moda Center for achieving LEED Platinum,” said Elaine Aye, Associate/Regional Manager at RWDI and board member of the Green Sports Alliance. “Achieving a high level of performance for an existing sports venue can be challenging at best, and the Moda Center team continues to improve their environmental footprint. They understand that sustainability is a journey and are a leading example in the sports industry by effectively focusing on best operational and management practices.”
Moda Center continues to drive programs to protect the environment and reduce environmental impact:
Waste – Responsibly manage our supply chain and waste stream through environmentally conscious purchasing, recycling, food waste diversion with the help of local nonprofits, and much more. We have partnered with ServiceMaster Building Services and implemented the Capture and Removal Clean system to provide detergent-free cleaning products acknowledged by the FDA, providing our guests and staff with cleaner, healthier workspaces. All products at concession stands are recyclable or compostable.
Water – Use of low-flow toilets and fixtures, smart irrigation & controls, and drought-resistant landscaping, as well as the purchase of Water Restoration Certificates.
Energy – Reduce and offset our energy use through building and equipment upgrades to more efficient systems and purchasing carbon offsets for natural gas usage through Bonneville Environmental Foundation. We have also partnered with Pacific Power and BayWa r.e. to purchase renewable energy credits through the Blue Sky Select Program.
Food – Partnership with Levy Restaurants and local food vendors to prioritize local, organic, hormone free food at Moda Center. We have teamed up with Urban Gleaners to make sure excess food from Moda Center goes to local children and families to alleviate hunger.
Transportation – Support responsible transportation for staff and fans by installing EV charging stations and supporting public transportation and biking or walking to work and games.
To learn more about the Rose Quarters sustainability efforts, visit trailblazers.com/livegreener.
The Raleigh (NC) Convention Center has added two new roles and filled the positions with industry veterans — both from Texas — for the 500,000-square-foot LEED-certified Silver convention center; Red Hat Amphitheater, a 6,000-seat outdoor amphitheater; the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, a 5,000-seat indoor performing arts venue; and the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, a 20,000-capacity outdoor music park.
Brian Clark joins as Director of Operations and will supervise the day-to-day management of the Raleigh Convention Center, Red Hat Amphitheater, Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek and the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Brian comes from a similar role at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to that, Brian served as the Assistant Stadium Event Manager at the 40,000-seat Rentschler Stadium, home of the University of Connecticut Football Team.
“Raleigh is a fast-moving and growing city with thousands of guests flooding our city every day for exciting meetings and events,” said Kerry Painter, CVE, director/general manager. “In their new roles, Ryan and Brian will help us exceed their expectations and prepare us for even greater growth.”
Brian came on board the Tobin Center at a pivotal moment for the organization during its last eight months of construction and its grand opening preparation. While the construction and opening processes were arduous, Brian and his team came in on budget, on time and with a product that exceeded expectations of the city and the facility’s patrons.
“My unique working history of facilities and event management at a 40,000 capacity athletic stadium and a 1,750 seat multipurpose performing arts center offers me a range of experiences that will translate perfectly to the Raleigh Convention Center, Red Hat Amphitheater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, and Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek. No event is too big and no detail is too small for me to handle,” Clark said.
Ryan Bonifas joins as Director of Events and will oversee all events hosted at both the Raleigh Convention Center and Red Hat Amphitheater as well as the Maintenance/Ops for both facilities. Ryan has held similar roles with Fair Park in Dallas as well as the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Ryan started on August 5.
“I’ve been putting on events for fifteen years across a host of different venues and I’m thrilled to bring that experience to one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country and joining a team with such exciting leadership and tireless staff,” Bonifas said. “My past roles in supporting events of all sizes and creating meaningful experiences for every guest will help Raleigh grow as an entertainment and convention destination.”
Dallas’ Fair Park offered Ryan extensive experience that translates directly to his new role at the RCC. Fair Park, a 277-acre fairground that is is also home to the Cotton Bowl Stadium, The State Fair of Texas and many other festivals and touring events, is comparable to the urban campus of the RCC and Red Hat Amphitheater in both its ambition and appeal.
Fourteen venue industry professionals received their Certified Venue Executive (CVE) designation from IAVM during VenueConnect in Chicago. CVE applicants are rated on their experience and accomplishments in public venue management and must successfully complete a comprehensive written essay, written examination and oral interview that tests general knowledge of the public venue management profession. The CVE designation demonstrates that a venue executive: is a skilled manager, is committed to the industry, and is pledged to continued professional growth and development. Managers who earn the CVE designation are recognized, by those inside and outside the industry, as experts in their profession.
“Since 1976 this prestigious program has served as a distinction for those in venue management,” said Michael Marion, CVE, IAVM Chair during VenueConnect. “I would like to offer my congratulations to each of these individuals. There is no doubt that their hard work and leadership are admired in the industry.”
The elite group of 312 now includes the following newly awarded CVEs to its honor roll:
• Brent Buchanan, CVE, Berry Center (Houston, TX)
• Lynn Cannon, CVE, Grossinger Motors Arena (Bloomington, IL)
• Brendon Ellmer, CVE, Perth Concert Hall/WA Venues & Events (Perth, Western Australia)
• Bobby Goldwater, CVE, Georgetown University/The Goldwater Group (Bethesda, MD)
• Eric Granger, CVE, KFC Yum! Center (Louisville, KY)
• Kristie Haney, CVE, Resch Center (Green Bay, WI)
• Michael Junod, CVE, University Center, Mercer University (Macon, GA)
• Laura Lenhart, CVE, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (Milwaukee, WI)
• Timothy Long, CVE, Hawkridge Entertainment Services (Dural, New South Wales)
• Brett C. Mitchell, CVE, Overland Park Convention Center (Overland Park, KS)
• Lynda Reinhart, CVE, Stephen C. O’Connell Center (Gainesville, FL)
• Wendy Riggs, CVE, Walton Arts Center/Walmart AMP (Fayetteville, AR)
• Marty D. Smith, CVE, Weber County Culture, Parks, and Recreation (Ogden, UT)
• Philip Verrastro, CVE, The Classic Center (Athens, GA)
In addition, another 25 individuals earned their Certified Venue Professional (CVP) designation.
The Certified Venue Professional (CVP) program was launched in 2015 by IAVM to recognize the competence of middle to senior level managers of public assembly venues as well as assist in creating a professional development road map.
The CVP designation says three important things about an individual: he or she is a capable professional, is committed to the industry, and is pledged to continued professional growth and development. Venue professionals who earn the CVP designation are recognized, by those inside and outside the industry, as skilled in their profession.
The basic purpose of the voluntary certification program is to provide additional incentive for professional improvement in the public assembly venue management industry, to assure recognition for those who attain certain specific standards, and can lead toward the attainment of the Certified Venue Executive (CVE) designation.
Congratulations to the following for earning the CVP designation:
Brian Polokoff, CVP
Lisa Schad, CVP
Megan Max, CVP
Ryan Kichler, CVP
Donna Gray, CVP
Amanda Horning, CVP
John McClees, CVP
Jason Anderson, CVP
Juan Carlos Mata Castillo, CVP
Laura Gutierrez Roldan, CVP
Ken Schmidt, CVP
Frank Keefer, CVP
Andrea Hitlin, CVP
Ryan Gruss, CVP
Carissa Norton, CVP
Brian Wright, CVP
Erin Jepson, CVP
Brian Manor, CVP
Christopher Moeslacher, CVP
Ashley Peacock, CVP
Steven Sanchez, CVP
Zakiya Smith-Dore, CVP
Nicholas Puddicombe, CVP
Alikie Knight, CVP
Danny Bryant, CVP
Levy, the dining and hospitality leader at convention centers, sports and entertainment venues, and cultural institutions, announced it has earned the #37 spot on Forbes’ 2019 “Best Employers for Women” list. The list honors companies that have demonstrated a deep commitment to workplace equality. It’s the latest in a line of accolades that reflect the company’s commitment to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, which also includes a place on the Forbes Best Employers for Diversity list and America’s Best Employers list.
Several leaders from Levy Convention Centers, a division of Levy, commented on what these accolades mean and the continued need to push for equality, diversity, and inclusion in the meetings and events industry:
Cindy van Rensburg, Division President, Levy Convention Centers: “I’m thankful to work for an organization that puts people first, embraces inclusion, and empowers our team. Our business thrives on a diversity of viewpoints and ideas, which we can only achieve by encouraging team members of all backgrounds to contribute.”
Katherine Putnam, Regional Vice President, Levy Convention Centers: “Levy’s commitment to empowering women, empowers me and the women around me for success – which is a pretty incredible position to be in.”
Cindy Thibault, General Manager, Levy Convention Centers – Boston Convention & Exhibition Center: “Not only did I want to work for this company, I knew that one day I could be a leader because I shared the same ideals and vision.”
Dominique Metcalfe, Executive Chef, Levy Convention Centers – David L. Lawrence Convention Center:
“I was one of the first women chefs on the Levy Convention Centers team when I joined in 2008. Levy believed in me and never took away my enthusiasm and drive. They were always there right beside me, supporting me through thick and thin.”