Robbins Sports Surfaces announced the promotions of two strong contributors and developing leaders in the organization.
John Puening has been promoted to the position of Product Manager for Recreational Wood. Puening will manage the Rec Wood segment that includes Portables and Performing Arts andwill work closely with Marketing, Sales, Technical Service and Operations. Hehn will also continue to oversee Wood R&D. During his 18 years with Robbins, Puening has always shown initiative in the performance of his duties, regularly going above and beyond to ensure that Robbins delivers innovative products to the market and quality customer service. Puening will deliver the same level of dedication and commitment in his new position. Kevin Price has been promoted to the position of Sales Team Leader. Price celebrates five years with Robbins this month but his experience in the industry is extensive including eight years managing the Indianapolis office of Cincinnati Floor Co., managing the sports surface division of Jack Laurie Floors and he also worked as a Regional Sales Manager for Polytan USA. In this newly created position, Price will work closely with Marketing and Product Management and will serve as a leadership representative for the Sales Organization. Price has been a successful Regional Sales Manager and brings a strong sales and business acumen to the team.
Brad Feichter has been named event manager at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCCNO) – the sixth largest convention center in the nation. In his new capacity, he will be responsible for managing all aspects of the event planning process. As a liaison between the Center and clients, he will guide clients through event preparation and show set-up, monitor in-house events and oversee all related activities for his clients to ensure successful events.
Feichter comes to the MCCNO after serving for three years as a senior banquet manager for the Convention Center’s food and beverage contractor, Centerplate. Previously, he sharpened his skills as the banquet manager for the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.
Prior to becoming an event manager, Feichter positively impacted the MCCNO by overseeing the daily operations of Centerplate’s Banquets Department. He played a key part in orchestrating food and beverage functions from start to finish, and will have an even greater role in ensuring the success of tradeshows and conventions at the MCCNO in his new position. A model of professionalism, Feichter has received recognition from both clients and staff at the Convention Center for his reliability, responsiveness, and accountability.
Feichter attended Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he served as their Student Government Association’s treasurer. He graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Hotel Management.
Feichter currently serves as treasurer for the canine Mardi Gras krewe, the Mystic Krewe of Barkus.
The Darwin Convention Centre won the Business Event Venues category for the 2017 Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Awards, the highest accolade in the Northern Territory tourism industry. The awards ceremony took place on November 11 in Alice Springs, where the industry’s leading tourism businesses and individuals were competing for recognition across 27 categories.
The Business Event Venue category was judged on business strategies and outcomes, contribution to the tourism industry, customer service standards, sustainability and innovation. The judging panel comprises a cross section of industry experts, selected for their knowledge and experience.
“Our passion is always to showcase the Darwin Convention Centre as a modern, world-class venue with outstanding dining experiences and exceptional service,” said Darwin Convention Centre General Manager Janet Hamilton. “I want to particularly thank the talented and enthusiastic team at the Centre for their constant commitment to excellence in customer service and always trying to exceed client expectations.”
One of the highlights in the award submission was that the Darwin Convention Centre received certification for ISO 22000, which ensures the Centre delivers the highest standard of food safety to its delegates. The Centre is the only hospitality venue in the Northern Territory to receive this certification for food safety management, demonstrating its commitment to being a world-class venue.
The Darwin Convention Centre also introduced more targeted marketing strategies to effectively reach national and international clients and installed a new LED external lighting system that can project 16 million different colours across the Centre.
Beyond boosting business tourism, the Darwin Convention Centre is also a catalyst for innovation and economic growth in the Northern Territory. The Centre draws industry leaders, innovators, scientists, and academics nationally and internationally to come and exchange knowledge and ideas in Australia’s strategically located northern most capital city.
The Darwin Convention Centre is now a finalist in the 2018 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards – the industry’s most prestigious event of the year, which will be hosted in Perth in February.
Beginning with the 2018-2019 season, Herberger Theater Center will add three resident companies: Arizona Opera, Childsplay Theatre, and Arizona Broadway Theatre. They will join the current robust lineup of resident companies (Arizona Theatre Company, Center Dance Ensemble and iTheatre Collaborative) and will ensure that there is something for everybody who wishes to attend an event at Herberger Theater Center.
“We are excited and proud to welcome these wonderful organizations to join the amazing resident companies who call the Herberger Theater Center home,” said Mark Mettes, CFE, President and CEO of the Herberger Theater Center. “Each of these new companies have a long history of quality productions for audiences throughout the Valley, and I can’t wait to see their performances on our stages. Together, the diverse offerings of the resident companies of the Herberger Theater Center will entertain and inspire audiences of all ages, providing more reasons than ever to live, work, and play in downtown Phoenix.”
The addition of the resident companies will increase Herberger Theater Center’s events to more than 8oo annually and is expected to bring a 70% boost in overall attendance. “It is growth in a time when the performing arts don’t seem to be growing as fast as other industries.,” Mettes said.
Arizona Opera is entering an exciting new chapter of artistic vibrancy and community engagement. “With this program expansion, we are increasing our commitment to presenting an adventurous, gutsy, and compelling repertoire of diverse works to inspire new audiences, while continuing to meaningfully invest in the cherished traditional operas known and loved by so many,” said Joseph Specter, President and General Director of Arizona Opera.
Childsplay Theatre is returning back to Herberger Theater Center after spending the past decade in Tempe. “Childsplay is very happy to be performing at a more central Valley location and we are thrilled to be a member of the Herberger Theater Center’s outstanding family of resident companies,” said Steve Martin, Managing Director of Childsplay.
Looking to expand its brand of Broadway-style musicals to an ever-growing audience in the Valley of the Sun, Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) plans a continued partnership with the Herberger Theater Center. As founder of Arizona Broadway Theatre, I am thrilled the Herberger Theater Center’s Board of Directors has accepted ABT as one of its newest resident companies,” said Kiel Klaphake, CEO & Executive Producer of Arizona Broadway Theatre. “As we foster new relationships with the other resident companies, working together to offer audiences a variety of exciting productions, ABT is eager to advance the mission of the Herberger Theater–bringing the ‘art’ to the ‘audience.’”
These new companies will add to the vibrant offerings of performing arts in Phoenix, as the Herberger Theater Center fulfills its vision to provide and support significant and relevant experiences and to serve as a premier performance venue, “Where Audience Meets Art.”
IAVM’s Diversity and Inclusive Leadership Committee is new and born partly out of the One Member, One Vote that was passed prior to VenueConnect 2017. Before the committee came truly into existence, one of the highlights at VenueConnect in Nashville was a reception in which committee Vice Chair Robyn Williams, CFE, shared some remarks about how a new committee was being birthed and what some of its goals would be. That speech, not surprisingly, drew several individuals who committed donations to help enable more diversified attendees to have the opportunity to come to a future VenueConnect. That, of course, is but one of the highlights for the committee moving forward.
The Diversity and Inclusive Leadership Committee (DILC) is focused on developing opportunities to promote a diverse membership into leadership roles in IAVM. Leadership emphasis to focus on members of color, culturally diverse members, LGBTQ members, women and people with disabilities.
The committee’s purpose is to ensure that boards, committees and other leadership positions reflect diversity in their makeup.
The committee’s charge is in:
• Identifying issues related to maximizing the diversity of ALL membership
• Celebrating the benefits and possibilities of a diverse and complex membership
• Recognizing and celebrating the richness of an active, diverse membership
• Advising the IAVM Board on mechanisms and programs that encourage diversity in leadership roles
• Encouraging active participation by membership of color including identifying barriers and how to remove them
• Enriching the Association and the profession through diverse leaders
“As IAVM delivers on its commitment to serve a diverse and inclusive membership, I am honored and proud to do my part along with this esteemed committee to ensure we do all we can to include, educate and foster, all,” said Julia Slocombe, committee chair and vice president, regional operations for the Western Region of Smart City. “I am encouraged by the words of Stephen R. Covey that ‘strength lies in our differences, not in similarities.'”
It is with pride in noting that the committee is comprised of four past IAVM chairs/presidents. In addition to Chairman Slocombe, other committee members include:
Robyn Williams, CFE, Vice Chair (IAVM past president)
Portland’5 Centers for the Arts
President and COO
Jimmy Earl, CFE (IAVM past president)
Senior Athletics Director
Frank Erwin Center
Shura Garnett, CFE (IAVM past president)
Division Senior Vice President
Spectra Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality
Executive General Manager
Director, Convention Services
Jennifer Norris, MFE
Assistant Managing Director
San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center
Steve Peters, CFE (IAVM past president)
Naz Sabripour, CEM, CVP
Director of Events and Operations
Pasadena Convention Center
University of Kentucky
College of Fine Arts
Troy Thorn, CTA
Chesapeake Conference Center