Frank Russo, CFE, executive vice president of Spectra Venue Management and an industry veteran who could fill a volume of books with personal stories about his beloved profession, believes that simplicity is the rule of the day when it comes to the One Member, One Vote currently underway and being voted on by eligible IAVM members.
“I support the One Member, One Vote because it is the right thing to do,” Russo said. “If you are a dues-paying member in good standing, you have the right to be heard on the various issues affecting our association.
“While it’s that simple for me, I know a number of our members have linked this issue to the concern over whether we will become a Trade Association rather than remain a Professional one. Part of this argument has to do with who is eligible to be a Professional Member, and this is where I have some concerns.
“Just using myself as an example, I have managed the Hartford Civic Center, the Target Center and the Jacob Javits Convention Center and now I am a senior executive with a company that privately manages 145 venues. I have helped develop our Body Of Knowledge, helped write two books, served as an instructor at the Venue Management School at Oglebay and the Graduate Institute and chaired the Board of Education, and yet I am not eligible to be a Professional member. And this is not about me because there are so many others who have done far more than I have for the IAVM that are in the same boat.”
The initiative follows extensive study, review and open discussion over the last two years, at which point the IAVM Board of Directors voted unanimously to bring forward proposed changes to the bylaws that would make the Association more inclusive and diverse in its decision making. As a means to incorporate the perspective of all IAVM members, these changes would allow every member of IAVM equal opportunity to engage in the Association through the right to vote. These proposed changes must be approved by two-thirds of the current voting members of IAVM.
Russo said it is important to first get the vote passed before tackling other concerns and issues that will result from an approved ballot.
“One Member, One Vote, if passed, will add a number of new Professional members who are nowhere near as knowledgeable nor qualified as many of our most valuable and legendary members who will continue to be relegated to mere Allied status,” he said. “Let’s fix one problem at a time, though. Vote “yes’ on One Member, One Vote and then let’s tackle the issue of who deserves to be a Professional member.”
The voting period is open now so please look in your inbox for the ballot if you have not already cast your vote.