By R.V. Baugus
Congratulations, Gregg McManners, on your upcoming retirement. Well deserved for a man who so graciously has served his venue, his community, and this association.
And a darn good friend as well.
Among the accolades for Gregg prior to his late January retirement:
–Led Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center for the past nine years as executive director, and prior to that as operations director for seven years.
–Served IAVM as Region III Director, on the Board of Directors, the Convention Center and Sustainability Committees and also as IAVM’s representative to the National Fire Protection Association.
–In 2018, honored by IAVM for his contributions to the industry.
It has always been one of my pleasures to see Gregg at VenueConnect and catch up with him. I believe that one of his strongest attributes has been having the wonderful gift of listening. I will be the first to admit that I am often guilty of thinking about what I want to say next while listening to someone speak. With Gregg, you always just knew that he was absorbing everything you had to share with him before he thoughtfully provided a response. That might not sound like such a big deal, but it truly is a gift and one that Gregg owned quite well.
Listening is just half the story, though. After Gregg heard you out, he would offer a sage and wise response. You always knew that he CARED about you, that what you had to say was important.
All this probably sounds to you like it might have even been something personal between Gregg and myself, and it was.
Gregg was among the very first to express his condolences with my wife, Tanya, suddenly passed away in January 2015. The interesting thing is that at the time I was not employed with IAVM, but the friendships that we as staff get to form with members aside from our professional responsibilities is very cherished and certainly was by me as I heard from Gregg at that dark time in my life.
December 6 will also mark three years that Gregg sent me the following email, shortly upon my return to IAVM and Facility Manager magazine. I kept it because, well, you just keep things when they come from special people who mean a lot to you in life. Taking editorial license here that my good friend Gregg will not mind my sharing this:
“WELCOME BACK! It’s awesome that you have rejoined the team and I look forward to catching up with you somewhere down the line. I can’t begin to tell you how pleased I am that you are back in the IAVM family. Happy, Happy Holidays!”
See what I mean? Thank you, Gregg, for all the lives you have impacted, and now you are the one who better stay in touch with all of us!