If I wasn’t doing this I’d be a: Zoologist, probably! Or at least an animal attendant at a zoo.
Most impressive person I’ve ever met: The late Dan Kubiak, former member of the Texas House of Representatives. He was a wonderful champion for public education and a really nice guy. His niece was a close friend and he worked closely with my grandpa, who was the Sheriff of Bell County, so I thought he was just “some guy” until he passed away while I was in high school. I was pretty surprised to know that someone who did such great work for the State.
I unwind by: Listening to Broadway soundtracks (Waitress and Hamilton are my most played right now) or binge watching something on Netflix.
On my desk right now is: A lot of pens! I have a bad habit of grabbing a new pen from my drawer each time I need to write something and then leaving it laying around.
My favorite IAVM program/conference/event/session I ever attended was: I’ve only been to one so far – Region 6 Conference in South Padre. It was amazing!
If I were on the other side of the seats, I’d be a: Broadway performer! One that dances poorly.
One trait an up-and-coming venue manager should have is: Compassion. I don’t think it’s possible to care too much, but you can certainly care too little.
One up-and-coming venue star in the arena industry is (name/venue): I’ve been keeping my eye on the BOK Center in Tulsa! They really seemed to set out on a mission to host the most amazing shows … and they’re doing it!
One of my goals for this year is to: Knock out a lot of CVP points!
How do you plan to help elevate the profession? I’m dedicated to the guest experience and want to make every moment in my venue memorable. I’d love to help us shape our customer service skills around our evolving industry and changing culture so that all patrons feel comfortable, entertained, and invited.
Where do you see new growth opportunities in the profession? I’m front of house, so I like to pay attention to the first five minutes a patron spends inside of our buildings. What do they see? How are they treated? What’s that first impression? I think we all have things we can do to improve those moments by just thinking outside of the box and keeping an improv-esque manner of thought: “…yes, and then?”
How do you stay current with industry trends and developments? I read the Facility Manager magazine and pay a lot of attention to LinkedIn!
Who are three people you’d invite to a dinner party and why: It would take a little time travel, but I’d love to hang out with P.T. Barnum, P!nk, and Emma Thompson. They’ve changed their respective fields in so many ways!
Melinda Landry is event manager of the Amarillo Civic Center Complex in Amarillo, Texas.