By R.V. Baugus
When IAVM Director of Education and Life Safety Mark Herrera is not on the road he is … wait, isn’t Mark Herrera always on the road? Well, not so much now as Herrera — like pretty much the rest of us during the current pandemic — is doing his best to be a responsible citizen and adhere to the safety protocols that have been set before us.
Herrera, as many an IAVM member knows, racks up the frequent flyer miles while visiting member venues to lead his renowned safety and security programs, including Situational Awareness and Active Shooter, among others.
So, even though Herrera is mostly “homebound,” he is still much in demand to comment on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We point you to three links that contain some of the latest appearances for Herrera in both print and over the radio airwaves.
Just know that Mark — and your entire IAVM team — strive to continue serving members proactively in matters of urgent response. We hope that you will enjoy the read and listen to some of the latest efforts that Mark shared covering a variety of topics on current and post-COVID.
The IAVM Foundation has announced the 30|UNDER|30 Class of 2020. The program, in its sixth year, is made possible thanks to the ongoing support of Ungerboeck Software International, as well as many IAVM Foundation donors.
“The Foundation Board of Trustees, along with past award recipients, spent long hours making the selections for this latest class of winners,” stated Adina Erwin, CVE, Chair of the IAVM Foundation Board of Trustees. “We thank all the candidates for participating in the process. Congratulations to the winners! We look forward to honoring you in IAVM’s first-ever virtual celebration.”
Designed to engage the best and brightest young professionals in the venue management industry, the 30|UNDER|30 program recognizes emerging leaders – and their talents – which help accelerate the industry and carry it into the future.
“The Class of 2020 will forever be remembered for the uniqueness of the year and for their hard work and passion as they continue to carve out their paths in venue management,” stated Gina Brydson, IAVM Director of Membership and Interim Director of Development for the Foundation “Those chosen exemplify the vision and talent that will serve the future of our industry well.”
Information regarding the virtual reception honoring the class of 2020 will be announced soon.
Meet the IAVM Foundation’s 30|UNDER|30 Class of 2020:
Rachel Austin, Target Center
David Ax, Memphis Grizzlies
Samantha Bernheim, Virginia Beach Convention Center
Taylor Bradford, Walton Arts Center
Trevor Chesler, ASM-Tulsa: BOK Center and Cox Business Center
Kara Cox, Sprint Center-ASM Global
Tim DeMott, The Classic Center
Kayln Denniston, EventBooking
Lauren Falco, El Paso Live
Haley Fort, The Classic Center
Kathryn Gidluck, Vancouver Convention Centre
Marina Jaramillo, Spectra Venue Management
Emily Jensen, Tacoma Venues & Events, Tacoma Dome / Greater Tacoma Convention Center
Jacqueline ‘Nicki’ Kelsch, University of Texas at Arlington – College Park Center/Texas Hall
Sarah Kraynik, Donald L. Tucker Civic Center
Katy Lang, The Grand Theater
Shelby Looker, Spectra – Alerus Center
Brittany Martin, Cobb Galleria Centre
Jordan Racine, Venue Coalition, Inc.
Cesar Ramirez, Destination El Paso
Casey Redish, Spurs Spurs & Entertainment / AT&T Center
Zakiya Smith-Dore, University of Florida Performing Arts
Alex Soltero, Los Angeles Convention Center
Therese Spaseff, Charleston Gaillard Center
Alli Stangel, Portland Trail Blazers/Moda Center
Dave Straley, Stephen C. O’Connell Center
Jennifer Tuchband, Keen Independent Research
Hannah Turner, University of Wyoming Athletics
Haley Wentzlof, Butler Arts & Events Center
Kylie Wilkerson, Bridgestone Arena
By Sam Dores, CVP
We can picture the headline now, “Mass Gatherings, Concerts and Events are Back and Better Than Ever!” While there’s no timeline for that headline, we try to remain optimistic and push forward in these tough times. We’re all very focused, and rightfully so, on the difficult changes, impact to our staff, and additional costs that this pandemic will bring, but it’s important to remember the silver linings and positive changes that will also come. As we begin the new normal, there will be beneficial changes that become part of our long-term venue and business processes.
We’re identifying new technology and processes that will make our operations more efficient and our guest experience that much better. We’re discussing the ways this will help us solve congestion issues we’re traditionally challenged by. Our venues will be safer and cleaner than ever before. Working through various financial models have forced many venues to reduce superfluous costs and find new revenue streams. Finding a way to maintain those cost savings and increased revenues when we return to normal will be beneficial as new business models are ushered in.
Working from home has shown that we can still be productive remotely, opening up the possibility of long-term improvements to work-life balance and mental health. Picture a day where all venues go to once-a-week voluntary work from home days, boosting work-life balance and even saving a little on utility costs. And who would’ve thought that we would miss 18-hour days and 100-hour weeks? Keep that appreciation for what you do, even when we’re back to those crazy hours. Lastly, remember the benefits and importance of relationships, laughter, and finding time to stay in touch as well as we are now, even when events resume. These are just some examples but each of your own circumstances and venues have the opportunity to provide more positives and silver linings.
Undoubtedly, things are difficult right now. Changes aren’t going to be easy and funding is going to be challenging. It’s important to stay realistic within your own venues’ bigger picture but allow yourself a few minutes each day to think about you and your venue’s positives and silver linings. In the midst of all of our daily stressors, this can help re-focus your energy and give you a much-needed mental boost. While none of us wishes we had to take this route to get there, there will be good that comes from this!
Stay Hopeful. Stay Positive. Find those Silver Linings.
Sam Dores, CVP, is the Director of Business Operations, Strategy and Development for ExtraMile Arena and Vice-Chair of the Arenas Committee.
By Stephanie Curran, CVE
Today a section of the Spokane Arena became a temporary homeless shelter. Not everyone is happy about it, especially the businesses in the neighborhood. And as a business woman, I understand that.
I’ve been criticized. I’ve been questioned. I’ve been threatened. What I have learned is that it’s always OK to stand in the truth of who you are and do the right thing. Whatever you think about the homeless and who they are and how they got here, you’re probably not wrong. But at the very least, we can all agree that no one would choose this. And let us all be grateful tonight that this is not our life.
But for at least 105 people, during this pandemic medical emergency, for the next 90 days, they are safe. And that makes our community safer. And maybe, just maybe, someone will feel what it’s like to feel safe and cared for and make a new life choice. And that would be amazing.
Stephanie Curran, CVE, is Chief Executive Officer of the Spokane (WA) Public Facilities District.
By R.V. Baugus
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), under the leadership of Managing Director Monica Lee-Muller, has taken the proverbial “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as it relates to the public assembly venue world as the facility opened its doors with the first exhibition since the outbreak of COVID-19.
The event, the HK Wedding Fair, is a consumer exhibition that occupies 12,000 square meters and is attended by but as Monica said, “It is a good start.”
Yes it is, and we look forward to reporting on more such instances as these as our industry slowly but eventually surely builds back to its intended use.
Oh, and congratulations to all the brides and grooms!