The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) joined local, state and federal public safety officials to host the first full-scale exercise of the City Assisted Evacuation system at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center last week.
Hundreds of volunteers “role played” as evacuees and helped representatives from various agencies practice the steps required to safely evacuate residents in the event of a city-wide emergency. City-Assisted Evacuation provides transportation from 17 Evacuspots to the Union Passenger Terminal (1001 Loyola Ave.) where individuals then board a bus to a State or Federal shelter out of harm’s way.
In 2015, the City received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. DOT Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to support a full-scale simulation exercise of the City-Assisted Evacuation plan, with special emphasis on vulnerable/special needs populations.
Respected and accomplished industry veteran Kevin Twohig, CFE, chief executive officer of the Spokane Public Facilities District, announced his impending retirement.
Twohig said that at this point there is not a definitive timeline and “I am in no rush to get out the door.” Twohig will be assisting the Board with identifying the next CEO and will be available to advise the new CEO. There are also a couple of facility projects that he is engaged with and expects to complete before his retirement.
Twohig will attend the Venue Management School at Oglebay and looks forward to seeing his many friends in the industry. IAVM wishes one of the profession’s true good guys all the best in the future!
John Marquardt, CVP, serves as assistant director for event management at the State Farm Center at the University of Illinois in Champaign as well as the chair of IAVM’s Young Professionals Committee. As such, Marquardt leads a dedicated committee whose mission is to “work with IAVM management to promote the venue management industry with students, recent graduates and young professionals under the age of 30. It acts as a think tank for new and emerging trends in communications, social media, technology and membership. Members of this committee may be 30 years of age or under.”
Marquardt steadfastly believes that written mission statement can be even better executed in the future should those same young professionals have an opportunity to vote, a right that will come to fruition for this segment of IAVM membership should a vote pass that began last Friday by current eligible IAVM members on One Member, One Vote. 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.
“I support the One Member, One Vote initiative on a variety of fronts as a member of IAVM, but first and foremost because of the impact that it will have on Young Professionals within the IAVM family,” Marquardt said.
“As a one-time Young Professional member of IAVM and current Chair of the Young Professionals Committee, I have seen the significant thought, dedication, and contributions of our Young Professional members, and the impact that they have on our organization. As future leaders of our industry, they already demonstrate a great deal of critical thought, intuition, and innovative energy that helps propel our organization forward. Our Young Professionals help keep our organization relevant in a rapidly-advancing business climate where technology and cutting-edge ideas evolve by the minute. Young Professionals help all of us keep our eye on the proverbial ball of change and innovation in our industry, as they represent our future. By allowing them a seat at the table through One Member, One Vote, we can ensure their contributions will be heard and will help to shape our IAVM family in to perpetuity.”
Marquardt acknowledges that due simply to career experience those just getting started in the industry cannot possibly have the broad base of knowledge that veteran peers enjoy. Nonetheless, as those same peers transition toward retirement or lessening their job responsibilities, it is important to replenish that experience with those who are younger and thirsting for knowledge and participation within IAVM.
“Young Professional members of IAVM still have lots to learn about our industry, no doubt,” Marquardt said. “However, providing them a voice and a vote toward the direction of our future will help keep them engaged, involved, and energized as IAVM accelerates in to the exciting future of our industry.”
Current eligible voters received an email ballot on Friday. The voting period is open now so please look in your inbox for the ballot.
The Shaw Conference Centre (SCC) is announced that Jan Szabat, the convention center’s director of engineering services, has been recognized by Venues Today Magazine, Venue Solutions Group and the Venue Operations Summit Board of Advisors for excellence in venue management. The award recognizes one engineer working in a venue in North America who has gone above and beyond in solving problems, instituting new programs and maintaining their facility.
For the past 30 years, Szabat has overseen all maintenance for Edmonton’s iconic, 34-year-old convention center. From flood restoration to multi-million dollar escalator modernization and managing the team that keeps the building running, Szabat has ensured the Shaw Conference Centre continues to be a destination for the meetings, conventions and events industry.
“We’re thrilled Jan is being recognized for leading the way in engineering services and expertise,” said Lisanne Lewis, general manager of the venue. “Jan’s stewardship of our landmark facility helps to build Edmonton’s brand and reputation as a leader in sustainability and venue management. This award is a testament to his dedication and passion for his craft.”
Szabat has played an instrumental role in fulfilling the convention center’s brand promise of sustainability. Under his leadership the Shaw Conference Centre has become BOMA BEST certified, the first conference venue in Canada to receive Green Key level 5 certification, and one of five venues in Canada to receive the prestigious ASTM International sustainability certification.
Pictured: Jan Szabat, Lisanne Lewis
Centerplate, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center’s exclusive food and beverage provider, hosted a “Zero Waste Lunch” at the 2017 WasteExpo convention on May 10. Chef Brandon Felder, executive chef, and his team served industry attendees a menu of Beet Salad, Abita Amber BBQ Shrimp, and Bananas Foster Bread Pudding, made with parts of food that would otherwise be discarded.
The lunch was created in partnership with the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Centerplate, GES, Salvage Supperclub, The Green Project and The Composting Network. The event took place inside a rented dumpster equipped with salvaged wood seats and flooring and rescued doors for a table, all of which came from local companies.
WasteExpo is a regular visitor to New Orleans, convening here nearly every three years using approximately nearly 600,000 gross square feet of exhibit space and attracting over 11,000 waste management professionals.
The “Zero Waste Lunch” consisted of the following ingredients:
•Beet Salad – Mixed greens, goat cheese, candied pecan bits and beet puree with champagne vinaigrette. Pureed beet scraps, trimmed tops and bottoms were turned into confit. Pecan bits that would otherwise be disposed of topped the salad. Remaining champagne from Centerplate’s bars department was combined with white vinegar to create the dressing.
•Abita Amber BBQ Shrimp – Pan-seared gulf shrimp and yellow stone-ground grits topped with grilled peppers and onions. Shrimp shells were ground down and used for stock with remaining Abita Amber Beer product, which were combined and used as the sauce. The grits were a combination of remaining yellow stone-ground grits and pureed cauliflower curd and stems (otherwise tossed pieces).
•Bananas Foster Bread Pudding – French bread, bananas and rum sauce. French bread (otherwise considered stale) was used for the bread pudding, and salvaged bananas that would otherwise be considered “too old” to sell/display was caramelized and added to the dish. The sauce was made from the rum leftover from Centerplate’s bar inventory.