By R.V. Baugus
It is with delight that we report that Glen Mikkelsen, CVE, has taken on a new position at the City of Cranbrook, British Columbia and the Recreation and Culture department as the city’s new general manager of venues and events.
Glen is one of our own as an IAVM member and especially6 to this editor with his must-read and entertaining work in every issue of Venue Professional magazine with his always-anticipated In the Quirks column. Even after having lost his previous position last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Glen soldiered on in producing content for IAVM members to enjoy reading.
Glen’s distinguished 30-plus years background as a sports and entertainment manager includes experience working with events such as rodeos, trade shows, conferences, skating shows, Broadway-style shows, and rock festivals. He most recently worked with the CN Centre in Prince George.
Mikkelsen’s new role is an amalgamation of the former facility operations manager left vacant when Stacy Paulsen was named director of recreation and culture, and the former events and marketing position previously filled by Paul Heywood, who now serves as the building and bylaw services manager in Cranbrook.
Congratulations to you, Glen!
By Jason Refermat
The RP Funding Center announced that it has achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, RP Funding Center has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in its facilities.
As the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation, GBAC STAR™ helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations. The program verifies the RP Funding Center implements best practices to prepare for, respond to and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.
Early on in the pandemic the RP Funding Center/City of Lakeland and Visit Central Florida/Polk County placed a priority on working together to plan and execute safe conferences, sports competitions, and consumer exhibitions in Polk County. A key component to the safe return of larger meetings and events was the attainment of the GBAC Certification. Al Snow, Conference, Meeting and Event Representative said, “Working together to attain the GBAC Certification allows the RP Funding Center and Visit Central
Florida to demonstrate to meeting and event planners that the health and safety of event attendees, facility staff and the residents of Polk County are our top priority.”
“As we move into a post COVID-19 world, we feel our GBAC Certification is our commitment to providing a
safe environment to all of our guests at the RP Funding Center,” added Tony Camarillo, RP Funding Center Executive Director.
“GBAC STAR accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to maintain clean and healthy environments,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “By taking this important step to pursue GBAC STAR, the RP Funding Center has received third-party validation that it follows strict protocols for biorisk situations, thereby demonstrating its preparedness and commitment to operating safely.”
Jason Refermat is Director of Marketing at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida.
Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Miami Marlins ended their long search for a stadium naming rights partner by agreeing a multi-year deal with California-based financial services company loanDepot.
Under the agreement, which also makes loanDepot the team’s official mortgage provider, Marlins Park will be renamed ‘loanDepot park’. Marlins Park opened in 2012, but the team’s former ownership and its current group had been unable to land a sponsor, until now.
The loanDepot deal leaves just eight MLB ballparks without naming rights attached to them – Dodger Stadium, Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium, Angel Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, and Kauffman Stadium.
As part of their new alliance, loanDepot will donate $50 for every Marlins run scored during the regular season to expand youth baseball and softball opportunities through the Miami Marlins Foundation programming at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.
Additionally, loanDepot will serve as the presenting sponsor of Salute & Serve Days. Every Monday at loanDepot park, active and retired military personnel, veterans, fire rescue personnel, members of the police department and healthcare professionals will receive two complimentary tickets to the game.
The loanDepot park branding transformation will take place over the coming months, with new signage integrated inside the ballpark throughout late spring and early summer. External ballpark signage is anticipated to be in place in time for the July All-Star Break.
“We’re excited to welcome fans back for Opening Day at loanDepot park,” said Marlins CEO Derek Jeter. “A partnership like this, with a nationally recognised brand excelling through innovation alongside a strong philanthropic commitment, is foundational to our ability to build sustainable success.
“With loanDepot as a part of our family, we have an ideal partner who shares our principles and values as well as our championship drive.”
For loanDepot, the deal marks the latest addition to its MLB connection. The company became the League’s official mortgage provider in January, before taking presenting sponsor rights to both of League Championship Series through 2025.
“This is a momentous day as we join the Miami Marlins in bringing our ‘Home Means Everything’ message to the South Florida community,” said loanDepot CEO and founder, Anthony Hsieh. “As the official mortgage provider of MLB and the Marlins, we are committed to delivering the dream of homeownership to Americans nationwide – and as the naming sponsor of loanDepot park, we are equally committed to bringing a world-class experience to Marlins fans.”
By ISSA and R.V. Baugus
With the Major League Baseball regular season returning on April 1, many fans may be wondering what a day at the ballpark will be like this season. The Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, today announced that Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla., home to the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals during spring training; American Family Field in Milwaukee, home to the Milwaukee Brewers; Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, home to the Cincinnati Reds; and T-Mobile Park in Seattle, home of the Seattle Mariners have achieved GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation.
“GBAC is proud to be working closely with many MLB stadiums so their teams know how to prepare, respond, and recover from infectious disease risks,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “Spectators, players, and employees can rest assured that accredited facilities prioritize cleanliness at every opportunity to enable safer sports.”
The three MLB stadiums join Oracle Park in San Francisco, home of the San Francisco Giants, in completing the performance-based program, with four other stadiums currently in the process of accreditation. Accredited facilities follow GBAC STAR’s strict 20-step program, which includes the proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and best practices to combat biohazards and infectious diseases, such as the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.
Target Center in Minneapolis and Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix, both with seating capacity for nearly 20,000 attendees, also join the list of newly accredited stadiums and arenas.
The latest accredited facilities include:
Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn.
Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau in Grapevine, Texas
Infinite Energy Convention Center in Duluth, Ga.
Spokane Convention Center in Spokane, Wash.
Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo, Utah
Performing Arts Center
Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago
Stadiums and Arenas
American Family Field/Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club in Milwaukee, home to the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers
Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla., home to the MLB’s Houston Astros and Washington Nationals during spring training
ExtraMile Arena at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho
Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, home to the MLB’s Cincinnati Reds
Infinite Energy Center Arena in Duluth, Ga.
Palmer Event Center in Austin, Texas
Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix
Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., home of four minor league baseball teams
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Wash.
T-Mobile Park in Seattle, home to the MLB’s Seattle Mariners
Target Center in Minneapolis
“GBAC STAR accredited facilities have the proper procedures, training, chemistry, equipment, tools, personal protective equipment, and infection control in place,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “Organizations around the world, including many professional sports venues, have found value in the program and are making facilities safer for everyone who walks through their doors.”
Learn more and apply for GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation at gbac.org/star.
Find accredited facilities and those pursuing accreditation via the GBAC STAR Facility Directory at gbac.org/directory.
IAVM members seeking to apply for accreditation through GBAC, please use the link https://gbac.issa.com/iavm/!
By R.V. Baugus
IAVM member Sue Wieman has retired from the La Crosse (WI) Center after 21 years at the venue and 36 years overall in La Crosse city government.
Wieman’s illustrious career began in 1985 when she started with the police department before eventually moving to the La Crosse Center in 2000.
Wieman started with the police department in 1985, and went through other departments until going to the La Crosse Center in 2000. She held several positions there with the most recent being business manager. She also supervised the box office and coordinated many other events including concerts.
As the venue undergoes expansion, Wiemn decided the time was right for the next phase of her life.
“A lot of people think that what we do is concerts, because we have the arena,” Wieman told local media. “Concerts are a big part of who we are, but we also do a lot of conventions, trade shows, meetings, weddings.”
Before departing, she also shared her thoughts for the business that will come in the future as a result of the expansion.
“It’s always exciting here because it’s not another type of business where we do one thing,” she said.
Wieman plans to stay active with a wellness and nutrition business.