#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. Millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live.
We hope that you will use this time to reflect on your experiences in the venue industry, and that you’ll realize the importance of your gift to the IAVM Foundation. Over the past 35 years, donations to the foundation have helped to create amazing programs such as VMS, the IAVM research department (VDS), safety and security initiatives (EMSSI), and scholarship and internship programs for the future of the industry. Tuesday, November 28th is a time to give back, so the IAVM Foundation can continue to develop programs and education that improves every aspect of our venue industry.
For your support, in any amount, we thank you, and hope that you have a magical holiday season!
Back in May, we reported on the upcoming retirement of industry icon Kevin Twohig, CFE, the man who for the last 16 years served as chief executive officer of the Spokane Public Facilities District. Twohig’s impact carried far beyond his Pacific Northwest corner of the world, however. Most notably, Twohig’s involvement with IAVM’s Venue Management School (VMS) at Oglebay goes far back. While it is difficult to pin down exactly where his greatest influence to an industry he loves so much can be found, certainly those weeks spent every year in the rolling hills of Wheeling, West Virginia, qualify high at the top of the list.
It was my personal pleasure and honor to travel to Spokane and to Twohig’s office some 10 years ago for a cover feature story for Facility Manager magazine. There, I found Twohig to be welcoming, accommodating, and mostly proud of the venues that comprise the Spokane Public Facilities District, including the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane Convention Center, and INB Performing Arts Center.
Ever the gracious person, Twohig recently took time out of a busy schedule to answer a few questions surrounding his career and retirement.
When is your last official day?
My last day as CEO is January 31, 2018. I’ll find out if I am going to continue to work thru a PAC renovation project that will take all of 2018.
Your thoughts on Stephanie Curran stepping in to the position to succeed you.
Stephanie emerged from a pool of more than 100 candidates as the best choice to fill the position. I’m very proud of the work she has done at the PAC and the Spokane Convention Center and expect she will be a great leader for all of the facilities and our District employee team. Steph has shown a very well developed skill set and has been active in IAVM for many years. She has great communication skills which has led to a good rapport with the District Board.
What is next for you? Where will you live and what will you be doing?
My wife and I have grandkids in Vermont, and a second home in Phoenix where I still have family. We love to remodel and have a never ending list of projects. There is golf to play and places to visit that have been on the list for quite a while.
Was now just the perfect time for you to step down and why?
I started realizing about 18 months ago that it was time to consider a change. As everyone who has been in the seat knows, these jobs are 24/7. I love the challenges and the people, and have become adept at dealing with the problems and the politics. But it does take a toll and I want to get out of the top seat while I still enjoy the industry. Projects have been a special focus for me. Having a great team to operate the venues and great GMs has allowed me to focus on some great projects in and around our venues.
What are some career highlights, if you can somehow make the answer manageable after earning so many accolades?
Working on the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena project and helping to develop a facility that really works.
Assembling the team, developing an unique operating model, and selling the model to the Board when the District took over the operation of all three facilities.
Changing the Spokane “skyline” with major additions to the meeting, entertainment, and sports facilities in the community.
Chairing the Venue Management School and being part of the team that launched the Graduate Institute.
Receiving the Charles A. McElravy award.
I’ve had some amazing opportunities with USA Volleyball including attending four Summer Olympic games and recently with the U.S. Air Force.
We are proud to report that most recently Twohig led an expansion of the convention center and a series of improvements to the Veterans Arena. In May, he won Visit Spokane’s Leadership Excellence in Tourism award, which honors “significant achievement and historically significant contribution by someone who has impacted Spokane’s tourism industry for more than 10 years.”
Congratulations on a distinguished career, Kevin. You deserve all good things that have happened in your illustrious career and that are sure to follow you in your newest chapter of life.
The staff of the San Diego Convention Center was honored to receive IAVM’s 2017 Venue Excellence Award for Convention Centers during this year’s VenueConnect in Nashville. Venue President & CEO Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, CFE, Executive Vice President & General Manager Karen Totaro, CFE and Senior Vice President & CFO Mark Emch, accepted the award and proudly brought the hardware back home to share with the full staff, which every day lives out the venue’s core values of Accountability, Integrity, Courage, Collaboration and Service.
On October 19, the San Diego Convention Center’s Executive Leadership Team organized three celebrations so that each employee on the three shifts could celebrate the win. It was a great team-building event that instilled pride for this prestigious recognition. It was important that the overnight shift be included, because even though they don’t interact as much with the daytime shifts, they have played a role in helping the facility attain this achievement, and their hard work does not go unnoticed.
At the event, staff enjoyed games, music, and photo booths, while eating pizza and ice cream served by their director-level peers and executivestaff. Each shift was treated to a raffle drawing for a chance to win certificates to local restaurant or attraction. The highlight was the photo booth where coworkers could celebrate the VEA trophy and the role each of them has played in our successful role as the region’s premier gathering place.
The San Diego Convention Center has had other notable recent achievements including:
Receiving several sustainability recognitions for environmental leadership, most notably, LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council
Securing a historic $25.5 million state loan that is being used to finance several vital infrastructure projects as part of the largest series of upgrades in the building’s history
Combining SDCCC’s award-winning communications strategy with a newly launched community outreach plan to educate the impact of our facility on the local economy and helps support our transparency.
Also recognized at the Nashville event were SDCCC Event Manager Daren Smylie and Facilities Services Supervisor Bahiah Odeh-Eppig. Both were both named among IAVM’s 2017 class of 30 Under 30 award, a program that focuses on identifying and developing the talent of venue industry professionals 30 years of age and under. In an effort to nurture the growth and development of our staff, the SDCCC team advocates for industry-wide education.
SDCCC has multiple graduates from IAVM’s Venue Management School, IAVM’s Academy of Venue Safety and Security and IAVM’s Senior Executive Symposium. Rippetoe currently serves on three different IAVM committees and Totaro is a past board chair of IAVM. Many of SDCCC’s senior staff sit on a number of industry boards and committees and readily volunteer their insights for future generations. Convention center staff is working to share best business practices with IAVM’s brand new Energy Management Council, setting policy for green meetings all around the world.
Historic Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York, has entered into an agreement with facility solutions provider ABM as a facilities services partner for the venue. The agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, strengthens and expands ABM’s longstanding relationship with AEG, a world leader in sports and live entertainment, and follows AEG’s recent announcement of its long-term booking and promotion relationship with the iconic venue.
“We’re excited to bring industry best practices and standards to this recently revived, historic entertainment space. We look forward to aiding them in their continued efforts to be both stewards of the environment and good neighbors to their Forest Hills community,” said Art Rodriguez, Vice President, Business & Industry and head of Sports & Entertainment at ABM.
The contract encompasses cleaning services prior to, during and after events. It also includes sustainable practices – ABM will be responsible for recycling and composting. Additionally, given the stadium’s location, ABM will also maintain the neighboring blocks during high traffic events.
“As we continue to restore and renovate this historic stadium, it’s important to us to have a true partner, a member of our ‘home team,’ who can help us deliver a fantastic fan experience that will keep people coming back. ABM’s stadium and arena experience, combined with the dedicated facilities team members they will provide, will be invaluable to us as we continue to establish Forest Hills as a premium and unique live event experience,” said Jason Brandt, Forest Hills Stadium General Manager.