You, as an IAVM member, are our most important asset. Without your commitment to the association and to the venue management industry, we wouldn’t be here. Because of your support, we are featuring member profiles in our I Am Venue Management series. If you are interested in participating in the I Am Venue Management series, please visit http://www.iavm.org/i-am-venue-management-share-your-story.
If I wasn’t doing this I would: give owning a bike shop a go!
Most impressive person I’ve ever met is: my wife.
I unwind by: being a road cyclist. I drive everywhere, so I can bring my bike and explore.
On my desk right now is: an Oglebay VMS bell and mug full of cold, bad coffee.
My favorite IAVM program I ever attended was: Venue Management School.
If I were on the other side of the seats, I would: bring back the circus. I’d ride my bike across a tight rope!
One trait an up-and-coming venue manager should have is: to be a leader and take ownership. Be willing to learn and grow, because you will never know it all.
One up-and-coming venue star in the industry is: Ross Girouard, the director of operations and production at Allen Event Center. In addition to his stellar on-the-job performance, he was one of the first CVP’s, is involved with IAVM committees, is a VMS grad and has VMS-GI on the horizon.
One of my goals for this year is to: develop a number of “mini” special events to take place on the exterior of the venue before hockey games to help drive additional economic activity to the area and assist the hockey team with the overall fan experience. The ultimate goal is to be successful in the execution and garner positive results.
How do you plan to help elevate the profession? I serve on the IAVM Membership Committee as vice chair. The committee is a passionate group, and we have worked hard to grow membership and continually improve member benefits. I hope to continue to be part of the exceptional group for years to come. I’m a believer in the value of IAVM schools and programs. I promote and encourage staff and other professionals to participate. Allen event staff presence at VMS has become a norm, and I don’t see that changing.
Where do you see new growth opportunities in the profession? In security. We are already seeing better alignment and communication among venues, professional associations, first responders, and state and federal engagement. It’s unfortunate on how we got to this point, but the discussion and collaboration has made for safer venues. Others include the trickle-down technology to improve fan engagement, and how A/V and enhanced in-game production options are becoming increasing affordable.
How do you stay current with industry trends and developments? Read, and you can’t do it enough. Athletic Business, Sports Business Journal, Facility Manager, The Meeting Planner Magazine, etc. I take advantage of webinars and industry trainings. Paying attention to federal, state, and local legislation is important as well.
Who are three people you’d invite to a dinner party and why? I’m a family guy, and while there are great people in the world, none are better than my family. I have six siblings and a large extended family, so my dinner party of three would be crashed.
Congratulations to our latest Certified Venue Professionals: Heather Lightsey, CVP, Events Supervisor, Emerald Coast Convention Center and Carolyn Speicher, CVP, Guest Services Director, Assistant Director Event Services & Guest Experience, The Jerome Schottenstein Center.
Thanks to the generous funding and support from the IAVM Foundation, the CVP program was launched in August 2015 at VenueConnect in Baltimore. It recognizes the competence of middle-to-senior-level managers of public assembly venues as well as assisting the managers in creating a professional roadmap in the venue industry.
The CVP designation says three important things about an individual: he or she is a capable professional, is committed to the industry, and is pledged to continued professional growth and development. Venue professionals who earn the CVP designation are recognized, by those inside and outside the industry, as skilled in their profession.
Please welcome our newest members who joined IAVM in February 2018. Thank you for being a part of the association!
Also, let us get to know you better by participating in the I Am Venue Management series. Please visit http://www.iavm.org/i-am-venue-management-share-your-story to share your story and photo.
Most of my interaction with Dittie Guise came when she was the COO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (PCCA), a position she assumed in late 2004 after working at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. The conversations took place by telephone and e-mail, mostly telephone. It was always a joy to hear her voice and to know that by the time I hung up the phone she would have elevated my intelligence by some nugget she shared.
I had not thought much about Dittie over the past few years, in large part due to the time I was away from IAVM for just over three years. The memories flooded back, though, when I heard that this sweet, powerful, and influential woman had passed away on March 6 after a brief illness.
Life often comes full circle, so we hear, and it did for Dittie.
She relocated to her native Jamaica to help open the SMG-managed Montego Bay Convention Centre in 2011. A renaissance woman in the truest form, Dittie was born in Portland, Jamaica, before moving to London, England, at a young age and going on to graduate from Chiswick College. She earned a couple of bachelor degrees in business management and fashion merchandising, a hint of the myriad interests and skills she possessed and pursued.
Dittie was SMG to the core and worked for the private management firm for more than 20 years. SMG’s Gregg Caren, executive vice president, Convention Centers & Business Development, said, “When it came to dedication to our profession, and expectations of nothing less than first-class service, Dittie never accepted less than 110 percent of herself or her colleagues. As a friend and colleague of 20 years, there will be a huge void for me and so many of our friends and family both in Jamaica and in the U.S.”
Caren’s initial comment shared a major reason for the secret of Dittie’s professional success — work ethic.
After leaving the PCCA in 2008, Guise served as president and CEO of International Hospitality Services and continued in that management consultant role to a cross-section of clients in the industry.
When home beckoned in 2011, it was only appropriate that the native daughter got a dream job in her dream home country. Although the venue has only been open for seven years, it has garnered several awards, including seven consecutive wins at the World Travel Awards for the Caribbean’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre. True to her desire to excel, Dittie did not take the opportunity to return home as one to wind down a career. Instead, great things happened at her new venue.
Standing tall in that role was Dittie. Fittingly, she will always stand tall in the industry and amongst her many public assembly venue friends and colleagues.
Plan to join IAVM and the Green Sports Alliance for a GSA/IAVM Huddle on Wednesday, May 30, from 1-5 pm at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
What: Professional development and networking event that will include sustainability tips, a panel discussion with breakout sessions, and a stadium tour!
Who Should Attend: Current and prospective GSA and IAVM members, public assembly venue managers, facility managers, sustainability professionals, and anyone open to learning more about greening your venues
Why: To increase awareness of the Green Sports Alliance and the International Association of Venue Managers organizations and missions, generate sustainability conversations to improve conditions in our state and region, and to showcase the Camden Yards Sports Complex sustainability and LEED certification efforts
When: Wednesday, May 30th, 2018; 1:00-5:00pm with optional baseball game afterwards (7:05pm vs. Nationals)
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Club Level ~ 1101 Russell Street Baltimore, MD 21230
Cost: Complimentary admission to event; discount provided for optional Nationals/Orioles game ticket(s)