By Renee Monforton
Claude Molinari, general manager of TCF Center, has been named president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB), effective January 1, 2021. He will succeed current president and CEO Larry Alexander who is retiring at year end after 22 years at the helm of the DMCVB.
In his new role, Molinari will be responsible for developing the strategic direction and overseeing the operations of the DMCVB. He will provide the leadership and direction necessary to enable the DMCVB to bring meetings and conventions, leisure and business visitors to metropolitan Detroit and accelerate economic growth. He will lead the creation of the annual sales and marketing plan of the DMCVB which outlines the direction the DMCVB will take to attract tourism and meetings business to the region.
Molinari will also oversee the direction of the Detroit Sports Commission (a DMCVB subsidiary) which is responsible for securing amateur sports for the region.
In his current role at TCF Center, Molinari is responsible for managing the day-to-day operation and also business development of the 17th largest convention center in North America. His responsibilities include developing a budget, forecasting and financing, and implementing safety, security and crisis management programs for the center. He negotiates with local trade unions, develops business contingency, facility safety and emergency plans, and assures that annual budget goals are achieved.
According to the search committee assigned to identify a new CEO, there were 14 strong candidates from across the U.S. that applied for the position.
“Claude is uniquely positioned to accept this new role,” said Christina Lovio-George, chairman of the search committee and DMCVB board member. “He knows the DMCVB business, he understands the role of tourism, meetings and conventions as an economic driver in the region, and he intimately understands the challenges the tourism and hospitality industry are facing now as it deals with the impact of COVID-19.”
Lovio-George added as a side note that the DMCVB will be 125 years old in 2021 and Molinari will be the 10th person in the CEO seat.
Molinari’s history at TCF Center began when it was the former Cobo Center. There he served as assistant general manager from 2011-2016 with oversight of operations, security, events and production services and union labor services. He was named general manager in March, 2016 by SMG/ASM Global and during that time forged a strong partnership between the DMCVB and the TCF Center operation.
“Looking toward the future, Claude’s deep understanding of the vital role the TCF Center plays in the overall economic health of the entire Detroit region will be invaluable as the partnership grows to new levels,” said Alexander, who is retaining his position as chairman of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority.
Molinari currently serves on the board of directors for the DMCVB and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council. He is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers, International Association of Events and Exhibitions. He is a USA Hockey official, Level III certified and selected to referee state and national playoff tournaments. He resides with his wife in Northville, Michigan.
Renee Monforton is Vice President, Marketing & Communications for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
By ISSA and R.V. Baugus
The Global Biorisk Advisory CouncilTM (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, has announced that 26 new facilities have successfully completed accreditation through the GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation Program, including three IAVM member venues.
The latest round includes the Portland’5 Center for the Arts in Portland, Ore.; Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Oracle Park in San Francisco, home of the MLB’s San Francisco Giants.
“One of the main goals of cleaning and disinfecting is to remove potentially harmful pathogens, but many organizations still struggle with how to do so effectively and efficiently,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “Our team of experts offers insights gathered from our years of industry experience as we guide facilities through the GBAC STAR accreditation process.”
The GBAC STAR accreditation program takes a complete approach to cleaning, disinfection, and infection prevention to ensure there is commitment at all levels of the business. Facilities must adhere to 20 program elements, including sustainability and continuous improvement, standard operating procedures, cleaning and disinfection chemicals, worker health program, and audits and inspections.
“The GBAC STAR program continues to gain momentum globally as more facilities seek reassurance that their approach to cleaning, disinfection, and infection prevention is sound,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “Accredited facilities can proudly display their seal of accreditation to guests to highlight that they’ve achieved third-party validation for cleaning.”
Apply for GBAC STAR facility accreditation today at gbac.org/star. See which facilities are accredited or are working towards accreditation via the GBAC STAR Facility Directory.
By Jimmy Im
Appetize has been selected to provide mobile ordering at 5 additional sports venues with Interact, the company’s advanced mobile ordering system. Interact is part of Appetize’s Enterprise Commerce Platform, which is used by over 63% of major league teams in the U.S. to run their food, beverage, and retail businesses. Appetize has been deploying mobile ordering at an increasing pace since the start of COVID-19 as stadiums, arenas, and venues upgrade to contactless solutions for the safety and well-being of their guests. Appetize mobile ordering has also been shown to yield, on average, a 22% increase in order size versus orders made at the point of sale.
“Since we first enabled mobile ordering at stadiums in 2012, Appetize has led the way with innovative cloud point of sale and digital ordering solutions. Today, we’re proud to power the food, beverage, and retail business of almost two-thirds of U.S. major league sports teams,” said Appetize Co-Founder and CEO Max Roper. “Like many top venues we partner with, these five stadiums are making the move to a modern, mobile-enabled operating model that will continue to be commonplace long after COVID-19. We’re thrilled to work with them to improve the fan experience, both now and into the future.”
Mobile ordering minimizes staff contact and improves speed of service by allowing fans to purchase concessions and merchandise directly from their phones. With Appetize Interact Mobile Ordering, guests can avoid keypads, touchscreens, and cash by using their phones to order and pay directly, whether through in-app mobile ordering or an appless mobile website. For added convenience, Appetize Interact Web also supports location-aware QR codes, so it can be launched by simply scanning a QR code, with location information for delivery embedded in the code. As more venues continue to reopen, mobile ordering has become essential for fan and staff safety and convenience.
“Creating a contactless fan experience will be imperative to welcoming fans back to Dodger Stadium, and Appetize has played a major role in these preparations by optimizing our concessions and in-seat service offerings with contactless payment and mobile ordering solutions,” saID Tucker Kain, Dodger President of Business Enterprise. “Dodger Stadium has many unique challenges as a historic venue with baseball’s largest capacity, and we look forward to continuing to work with Appetize to evolve and modernize our amenities for the changing preferences of fans.”
The 5 recent mobile ordering activations at venues include:
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California. The 56,000-seat stadium—home to MLB’s LA Dodgers—integrated 780 cloud-based POS systems (including 650 fixed Android terminals and 130 handheld POS for waitstaff). Fans can order food and beverage through their phones in the Dugout Club, Baseline Box seats and Home Run seats using the Appetize mobile POS system.
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas. The 18,581-seat indoor arena—home to the San Antonio Spurs—recently expanded their mobile ordering offerings, which include multiple food and beverage concepts where fans can order from.
Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas. Sporting Kansas City’s nearly 20,000-seat award-winning stadium is piloting mobile ordering at events this year with Appetize via the integration of Interact Web. As a sports industry leader in the implementation of technology solutions, Sporting Kansas City continues to use world-class Children’s Mercy Park as a living laboratory for next-generation applications to tailor the fan experience.
Toyota Field, San Antonio, Texas. The 8,000-seat soccer specific stadium recently expanded its POS with Interact Web mobile ordering, which went live September 5th.
Holt Arena, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho. The 12,000-seat, multi-purpose college football stadium recently deployed Interact Web mobile ordering. Fans are expected to return Spring 2021.
Jimmy Im is Director of Public Relations for Appetize.
By Dennis Dennehy
AXS, a pioneer in identity-based ticketing technology, and legendary independent concert promoter JAM Productions (JAM) announced a long-term agreement to bring an enhanced ticketing experience to Midwest concertgoers.
JAM will first begin to roll out the AXS mobile-first solution at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre, The Vic, and Park West beginning late 2020. As part of this experience, AXS will provide top of the line products and services, including premium reserved ticketing functionality and 3D seat maps, which will allow JAM to further showcase its legendary venues.
“As an independent concert promoter and venue operator, we look for every opportunity to compete more effectively. When we evaluated our options, it was clear that only AXS could give us all the tools we need to improve the fan experience and drive incremental revenue, along with better functionality to manage our business. We are excited to partner with them,” said Jerry Mickelson, CEO of JAM.
In addition, JAM will be armed with dynamic pricing technology, membership capabilities, real-time reporting, and marketing tools to personalize the overall fan experience from discovery to purchase.
Dean DeWulf, SVP-Music for AXS commented, “We are incredibly proud to partner with Jerry and his team at JAM to provide a premium ticketing solution and white glove service for concerts and events at his iconic venues.”
Dennis Dennehy is Chief Communications Officer for AEG Presents.
Kathryn Gidluck manages the Guest Services Operations Centre (GSOC) at the award-winning Vancouver Convention Centre. GSOC is a high volume 24/7 operations centre that acts as the communications and operations hub of the building. Kathryn exudes her passion for the venue management industry by fostering collaboration, encouraging growth, and by transforming challenges into opportunities while embracing her awkward humour. Although early in her career, Kathryn is writing her legacy by being a positive influence and role model, while strengthening her leadership skills and contributing to the success of her organization and industry.
“Amidst all of the uncertainty in the world, it took me off guard to receive such great news that I had been chosen as a 30 Under 30 award recipient!”
Join your Foundation in congratulating Kathryn on being honored as one of the 30|UNDER|30 Class of 2020 and don’t forget to come back each Thursday as we spotlight another honoree!