SMG announced the selection of Fredia Brady as the new general manager for the Wilmington (NC) Convention Center.
“The selection of SMG veteran Fredia Brady as general manager, along with the high quality of services clients have grown to expect from SMG, will enable the facility to continue to develop as a key contributor to the ongoing economic development of entire community and in particular the continued growth of the hospitality industry in the region,” said Bob McClintock, SMG’s senior vice president/chief operating officer for the SMG Convention Center Division. “Fredia’s experience will be invaluable as the Convention Center positions itself to support the rebranding of the River District and the opening of an adjacent Embassy Suites Hotel this year.”
Brady is a hospitality industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience in convention sales and marketing, business development, facility operations and event management, including serving SMG as a regional senior director of sales & marketing for SMG’s Southeast Region from 2008 to 2014. She most recently was the senior director of sales & marketing for the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center and served that venue previously as director of sales & marketing from 1999 to 2008. She was the senior sales manager for the Hyatt Regency in Savannah from 1991- 1999.
A graduate of both Brewton Parker College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and South University with an associate degree in hospitality management, Brady is a board member of the Royce Learning Center and the Tourism Leadership Council of Savannah. She is a community adviser for the Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Student Leadership Program and member of the Junior League of Savannah and a variety of professional associations, including the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Professional Convention Management Association and American Society of Association Executives.
Brady will arrive in Wilmington February 6, 2017.
The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) announced the nomination of Tammy Koolbeck, CFE, for 2nd Vice Chair of the IAVM Board of Directors. As 2nd Vice Chair, Koolbeck, the VenuWorks-managed Iowa State Center’s executive director of the C.Y. Stephens Auditorium, Fisher Theater and the Scheman Building, will become a senior officer of IAVM and serve a four-year term culminating in the board chair position in 2019-2020.
In announcing the recommendation, Karen Totaro, CFE, chair of the Leadership Development/Nominating Committee and IAVM Immediate Past Chair, said, “Tammy Koolbeck brings such a unique combination of experience to the table, having worked in multiple venue types, private management, executive leadership, multiple IAVM committee chair roles and instructor experience from the Venue Management School. On top of all that, the committee believed she truly had this amazing ability to relate to our young professionals as easily as our seasoned pros. Tammy is the whole package.”
Koolbeck has worked in the venue management industry for over 20 years and most recently served as chief marketing officer/senior vice president for the VenuWorks corporate office. Before joining the VenuWorks corporate staff, Koolbeck was assistant executive director of marketing and programming for the U.S. Cellular Center Arena/Paramount Theatre and general manager of the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. Koolbeck started in the public venue management field as the director of marketing for the Five Seasons Center and Paramount Theater. Her past work experience includes hotel, convention and visitor bureau and professional sports.
“It’s a very special feeling,” Koolbeck said. “IAVM is an important part of my life, both professionally and personally. This organization has helped me grow as a venue manager. It has opened doors and given me access to many brilliant, hard-working people in our industry, many of whom are friends. I am grateful and honored to have the opportunity to follow those that have preceded me and taken on this responsibility. As part of the leadership team, I will continue the work to grow member-based initiatives and explore new ways of furthering our industry. At this point, I am still doing little happy dances throughout the day.”
Koolbeck is a past president and current member of the board of directors for the Event and Arena Marketing Conference, the premier gathering for arena marketing professionals from the United States, Canada, and Europe. In 2007, she was awarded EAMC’s highest honor, the Gigi Award of Excellence. Koolbeck also received the prestigious Women of Influence Award from Venues Today in 2010. In 2014, she was honored with IAVM’s Chairman Citation. Koolbeck currently serves on the Board of Regents and is a past Graduate Institute’s Assistant Dean. She currently sits on the Convention Center committee. Koolbeck was the past chair for the 2015 and 2016 VenueConnect Planning Committees and is past Chair of the Industry Affairs Committee. On the Region level, she is a past Region 3 Director and Scholarship Chair.
“Tammy Koolbeck has proven worthy to step into the officer role as 2nd Vice Chair through her phenomenal volunteer work for IAVM,” said Brad Mayne, CFE, IAVM president and CEO. “Tammy’s IAVM successes on multiple levels have proven her passion to delivering return on investment to the members of our Association.”
“I am very excited about Tammy being recommended for the 2nd Vice Chair,” added Mark Mettes, CFE, IAVM board chair. “I have worked with Tammy for many years on many different committees and she has always done an outstanding job and has a strong passion for our industry and for our Association. She will make a great leader for us.”
IAVM members will vote electronically on this nomination, and, if elected, Koolbeck will take office in August during VenueConnect, IAVM’s annual conference and trade show, August 7-10, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Representing public assembly venues from around the globe, IAVM’s 5,100 active members include managers and senior executives from auditoriums, arenas, convention centers, exhibit halls, stadiums, performing arts centers, university complexes, racetracks, and amphitheaters. IAVM’s mission is to educate, advocate for, and inspire public assembly venue professionals worldwide. More information about IAVM is available at www.IAVM.org or via @IAVMWHQ on Twitter.
I don’t think there are enough words in the English language to describe how much our mentor/mentee relationship has meant to me. Enrolling in the IAVM Mentor Connector program is one of the greatest decisions I have made as a young professional in IAVM. In today’s world, there are many people that will tell you what you want to hear. To me, that is not what a mentor is. A mentor will tell you the truth, even when it isn’t pretty. A mentor will push you to pursue opportunities you didn’t think you could obtain because in reality – no one really knows when they’re ready until they take that step. A mentor will share their advice, ideas, experiences, and allow their mentee to confide in them.
Our relationship has not only allowed me to grow as a professional but as a human being. It was such a wonderful experience to have had a mentor that I could share pieces of my professional and personal life with. From our love of Bob’s Burgers, to our fondness of cute little hedgehog YouTube videos, to our passion for a good reading on women in leadership, and our discussions on what is going on in our industry – I hope our mentor/mentee relationship benefitted you as much as it did me.
Mentor, you are so appreciated and so loved – our industry is extremely lucky to have someone like you. Seeing you on the Women In Leadership panel at the IAVM VenueConnect Conference was so inspiring, I had to hold myself back from whispering to everyone at my table, “that’s my mentor!” I learned so many things from you; I sincerely hope you have also learned a few things from me. Please know that just as you have always been there for me, I will always be there for you. I love listening to you, your ideas, your dreams, and your passions. I hope to continue to follow you in your footsteps and who knows, maybe one day I will be asked to speak as a panelist in the Women in Leadership panel and perhaps you will look to the person sitting next to you and say, “that’s my mentee”.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) President & CEO Ernest Wooden Jr. announced Los Angeles welcomed 47.3 million visitors in 2016, surpassing mid-year forecasts and breaking visitation records for the sixth consecutive year. The new record is 1.7 million visitors higher than 2015’s total, an increase of 3.8% from the previous year.
New tourism records were set for overall domestic and international visitation. Total domestic visitation reached 40.2 million, a 3.8% increase over 2015, and 7.1 million international visitors made Los Angeles their ultimate destination, a 3.5% increase over the previous year.
In 2016, Los Angeles also became the first ever U.S. city destination to welcome more than 1 million visitors from China, the destination’s number two international market behind Mexico. China alone accounted for 75% of the destination’s overall international growth, derived from the market’s year-over-year growth of nearly 22% – the seventh consecutive year of at least 20% visitation growth for China. L.A. Tourism will continue to invest in the market with plans to expand its footprint: Chengdu will become L.A. Tourism’s fourth China office when it opens by the end of June 2017, joining Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
India was L.A.’s second-fastest growing international market, an increase of 10.2%. L.A. Tourism established official representation in this market in 2016 as well as the Gulf/Middle East, an important connection point for visiting Indian travelers.
“Tourism is booming in Los Angeles, and it’s helping to drive our whole city’s economy forward,” said Mayor Garcetti. “My goal is to welcome 50 million tourists to our city by 2020, and new attractions like the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will have even more people from around the world lining up to come to L.A.”
“Global desire for the Los Angeles experience is at an all-time high, a fact largely attributable to our city’s celebration of diversity and creativity, from which thriving culinary, cultural and lifestyle scenes have emerged,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., president & CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. “Fantastic new hotels are opening their doors with frequency, chefs are exploring innovative creative territories, noteworthy cultural institutions are choosing to call L.A. home and people want to be a part of the L.A. lifestyle. We are thankful for all of these individuals and entities which make Los Angeles the place that record-setting numbers of people want to visit.”
L.A. County’s average occupancy rate for 2016 reached 81.3%, surpassing 80% for the first time in County history. A record 29.2 million hotel room nights were sold countywide with ADR reaching a new high of $171.95, an increase of 8.6% over 2015. L.A. County is the only U.S. market to reach double-digit RevPar growth at nearly 11%.
Tourism is among the largest and healthiest contributors to the Los Angeles economy, supporting an average of more than 500,000 jobs in the Leisure & Hospitality sector last year.
For more information, visit the official visitor information website of Los Angeles at discoverLosAngeles.com, join the more than one million people who follow L.A. Tourism’s Facebook page at facebook.com/LosAngelesFan, or follow @discoverLA on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
StubHub Center will serve as the temporary home of the former San Diego Chargers, who have relocated to Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Chargers will play at StubHub Center, home of the five-time MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy and based on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills, for the 2017 NFL season.
“We are excited to welcome the Chargers to StubHub Center,” said AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman. “This is a world-class facility that will give fans and our community a unique and intimate experience during NFL games. We’ve had a longstanding friendship with the Chargers and the Spanos family and I would like to commend the Chargers on this bold and innovative decision to move to StubHub Center. It is truly a testament to how strongly the Chargers feel about the fan experience and their willingness to create something special for people in Southern California.”
StubHub Center is located on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson and owned and operated by AEG. Capacity for Chargers games at StubHub Center will be 30,000 seats, with approximately 3,000 premium and field seats, 46 suites, 16 cabanas, and 10,000 on-site parking spaces. The Chargers will play on game dates that do not conflict with the LA Galaxy’s 2017 MLS schedule.
“The experience for our fans at StubHub Center will be fun and entertaining, and every seat will feel close to the action,” said A.G. Spanos, President – Business Operations for the Chargers. “This is a unique opportunity to see NFL action in such an intimate setting.”
The team launched www.FightforLA.com, a website that allows fans to place a fully refundable $100 deposit on season tickets for the 2017 season. Current Chargers Season Ticket Members will maintain their priority status and are not required to make a deposit.
The fully-refundable $100 deposit allows fans to reserve up to four seats at StubHub Center, ensures priority status for 2017 Chargers season tickets, and grants priority status for seats at the new Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, the future home of the Chargers.
The Chargers also revealed a new advertising mark borne out of the team’s iconic lightning bolt and historic shield introduced in the 1960’s. This new mark and fresh take on “LA” is part of a larger identity campaign called “Fight for LA” intended to convey the commitment of the Spanos family and entire Chargers organization to earn the respect and loyalty of Los Angeles football fans. The new mark can be found on www.Chargers.com.