The Green Sports Alliance, a membership organization of nearly 500 professional and collegiate leagues, teams, and venues, along with supporting organizations such as vendors, suppliers, and sponsoring corporations – as well as individual athletes — issued a challenge to all sports lovers: join the Alliance in the fight against climate change.
“In the current climate, we’ve gone from a state of concern to a state of emergency,” said Justin Zeulner, executive director for the Green Sports Alliance. “Climate change threatens the sports industry’s very existence. It has never been more urgent for the industry to take action – and it’s doing just that.
“Across the board, from owners to athletes, sports organizations are focusing their attention and resources on greening their sport. That singular focus is essential to winning in sports – and in the battle against climate change. The stakes are too high to risk inaction. Losing is not an option.”
And now, the Alliance is opening up its membership ranks to include individual fans.
“Live green or die” has been basketball Hall-of-famer Bill Walton’s battle cry for many years, and the Alliance adopted it as well. Together, the Alliance and Bill Walton urge athletes, fans, and all sports lovers to take the LIVE GREEN OR DIE ™ challenge. Anyone can go to LIVE GREEN OR DIE ™, take a pledge, commit to greater sustainability, and join the Alliance in leading the sports greening movement.
“We have the moral obligation, duty, and responsibility to do everything we can to remedy what’s happening – environmental cancers, poisoned water, and unbreathable air – all due to climate change, which is a self-inflicted tragedy,” said Walton. He urged people to take the challenge. “Get on the Green Sports Alliance express. This is not something that will happen by itself. Our success, our future, our lives depend on each of us taking positive and concentrated steps forward based on knowledge, science, and technology.”
After more than two decades of successfully helping fairs and festivals refine and streamline food and beverage service, Greg Flakus, founder of GF Strategies, has announced plans to retire at the end of 2017.
“We do plan to continue to work with the festivals this summer,” Flakus said. “We also plan to continue on a selected basis working with venues that are seeking help with selecting a master food contractor or an on-site look at their food and beverage operations.”
Since 1996, when GF Strategies accepted its first customer outside of the Northwest region, the Houston Livestock Show, the company has helped 53 fairs implement a sales tracking system for food sales. The system is in place from Massachusetts to San Diego to South Carolina. The results have allowed these fairs to increase their year over year sales and benefit from the company’s expertise on menus, layout, signage, seating and transaction levels by area and event wide.
In 1992 GF Strategies was asked by then-manager of the Oregon State Fair Don Hillman to help the fair with a project to select a new food and beverage contractor. They also created what would become the model for sales tracking long before cashless sales and smartphones arrived on the scene.
“Little did we know that that project would lead to the formation of our company as Winning Ticket Strategies in 1993,” Flakus said. The company changed its name in 2000 to GF Strategies, more appropriate to the concept.
The Oregon State Fair in Salem still uses the system, as do some of the top fairs and events in the nation, including the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; The Eastern States Expo, West Springfield, Mass.; San Diego County Fair, Del Mar; and the Arizona State Fair, Phoenix. In all the company has worked with fairs in 20 states, including state fairs in Oregon, Indiana, Oklahoma, Washington, and Colorado, and major fairs in California, Texas, Indiana, Vermont, Oregon and the home state of Washington. In Oregon, 10 fairs continue to use the GF Strategies system as well as eight in California and six in Washington.
The company also provides food and beverage consulting to festivals, stadiums, arenas and convention centers, including on-site visits to review food and beverage operations, assistance with selection of a year-round food service provider and labor and food cost reviews.
Schuler Shook announced the promotion of two talented, dedicated staff members to Principal.
Paul Whitaker, LEED AP, is promoted to Principal in the firm. Whitaker’s diverse experience in both architectural lighting design and theatre planning are complemented by his continued work as a theatrical lighting designer off-Broadway, regionally and internationally. Whitaker first worked in Schuler Shook’s Minneapolis office as an intern and project designer from 1997-1999. He re-joined Schuler Shook in 2006 as a lighting designer and theatre consultant. He became a senior theatre consultant and senior lighting designer – one of the few people in the firm to hold both titles – in 2014.
“Paul’s depth and breadth of knowledge and skills allow him to work on an architecture project pursuing LEED certification as wellas consult on some of today’s best spaces for performance. Paul’s promotion stems from his true leadership at Schuler Shook,” said Michael DiBlasi, ASTC, Partner and Practice Leader in Schuler Shook’s Minneapolis office.
Whitaker’s significant projects in theatre and lighting include Target Field Station; Macalester College Commons and Music Building; Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas; Howard Theatre; The Palace Theatre; and Woody Guthrie Center and Guthrie Green.
Jim Hultquist, ASTC, LEED AP, is promoted to Principal in the firm. Hultquist joined Schuler Shook as a project theatre consultant in 2009, working with Robert Shook to start the firm’s Melbourne office. He became a senior theatre consultant in 2012 after the successful completion of the Hamer Hall refurbishment and his work in developing a strong and lasting presence in Australia. Hultquist now leads a team that offers theatre, audio-visual and specialty lighting consulting services.
“Jim is great to work with, enjoyable and personable, and a strong leader for our Melbourne team. I am incredibly pleased with all that he is doing for our clients in Melbourne and beyond,” said company Director Robert Shook, FASTC, FIALD.
Hultquist’s notable projects include Sydney Opera House Concert Hall Renewal; Hamer Hall; Cairns Performing Arts Centre; Bunjil Place Theatre; Sydney Lyric Theatre; and Her Majesty’s Theatre in Adelaide.
Please welcome our newest members who joined IAVM in May 2017. 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.
Randy Brown, CFE, serves as executive vice president and general manager of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Brown has also served as IAVM chair and carries the credentials to speak about the change he has seen in the industry in the last 20 years.
“The lines between an IAVM Professional member and an Allied member have blurred over the last couple of decades,” Brown said. “Many of our Allied members are operating venues. They are decision makers when it comes to public assembly venues.”
This is Brown’s way of saying that One Member, One Vote, an initiative that followed extensive study, review and open discussion over the last two years and which was unanimously voted on by the IAVM Board of Directors to bring forward proposed changes to the bylaws that would make the Association more inclusive and diverse in its decision making, is an initiative whose time has come.
“It has been a long time in coming,” Brown said. “With so many more people now decision makers, by nature as such it is right to give them a voice in the management and operation of our Association. It’s the right move at the right time.”
As a means to incorporate the perspective of all IAVM members, these changes would allow every member of IAVM equal opportunity to engage in the Association through the right to vote. These proposed changes must be approved by two-thirds of the current voting members of IAVM.
Brown mentioned other categories of IAVM members who also currently lack the approval to vote, as based on current bylaws. These include Retired members, a category that Brown will fall into one day.
“How do you take somebody that has been a Professional member of the Association for four or five decades and just say that effective tomorrow or at the end of the week that they have nothing more to contribute?” Brown asked. “Every member is a contributing member at some level of our Association.
“It’s a fairness issue but it’s really a matter of we have this group and this resource as an organization, so why wouldn’t we take direction from the best and the brightest that have been part of the Association for decades?”
Indeed, passage of the vote would constitute change from the norm, but Brown said that there is no reason to fear change, at least as far as One Member, One Vote is concerned.
“You don’t do things the way you did 20 years ago,” he said. “We certainly don’t in our venues. The same has to be said for the Association.”
The voting period remains open now so please look in your email inbox for the ballot if you have not already cast your vote.