By Beckie Liwacz
The city of Waterloo, Iowa, has selected Spectra to manage venue operations, food services & hospitality, and partnerships for the city’s centrally located entertainment hub, the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center. The Spectra team officially took over on January 15, 2020.
In 2019, Waterloo invested $2.4 million into renovations for the convention center, the skywalk connecting the Spectra Takes Over Downtown Waterloo Convention Center facility to an adjacent hotel, and parking structures for visitors. The 40K sq. ft. facility regularly hosts events for up to 2,000 patrons, from tradeshows to international conferences, trainings and more.
“This convention center will be the crowning jewel of Waterloo’s booming downtown,” Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart said. “We’re excited to work with the proven experts at Spectra and for the high-caliber entertainment they will bring to the city. We are confident they will operate the region’s largest convention facility with finesse and a level of professionalism that will attract even more investment to Waterloo.”
Brendon Wagner, the facility’s newly appointed general manager, comes to Waterloo from Spectra-managed Owensboro Convention Center and Sportscenter, where he served as director of event services for two years. He was responsible for coordinating external events, producing in-house events, and managing all aspects of the client experience. Previously, he was director of event management at the America’s Center in St. Louis and spent over six years in various events-focused roles at VenuWorks in Iowa.
“Having spent a significant portion of my career directing and producing events in Iowa, I’m passionate about what this state has to offer,” Wagner said. “Waterloo has unique and untapped potential and is fantastically poised for growth—we’re excited to bring much-deserved attention to this city through efficient operations, event scheduling and maintenance.”
“The team at Spectra can’t wait to roll up our sleeves in Waterloo,” Dave Anderson, regional vice president, said. “With his recognition in the state, broad range of experience, and events and operations focus, Brendon is the perfect fit for this state, this city, and the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center.”
Beckie Liwacz is a publicist with Spectra.