The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) is pleased to announce Steve Peters, CFE, founder and president of VenuWorks, as the recipient of the 2015 Charles A. McElravy Award. The McElravy Award, named in honor of one of IAVM’s founding organizers, Charles A. McElravy, was initiated in 1963 and is granted for extraordinary contributions to the Association and the professional venue management industry it serves.
In 1982, Peters moved on to the Iowa State Center in Ames, Iowa, a four-building complex at Iowa State University. While at ISU, he began the successful presentation of concerts in the 55,000-seat Cyclone Stadium and served as director of the acclaimed Ames International Orchestra Festival.
In 1990, Peters was named the National Director of Operations for Ogden Entertainment Inc., serving as opening director of the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Ogden before being named an Ogden vice president in 1995.
In fall 1996, Peters left Ogden to form VenuWorks (originally called Compass Facility Management), a company he created to better serve the unique management and operational challenges of mid-market facilities. Today, VenuWorks provides management services to more than 50 theatres, arenas, conference centers, stadiums, and outdoor amphitheaters in 12 states. Peters was a forerunner of bringing private management to publically owned venues in secondary and tertiary markets, which was a new approach in the 1990s.
Peters has been a committed member of IAVM since 1977, serving as president of the board of directors from 2007-2008, and as vice president of District 3 from 1987-1988. He was a member of the first board of regents for IAVM’s Venue Management School, where he served as an instructor for six years. He has earned the distinction of Certified Facilities Executive (CFE), the highest professional certification available in the public assembly facility industry.
Kim Bedier, CFE, chair of the IAVM board remarked that, “Steve Peters’ long legacy of leadership with IAVM includes the Mission, Membership, and Governance Initiative. Author Dau Voire said, ‘Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.’ The conversations commenced by Steve continue to guide IAVM to a strong and healthy future. Steve Peters is a true gentleman, and it has been my honor to serve for and with him.”
“It is because of leaders like Steve that IAVM is such a great organization,” said Vicki Hawarden, CMP, president and CEO of IAVM. “He has given tirelessly of his time and his expertise throughout the years to help develop and grow those around him, and I know there are many who look up to him as a mentor. He is well deserving of this honor based on his contributions, his leadership style, and his love for the industry.”
Upon being notified of receiving the award, Peters offered the following comments:
“I am honored to have been chosen to receive the 2015 McElravy Award. IAVM has been like a big second family to me, a source of professional development and personal friendships for nearly 40 years. I am humbled to find myself among the small group of extraordinary leaders who have previously received this award, an award named for one of the real pioneers of our industry. I am eternally grateful.”
The award will be presented during IAVM’s annual conference and trade show, VenueConnect, August 1-4, 2015, in Baltimore, Maryland.