Joyce Leveston has been in the convention center industry for more than 30 years.
After more than 15 years with the San Diego Convention Center she became director of event services at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston in 2005 and in 2008 took on the role of director of events for Global Spectrum while also serving as director of event services at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
In 2011, Leveston was director of convention services at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the nation’s capital and in 2018 took over as general manager of the Massachusetts Convention Center in Boston. In September 2019, Leveston was named senior vice president of conventions centers for Spectra, where she oversees day-to-day operations and strategic alignment of Spectra’s portfolio of around 50 convention centers under management.
She counts the collaboration of producing Spectra’s “Together Again” plan as a top accomplishments in the last year.
“It is the tool we use to build a strategic plan to reopen our venues and drive the direction of our future post-COVID,” she said. “However, I am most grateful for the work I have done with creating our Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council and holding the executive liaison position for our Spectra Women’s Network (employee resource group).”
The “Together Again” plan included the development of training and communication of employee health and safety measures, changes to policies and procedures in the areas of venue sanitation and disinfection, leading to GBAC Star accreditation or International Well Building Institute certification for a number of Spectra-managed convention centers.
With vaccines being rolled out, she expects “positive signs of life” to return by late summer or early fall. But the industry that emerges from the pandemic will look and feel different than it did before 2020. “Similarly to the way 911 changed airport travel, we will see similar permanent changes in our industry as well,” she said.
“However, by all accounts everyone from the promoter, to the attendee, to the fans and the entertainers; everyone is ready to reconnect.”
Regarding diversity, equity and inclusion, Leveston says Spectra focused its effort on the workforce, the workplace and the marketplace.
“These initiatives allowed us to acknowledge what the data revealed as our cultural challenges,” she said. “We were forced to meet these challenges head-on and inspired to work and build sustainable changes.”
— James Zoltak