President / CEO | VenuWorks
Steve Peters leads private facility management group VenuWorks with a steady hand, diversifying the company’s portfolio and content offerings with a hands-on touch for clients.
Peters, who has roots in the Midwest and the old Ogden Entertainment, branched out on his own in 1996, launching Compass Facility Management with his wife Randi. The firm’s headquarters are in Ames, Iowa, where VenuWorks runs the Iowa State Center, a collection of four facilities, including Stephens Auditorium, with 2,602 seats.
Peters already had a wealth of experience, serving as Ogden’s general manager of Target Center when it opened in 1990 for the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves. He also held the position of vice president for Ogden, with full responsibility for the company’s central region.
Peters graduated from the University of Iowa.
His career started in the mid-1970s, managing municipal and university venues, including the Five Flags Center in Dubuque, Iowa, the first arena he operated.
Compass rebranded to VenuWorks in 2007 and has expanded its client roster to around 50 arenas, theaters, convention centers and other public assembly facilities, mostly in the Midwest.
VenuWorks has carved a niche managing buildings in secondary markets, such as the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana; Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington, and the Alliant Energy Powerhouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which was originally an Ogden client before Compass took over management of the arena about 25 years ago.
The account in Cedar Rapids extends to the historic Paramount Theatre, McGrath Amphitheatre and ImOn Ice, a minor league hockey arena. Over the past several years, VenuWorks has expanded its business to event promotions, plus a theatrical division, which opened in 2016.
Peters is a past president of the International Association of Venue Managers. He’s a past recipient of IAVM’s prestigious McElravy Award, recognizing lifetime achievement, and the IAVM Foundation Legacy Award.