HIGH HONORS: Robert Rose speaks to IAVM convention attendees after receiving the trade organization’s Convention Center Lifetime Achievement Award. (James Zoltak/Staff).

Robert Rose, Robyn Williams, Robert Hunter, Barbara Hubbard honored

PHOENIX — Awards were presented to four industry veterans Tuesday at the International Association of Venue Managers annual VenueConnect convention and trade show at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Robert Rose, who retired after 44 years in the venues industry, 22 of them at the Tampa Convention Center, received IAVM’s Convention Center Lifetime Achievement Award at a presentation attended by his wife Christine of 48 years and a host of industry colleagues.

At the Tampa Convention Center, Rose eventually worked his way to become convention facilities director, but his industry career dates to 1978, when he went from being a park ranger to managing facilities in Detroit. He then moved on to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center at the University of Florida in Gainesville, working with industry luminary Lionel Dubay.

Rose then moved to what’s now called Tropicana Field, home of the MLB Tampa Bay Rays, for whom he did a stint as director of event services and bookings before joining the Tampa Convention Center.

He earned his Certified Venue Executive designation in 2004 and retired in 2020.

“It’s just great to see how much we’ve grown as an industry and how much we’ve evolved,” Rose told the supportive attendees.

In a separate session following welcoming remarks from IAVM President and CEO Brad Mayne, three more industry veterans received IAVM honors.

Robyn Williams, executive director of Portland’5 Centers for the Arts, was given the IAVM Foundation Legacy Award.

Robert Hunter, senior vice president at OverActive Media Group and formerly chief project development officer with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, received the Joseph J. Anzivino Distinguished Allied Award. Hunter spent 24 years with MLSE and opened Scotiabank Centre, formerly Air Canada Centre, in 1999, home of the NHL Maple Leafs and NBA Raptors. From 1987-1994, he ran  the Toronto SkyDome, now Rogers Centre, where MLB’s Blue Jays play.

Barbara “Mother” Hubbard of the Pan American Center and New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, was given the Charles A. McElravy, considered the association’s top honor.