SUCCESSION: Trevor Mitchell, a self-described performing arts aficionado, will take over IAVM when he succeeds retiring Brad Mayne as the association’s president and CEO. (Courtesy IAVM)

Trevor Mitchell will succeed Brad Mayne at VenueConnect

Trevor Mitchell, who currently serves as executive director and CEO of American Mensa, has been selected as the next president and CEO of the International Association of Venue Managers.

Mitchell’s selection was announced on Wednesday. He will take over for Brad Mayne, who is retiring in July. Mitchell’s first event as president and CEO will be VenueConnect 2024, IAVM’s annual conference and trade show, from July 28-31 in Portland, Oregon.


In an interview with VenuesNow, Mitchell emphasized his qualifications for the presidency, citing his passion for helping people connect and create meaningful experiences.

“I first felt that my skills and experience were a great fit for what they were looking for,” he said. “But then, when I started understanding IAVM better and understanding the members, that they have the energy to serve and the impact they have, it just it felt right. It felt that it was the perfect match of everything I’ve done, with the passion I have around helping people connect and having meaningful experiences. It was a no-brainer at that point that I wanted to be part of this process and that I felt I was right to be their next president.”

Asked about his priorities for his first 100 days in office, Mitchell said he will focus on connecting with leaders and membership to understand challenges and raise the organization’s profile.

Mitchell stressed the importance of government relations.

“It’s going to be critical, he said. “I had a chance to work a little bit on understanding some of the coalitions that IAVM is already a part of. I have a strong relationship at the Exhibition and Conference Alliance, which IAVM is always a part of, and understanding how the various things that are happening at not only the federal level, but the state level that impact the various venues and the things that are happening is going to be critical for us to keep managing forward so they can be able to operate and provide great experiences to those who are utilizing the facilities for whatever event is happening.”

With Arlington, Texas-based American Mensa, Mitchell is credited enhancing collaboration, innovation and inclusivity, according to an IAVM news release announcing his selection.

“His strategic vision, coupled with his dedication to member engagement, aligns perfectly with IAVM’s commitment to excellence and service to its global community of venue professionals,” the association release states.

Mayne said he was not involved in the selection process, but is encouraged by Mitchell’s experience.

“I’m excited for Trevor due to his background and experience with ASAE, the association for association executives,” he said in an email.

“Trevor is the right person at the right time to lead us into our next 100 years of growth and success for IAVM,” said Kerry Painter, chair of the IAVM Board of Directors, said Mitchell’s selection was unanimous among the association’s executive committee.

“Fortunately for us, he is already engaged with other partner industry associations,” she said in the announcement. “With our recent rise in membership numbers, Trevor comes to us having developed programs for 55,000 members of all diversities and ages, while still managing and supporting a successful foundation. He’s a seasoned association professional who will be ideal for IAVM.”

Mitchell, who grew up on a cattle farm south of St. Louis, holds an MBA from the University of Missouri and as well as certifications, including Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives, Certified Association Executive and Certified Diversity Professional.

Mitchell and his husband are supporters of the arts.

“When I’m not traveling — because I do enjoy the travel both personally and professionally — when I when I am home, most of my fun time is spent with my husband. We have season tickets to Dallas Broadway. We like to check out restaurants, museums, but I also enjoy cooking and reading and playing my piano.”