Tag: Hall of Honor

Hall of Honor 2020: Carol Wallace

A New Direction What seemed like a move toward retirement for Carol Wallace was just another door opening Starting a consultancy and easing into semi-retirement after 35 years of venues industry service appears to have been one of those best-laid plans that went a bit astray for former San Diego Convention Center Corp. President and CEO Carol Wallace. Now president and CEO of San Diego Theatres Inc., the nonprofit entity that runs the San Diego Civic Theatre and Balboa Theatre, Wallace was still with the SDCC and owned an impressive resume in 2012 when some of the center’s sales and marketing functions were shifted to the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau and moves to expand the center stalled.  Wallace started Carol Wallace & Associates, which offers consulting services in the areas of venue management, marketing and communications, staffing, facility development and expansion. The San Diego Convention Center, it turns out, […]

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Hall of Honor 2020: Jimmy Earl

All With a Smile The always smooth Jimmy Earl helped make Austin arena a concert magnet Jimmy Earl is among the last of a vanishing breed, a self-made arena manager. His early training came on the job, supported by continuing education through groups such as the International Association of Venue Managers. Earl retired this fall after spending close to 40 years running the Frank C. Erwin Jr. Special Events Center, the University of Texas’ on-campus arena. The 16,734-seat home of Texas men’s and women’s basketball also stands as a lucrative concert venue.  He made a brief pit stop running the Fort Worth Convention Center from 1987 to 1990 before returning to Erwin Center after John Graham took over as director. Earl assumed his same position, senior associate director, before taking over for Graham as director after he retired in 2017. In Austin, considering UT is building the new $340 million Moody […]

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Hall of Honor 2020: Rick Abramson

All About Love Rick Abramson loves the concessions business and Delaware North Sportservice, and both have loved him back Rick Abramson walked by a concession stand one day at old Chicago Stadium and noticed some hot dogs looked out of place. It was the late 1970s. Abramson, Delaware North Sportservice’s on-site general manager, suspected a few game day employees were smuggling their own inventory to sell and pocketing the money themselves.   “I let go of everybody working that stand and suspended them pending further investigation,” Abramson said. Abramson was called into Bill Wirtz’s office to discuss the issue. The Wirtz family owned the arena and the NHL Chicago Blackhawks, co-tenants with the NBA Chicago Bulls. Bill Wirtz informed Abramson of a rumor floating around the building that all the concession workers were ready to walk out in protest of his actions. “I explained to Mr. Wirtz that there were […]

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Hall of Honor 2019

This month we introduce you to another addition to our family of awards: the VenuesNow Hall of Honor, celebrating those who have achieved at the highest level in the venues business and related enterprises during their long and distinguished careers. A small number of honorees whose professional lives exemplify excellence, integrity, ingenuity and a passion for the business will be selected by VenuesNow editorial staff and inducted each year. Our three inaugural honorees — Kenneth Feld, Jane Kleinberger and Rick Nafe — are well known to anyone in the industry, and their careers make them shining examples of what the Hall of Honor is about.  Each took a different path to get to where they are. Feld took over a family business, and with a strong company culture and a commitment to storytelling, he took it to a whole new level. Nafe was an unlikely candidate for his first venue […]

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