Bob C. Mayer, CFE
What facilities have you worked
in? I began my career in
technical design and management at the Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma City University, and the Dallas Repertory Theatre. My professional
career began at The Cox Business Center (formerly the Myriad Convention
Center) in Oklahoma City, The Tulsa Performing Arts Center, and the Tulsa
What is your favorite food or restaurant?
I truly enjoy all kinds of food, and I take pleasure in cooking some of my
favorite recipes for family and friends. Probably my favorite food, though,
is well-prepared sushi at a restaurant here in Tulsa called Tsunami, which
is also my favorite Japanese restaurant.
What book are you currently reading? I
am currently reading Cross-Cultural Business Behavior by Richard R.
Gesteland. Mr. Gesteland will be speaking at the Global Issues Session at
the Annual Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim. The book is quite interesting
and gives the reader a sensible guide when working with people of different
cultures from around the world, whether visiting a foreign country or
working with a guest here from a different culture.
What CD or cassette is in your car right now? CD? Cassette?
Actually, I don’t have a cassette player in my car right now and the CD
player is empty. I just bought a new car that has XM satellite radio, an
iPod connection, and a slot for a compact digital memory card loaded with
music. Having grown up in a very musically oriented household, I enjoy a
wide variety of musical genres from classical music, to show tunes, to jazz
and popular music.
What is the weirdest event you ever had in a
facility you’ve worked in? Strangest merchandise? Strangest anything?
Events, in and of themselves, are usually not all that weird; it’s the
things that happen during the production that can rise to the level of
weirdness. For example, “A Chorus Line” is not really a weird show, but
during opening night of a touring production back in 1978 at the Tulsa
Performing Arts Center, the night that I was manager on duty, we started
smelling smoke. It was really stronger outside the building than it was
inside, so we sent all available staff to find the source while I called the
fire department. They told me that an old building several blocks from the
center was smoldering after some homeless folks started a fire to keep warm.
The wind carried the smoke to our fresh air intake vents and it was so heavy
that you could see the shafts of light illuminating the stage. We were in
the process of informing the technical director, when the stage manager for
the production, without talking to anyone, called for an evacuation. After
we got everyone back into the theatre, I made a well-worded announcement to
comfort everyone, and the production continued. I think it was the only time
that “A Chorus Line” was performed with an intermission. The stage manager
was dismissed by the producers the next day. Apparently, this was her first
(and last) tour.
And the strangest merchandise? We had a
small expo that went along with the International Finals Rodeo every year at
the Tulsa Convention Center. There were many arts and craft items for sale,
including accessories made from various body parts of cattle. About as far
into detail as I care to go for this article included leather purses made
from the ears of cattle.
What is a motto, inspiration or quote you try to
live by? Whenever I sign off on emails, you may notice that it
closes with “All the B.E.S.T.” Only one person
(Rosanne Duke) has ever asked what B.E.S.T. really stands for. It’s a little
eso-teric, but I try to “Begin Everyday Selecting Terrific.” As much as
anything it helps me with a mindset that we are given a new day where we can
choose to do something terrific, enjoy a terrific day, and enjoy terrific
people that we surround ourselves with. When someone asks, “How are you
doing, Bob?” I almost always respond with “Terrific!”
Why did you choose to pursue the CFE? I
received my CFE in 1987 when my boss, Roy Saunders, CFE, was in a
significant leadership role for IAAM as its President. As a mentor and
friend, Roy had encouraged me to pursue the CFE, and I was glad that I
achieved the distinction during his presidential year. I also saw the CFE as
an industry pinnacle to achieve, which provided me with an opportunity to
What has been a benefit or is a benefit of having a
CFE? Amongst my peers, it demonstrates a level of achievement and
recognition of my depth of industry expertise. Within the work environment,
it con¬firms to those I worked with that I had a high level of knowledge and
And with those who don’t have a clue what CFE is, it always gives me an
opportunity to explain the profession and that it is more involved than
getting to see events for free and, of course, it helps me to give IAAM a
Would you recommend attaining a CFE to other
international colleagues? Why? Of course I would recommend a CFE to
any professional in the industry who wants to accept the challenge. It isn’t
an easy road to hoe, and is much more difficult now than back in 1987, but
it is worth the effort to confront your own professional aspirations, goals
What couldn’t you live without? My
family, of course, is very important to me and, by the way, that includes my
two dogs, Dakota and Frisco. It would also be difficult to live without my
friends in this industry that give me a certain joie de vivre.
What’s your most prized possession? That
would probably have to be my photography equipment. I enjoy taking landscape
and architectural photos and have a collection of photos from all over the
world, from Thule, Greenland to Mel- bourne, Australia and many places in
between. Photos help me to remember favorite times and moments in my life,
and I enjoy the artistic process of taking pictures and editing them.
What’s your most favorite place on earth?
That’s easy! My brother and I own a cabin at the headwaters of the Rio
Grande River in Colorado between Creede and Lake City. The cabin is on a
160-acre ranch surrounded on all sides by National Forest Land at an
elevation of 10,500 feet. There are two man-made ponds on the property where
we can fly-fish, which is also a passion of mine. Since I enjoy photography
so much, I have pictures from all seasons up there, but in late September
when the Aspens change to vivid reds, oranges, and yellows it is almost
impossible to take a bad picture.
What is your favorite moment in sports history?
Although as everyone knows, I am not a golfer, but I do watch golf; and so,
it has to be Tiger Woods’ incredible chip onto the 16th green to win the
2005 Masters. He popped the ball up onto the green, and it headed back to
the right, heads for the flag, pauses on the lip of the cup for what
probably seemed like an eternity to Woods, and then it dropped in!
What’s the one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
Probably that I enjoy the creative process of writing. I am not referring to
writing poetry, short stories and novels because I’ve never penned such
works. I do enjoy writing speeches, business correspondences, and other
documents that can have meaning and impact in someone’s life.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The spirit of attaining the CFE is all about being involved in your
profession, your community, and your association. I think that it is
important that all CFE’s have a passion for what they do and embrace
involvement. Volunteer for everything you possibly have time for, be it your
local United Way Campaign or service as chair of an IAAM committee. It has
been my experience that you get much more out of your volunteer efforts than
you put into it, and it is important to make a difference whenever you can.