"Focus on making a contribution rather than on making a career."

-Brian Stovall, Allen Event Center

"The view is always better from the high road."

-Paul Turner, CFE, AT&T Stadium

"Fancy carpet and trendy art do not bring customers back ... a great experience does!"

-Bryan Chatterton, Sacramento Convention Center

"Another day in paradise."

-Allen Johnson, Orlando Venues

Enhanced patron experiences + loyal partners + enthusiastic employees = Stronger Business”

-Steve Hevern, Sydney Entertainment Centre

“The show is not confirmed until the artist goes on stage and stays.”

-Michael Marion, CFE, Verizon Arena

“It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit.”

-Eric D. Hart, CFE, Tampa Sports Authority

“What you allow is what will continue.”

-Stephanie Curran, Spokane Convention Center and INB Performing Arts Center

“Never try to teach a pig to fly.  You’re wasting your time and you’re annoying the pig.”

-John Rhamstine, CFE, Seven Venues

“High-performance teams succeed through leadership, communication and balance of purpose.”

-Mark Gnatovic, SearchWide

“Our Benchmark is to provide Excellent Quality and Service by retention of staff.”

-Joe Floreano, CFE, Rochester Riverside Convention Center

“The customer experience is at the heart of everything we do.”

-Brian Morris, CFE, Melbourne & Olympic Parks

“Success is not permanent and failure is not fatal so get the hell out there and just TRY!”

-Karen Totaro, CFE, Atlantic City Convention Center

“You are who you surround yourself with…hire wisely.”

-Karen Totaro, CFE, Atlantic City Convention Center

“You can do anything as long as you have the right people, a great plan and the right equipment.”

-Paul Cramer, CFE, Classic Center

You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

-Kim Bedier, CFE (via Dr. Seuss), City of Tacoma Public Assembly Facilities

“When faced with a choice, do what would make your mother proud.”

-Kevin Mattingly, Phoenix Convention Center & Venues

Mentor Connector Program

IAVM’s Mentor Connector program was developed by the Diversification Committee to provide IAVM members opportunities to experience meaningful and ongoing interaction with a diverse group of top professionals in the industry. Participation will provide you with insight from experienced and successful venue management professionals, introduce you to a range of career opportunities, establish a broad network of professional business contacts and  develop confidence and leadership skills from the interaction with the mentor you will be assigned..

Mentor Connector matches an experienced venue manager who has demonstrated competency in the specific area(s) (Mentor) with an individual who has identified a professional development need (Mentee). Together they create a one-on-one, 12-month program, tailored to improve the skill set of the –mentee and enhance the mentor’s contribution to the industry.







  • Mentors sharpen their skills as they teach others, make a personal impact on the development of others, and strengthen IAVM and its members.
  • Mentees benefit from gaining first-hand knowledge, networking, skill development and support to realize their professional goals.
  • Coaches ensure the success and integrity of the mentoring relationships and contribute to the success of IAVM and the Mentor Connector program.
  • Participants who successfully complete a Mentor Connector program cycle qualify for points toward the Certified Facilities Executive designation and continuing education.
  • The Mentor Connector Program Handbook (Mentor Handbook, Mentee Handbook) provides complete details including schedule, roles and responsibilities, process, goals and objectives, and reporting guidelines.


Individuals interested in participating are encouraged to complete an application. Classes are offered twice a year, in April and October. Each class/program runs for a 12 month cycle.


A mentor / mentee match is based on several mutually beneficial criteria: career interest(s), commitment, leadership position, community obligations, time availability, geographic location and personal interests. Each match is carefully tailored to provide a unique and valuable mentoring experience for both participants.  Once a mentor / mentee match has been determined, both parties are notified, and personal profiles and contact information are provided to each participant.

A coach—an individual with strong industry experience—is assigned to ensure the program duo stays on its timeline, to act as a resource for industry knowledge, and to provide support as needed.



As a mentor, you can:

  • Positively influence another individual sharing your knowledge, skills, values and experiences.
  • Gain tremendous satisfaction from contributing to the development of capable individuals and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing them succeed.
  • Improve communication, leadership, and development/training skills.
  • Expand professional contacts through interaction with other mentors.
  • Revitalize interest in your own work through connection with members who are changing their career path, want to learn a new skill, or assist newer members navigate their way to success.
  • Boost your self-esteem through recognition from your mentee, peers and the association community.
  • Invest in the future by giving back to IAVM.


In today’s marketplace, the value, if not the necessity, of being proactive in securing knowledge and advice from industry professionals has never been greater. Every mentorship experience is beneficial.


  • Gain insight from your mentor’s knowledge, skills, values and expertise.
  • Grow through greater awareness of challenges and opportunities.
  • Receive critical feedback in key areas, such as communications, interpersonal relationships, technical abilities and leadership skills.
  • Develop a sharper focus on what is needed to grow personally and professionally.
  • Learn specific skills and knowledge that are relevant to professional and personal goals.
  • Gain knowledge about the industry and unspoken rules that can be critical for success in the venue management industry.


Complete the appropriate application, Mentor or Mentee. You will receive a confirmation once your application has been received. If you have any questions, contact IAVM’s Membership Services at 972.906.7441. Note: Matches are handled twice a year. You will be enrolled in the next formal partnership program: April and October annually.

IAVM is grateful for
the support of our
Global Partners:


Have a question for us? We’d love to hear from you! Fill out this contact form, and we’ll make sure the most appropriate department receives your message.


Join the passionate venue industry leaders who are IAVM: