Shura Garnett, CFE, Receives Prestigious Charles A. McElravy Award


IAVM Headquarters, Coppell, TX – The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) is pleased to announce, Shura Garnett, CFE, Regional Vice President and General Manager of the St. Charles Convention Center, in St. Charles, Mo. as the recipient of the prestigious Charles A. McElravy Award for 2014. The McElravy Award, named in honor of one of the founding organizers of IAVM, Charles A. McElravy, was initiated in 1963 and is granted for extraordinary contributions to the Association and the professional venue management industry it serves.

With over 25 years of venue management experience in the operation of convention centers, Shura Garnett, CFE, is highly regarded by her peers in the venue profession. She is known for being focused and driven; adept at producing positive bottom line impacts; good at cultivating and fostering clients and business relationships; and building solid teams through her exemplary leadership.

“Shura is truly deserving of this recognition. She has a passion and energy that inspires others, and her innovation and confident leadership set our Association on course toward success that is still evident today.” stated John Bolton, CFE and current Chair of the IAVM Board of Directors.

Shura’s leadership and management skills quickly became apparent when she entered the industry as an Event Manager in 1987. She soon became Director in 1988. Among her many industry accomplishments, Garnett opened the 154,000 sq. ft. St. Charles Convention Center in April of 2005 after overseeing all aspects of the 18 month construction. She eventually took over as the Regional Vice President at the St. Charles Convention Center with a professional private venue management company, Global Spectrum, in 2010. In 2010, she was promoted to Regional Vice President by Global Spectrum and still acts as GM of the St. Charles Convention Center.

In addition to the McElravy Award, Shura has been honored in 2007 and 2008 when she was nominated for the GMA’s Dove Award given in recognition of outstanding female role models. In 2008 she received the Zonta Yellow Rose Award for her commitment to serving the community and advancing the status of women; and was named that same year as one of VenuesToday’s Women of Influence. Shura and her staff through the support of Global Spectrum, host 2-5 charitable events and activities each year including supporting Youth in Need, Habitat for Humanity, Helping Hands for the Holidays, and Adopt a Soldier programs.

As an IAVM Member, Shura has been active since 1988, earning her CFE in 2000. She served as Board Chair of IAVM from 2009-2010 and has also served on numerous volunteer committees for the Association. During Shura’s tenure as Chair of the Association’s Board, she was instrumental in purchasing and implementing, VenueNet, still considered one of IAVM’s core member communication platforms. She also led efforts to change the Association’s name in 2009-2010 which was at that time called, the International Association of Assembly Managers. She also worked to rebrand the annual conference and trade show, to what is currently known as VenueConnect. IAVM President and CEO, Vicki Hawarden, CMP, said of Shura’s contributions, “Shura’s dedication to her profession and to our organization is inspirational. The overall advancements she helped set in motion during her time as IAVM Chair are beyond compare.”

The award will be presented during IAVM’s annual conference and trade show, VenueConnect, taking place this July 26-29, 2014 in Portland, Oregon.

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