International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), an association dedicated to the management of public assembly venues, selected Global Spectrum’s regional vice president and general manager of the St. Charles Convention Center as an award recipient.
Receiving the Charles A. McElravy Award, which is named in honor of one of IAVM’s founding organizers, is Shura Garnett, CFE.
“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,” said John Bolton, CFE, and chair of board of directors, IAVM.
Granted for extraordinary contributions to the association and the professional venue management industry it serves, the award will be presented during IAVM’s annual conference and tradeshow, VenueConnect, July 26-29 in Portland, Ore.
With over 25 years of venue management experience in the operation of convention centers, Garnett 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 leadership.
“We are all proud of Shura and the fantastic work she does for our clients and our customers,” said John Page, chief operating officer, Global Spectrum. “This award is a true testament to Shura’s outstanding work ethic, which is contagious. She continuously provides our facilities with her terrific enthusiasm and work knowledge.”
Garnett’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 square-feet St. Charles Convention Center in April 2005 after overseeing all aspects of the 18-month construction. In 2010, she was promoted to regional vice president by Global Spectrum and remains general manager of the convention center.
“Shura’s dedication to her profession and to our organization is inspirational. She’s someone I truly admire, and her many contributions to IAVM, particularly during her time as chair, are part of why IAVM is where it is today,” said Vicki Hawarden, CMP, president and CEO, IAVM.
Garnett also 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; she was named that same year as one of Venues Today’s Women of Influence. Within her work, Garnett 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, Garnett 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 Garnett’s tenure as chair, 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 worked to rebrand the annual conference and tradeshow, to what it’s currently known as VenueConnect.