Oak View Group Facilities has named Shura Garnett, a highly-respected convention center expert, as senior vice president, convention centers. She will lead the company’s expansion into convention center management, as well as oversee Oak View Group Facilities’ current convention centers. She will report to Oak View Group Facilities President Hank Abate.
“Shura Garnett is well-regarded and one of the most experienced leaders in convention center management in our industry,” says Abate. “She is a past chair of the IAVM, and brings with her a great deal of knowledge, insight and vision to help Oak View Group Facilities expand and grow our convention center business.”
“I have had the pleasure of working with Shura over the past 20 years, and I know firsthand the impact she will make on our convention center business,” adds Peter Luukko, chairman, Oak View Group Facilities. “She is well known throughout the industry and we are fortunate to have her as a member of our team.”
“I have tremendous respect for Peter, Hank and the Oak View Group’s senior management,” says Garnett. “I’m excited to join the team and help attract a great deal of new business for Oak View Group Facilities and offer my experiences to many of the nation’s great convention centers.”
Garnett joins Oak View Group Facilities from Spectra where she most recently served as divisional senior vice president overseeing the company’s 5.2-million-sq.ft. of convention center space, and mid-west region of facilities, including the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa; and the Chaifetz Arena on the Campus of Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Mo.
With more than 25 years of industry experience, Garnett has held positions as a director and CEO of the Midland Convention Center and the vice president of visitor development for the Midland Chamber of Commerce. She previously served as a board member of Trade Show Executives Exposition Forecasting Board and the Center for Exhibition Industry Research Foundation.
Formerly, Garnett was on the board of directors for the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce, and was elected to the Texas Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Advisory Committee.
As part of her International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) activities, she currently serves on the diversity and inclusion committee and previously served as chairman of the IAVM convention center committee, member of the Industry Affairs Committee, member of the Board of Governors, chair of the Board of Education, and chair of the Diversification Committee. She was then elected 1st vice president of the IAVM and worked her way through the chairs to become the chairman of the board of the IAVM. She is a current member of ASAE, IAEE, IAVM, MPI and PCMA. She is the recipient of the 2008 St. Charles Zonta Yellow Rose Award, the 2008 recipient of Venue’s Today’s “Women of Influence” award, the recipient of the 2005 IAVM Presidential Citation in 2005 and most recently the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Charles A McElravy Award, the 27th recipient since 1963.
Oak View Group Facilities, a division of the Oak View Group, was founded by Irving Azoff and Tim Leiweke, with Madison Square Garden Entertainment and supported by Silverlake. OVG Facilities is a full-service venue management company that creates customized management plans for each of their venues. The Group currently manages arenas, theaters, convention centers and amphitheaters all over the U.S. and specializes in event programming, venue assessments, and security and emergency preparedness. For more info, visit www.oakviewgroup.com.