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IAAM NEWS: Facility Managers, Event Promoters Free From Prosecution, Says IAAM (Click on More to view all articles)

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — In response to a CelebrityAccess post of a June 19 AP story titled, Concert Promoters Fear Amber Alert, the IAAM advised CelebrityAccess, from a release dated April 15, about how facility managers and event promoters will not be prosecuted.

After more than a year in the making with numerous revisions, the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate late last week. The original bill, formerly known as the RAVE act, was opposed by IAAM who worked with Senator
Joseph Biden, Jr., to revise the language that would have made public assembly facility managers liable for “knowing or reasonably ought to know” that drugs would be used in the facility.

The bill makes it a crime to “manage or control any place, whether permanently or temporarily, either as an owner, lessee, agent, employee, occupant, or mortgagee, and knowingly and intentionally rent, lease, profit from, or make available for use, with or without compensation, the place for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, distributing, or using a controlled substance.”

The bill provides federal prosecutors the tools needed to combat the manufacture, distribution or use of any controlled substance at any venue whose purpose is to engage in illegal narcotics activity.

The original bill in the House, H.R. 3782, entitled Clean, Learn, Educate, Abolish, Neutralize, and Undermine Production of Methamphetamines Act of 2002, was the subject of IAAM’s protest as it would have made building managers accountable for incidental drug use in their venues. After several different bills in the House, IAAM’s legislative council worked out a compromise with Senator Biden’s office on the Senate bill.

Rather than create a new law, Senator Biden attached an amendment to the Amber Alert Bill (a child abduction bill) which amends a well-established statute to make clear that anyone who knowingly and intentionally uses their property – or allows another person to use their property – for the purpose of distributing or manufacturing or using illegal drugs can be held accountable, regardless of whether the drug use is ongoing or occurs at a single event.

“This is a very important piece of legislation that has an immediate impact on our members and all public assembly facilities,” said IAAM President Joseph Floreano, CFE, executive director of the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. “We are very pleased that IAAM and Senator Biden could partner together to insure that this measure was crafted in a way that did not subject our members to unwarranted prosecution, yet put us firmly on the side of not condoning any illegal activities in the venues operated by our members.”

Senator Biden inserted the following helpful statement in the Senate record: “The purpose of my legislation is not to prosecute legitimate law abiding managers of stadiums, arenas, performing arts centers, licensed beverage
facilities and other venues because of incidental drug use at their events.” This statement will be part of the legislative history of the bill and should help direct federal agencies and the courts in their interpretation
of the bill when it becomes a law.

In addition, the Senate Conference Report submitted by Senator Biden carried the following statement: “We know that there will always be certain people who will bring drugs into musical or other events and use them without the
knowledge or permission of the promoter or club owner. This is not the type of activity that my bill would address. My bill would help in the prosecution of rogue promoters who not only know that there is drug use at their event but also hold the event for the purpose of illegal drug use or
distribution. That is quite a high bar. The Coalition of Licensed Beverage Associations and the International Association of Assembly Managers, who initially expressed concerns that my bill would make their members liable for the actions of their patrons, have endorsed my legislation because they realized that my bill was not aimed at responsible party promoters.” — edited by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Frank Russo Honored With IAAM Award

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Global Spectrum senior vice president Frank Russo, CFE, one of the most respected leaders in public assembly facility management, received IAAM's Joseph J. Anzivino Distinguished Allied Member Award on July 29, during the Annual Conference & Trade Show in New Orleans.

Just recently, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to change the name of the previously known Distinguished Allied Member Award to the Joseph J. Anzivino Distinguished Allied Member Award in honor of Joe Anzivino who recently passed away. Anzivino was the first Allied member to receive this award when it was instituted in 1991.

The award is presented annually by the Association's Allied Committee with approval from the Board of Directors to an individual currently or presently employed by a firm which is or was an allied member in good standing and who also meets a set of criteria designed by IAAM.

"Frank Russo has given his time freely for many years not only as an allied member, but as a venue manager," said Joe Floreano, CFE, IAAM president. "The work he has contributed today will live forever within the Association. Frank is always there for us no matter how busy he may be or wherever he may be, he always makes time for IAAM."

Russo has served as chair of the IAAM Foundation, Oglebay and as a member of the Board of Directors. He currently chairs the Body of Knowledge Task Force and serves on the newly formed Board of Education. — edited Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

IAAM Confab Set For July 25-29

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — The International Association of Assembly Managers' (IAAM)' 78th Annual Conference & Trade Show will converge on New Orleans July 25-29 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. This year's theme is "Partners For The Future".

The annual confab will feature keynotes, educational and professional development sessions, town hall meetings, facility specific meetings, golf tournament, a three-day trade show, local venue tours, a silent auction and much more.

"The Annual Conference & Trade Show is one of the best produced professional development opportunities available to those of us involved in the venue management industry," said IAAM president Joe Floreano, CFE, executive director of the Rochester (NY) Riverside Convention Center. "We take this time to gather together, to learn from others and to also teach others the management techniques that have been so vital to all of us in our career development."

The IAAM Foundation's golf tournament will be held July 25 at the Golf Club of New Orleans at Eastover, a course designated as one of the Top 5 golf courses in the state by Golf Digest Magazine's "Places to Play." The stakes will be a little higher this year as Irwin Seating has sponsored a hole-in-one whereby any golfer who actually makes a hole-in-one will drive away in a Tahoe, Monte Carlo or other vehicle donated by Banner Chevrolet.

The University Venue Management Conference returns for its fourth year and has grown each year in popularity and attendance. A "conference within a conference," the UVMC focuses on issues relevant to those in college and university facilities management. Bill Ruud, senior policy advisor for education for Idaho governor Dirk Kempthorne, is the keynote speaker and will present "Managing University Venues in Times of Challenge."

Also keynoting is Amanda Gore, who will deliver "Live … and Lead Out Loud!" at the opening session. Gore is an expert on communications, leadership and group dynamics, and the author of three books and numerous video and audio programs.

Finally, Keith Harrell will handle the keynote honors at the Inaugural luncheon with his presentation of "Making Performance Matter." Harrell, a former IBM marketing executive, was one of that company's top training instructors. As a speaker, trainer, consultant and author, Harrell is highly recognized for his innovative and enlightening presentations.

As always, there will be the IAAM Trade Show, spread over three days. Attendees will find the very latest products and services in the public facility market ranging from stages, scoreboards and seating to architects, financial management services and food and beverage companies. For a sneak peek, visit for a Virtual Trade show where many of the exhibitors are showing their products and services.

The trade show floor is also where the IAAM Foundation's silent auction will take place. Bidders will find a wealth of products at the auction, where the raised monies go back into the Foundation to support industry education, research and programming. A list of auction items is also available on the IAAM web site.

Local IAAM members will offer tours of their facilities. Some of the tours include the Saenger Theatre, Orpheum Theatre, Mahalia Jackson Theatre of the Performing Arts, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans Arena.

The conference will conclude with Floreano turning over the presidential gavel to Mike Kelly, CFE, executive director of NCC (New Zealand) Ltd. Jimmy Earl, CFE, associate director of the Frank Erwin Center at the University of Texas at Austin, will become the 1st vice president while David Ross, CFE, director of the Show Me Center at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO, will become the 2nd vice president pending a vote approval by the IAAM membership at the conference. — edited by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen.