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is the Director of Theaters and Operations of the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona. By Dan Concepcion, CFE

environments of our venues but will ensure a safe and secure environ- ment. That maintains the architectural integrity of our venues.

What advice would you impart to a young professional starting out in the venue industry? Networking and Mentors. This is a business of networking. Many of the industry people you work with throughout your career will all be from conferences, workshops, and other professional activities. Over the years I have cherished relationships that I have built with other venue managers. Many of them I see multiple times throughout the year. These are my go-to people when I need help or input in resolving is situation. Everything transfers. Take advantage of every job duty, position, and continuing education opportunity that you can get no matter how irrelevant it is to your long-term professional goals. Knowledge and experience make you more valuable to a team. Maintain ethical and responsible work habits. Your career is based

on your reputation. My success over the past 30 years happened in part because I have worked for the betterment of my communities. Self-serving behavior does not get rewarded. Long-term success of your venue and career happens because people have trust in you for their artists, events, or theaters. Learn how to use a phone. Email is a valuable information tool

but one on one communication can build better working relationships, faster solutions, and more creative work environments.    

you go you take the weather with you.” Be a positive person, learn how  No one likes drama (unless it is on stage). A boring backstage pro- duction day free of drama makes for a great day. Make your artists, production crews, and clients feel welcome backstage.

Who is the most impressive person you ever met? Through working in the arts and entertainment world, I have met some of the most incredible social and cultural leaders of our genera-  -


ers of my life. I am an admitted Parrothead, and at age 22, I hung with   would not remember, but I do. As a presenter, I have collaborated with the songbook of my life, people like Wynton Marsalis, Ravi Shankar, Jean Pierre-Rampal, Renee Fleming, and George Benson. I have part- nered on projects with Cheech Marin and presented luminaries such as Neil Gaiman and Hal Holbrook. Potentially the most important - ic explorers, Bob Ballard, Sylvia Earle, and Jean Michel Cousteau. I have had so many incredible conversations throughout the decades on society, art, and philosophy. I feel very lucky that I get to interact with great people.

What are you most proud of professionally and personally? Opening the Mesa Arts Center is my proudest success. When I began in Mesa, it was my intention to open the doors of the venue, get it  that opening a new venue in a community is much greater than brick and mortar. In Mesa, I saw the opportunity to change a community, improve the quality of life and arts, and make a lasting impression. Personally, I have a supportive wife (who I have known since age 15) and two great children. We have all the material things that we need. There is not a single change I would make in my life to have what I have now.

Why do you love what you are doing? What I do for a living is exactly what I planned when I was just start- ing out. My life and career bring me joy and allow me to improve my community. FM

Dan Concepcion, CFE, is the general manager at Edlen Electrical Exhibition Ser- vices in San Francisco, California.

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