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  to be an issue, as we planned to close the building for the summer and  of the construction and the time we had, we elected to start several larger portions of the project in mid-March, including closing and re-   demolition on the event level, and new restrooms on the suite level pri-  - tractors moved in fully and the building will remain closed to events until late September.

Tell us about yourself. How did you get into the facility manage- ment industry?   in the majority of my colleagues as I got into the business by accident. I started my career in Phoenix, Arizona, working for a sub-contractor on the new America West Arena for the Phoenix Suns. I was hired by their engineering department as an electrician and worked in that capacity until taking a job with the Utah Jazz as their engineering manager a few years later.

What do you find most rewarding about being in this industry?  greatest people.

Most memorable event that your venue(s) have hosted and why?

Hands down the Winter Olympics. A month-long move-in, event, and move-out schedule with the Jazz on the road for an entire month.   months after the tragic 9/11 attacks. To see the state, country and in- ternational community come together to celebrate the Olympic spirit during such trying times was truly a privilege and honor.

Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be most significant in your career. I have been extremely fortunate to work for such a dynamic company that values their employees and believes in the principals of empow- erment and entrepreneurship. I am most proud of the people I get to work with every day. Their commitment and proactive mindset makes everything we do possible. We have done many projects at the arena and throughout the sports and entertainment division. I think to select one over the other due to size or importance would be a disservice to those who have earned all the credit.

With your years of experience, would you have any advice you’d like to share with those new to the industry?

Be a continuous learner. Read, research, volunteer, network, and say 

What do you wish someone would have told you? It’s a journey, not a destination.

You have contributed a significant amount of your time and talent in volunteer roles supporting IAVM. How do you feel this has benefited you both professionally and personally? I have met some incredible people who I can call on at a moment’s notice for advice, counsel, and help. While it is true that we compete in the marketplace, we are also colleagues who look out for one another  meetings.

What has been the benefit of having your CFE?   sense that you have put yourself to the test and came away from the experience with much more than you ever expected.

Why did you choose to pursue this prestigious designation? Having completed VMS and VMS GI, a CFE destination was the next step in the education and accreditation process. Too bad it took me so long to get to it.

Now, on a personal note, if you could spend two hours with any- one you would like to personally interview, who would it be? Brad Mayne, CFE, or Brad’s doppelganger, Mahatma Gandhi.

With your tremendously busy schedule managing events and physical facilities at multiple venues, how do you find a balance between professional and personal? - tion. Given our industry, working nights, weekends, and holidays is the norm. I am married to an incredible woman. This industry demands a ton of time and focus; doing this without an incredible partner is inconceivable. Any success I have had in my career is my wife’s fault.

What brings you joy in both your professional and personal life? People.

Who is your role model? The people closest to me. My parents, grandparents, siblings, wife, and children. FM

Jody Lake, CFE, is director, event and sport facilities at the Dee Events Center at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.


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