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KRS Partnered with IAVM to offer UpStart Program

KRS Partnered with IAVM to offer UpStart Program

The School of Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport (KRS) partnered with the International Association for Venue Managers Foundation (IAVM) to offer the inaugural UpStart program in Baltimore, Maryland on August 1, 2015.

Presented by the IAVM Foundation and KRS, the program was designed to develop future leaders by providing ambitious, young professionals the opportunity to build relationships, engage in transformative learning opportunities and interact with venue management leaders in a conference setting.  As part of VenueConnect, IAVM’s annual conference and trade show, UpStart attendees were afforded the chance to connect with a tremendous professional community.


Dr. Evie Oregon, KRS assistant professor, aided professionals within IAVM Foundation to plan the program, as well as develop the UpStart curriculum.  “It was a fantastic program, and I am honored to have been a part of it,” stated Oregon.  “I believe 3 things (education, network, and experience) get you a job in this industry, and the UpStart program and this conference embedded each of those things within the overall agenda.”

Dr. Brad Stinnett and Dr. Fred Gibson, KRS faculty, were also in attendance and participated in the Game Changer, a 75-minute speed-networking session that featured established industry leaders in small group conversations.  Stinnett found the IAVM Upstart session at Venue Connect to be a highly impactful experience for all attendees. “The format facilitated an engaging discussion between students, young professionals, and leaders in the venue management industry,” he said.  “Upstart: Emerging Leaders Experience was truly a success, and I am excited about similar IAVM sessions in the future.”

KRS Faculty were not the only WKU representatives at UpStart and VenueConnect.  Nine students from the Recreation and Sport Administration (RSA) master’s program were also in attendance.  “This program was one of the most influential and reassuring events that I have ever been to,” stated Houston Croney, RSA graduate student.  “Before this conference, I had no idea exactly what career path I wanted after graduation, but now I can confidently say facility and event management is where I see my future heading.”


KRS Students

Students participating in the programs include the following: Sherrice Dubose of Antioch, TN; Ruben Duffie of Cincinnati, OH; Jarren Nixon of Bowling Green; Keisha Ray of Bowling Green; Joshua Pullens of Bowling Green; David Christian of Owensboro; Houston Croney of Hopkinsville; and Cybil Barton of Tompkinsville.

For more information, please contact Amy Fitzpatrick at (270) 745-2710 or by email at

About IAVM Foundation:  The IAVM Foundation has more than a 30-year history of success in working with industry leaders to identify and fund the development of solutions, resources, and education in critical and emerging areas in public assembly. As the world and the industry becomes more complex, the need is greater than ever to ensure that each and every public assembly venue has a professional workforce, base of knowledge and adequate resources to ensure safety and enjoyment of the public, security of assets, and business results that contribute to economic development and quality of life.  For more information on the IAVM Foundation, please visit

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