Industry Leader Speaks to USJ Venue Management Class

Russ Simmons, Managing Partner & Chief Listening Officer. Photo by: Venue Solutions Group

When Assistant Professor of Business Administration Janet Howes, Ph.D., wanted to bring in an industry leader in the programming, planning, preparation, and performance of venues worldwide for her MGMT 319 Venue Management and Design class, she immediately thought of Venue Solutions Group Managing Partner & Chief Listening Officer Russ Simons.  

Simons participated in the class beginning with an overview of the industry, sage advice for students wanting to work in sports or venue management, and lifetime work tips for anyone. He suggested, “change in an organization provides a massive amount of opportunity to step up and always take advantage to learn something new on any given day. Someone is always paying attention. Making yourself available to learn are key foundational aspects of getting the experience that will help you in the future.” 

The students had an opportunity to ask the guest speaker questions. Kevin Bilbraut, “Everyone has a job. When did you feel like you started your career?” Simons responded, “Once I got to be a General Manager, then it was a little bit of chutzpah, if I can do this, I can do anything. Everything that led up to the GM job, set the foundation for me to get over the first hurdle. Once you’re a GM it’s not about what you do, it’s about the performance of the people you’re responsible for. The tools, the training, the communication, and your reputation–both personal and professional–can you be counted on and thought of as an asset and a resource to people at all levels.” 

After a 45 minute discussion with Simons, the students continued the class by sharing their capstone project about how they would use a venue for an event not normally planned for that space, think vaccination clinic at a sports arena. According to Howes, “Russ Simons instilled the knowledge of his years of sport management experience and conveyed to the students that everything they do now will lead them to their goal. The path may not be straight but they will get there. The venue management class includes information from all site areas of and Russ was able to reiterate the information the students learned in class.” 

Visit our website to learn more about USJ’s Sport Management & Promotion program.

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