SMG Tulsa General Manager, John Bolton, Named IAVM Board Chair

(Tulsa, Okla.) July 29, 2013 –John Bolton, SMG General Manager of the BOK Center and Cox Business Center, begins his one-year-term as Board Chair of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) this week at the VenueConnect conference in New Orleans.

“I am honored to serve as IAVM Chairman because I understand the important role this organization plays in our industry and to venue managers,” Bolton said. “Through IAVM, I have been given so many incredible opportunities to grow in my career and have developed lifelong friendships with colleagues.

“The opportunity to lead the organization allows me to give back to an industry I love, while helping others achieve their goals,” Bolton added.

Bolton joined IAVM in 1994 and has served in a variety of other capacities including Chair of the Professional Development Committee, Chair of the Board of Governors for IAVM’s Senior Executive Symposium at Cornell University, local host for the 2010 Arena Management Conference in Tulsa, and Region 6 Director and Chair of the Arenas Committee.

In addition to overseeing both venues in Tulsa, Bolton serves as national director of marketing for SMG Worldwide. He has been in the industry since 1986 and has managed venues in Evansville, Ind., and Owensboro, Ky., prior to moving to Tulsa in 2007. In 2012, Bolton received the prestigious Facility Executive of the Year Award from Pollstar Magazine. Under his leadership, the BOK Center won the IAVM Venue Excellence Award for Arenas in 2011.

“I am thrilled to have John Bolton leading our Association in the coming year. His twenty years of venue industry expertise, collaborative nature, steady calm demeanor, and ability to focus people together on a common goal, give me no doubt that John will deliver results for our organization. I am confident he will take IAVM to new and exciting levels of support and inspiration for our members; and I am also happy to share this journey with a fellow Oklahoman,” added IAVM President and CEO Vicki Hawarden.

The International Association of Venue Managers is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to issues relevant to the management of public assembly venues. Members of the association manage public assembly venues such as amphitheaters, arenas, auditoriums, convention centers/exhibit halls, performing arts venues, stadiums and university complexes; or provide products, services or attractions to support the industry. IAVM has more than 3,500 members worldwide. More information is available at

About the BOK Center: The BOK Center is Tulsa’s state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue that opened in fall 2008. The 19,199-seat arena is home to the WNBA Tulsa Shock and the CHL Tulsa Oilers. The BOK Center was designed to host major concerts, family shows, ice shows, and other world class entertainment. Owned by the City Of Tulsa, the BOK Center is part of Vision 2025, a project to grow economic and community infrastructure for future generations. In 2011, the BOK Center won the prestigious International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Venue Excellence Award.

About SMG: Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions, catering and special events division, SAVOR, currently servicing more than 100 accounts worldwide.

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