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IWBI Welcomes Additional Leaders to the WELL Health-Safety Advisory for Sports and Entertainment Venues


NEW YORK–()–The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) today announced that an additional 25+ leaders from the sports and entertainment industries have joined the WELL Advisory for Sports and Entertainment Venues to help advance the completion of the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management specific to these venues. The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols and emergency plans to address a post COVID-19 environment. The rating will be available to all facilities and building typologies globally at the end of this month.

“We’re as anxious as everyone else to get back to cheering our teams and applauding our artists,” said IWBI President Rachel Gutter. “The idea of community is one of the foundations of WELL precisely because gathering together with friends and family is part of the human condition. We’re grateful for the time and effort these professionals are contributing to help make sure we keep health front and center as we make our way towards recovery.”

Experts from the sports and entertainment industries, including representatives from teams, leagues, facilities, service providers, and actors and athletes themselves have joined the WELL Advisory for Sports and Entertainment Venues to contribute their deep knowledge as these industries grapple with the challenges of operating large venues in a post COVID-19 world. New Advisory members who have recently joined the effort include:

AAA International League – Randy Mobley, President

AAA Pacific Coast League – Branch Rickey, President

Allianz Field / MNUFC – Justin Borrell, GM

Aramark – Alison Birdwell, President Sports and Entertainment and Jennifer McCrary, District Manager Northern California & Arizona

Association of Volleyball Professionals – Josh Glazebrook, Creative Director and COVID-19 Response

Barbican – Jonathon Poyner, Director of Operations & Buildings

Bridgestone Arena / Predators – Dave Urso, Senior VP of Operations

CAFE Football – Joanna Deagle, Managing Director

Chesapeake Energy Arena / Oklahoma City Thunder – Brian Byrnes, SVP, Oklahoma City Thunder and Chris Semrau, General Manager

Columbus Clippers – Ken Schnacke, President and Chairman, Board of Trustees of MiLB

Comcast / Spectra – John Page, President, Venue Management and Michael Ahearn, SVP Spectra Venue Management

Ecoworks Studio – Carlie Bullock-Jones, Founder and Principal

FIFA – Guy Smith, Senior Stadium Manager

Golf Environment Organization – Jonathan Smith, Founder and Executive Director

Greg Norman Company – Greg Norman, Chairman and CEO and World Golf Hall of Fame Inductee

IndigoJLD – Joyce S. Lee, President

Kientzler Consulting – Alesha Kientzler, Principal

KOKO Group – Olly Bengough, CEO and Founder

Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment – Nick Eaves, Chief Venues & Operations Officer

Melbourne Cricket Club – Peter Wearne, General Manager, Facilities

Minor League Baseball – Pat O’Conner, President / CEO

National Amusements – Shawn Sullivan, Vice President, Real Estate and US & International Business and Legal Affairs

Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment – Robert Nederlander Jr., CEO

NFL Environmental Program – Jack Groh, Director, and Susan Groh, Associate Director

NY Red Bulls – Bill Wiswesser, Senior Director of Operations and Broadcast

NY Road Runners – Jessica Robinson, Director of Strategy and Operations, and Alexandra Criscuolo, Sustainability Manager

One Blue Marble – Helen Taylor, Founding Director

Pacers / Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Mel Raines, EVP Corporate Communications, Community Engagement and Facility Operations and Andy Arnold, VP of Event Production and Facility Operations

Reach4Entertainment – David Stoller, Chairman and CEO

Royal Albert Hall – Craig Hassall, CEO

Sport Positive Summit – Claire Poole, Founder and CEO

Tappit Austin Healey, Executive Vice Chairman

Tennis Australia (Australian Open) – Matthew Nicholas, Head of Major Projects & Sustainability

United Soccer League – Brett Luy, Senior VP, League Operations

University Colorado Boulder – Dave Newport, Director, Environmental Center

Vinik Sports Group – Kevin Preast, EVP of Event Management

“The ability of sport to bring people together as a community is unique,” said Australian golf professional and World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman. “And there is a global hunger to reconvene this community and return to the stadiums, arenas and courses where we have historically gathered in our quest for excellence. This effort will use the scientific evidence before us to help inform how we can do this in ways that help support the athletes, staff and fans alike.”

“As a leading, global food services partner for sports’ most prominent venues and events, our commitment to creating safe, hygienic world-class dining experiences for guests has always been a top priority,” said Alison Birdwell, president, Aramark’s Sports & Entertainment division. “We look forward to sharing our industry insights and best practices with IWBI and joining the other partners, as we come together with the common goal of developing recommendations and guidance to safely operate in today’s environment.”

“Over the last couple months, it has been inspiring to watch the venue management industry come together to shape how we will move forward with live entertainment and sporting events,” said John Page, Spectra’s president of Venue Management. “Mike Ahearn, senior vice president of operations, and I joined the WELL Advisory because it is a chief example of leaders lending their expertise and decades of experience to develop new industry standards and best practices in operational policies and cleaning procedures. And more importantly, it’s how we will hold each other accountable to meet those standards. Spectra manages almost 200 venues across the globe, and in the end, it’s our guests and clients who will benefit from this universal focus on bettering health and well-being inside venues.”

“For over 165 years, sport and entertainment have brought the community together at the MCG – the southern hemisphere’s largest stadium – and I’m passionate about that continuing in a safe and healthy way,” said Peter Wearne, general manager, Facilities, Melbourne Cricket Club. “So as we begin to navigate the new normal post the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m pleased to join like-minded industry leaders on the WELL Advisory for Sports and Entertainment Venues.”

“It’s an honor to be invited to join the WELL Advisory for Sports and Entertainment Venues,” said Matthew Nicholas, Head of Major Projects & Sustainability, Tennis Australia. “The group will give major sporting bodies and venues the chance to work together to create the best possible outcomes for the post COVID-19 recovery period. I see this as an outstanding opportunity to implement consistent measures across venues around the world to ensure spectators feel safe no matter which event they choose to attend, and the development of the Rating will provide good guidance in Tennis Australia’s scenario planning for Australian Open 2021.”

The WELL Health-Safety Rating is designed to help owners and operators provide the important guidance and third-party verification to considerations of health and well-being in a post COVID-19 pandemic world. Leveraging guidance on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory disease developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), leading academic and research institutions, insights drawn from the IWBI COVID-19 Task Force, and core principles already established by IWBI’s WELL Building Standard (WELL), the program provides a centralized source and governing body to validate efforts made by owners and operators.

Participation in the program will require submission of policies, programs and plans for third-party document review and annual verification.

The IWBI COVID-19 Task Force, a group of nearly 600 public health experts, virologists, government officials, academics, business leaders, architects, designers, building scientists and real estate professionals, was established at the outset of the pandemic to develop Guidelines on Prevention and Preparedness, Resilience and Recovery in response to pathogen transmission concerns. Members of the task force include 17th Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Richard Carmona, former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, UCLA’s Dr. Jonathan Fielding, and environmental scientist Allen Hershkowitz PhD. Registrations under the WELL Building Standard, the premier standard for healthy real estate, has already surpassed 560 million square feet in 62 countries since inception. The WELL building movement has been further amplified by over 11,000 WELL Accredited Professionals (APs) and registrants across the globe.

Register interest in the WELL Health-Safety Rating here, and join founding members of the WELL Advisory for Sports and Entertainment Venues, including:

Co-Chairs

17th US Surgeon General – Dr. Richard Carmona

Oak View Group – Tim Leiweke, CEO

New York Yankees – Doug Behar, SVP and Director of Stadium Operations

CAA ICON – Tim Romani, CEO

Jani-King – Mike Biggs, VP Sports and Entertainment Partnerships

Legends – Bill Rhoda, President Global Planning

New York Yankees – Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D., Environmental Science Advisor

Advisory Council Members

San Francisco 49ers – Al Guido, President

76ers and NJ Devils – Scott O’Neil, CEO

TD Garden – Amy Latimer, President

Texas Rangers – Rob Matwick, EVP Business Operations

Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta – Scott Jenkins, GM

Amalie Arena Tampa Bay Lightning – Darryl Benge, EVP and Arena GM

C3 Presents – Charles Attal, CEO

WNBA Frmr President/Commissioner, PGA Tour Frmr Office of the Commissioner – Donna Orender

Buffalo Bills and New Era Field – Andy Major, VP of Operations and Guest Experience

HOK – Chris DeVolder, Managing Principal

Seattle NHL – Tod Leiweke, President and CEO

Detroit Red Wings Governor, President and CEO and Ilitch Holdings CEO – Chris Granger

Inter Miami CF – Brian Bishop, Senior Vice President

Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage Field House – Len Komoroski, CEO

AOL Frmr CEO, NBA Frmr Executive, WSL Board – Jon Miller

New York Mets – Michael Dohnert, Senior Director Ballpark Operations

Globe Life Field – Sean Decker, EVP of Sport & Entertainment

European Healthy Stadia Network – Dr. Matthew Philpott, Executive Director

Centre for Access to Football in Europe – Joanna Deagle, Managing Director

Charlotte Hornets – Donna Julian, EVP

Sport and Sustainability International – Julia Palle, President

Sport Ecology Group – Dr. Madeleine Orr, Founder and Co-Director

Alliance Sports – Gary Green, CEO

Inter Miami CF Stadium – Tim Robbie, GM

MyStadium – Pierluigi Zacheo, Founder

BASIS (British Association for Sustainable Sport) – Dr. Russell Seymour, Chief Executive

Texas A&M University – Dr. Brian McCullough

Two Owls Partners in Sustainability – David Mayer, Co-Founder

Citizen Group – Robin Raj, Founder and Executive Creative Director

Endeavor Analytics – Keith Friedenberg, EVP

The Ashkin Group – Stephen P. Ashkin, President

Team Planet – Simon Lewis, Director

BlackWolf Expeditions – Gabriel Krenza, Founder

About the International WELL Building Institute

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings, communities and organizations in ways that help people thrive. The WELL v2 pilot is the latest version of its popular WELL Building Standard (WELL), and the WELL Community Standard pilot is a district scale rating system that sets a new global benchmark for healthy communities. WELL is focused exclusively on the ways that buildings and communities, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness. IWBI mobilizes the wellness community through management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and wellness for everyone, everywhere. For more information about IWBI and WELL, visit us here.

International WELL Building Institute, IWBI, the WELL Building Standard, WELL v2, WELL Certified, WELL AP, WELL, WELL Portfolio, The WELL Conference, the WELL Community Standard, WELL Workforce, WELL Health-Safety Rating and others, and their related logos are trademarks or certification marks of International WELL Building Institute pbc in the United States and other countries.



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