New KCAC manager hired
November 07, 2013 10:59 AM
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The firm that manages the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex on IUP’s behalf has promoted its general manager to another facility.

Jim Grafstrom, who had been managing the Kovalchick Complex’s day-to-day operations since it opened in March 2011, was reassigned to the much larger Crown Center in Fayetteville, N.C. That facility includes an ice hockey arena, an exposition center, a 2,400-seat theater and a ballroom.

There, Grafstrom is being tasked with improving the facility’s bottom line.

The publicly owned Crown Center is a new account for Grafstrom’s firm, Philadelphia-based Global Spectrum, which manages more than 115 venues throughout the U.S. and abroad. It took over management of the Crown Center on Nov. 1.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Grafstrom, who added that it’s bittersweet to leave Indiana.

Grafstrom is being joined at the Crown Center by the Kovalchick Complex’s marketing director, Katie Mikos. Mikos also left for a bigger opportunity there.

Replacing Grafstrom at the Kovalchick Complex is another Global Spectrum manager who has been promoted to fill his role.

David Farrar, 31, comes to the KCAC from the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo., where he was the assistant general manager.

The 7,200-seat Budwesier Center is a publicly owned multipurpose venue.

There he served as the venue’s primary booking contact and helped oversee day-to-day operations.

Farrar, who has been with Global Spectrum for five years, has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports management from Virginia Commonwealth University. He also has completed professional training through the International Association of Venue Managers.

And last month Farrar was named the Entertainment Buyers Association’s Venue Executive of 2013, an honor reflecting his commitment to booking the facility, the company said.

“We are excited to welcome David as our new general manager at Kovalchick,” John Page, Global Spectrum’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “David brings a tremendous amount of experience to Indiana and we’re looking forward to seeing him lead our efforts in securing new and exciting events for the region and maintaining our high level of customer service at Kovalchick.”

Among his challenges here will be to at least maintain the revenue momentum that has been built up since the complex opened. That momentum has allowed the KCAC to post a slight operating profit in each of its first two full years, something it wasn’t expected to do.

“The university appreciates and remains confident in Global Spectrum’s diligent management of the Kovalchick Complex,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said in a statement. “We fully expect continued growth and success for the facility as we welcome David Farrar to the Kovalchick Complex management team.”

Farrar officially begins his new duties Nov. 15.

In the meantime, Global Spectrum officials said they are working on finalizing arrangements with the successor to Mikos. That person is to begin his or her duties by mid-November, officials said.

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