H.R. Cook, the General Manager of the Five Flags Center, has been awarded certification as a Certified Venue Executive, or CVE. This designation represents the highest level of professional competency awarded by the International Association of Venue Managers, the official association of mass gathering public assembly facilities. Cook has been a member of the IAVM for 31 years. He is one of only nine General Managers worldwide to receive CVE status this year. In total, fewer than 360 Certified Venue Executive certifications have been awarded since the program’s inception in 1976.
In order to qualify for CVE certification, candidates must:
- Have at least fifteen years of senior-level venue management experience,
- Have had articles published in various trade publications,
- Demonstrate a commitment to community service,
- Have a record of participation in IAVM activities,
- Receive recommendation from industry peers.
After meeting those qualifications, approved applicants must demonstrate their competency in venue management by completing a written essay, passing a three-hour written examination, and undergoing a two-hour interview examination by a certification panel.
Cook has been the Five Flags Center’s General Manager since 2016. Prior to coming to Dubuque, he served in an executive level management role at venues in Georgia, Kansas, and Michigan. He has been employed by ASM Global, Five Flags’ parent company, or its predecessor, SMG, since 1999, and served as a Regional General Manager for the company for several years.