Convention Center, Central Bank Center gets new VP for sales, operations
Oak View Group hires veteran convention center specialist
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Oak View Group Facilities, managers and operators of Lexington’s expanded and renovated 200,000-square-foot Central Bank Center, has named Kentucky native Laura Alexander as the facility’s new Vice President, Convention Center Sales and Operations.
Alexander, who will begin her new role on February 7, 2022, will lead Oak View Group Facility’s efforts to reopen and rebrand the convention center, the company announced Monday
Alexander will also work closely with VisitLex, and the Center, to establish new and exciting marketing partnerships to attract regional and national conventions to Lexington, particularly ones that occupy hotel rooms and generate significant economic impact on Lexington.
Before joining Oak View Group Facilities in Lexington, Alexander spent 10 years at the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter. During her time in Owensboro, she increased gross profit and bottom-line revenue year-over-year for both buildings, including creating 35 self-promoted events that generated more than $500,000 in annual gross revenue and negotiated over $1.9 million in building sponsorship income.
“Laura brings a tremendous amount of experience with her to Lexington which will be instrumental as we prepare to fully open this new facility,” said Oak View Group’s Brian Sipe, General Manager, Central Bank Center which includes the Convention Center and Rupp Arena. “We will rely heavily on Laura to help us rebrand the facility and make it a first-class business destination for conventions and event organizers across the U.S. to gather here in Lexington.”
Upon completion in the Spring of 2022, the new $300 million expansion will feature over 100,000-square feet of contemporary exhibit space, 16 meeting rooms, 11,000 square feet of flexible event space, and a 24,300-square-foot ballroom. The expansion also includes many new amenities that will make the Center one of the most high-tech, user-friendly meeting and event spaces in the region. New sustainability features will also target LEED certification.
Alexander is a previous Generation Next recipient by Venues Now Magazine – an award given to young professionals who have made a difference in sports, music, conventions, family shows, and festivals. She is also a graduate of the International Association of Venue Management (IAVM) Venue Management School.
She also received the first Greater Owensboro Chamber Young Professional of the Year award in 2014 for the design and development of providing free wi-fi to the revitalized Smothers Park in Owensboro. In addition, she has served on the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a former Chair of Chamber Young Professionals. She is also a board member of Friday After 5, a 16-week free concert series hosted on Owensboro’s downtown riverfront.
She is a 2003 graduate of Western Kentucky University where she majored in Corporate & Organizational Communication with a minor in Marketing. Her first position post-college was at the Executive Inn Rivermont, where she was Director of Sales.
OVG Facilities is successful in delivering new event content and programming opportunities for its clients. The company is experiencing a 587% growth since 2018, including opening the Seattle Kraken’s Climate Pledge Arena, and the New York Islanders’ UBS Arena, both of the National Hockey League; and developing the new arena in Manchester, England Co-op Live, the Moody Center on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin, the Coachella Valley Arena in Coachella Valley, CA, and the new 9,500-seat Enmarket Arena in Savannah, GA.
Oak View Group recently acquired Spectra, one of the industry’s leading venue management and hospitality providers, to create one world-class, full-service live events company.
The new combined organization will serve current and future clients with a complete array of venue and hospitality services, including powerful booking advocacy; innovative, customized food & beverage experiences; award-winning sales & marketing support; cutting-edge public health and public safety solutions; unmatched leadership in sustainable, green operations; and analytic insights that will enable smarter and faster operational decisions.