Dana Stoehr, CFE, is the general manager of the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California. The Craneway Pavilion is a 45,000-square-foot, bay-front venue with breathtaking views of the Bay Area. In 1931, the building opened as the Ford Company assembly plant, which was the largest plant on the west coast. During World War II, the plant was retooled to process tanks and jeeps. In 2004, the forgotten building was purchased and restored to its current stunning architecture and open-space environment.
Stoehr joined the Certified Facilities Executive family in 2013. With her vast knowledge of venues and ability to keep pace with industry innovation, she was the logical choice to share her insight on trends and technology in a state-of-the-art venue.
Technology and innovation is a key ingredient in the success of a venue. What elevates your venue from others?
I am so proud to be the general manager of the Craneway Pavilion. The venue started in the 1930s as an icon of technology producing Ford automobiles and—while we are now a historic venue—it is still technology and innovation that drives our success. Our pavilion features a world-class Meyers Sound System with powered speakers, stage monitor system, 30-plus path bays with network, and a Barco LED video wall. Our in-house staging and streaming video has capabilities with up to 1,000Mbps and finally high-speed Internet with up to 1000Mbps symmetric bandwidth. These innovative amenities are the key ingredients in exceeding client expectations while giving them the most spectacular view of the San Francisco Bay.
What has been the benefit of having your CFE in your career?
Taking the path to becoming a CFE is ultimately rewarding in two ways. First, it is very satisfying in one’s ongoing quest for additional education and knowledge about the venue industry. Even after years of experience, you learn a lot! Secondly, it gives you a great perspective on how different venues are operated and a new insight to applying your skills in very different settings.
What do you see as upcoming trends in the industry for venues to embrace?
I believe upcoming trends will include a greater emphasis on our ability to offer multi-source technology applications. Mobile and video demands will continue at a fast pace. There is also a continued demand for providing a greater range of unique experiences. At the Craneway Pavilion, we have added packaged experience programs to enhance our ability to offer more than a room with a view.
What advice would you impart to a young professional starting out in the venue industry?
Stay true to your values, and never stop learning and networking.
My dream venue would contain?
More storage space and parking lots. Does any venue ever have enough?
Why I love what I am doing.
Aside from the aspect that most of what we do creates happiness and memories for people, I love the problem solving. Every day is new, every client has different needs, and no day is ever the same. FM