Global Spectrum's pick for Crown manager approved [The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.]
(Fayetteville Observer (NC) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 25--James Grafstrom will be the new face of the Crown Center.
At a special meeting Thursday, the Cumberland County Civic Center Commission approved Grafstrom's appointment as the next general manager of the Fayetteville complex. Grafstrom will take the helm from current general manager Karen Long when privately owned Global Spectrum assumes management of the facilities on Nov. 1.
Doug Higgons, regional vice president for Global Spectrum, told the commissioners he hand-picked Grafstrom for the job.
"I'm very confident with our support, Jim's the right person to lead the transformation of the Crown," he said.
Grafstrom told commissioners that Global Spectrum intends to implement a culture shift at the Crown Center. He emphasized the importance of the company's "How You Doin'?" customer service philosophy, which he said begins with pleasant interactions with parking staff upon arrival and carries through every level of the facility up to the general manager. When customers have a good experience, word spreads, he said.
"Something that seems so obvious and so simple goes so, so far," he said.
Grafstrom said he intends to make use of both his and the company's relationships with promoters to bring in new acts at the Crown Center. He said his current facility -- the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex at Indiana University of Pennsylvania -- has sold out for such shows as Wiz Khalifa, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, a monster truck show and Disney on Ice.
"It's a lot of phone calls to agents; it's building relationships and getting them to trust you," Grafstrom said.
Once the Crown's staff books shows, he said, the most important step is to market them properly. Katie Mikos, the current marketing director at the Kovalchick Complex, will lead that effort.
"She's done very well. She's made a name for herself, and we fully anticipate her growing her profile," he told the commissioners.
Reached by phone after the meeting, Mikos said she plans to reach out to Fort Bragg and Pope Army Airfield, as well as the community as a whole, to see what residents' needs are and how to best meet them.
"We want to be as open to ideas and open to the community as possible," she said.
Mikos said Global Spectrum also will continue efforts to support local charities.
For Grafstrom and Mikos, becoming a part of the community is important, and both said they plan to join local clubs and organizations to meet people and represent the Crown.
Commissioner Thaddeus "T.J." Jenkins voted against Grafstrom's appointment. Jenkins said he opposed the move because he would have preferred a general manager who has more experience running facilities in larger cities.
But the most important thing, he said, is implementation of Global Spectrum's management system.
"It's the Global Spectrum we're buying into," he said. "I have full confidence that ... will be what's best for this community."
Staff writer Paige Rentz can be reached at email@example.com or 486-2728.
(c)2013 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)
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