One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for May 21, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
On Tuesday night our university held a tribute farewell for our retiring Chancellor Kyle Carter and his wife Sarah. The event was a smashing success and included a number of presentations, videos, and live performances by student actors and dancers. The entire event was put together by a planning committee of UNC Pembroke employees including a friend named Patricia Fields.
Patricia is no stranger to UNC Pembroke since she is a 1996 graduate. She was hired in 2001 to serve as Executive Director of the Givens Performing Art Center (GPAC). She came to UNCP after working for 15 years at the Cumberland County (NC) Civic Center. She served as director of promotions, marketing and sales for the Fayetteville, NC facility.
A Parkton, N.C., native Patricia is married to Richard Fields and resides in the Bladen County.
Since coming to UNCP Patricia has been involved with lots of wonderful events and shows held in GPAC. She has also worked for three chancellors and three vice-chancellors. She has been on more committees than one person can keep track of. She has been the face of UNCP in a number of off-campus organizations including the Pembroke Chamber of Commerce, Lumberton Area Chamber of Commerce, Lumberton Rotary, UNCP Staff Council, and a number of professional organizations including International Association of Venue Managers.
The Tuesday night event was bittersweet for Patricia because of her involvement with Kyle and Sarah Carter. She has been part of all the important events in the leadership timeline of the Carters. Those key events included his reception when he was selected as chancellor in 2010, his installation in 2011, the university’s 125th celebration, all five university commencements, and finally the farewell tribute held this past week. Patricia had an interesting perspective on Chancellor Carter because she had been part of the planning on all the major events during his five-year tenure.
The role and significance of Patricia’s leadership has had at UNCP has not been lost on people. In fact in May 2013 she and Lawrence Locklear were the first recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. They received this award in large part due their continued commitment and service to the university. If you want something to get done first class with great personal attention to detail you make sure Patricia Fields is on the committee.
(l-r) 2013 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence Patricia Fields and Lawrence Locklear.
The page is turning for her because today she will be part of the planning team that welcomes to campus the new chancellor elect for UNC Pembroke. I hope the new leader will realize how fortunate they are to have someone like Patricia on their team when it comes to getting results. I know that Patricia’s former boss and friend Kendall Wall knows that.
The Friend-PATRICIA FIELDS
The Friend of the Friend-KENDALL WALL-General Manager at Florence SC Civic Center
Running an Arena
Running a performing arts center or civic center is not easy. It is a competitive business and it is also a business that is constantly adapting to changing times. Kendall Wall is the General Manager of the SMG-managed Florence Civic Center located in Florence SC. Kendall had previously been the General Manager of the Cumberland County (NC) Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville. While he was in Fayetteville he had the opportunity to work with Patricia Fields.
I first got to know Kendall by being asked to serve on a NCAA planning committee for an upcoming NCAA Division II basketball tournament in the 1990’s. I got to experience first-hand all the dynamics that went into planning an event at a facility like the one in Fayetteville, NC. I also got to see how a good leader has to delegate to make a complex event become a reality. Kendall also demonstrated the ability to sell an event to more than just patrons that would purchase a ticket. He opened my eyes to the necessity to sell an event to sponsors, to the local elected officials, to news outlets, and most importantly to his event staff. All of those things had been lost on me until I got around Kendall and his team which included Patricia. Kendall was also not afraid to call and get advice from a guy named Sporty Jeralds.
Jeralds, was a former three-sport star at E.E. Smith, whose father, was a NC legislator named Nick Jeralds. Sporty played basketball for a great friend of mine named Jack Jensen and later went on to manage the Charlotte Coliseum. Today he is clinical instructor for the University of South Carolina in the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sports Management.
Photo below of “Sporty” Jeralds
Kendall was not afraid to call someone with recent experience. He exposed me to the phrase for the first time “best practices”. Kendall asked “Sporty” what the Charlotte Coliseum’s best practices were with basketball tournaments held at the Charlotte Coliseum. That was a lesson that stuck and that phrase “best practices” is commonplace today. Those ideas got incorporated into that NCAA Basketball Tournament and the NCAA was blown away with the little extra’s Kendall provided.
When you are planning events it is good to have a professional on your committee or team. At UNC Pembroke we have had that with Patricia Fields in no small part to the influence that Kendall Wall had on her.