30 31 gives the young people an opportunity to get a close look at what theymight be interested in as a career. “Lastly is involve: that is simply to give members an opportunity to be involved with the Associ- ation,whether it’s on a committee, or the Board of Directors–however they want to help or get involved.And we’re constantly working to expand our membership–the more people involved the better for our corporate partners and better for our members.We focus on making sure [prospec- tive members] recognize the value, and stress that we are the only association in the industry exclu- sively focused on stadium concerns.We push the fact that this is where you meet the companies that you’re going to do business with, that you’re going to need, and here’s a chance to get together in a social situation and form relationships that can become friendships. Certainly, buildings and managers can go it alone, but in my career, I have found that being a part of this - it’s just invaluable.” Pereira mentions two current items on SMA’s agenda.One involves broadening its reach beyond its currentAmerican and Canadianmembership.“We are talkingwith a group outside the U.S.right now, that has extended the invitation to come and part- ner with them,”he reveals.“It’s something that we’re verymuch interested in becausewhen you lookat Europe,for example,theyalso have a lot of inter- esting buildings being built; theyhave technologies that are emerging.And youwant to have your eyes open to everything.We’remost familiar with our own practices and our own buildings,however,across the water,there’s some interesting stuff going on,too.” THE STADIUMMANAGERS ASSOCIATION The second item involves broadening opportu- nities within its current membership.“We’remak- ing a push to get more female stadiummanagers involved,”Pereira says.“We have a FemaleManager Initiative,whichwe unveiled at our last Seminar.The femalemembership group got together in their own session to talkabout their issues and their concerns and howto get more involvement in that segment of our membership.I think that’s important,because we do see it on the collegiate level: you havemore young ladies who are interested in sportsmanage- ment.In the‘olden days,’it was definitelyamore male-dominated field.So,it’s something that we’re excited about.” Pereira believes that,today,the SMAis enjoying a golden era after a brief period during the Great Re- cessionwhen budgets were tight and membership dipped, somewhat.“Right now, our membership with stadiummanagement and on the corporate side-we’re pushing records,”he declares.“Peo- ple are engaged; they’re coming to the Annual Seminar.And what you’re seeing is a trend in the industry: with more and more new buildings and renovations, lots and lots of money is being spent. And with those dollars comes the responsibility to spend them correctly; to build buildings that are sustainable, using technology to make the most efficient use of people’s budgets.The Association helps people do their job in the most efficient and effective way they can.” The SMA’s future looks bright, as well. Pereira concludes: “I think there’s always going to be a need for that clearing house that pulls the infor- mation together from a number of different sources andmakes it easier for the stadiummanager to have those resources,and see those trends,and have those partnerships.Wewant to be that leading group that you turn to as a resource for information and networking.It’s been 43 years andwe’ve been very successful.So,I see us continuingwhat we’re doing.”