Grand Rapids - The Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA) recently announced that Charlie Secchia will step down from the board after nearly 10 years of service. Charlie was appointed to the seven-member board that oversees DeVos Place, DeVos Performance Hall and Van Andel Arena on February 22, 2012. The CAA and its Operations, Finance and Liaison Subcommittees, as well as its Community Inclusion Group, took the opportunity at this morning’s CAA meeting to thank Charlie for his service.
“It has been an honor to serve on the CAA board with Charlie Secchia,” said CAA Chairman Rick Winn. “He is a tireless advocate for economic growth and his contributions to the success of the venues will have a long-lasting impact. I can’t thank Charlie enough for the unwavering support he has provided to the CAA and the facilities during his service.”
Secchia has continually recognized the importance of investing in the facilities to remain competitive within the entertainment and convention industry and encouraged the implementation of numerous capital improvement projects. His support and guidance have been a driving force behind the success of the venues. Throughout his term, the arena, theater and convention center have experienced growth, upgrades and improvements.
In 2020, the CAA partnered with Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. on a renovated Van Andel Arena plaza with public seating areas, trees and planters, and enhancements to patron and pedestrian safety. Backstage renovations at the Arena were also completed that year, including updates to the locker rooms and dressing rooms and the creation of the West Lounge, a modern banquet space. Additional upgrades to Van Andel Arena throughout Secchia’s tenure include new upper bowl seats, installation of an LED videoboard, an upgraded electronic marquee, enhanced security systems and new security screening equipment.
During Charlie’s term with the CAA, major upgrades were also made to DeVos Performance Hall to accommodate major touring productions such as Hamilton and Disney’s The Lion King. Most recently, the original fly rail and theatrical rigging system was replaced, new restrooms were constructed and existing restrooms were remodeled. Additionally, a new sound system was installed and the stage was upgraded to allow for larger productions.
Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place and DeVos Performance Hall experienced their best ever combined fiscal performance, including a record 42 concerts at Van Andel Arena, in Fiscal Year 2019, the last full fiscal year leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. Events at the facilities that year attracted 1.5 million visitors to Grand Rapids, helping to support restaurants, hotels and other establishments throughout West Michigan. Before the pandemic forced their closures, Fiscal Year 2020 was on course to be the most successful year in the venues' history.
As the venues navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, Secchia and the CAA have worked closely with venue manager ASM Global to implement safety measures aligned with ASM Global’s VenueShield environmental hygiene program. Enhancements to the facilities include upgraded air purification with bipolar ionization equipment, installation of touchless fixtures and equipment to facilitate contactless transactions, cleaning and sanitation equipment, social distancing barriers and personal protective equipment.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of the CAA and to contribute to these world-class facilities,” Secchia commented. “I’m honored to have played a role in bringing top level entertainment and conventions to Grand Rapids. I’ve enjoyed working with the other board members and the ASM Global management team and have seen firsthand the positive impact of the venues on the West Michigan community.”
In addition to his role with the CAA, Secchia currently serves as a partner at SIBSCO, LLC. Charlie is also the owner of Attico Ventures LLC, an asset management company. Previously, he ran Secchia Ltd. In Rome, Italy as Owner and Manufacturer’s Representative and before that worked at LEAR Corporation as Business Development Manager, Project Manager and International Purchasing Manager. Charlie received his Bachelor of Arts degree from John Cabot University in Rome, Italy with a major in International Affairs. In recent years, Secchia has been appointed to many economic and finance committees, including the Board of Directors of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market Board of Directors, the World Affairs Council Board of Directors and The University of Chicago Oriental Institute Visiting Committee.
About the CAA
The Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA) is the seven-member board that administers DeVos Place, DeVos Performance Hall and Van Andel Arena. The CAA was established on March 29, 2000 by the City of Grand Rapids and County of Kent under the Convention Facility Authority Act, Act 203 of the Public Acts of Michigan of 1999. The CAA’s mission is to encourage economic development within the West Michigan region, create jobs, and provide facilities for the entertainment, enjoyment, and/or benefit of the citizens in an economical manner by developing and operating convention, entertainment, and sports facilities within Kent County.
About ASM Global
Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place and DeVos Performance Hall are managed by ASM Global. ASM Global is the world’s leading producer of entertainment experiences. It is the global leader in venue and event strategy and management – delivering locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to achieve maximum results for venue owners. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 325 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues. For more information, please visit asmglobal.com.