By Jessica Mize
Valerie Roux is not one to back down from a challenge or two. In fact, in her role as the general manager for UH Sports and Entertainment, she actually welcomes them with a smile.
“I really enjoy my job,” said Roux. “From the people I work with to the challenges that we conquer and face together, I love it here.”
Originally hired as the interim general manager with the department back in August, Roux’s first big task was to open the new TDECU Stadium. After she helped the team accomplish that, while simultaneously overseeing the food and beverage operations, venue management and facilities services for Cullen Performance Hall, as well as all of the athletic venues on campus, the decision was made to make her position a permanent one.
With an extensive background in the construction industry, as well as facilities and event management, the Ottawa-born Roux brings a myriad of industry know-how to her new job with UH Sports and Entertainment. Skills she gained during her time with institutions like the Ottawa Convention Centre, where she served as the director of operations during the last four of her 18 years there, are already being put to good use here at UH.
From planning and executing events to overseeing daily operations and attending important meetings with campus partners, Roux’s work days can sometimes feel a bit like a juggling act; however, the Algonquin College graduate never loses sight of her main priority.
“While I’m constantly working to ensure that we, as a department, are financially, environmentally and operationally responsible, I know that more than anything my team and I have a responsibility to the UH community,” she said. “We want to ensure that we create a great and safe experience and environment for all UH students, faculty, staff and guests at all times, in every venue.”
As if her professional experience wasn’t enough, Roux has also gone on to earn several certifications in her field. Since beginning her career, she’s worked to become a certified technician in mechanical engineering, a Facilities Management Administrator and a LEED Accredited Professional.
“I am a strong believer in continuing education,” said Roux.
Not just someone who loves to learn, Roux also has a passion for teaching. Just before leaving Ottawa, she and a colleague created an online course that is now being used by her alma mater. It covers logistics, operations and risk management in regards to events — something Roux definitely knows a thing or two about after over two decades in the industry.
Reflecting on her career thus far, Roux recounts proud moments and milestones, including the openings of both the Ottawa Convention Centre and TDECU Stadium; however, one of her biggest accomplishments has nothing to do with her professional life, but rather her personal one.
“I am most proud of my daughter who has grown into an amazing and successful young woman,” said Roux. “I’d like to think that I had something to do with that.”