Source: Venue Solutions Group

Nashville, TN - Russ Simons, former senior principal at global design firm Populous, and two Nashville colleagues have formed Venue Solutions Group, LLC (VSG). The new company, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., will offer consulting services in facility operations, evaluation and analysis to public assembly facilities and a range of industries beyond.

Joining Simons as partners on the Venue Solutions Group team are Mike Wooley, former Populous principal, and Tom Williams, former Populous facility operations consultant. The new firm's focus will be the improvement of facility performance through benchmarking, best practices and the partners' direct experience in facility operations. In addition to the partners' concentration at Populous - the public assembly facility market, including professional sports, collegiate sports venues and convention/conference centers - Venue Solutions Group will also consult in the areas of commercial business, retail, health care and government.

"My nine years with the professionals at Populous has been a fantastic experience," said Simons. "The opportunity to learn from clients, architects, designers and industry leaders in all facility types, including world class sports and entertainment facilities, convention centers and such major special events as the Super Bowl, has been unbeatable preparation for this new venture," he said.

"All of us at VSG look forward to continuing our relationship with Populous and appreciate the firm's support during the transition," said Simons.

"Russ was a valued industry friend for years before he joined Populous in 2002," said Rick Martin, Populous board member. "We've benefitted greatly from his tenure here and are delighted to see him spread his wings to deliver his passion and knowledge to an even wider client audience. We enthusiastically look forward to collaborating with Russ and his team on projects in the future. Services provided by Venue Solutions Group include facility condition assessments, guest experience benchmarking, mystery shopping, safety and security consulting, crowd management planning, capital expenditure planning, risk assessment, sustainable operations and support for new and ongoing operations and management.

"VSG will focus on all aspects of how facilities work," Simons said. "We will support owners and managers on operations and opening new facilities, along with ongoing operational consulting. Essentially, every bit of "science" that makes facilities work and work well.

"We will operate as a 'friend' to the industry. We will answer questions, provide research and support operators, managers and owners industry-wide" Simons continued. "I believe that Mike, Tom and I have established a reputation in the industry that we can be counted on and it is very important to me that we continue that commitment."