Chapter News

Washington State Convention Center Commits to GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation Program

News Release
July 7, 2020

Media Contacts:
Loni Syltebo, WSCC
(206) 271-4585 | loni.syltebo@wscc.com

Addie Davis, Visit Seattle
(425) 308-6537 | amdavis@visitseattle.org

Washington State Convention Center
Commits to GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation Program

Seattle – The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) has announced its commitment to achieve the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation on outbreak prevention, response and recovery. Recognized as the gold standard of safe venues, GBAC STAR™ provides third-party validation to ensure the implementation of rigorous protocols in response to biorisk situations.

A new certificate program from the Global BioRisk Advisory Council, a division of the worldwide cleaning industry association ISSA, could help the industry safely resume face-to-face events
and lessen attendee concerns. The GBAC STAR™ program is designed to teach venue-cleaning professionals how to prepare for, respond to and recover from infectious diseases and biohazards. GBAC’s scientific advisory board, who are experienced in microbial-pathogenic threat analysis and mitigation, created the program.

Facilities will gain accreditation when they show they are implementing the industry’s highest standards of cleaning for COVID-19 and are safe to welcome guests and hold events. The program is backed by over a dozen industry organizations, including the International Association of Venue Managers, International Facility Management Association, and International Association of Exhibitions and Events.

To be considered a GBAC STAR™ facility, a venue must have at least one staff member complete the GBAC fundamentals certificate course. The online course covers everything from
proper procedures and training to the chemicals, equipment, tools, and personal protective equipment necessary for preventing and responding to infectious diseases.

“WSCC has always strived for stellar cleanliness throughout the facility and this extension of knowledge will further enhance our abilities to clean and sanitize once events return,” said WSCC Director of Operations Earl Taylor.

Facilities must also complete an online application and demonstrate compliance with the 20
GBAC STAR™ program elements, which include risk-assessment and risk-mitigation strategies, personnel training, and inventory control and management. Applications will be reviewed and approved by the GBAC Accreditation Council.

“The world as we knew it has been fundamentally changed by COVID-19. When we are all ready to meet face to face again, WSCC wants every meeting planner and their event attendees to know they are in a clean, safe and healthy environment,” said WSCC VP of Operations Jon
Houg. “We will be examining and tending to every aspect of the operation, including bringing in the latest research, technology and innovation to make that happen.”

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About the Washington State Convention Center
Located in the heart of Seattle and walking distance to world-class hotels, restaurants, entertainment and attractions, the Convention Center’s Arch building has been the Northwest’s premier meeting and event facility for over 30 years, providing industry-leading service, award- winning catering and innovative solutions for event planners, guests and visitors. WSCC looks forward to opening the Summit building, adding approximately 248,000 square feet of exhibit space, 59 meeting rooms, and a 58,000 square-foot ballroom to the Center’s offerings, in Spring
2022. For more information, visit www.wscc.com.

About GBAC, a Division of ISSA
Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, training and certification of individuals and consulting for building owners and facility managers. For more information, visit www.gbac.org.

Donica YoungWashington State Convention Center Commits to GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation Program