Forest Hills Stadium summer concert series

russ deveau forest hills new york city

I went with colleagues and friends to see the Belle and Sebastian concert at the Forest Hills Stadium last Friday night. It was a fantastic show performed in an almost sold out venue.

I had never seen a Belle and Sebastian concert before. Their fans are a fun – and appear to be an incredibly loyal – crowd. Everyone in my group had a great time.

I lived on Burns Street – on the first floor of 736 Burns Street – in Forest Hills Gardens for a few years several years ago. The stadium was pretty much abandoned and in need of extensive repairs during the years when I lived in the area. At that time, there was a lot of talk about razing the facility and turning the property into a condominium complex.

I moved away from the Gardens in the mid-2000s to work in Europe – spending time with clients in London and Paris – and to live and work in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Provincetown, Massachusetts. Fast-forward to today and I’m back in Forest Hills – this time on 71st Avenue – and the Forest Hills Stadium appears to be thriving.

The Belle and Sebastian performance marked the kick-off of what is now the fifth year of summer concerts to be held at the stadium since renovations to the facility have occurred. The historic building – which in its day has hosted the infamous Billie Jean King and Bobbi Riggs ‘tennis match of the sexes,’ and performances from superstars such as  The Beatles, Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra – looks great and was staffed with an incredible number of super friendly people.

I am always reminded of my days working at Hartford College for Women (HCW) whenever I spend time in Forest Hills Gardens. This is because the HCW campus is located in the West End of Hartford, Connecticut, a neighborhood that includes stately homes and mansions that were built around the time many of the homes in Forest Hills Gardens were built, and because Forest Hills Gardens and portions of the HCW campus were originally landscaped by the Olmsted brothers and Frederick Law Olmsted.

And then there’s Billie Jean King…I had the opportunity to meet Billie Jean King in person on the Hartford College for Women campus as part of  a program my office coordinated with the Connecticut Forum’s American Women in Focus event. Today, Billie Jean King’s picture is featured throughout Forest Hills Stadium and in a very cool and relatively new street mural on a wall under the Forest Hills train station bridge on 71st Avenue, one of the main roads leading into Forest Hills Gardens. The images honor Billie Jean King’s tennis successes and her ties to the Forest Hills tennis center and stadium.

We had incredibly nice weather for the Belle and Sebastian concert. The weather matters given – and just like the main green on the Hartford College for Women campus where summer concerts were held – the Forest Hills Stadium is an outside, no roof venue.

Check out the Forest Hills Stadium performance schedule here. – Russ DeVeau

Speaking of Paris…the Alcatel and Lucent merger

Russ DeVeau Paris Russell DeVeau Paris Alcatel Russ DeVeauHere’s another photo from my days supporting Alcatel communications, editorial and media training initiatives directly from Paris.

I was standing in front of Alcatel’s corporate headquarters – which was located at 54-56 rue de la Boétie, in the 8th arrondissement – when this picture was taken. My French language and speaking skills were tested many times during the numerous meetings and creative sessions I had the opportunity to attend in this building.

The apartment I was living in at the time was located behind from where I am standing in this picture, a few blocks away on Boulevard Haussmann. It was a very short walk from my apartment to the Alcatel building.

I worked with a lot of very talented teams at Alcatel for just about four years, right up until the time when the company merged with Lucent in 2006. Here’s a link to the New York Times story – which was coordinated by communications teams in New York and Paris – announcing the merger. It was huge industry-changing news at the time.

I began working on a variety of HP Telecom initiatives shortly after the Alcatel Lucent merger took place.

My HP colleagues – another group of highly skilled communications professionals – were based in Silicon Valley. I took a lot of New York City to San Francisco red-eye flights during my time supporting HP Telecom. – Russ DeVeau

Does it snow in Paris?

I’ve spent a lot of time working in Paris over the last several years. This was especially true when I supported many of Alcatel’s global positioning objectives in the telecom and fiber optic sectors. But I’ve never seen it snow.

That wasn’t the case last week when ODCA held an update session for analysts and media followed by a meet-and-greet reception for potential new members. Even with the numerous transportation snarls caused by the winter weather, the event was one of the most successful in the history of ODCA.

Three cheers for the executives and participants who braved the Paris snow to discuss the benefits of open interoperable cloud computing. – Russ DeVeau

Russ DeVeau Paris

Russ DeVeau on communicating across cultures

Such an honor to be asked by PR Newswire to participate as an expert in global communications for their first ever webcast focused on communicating across cultures!

I developed my portion of this presentation based on my experience working in London and Paris where I managed global communications for companies and initiatives positioning in international markets.

The presentation serves as a good starting point for any organization looking to communicate messages and drive visibility in markets around the world. – Russ DeVeau