Javits Center, Centerplate Serve Up New Salad Dressing Made from Harvested Rooftop Bee Hive Honey

October 17, 2017

A new salad dressing featuring honey harvested from the bee hives housed on the Javits Center’s green roof now is on the menu at the convention center’s Taste NY Bistro.

The honey-infused vinaigrette, along with other New York homegrown ingredients, is featured in a new salad offered at the facility’s cafe-style restaurant location.

Aptly named Jacob’s Honey, the homegrown honey was extracted last month by a team of Javits Center engineers in partnership with local beekeeping organization, New York City Beekeeping.

This first batch of golden goodness was harvested from three wooden hives that were installed on Javits’ 6.75-acre green roof earlier this year, hives that are part of the facility’s robust sustainability program that has reduced energy consumption throughout the building while transforming the roof into a wildlife sanctuary.

“The success of our sustainability program epitomizes our rebirth as an organization, and this first batch of honey illustrates how far we have come in our efforts to reduce energy, create a wildlife haven and improve the quality of life in our neighborhood,” said Alan Steel, president and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation (NYCCOC), which runs the Javits Center.

He continued, “The Javits Center has always been a hub of activity, and thanks to the work of our staff and our business partners, we are busier than ever before. Today, we are supporting New York’s economy and its environment and we are proud to offer this new salad dressing at our Taste NY Bistro location so everyone can now enjoy the sweetest part about us.”

In April, Javits Center Chief Engineer Rick Brown and a team of carpenters and engineers worked with local bee expert Liane Newton of nycbeekeeping.org to install three bee hives on the south side of the green roof. Since then, employees have received training on how to care for the hives and ensure their growth.

During the past several weeks, more than 10 frames have been removed from the hives and honey was extracted in the convention center’s main kitchen. More than 250 ounces of honey was produced and bottled, and with it, Centerplate Executive Chef Bill Miller created Jacob’s Honey Vinaigrette.

“We are committed to delivering one-of-a-kind, locally relevant hospitality programs for each community we serve, and we’ve taken our commitment for sourcing to a whole new level with the Javits Center’s rooftop apiaries,” said Chris Verros, president and CEO of Centerplate, the convention center’s exclusive caterer and hospitality partner.

He continued, “The Javits Center has become a model of sustainability for event facilities nationwide, and we are proud to partner with them as we offer an assortment of food and beverages from a variety of New York producers – including this New York icon.”

The production of natural honey is the latest development in the Javits Center’s sustainability program, which was created as the building underwent a major renovation from 2009-2014 that included several sustainable upgrades and LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Led by the New York Convention Center Development Corporation and Empire State Development, the $463 million renovation included the installation of more than 6,000 bird-friendly, translucent glass panels; more than 100 energy-efficient HVAC units and the massive green roof, which is comprised of sedum plants and serves as a home to 26 bird species and five bat species.

In order to study the green roof’s environmental impact, the Javits Center has since partnered with the New York City Audubon, The Cooper Union, Drexel University and Fordham University.

Currently known as the second largest of its kind in the U.S., the green roof will increase in size in the coming years as a major expansion of the Javits Center moves forward.

Announced by Governor Cuomo in 2016, this expansion project will create 500,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space and five times more meeting room space, including a state-of-the-art ballroom and a rooftop terrace overlooking the Hudson River.

An on-site truck garage designed to house all event-related trucks, increase operational efficiency and improve area traffic flow and pedestrian safety will also be constructed.

Meanwhile, convention goers can enjoy the sweet taste of homegrown honey in a Taste NY salad, compliments of the hard-working pollinators that call the facility’s green roof home.

“Taste NY is proud to provide an outlet to not just feed consumers delicious agricultural products, but to also help educate them about the incredible work that the Javits Center is doing to promote pollinator health and awareness and expand wildlife habitats in the City,” said Richard A. Ball, commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture.

He added, “This is such an exciting project that exemplifies the smart, sustainable upgrades to the Javits Center over the years and showcases the many possibilities of urban agriculture.”

Launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2013, Taste NY is a statewide initiative designed to promote New York’s food and beverage industries at major tourist destinations and routes.


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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. 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As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. 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Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.