The Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (CMCC) has achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, CMCC has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in its facility. 


As the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation, GBAC STAR™ helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations. The program verifies that CMCC implements best practices to prepare for, respond to and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.


“The GBAC Star Accreditation publicly validates what we already knew – CMCC is a safe environment adhering to best practices to mitigate biohazard risks,” said Cheryl Swanson, CMCC vice president and general manager. “The process for accreditation included training sessions, reviews and documentation to demonstrate proficiency in the required 20 GBAC standard elements.The process also required intentional analysis of our processes resulting in improved documentation and identification of systems to strengthen our program.” 


To achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation, CMCC was required to demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. 


CMCC has safely hosted 140 events since reopening in June 2020. Changes were made in building access, signage, health screenings, seating arrangements, vendor set up, food service and sanitizing/cleaning schedules. 


“Our event staff educated clients and attendees on expected compliance as an integral part of successful events,” Swanson said. “All CDC, state health department  and local ordinances were followed including masks. With mandates and ordinances now lifted, CMCC still follows CDC recommendations and adherence to all GBAC standards.”


GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger said the GBAC STAR accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to maintain clean and healthy environments.


“By taking this important step to pursue GBAC STAR, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center has received third-party validation that it follows strict protocols for biorisk situations, thereby demonstrating its preparedness and commitment to operating safely,” Olinger said.


Learn more about GBAC STAR accreditation at and the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center at


About the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center:

Centrally located in South Carolina's historic capital city, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (CMCC) is South Carolina’s only downtown convention center and is in the middle of a vibrant, urban scene with dynamite eats, world-class attractions, breweries and a never-ending roster of festivals and live music. Built in 2004, CMCC is a 142,500 square foot facility that includes a 16,700 square foot ballroom, 18,560 square feet of meeting space that can be broken into up to 19 different spaces, and a 23,700 square foot column-less exhibit hall. For more information, please visit


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


About ISSA  
With more than 9,300 members—including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, wholesalers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners and associated service members—ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. The association is committed to changing the way the world views cleaning by providing its members with the business tools they need to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment and an improved bottom line. Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., USA, the association has regional offices in Mainz, Germany; Whitby, Canada; Parramatta, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; and Shanghai, China. For more information about ISSA, visit or call 800-225-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800.