Speakers

Marketing Director, Show Me Center
 

Abbie Jo Lady is the Marketing Director for the Show Me Center. She started at the Show Me Center in 2008 as the Events Supervisor but fell in love with the industry while working there throughout college as an usher/ticket taker and being one of their interns her senior year.

One of Abbie Jo’s greatest achievements so far within the industry has been being recognized by her peers and voted into the inaugural class of 30|UNDER|30 in 2015. She is a graduate of the Venue Management School at Oglebay. Abbie Jo is an active member in her region, having held the positions of Newsletter Editor and Assistant Director. She is currently the Region III Director.

In the rare chance of free time, she loves spending time with her husband, family, friends and their dog Ozzie. She also enjoys crafting, decorating and entertaining family and friends.

Associate Principal, Populous
 

Adam Paulitsch understands that great architecture has the power to bring positive change to cities and their communities. He believes that a thought provoking, innovative and functional design can elicit development and change in our society for the better. His refreshing attitude brings tremendous skill. confidence and enthusiasm to each and every client and project.

In 2011, Adam began his career at Populous after substantial experience in international sports venue design and quickly became an integral part of Populous’ convention and exhibition center practice. He has since advanced his experience on a number of high-profile projects, including the Los Angeles Convention Center Expansion and Renovation, the Anaheim Convention Center Expansion and the Century II Renovation and Expansion Study. Each Project required immense knowledge and understanding of the convention center and exhibition industry. Recently, Adam led the design of the new Oklahoma City Convention Center with much success. He continues to have a major part in the execution of Populous’ annual Imagine That Conference for convention center stakeholders. With strong techniques and expertise in design, presentation, visualization and client relationships, Adam has helped guide Populous to become a true leader in the industry.

Adam is an architect by day, and a DJ/music producer by night. Having performed to huge crowds, Adam has an insider’s knowledge of how to design public buildings for the end-users. Adam understand the need to future-proof convention center designs in order to accommodate for high-tech production. He is able to combine his passion for live music with his passion for design and help define the way venues can transform into state-of-the-art destinations for various live events, such as music festivals and esports events."

President, Tourism Economics
 

Adam Sacks is the founder and President of Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company dedicated to quantitatively-based consulting to the travel sector. Over the past twenty-two years, Adam has worked with hundreds of destinations, industry associations, and companies around the world in the areas of opportunity and risk assessments, policy analysis, and economic impact.

Adam’s work has provided the foundation for billions of dollars in capital investment decisions by hotel companies, developers, and investors. Destination marketing organizations around the world rely on Tourism Economics data and scenario models to inform global marketing investment allocations.

Adam also supports trade associations in the aviation, hotel, and broader travel arena with forecasts widely considered to be an industry standard. And by examining the economic merits of travel facilitation, taxation, and tourism promotion initiatives, Adam’s work has influenced local, regional, and national government policies.

He is an authority on measuring the economic impact of visitor activity and has analyzed the impacts of cruising, gaming, timeshare, hotels, new attractions and destination marketing.

Adam regularly presents to corporate strategic planning teams on the threats and opportunities facing their businesses and is a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Travel & Tourism Advisory Board.

Director, Populous Design Build
 

As Director of Populous Design Build, Adam has played an integral role in reshaping the standard of interior and premium spaces within sports facilities. He has an innate ability to design, direct and contribute innovative spaces to projects around the globe, including off-season renovations, unique premium spaces, brand activation and sponsorship spaces and retail and dining destinations. As leader of the firm’s design led design build practice, Adam applies this extensive experience to provide clients with a streamlined, expertly guided approach to seasonal projects. His passion for creating unique solutions for his clients, including the Chicago Cubs, Indiana Pacers and Nashville Predators, has resulted in long-lasting relationships with clients time and time again looking to Adam as their trusted advisor. He listens, understands and honors his clients’ brands and then, delivers forward-looking design solutions elevating the guest experience and generating revenue. Named to the 2013 Building Design and Construction’s 40 under 40 class, Adam’s work and design philosophies have been included in the country’s top design publications. Adam also remains dedicated to the advancement of the interior design profession, currently serving on the IIDA Foundation Board of Trustees.

General Manager Hospitality & Portfolio Development, Adelaide Oval SMA
 

As General Manager Hospitality & Portfolio Development of the Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority, Adam is responsible for overseeing the largest single site hospitality operation in South Australia with revenues exceeding $50M.

The Adelaide Oval hospitality business includes the “Hill of Grace Restaurant”; a retail consisting of 19 bars, 23 kiosks and 20 mobile carts; the Audi Stadium Club; 130 individual corporate suites and a Function business that delivers over 1,400 individual events yearly while employing 1,500 staff.

AOSMA partners with other venues and events to deliver hospitality services including: Titanium Security Arena, Monarto Zoo, Adelaide Festival Centre and Ukaria Cultural Centre. They also deliver services to the World Tennis Championship event, the Tour Down Under cycling event and the Super Cars event.

In 2017 Adelaide Oval became one of the first stadiums in the world, to become a completely cashless venue delivering higher average spends, reduced theft and cash management costs and provided the customer with a faster F&B experience.

Originally from South Australia, Adam has 20+ years’ experience in the hospitality industry with previous roles at the Stamford Grand Hotel Adelaide, SKYCITY Casino Adelaide, Outrigger Resort Fiji and Crown Casino Perth.

Clinical Instructor, Sport and Entertainment Management College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, University of South Carolina
 

Adonis “Sporty” Jeralds is a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina. He attended Guilford College and graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice. He has a master's degree from UNC Chapel Hill in Public Administration and a second master's degree from the University of Massachusetts in Sports Management.

Sporty started a career in public assembly facilities management at the Hampton Virginia Coliseum in 1983. In 1988 he accepted a position at the Charlotte Coliseum as Assistant Manager. In 1990 he became Manager of the Charlotte Coliseum, a position he held for fifteen years. As Manager of the Charlotte Coliseum, Jeralds was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the venue, which included overseeing a $12 million budget and a staff of over 60 full-time and 600 part-time employees. He is a certified facilities executive, one of only 300 in the world. In his career, he has coordinated such internationally recognized events as the Men's and Women's Final Four, the NBA All-Star Game, a visit by Mother Teresa and the Rolling Stones. He is a full time clinical instructor at the University of South Carolina and also works in Corporate Social Responsibility with the Charlotte Hornets.

He is the author of the highly successful books, “The Champion In You”, “Let Your Light Shine”, “Follow The Bouncing Ball” and “From The Locker Room To The Classroom.” He also co-authored Public Assembly Venue Management: Sports, Entertainment, Meeting, And Convention Venues.

In 2006 he was awarded the Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Sports Management Department at the University of Massachusetts—Amherst. In 2006 he also visited Asia; teaching sports marketing to the Taiwan Society for Sport Management.

Partner, Theatre Planning and Design, Stages Consultants, LLC
 

With 15 years of nationwide experience backstage, and a further 20 in theatre consulting, Alec Stoll is internationally respected as a theatre planner and designer. Alec has played integral roles in the programming, planning, design and construction of well over 200 academic, professional and community venues as well as historic renovation and restoration projects.

Alec's current projects in design include the Capital One Performing Arts Center Auditorium in McLean, VA; and the Avenel Arts Village in Avenel, NJ. He is consulting on renovations to the State Theatre of New Jersey; the Capitol Theatre and The Whiting in Flint, MI; among others. Alec is also designing new live music venues in Phoenix, Ann Arbor, and Vancouver. Among Alec's projects under construction are new high school performing arts centers in Appoquiminink, DE; Trenton, NJ; Secaucus, NJ; and McKinney, TX. Recently completed projects include the renovation of five venues at the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music, and three new venues in Miami Beach for Faena Development.

Prior to founding Stages Consultants with Damian Doria, Alec served for 10 years as a senior project manager and designer for Fisher Dachs Associates. Alec led their efforts on the new Mariinsky Opera House in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Lotte Tower Concert Hall in Seoul, Korea, and many other theatre projects in the US and abroad.

Previously, Alec was a Senior Consultant for 3 years at Charles Cosler Theatre Design, and before that an Adjunct Professor of Theatre at Pace University's Department of Theater and Fine Arts in New York City and St. Norbert College in Green Bay, WI. Teaching remains a passion for Alec, and he continues to serve as a guest lecturer and studio critic at several Schools of Architecture including the University of Miami, The New School of Design, Georgia Institute of Technology and City Technical College in Brooklyn.

Alec is an alumnus of the Boards of Directors of the American Society of Theatre Consultants, the RCHP Affordable Housing Corporation, and the League of Historic American Theatres. Alec holds an MFA in Theater Production Management from Brandeis University and a BFA in Technical Theatre from Emerson College

Director, Accessibility Outreach, Education and Referral Branch, Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO)
 

Alfred Spencer is the Director of the Accessibility Outreach, Education and Referral Branch at the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO). He is responsible for educating Ontarians about the advantages of inclusion, and developing a network of strategic partnerships that help Ontario organizations become accessible by 2025.

He has overseen the implementation of over 100 community projects related to creating awareness of accessibility issues, including programs for early childhood educators, elementary school teachers, and post-secondary students and professionals. His approach to community development has touched all aspects of social inclusion from places of faith, to workplaces and sporting events.

Most recently, he has been named to the Canadian Paralympic Inclusion Committee. He is also an advisor/panelist to the newly announced Canadian Universities Association Leed Competition – a national competition dedicated to the development of tools and resources to improve accessibility across Canada.

Design Director/Principal, Gensler
 

Working closely with city, corporate, and higher education leaders for more than 30 years, Alan Colyer helps his clients make strategic decisions about their current assets and future investments – far upstream of the design process. Alan is a highly effective meeting facilitator, conducting workshops and visioning sessions for a wide range of stakeholders. By identifying the issues within complex organizations, Alan leads those organizations reach consensus on their strategic direction.

Alan is a design director and principal at Gensler. He has led planning efforts on numerous convention center projects, including the Austin Convention Center Long Range Master Plan and the George R. Brown Convention Center 2025 Master Plan. Alan is a longtime member and frequent speaker of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and former chair of its Urban Development/Mixed Use Council.

Chief Venues Officer, Orlando Venues
 

Since September 2004, Allen Johnson has served as Chief Venues Officer of the City of Orlando's Venues Department which includes the Amway Center, Camping World Stadium, Tinker Field, Harry P. Leu Gardens and the Mennello Museum of American Art, as well as the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre (2004-2014) and the Expo Center (20042005).

He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and has successfully completed requirements for his Certified Venue Executive (CVE) and Certified Public Manager (CPM) designations.

Johnson is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Board, a past Chairman and Trustee of the IAVM Foundation Board and serves on the Arenas Committee. In addition, he serves on the boards of the Central Florida Sports Commission, Florida Citrus Sports, the Victim Service Center of Central Florida, Inc., Downtown Orlando Partnership and the UCF DeVos Sports Business Management Program. He is also past president of the Florida Facility Managers Association and a current member of their Board of Directors.

Prior to his tenure with Orlando Venues, Johnson served as the Executive Director of the Lakeland Center (now known as the RP Funding Center) for over 16 years. He has worked as an Assistant Manager at the West Palm Beach Auditorium & Stadium, an Event Coordinator at the Orange County Convention Center and a Box Office Manager/Event Supervisor at the Tupperware Convention Center.

Allen was nominated as a finalist for the Pollstar Facility Executive of the Year Award in 2005, 2010 and 2012. He has also been honored by the Jaycees with their highest award - induction as a Junior Chamber of Commerce JCI Senator. The Amway Center, Orlando Venues' newest facility, received IAVM's 2017 Venue Excellence Award, won Sports Business Journal's Sports Facility of the Year award and received the Customer Experience Award from UK's TheStadiumBusiness Awards.

General Manager, Old National Events Plaza (SMG)
 

Alexis Berggren currently serves as General Manager at the Old National Events Plaza in Evansville, IN. In this role, Berggren leads a team that oversees all business operations for a 2,500-seat theatre and 280,000 square foot convention center. She believes strongly in the venue management industry and its unique ability to drive significant economic and cultural influence within a community. Connecting people to their passions and providing for a higher quality of life in the cities she serves has become the focus of her career.

Berggren has developed an extensive knowledge of the venue and events industry having worked in several markets across the United States and in a variety of facility types. She has held positions at some of the largest and most prestigious venues in the country including Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Oregon Convention Center and Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, IA.

Alexis is active in IAVM, IFMA and serves as a mentor to aspiring facility professionals. Additionally, she is a member of local volunteer organizations and community boards.

Account Manager, Simpleview
EVP Business Operations, Toronto Blue Jays
 

 

Sr Director of Booking, VSTAR Entertainment Group
 

Andriana Magness has been bringing family entertainment to venues for the past 13 years as Senior Director of Booking at VSTAR Entertainment. Prior to joining VSTAR in 2005 (formerly VEE Corp), Andriana started out in the Classical Music industry, with gigs at the Minnesota Orchestra, ICM Artists (aka Opus 3), and the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, CO. When she’s not helping the Paw Patrol pups get there on the double, Andriana is busy carting her 9-year-old and almost 7-year-old to soccer, skiing, piano, violin, swimming, and gymnastics!

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Gate 15
 

Andy Jabbour is co-founder and Managing Director of The Gate 15 Company, where he oversees team projects providing Gate 15's threat-informed and risk based approach to analysis, preparedness and operations in support of private sector and government partners across the critical infrastructure environment, including support to the several information sharing and analysis centers. He also presently serves as a member of the International Association of Venue Managers Venue Safety & Security Committee and as faculty for IAVM's Academy for Venue Safety & Security, as well as serving on the InfraGardNCR Board.

He has 20 years of project and personnel management experience, with extensive experience working in the fields of analysis, operations and preparedness with public and private organizations. In addition to current projects with a variety of information sharing and analysis organizations and government partners, he has previously supported the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection's incident response, serving in the IP Incident Management Cell / Crisis Action Team during several incidents. Prior to founding Gate 15, Andy was employed by the FS-ISAC, the Battelle Memorial Institute, and Cintas Corporation. He served 8 years in the U.S. Army assigned to bases in the United States, Germany, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Vice President Global Marketing, Ungerboeck Software International
 

Andy Weiss finds new ways for brands to engage with people. As the Vice President of Marketing for Ungerboeck, Andy leads the brand’s global strategy and demand generation efforts. His data-driven approach to developing marketing strategies led to one of the first paid search ads on Google, the introduction of a mobile app before we ever called them apps and a viral product launch that married hot dogs and Facebook.

Andy’s portfolio includes a familiar array of international business-to-consumer and business-to-business brands including Oscar Mayer, Sprint, Comcast, State Farm, AOL, Hyatt Hotels and Walgreens plus a cast of challengers who are upstarts in their respective industries.

He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from the University of Notre Dame.

Regional Vice President, Spectra Food Services & Hospitality
 

With nearly 20 years in the industry, Angela Cabana’s background spans from small independently owned restaurants to large franchise restaurants, to most recently working within the Sports and Entertainment Sector.

An Ottawa native, Angela now resides in London, Ontario, where she oversees a wide variety of venues including Budweiser Gardens, the Western Fair District, and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Angela’s commitment and desire to provide the ultimate customer experience is marked by her skill in training employees, so each property she touches a competitive edge within each market.

Director of Event Experiences, Spectra Venue Management at the St. Charles Convention Center
 

Angie Teel, the Director of Event Experiences at the St. Charles Convention Center started at the facility in May 2007 as an Event Manager and was promoted to Director in 2011. When asked her favorite thing about her job, Angie replied, “Constantly learning. It is an ever changing and evolving world we live in.” Angie loves that the staff at the St. Charles Convention Center is like family and explains, “Everyone will jump in and bring you up if you are down as well as offer up different perspectives and ideas. Nothing is ever one person’s job. WE all do it ALL.”

Angie stays in the industry as member of IAVM and MPI-St. Louis. She has contributed to IAVM in several roles including Region 3 Director, a member of the Executive Committee, Membership Engagement Committee, Venue Connect Planning Committee Vice Chair and currently serves as a Trustee for IAVM’s Foundation.

Angie loves watching her kids grow, learn, and experience life. Her favorite show is FRIENDS, and she is a self-proclaimed “avid wine sampler.” Fun facts about Angie include that she has never broken a bone and that she studied abroad in Spain in High School and in London during college.

Sr.Director, Operations & Readiness - Disaster Services, American Red Cross
 

Anne Palmer joined the American Red Cross in 2007 and currently serves as the Senor Director of Operations and Readiness for Disaster Services at National Headquarters. She serves as Deputy to the Vice President of Operations and Logistics and leads the operations, government operations and readiness staff and programs. Anne supports all levels of American Red Cross disaster operations.

Prior to this position, Anne served in several roles at National Headquarters and in the field focused on program development, capacity building, continuous improvement, emergency management coordination and operations. She co-authored several national, multi-agency documents including the Mega-Sheltering Planning Guide and the National Mass Care Strategy.

Anne is a member of the American Red Cross' International Disaster Services roster and deploys to responses throughout the world. Additionally, she supports the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies by providing disaster shelter training and education.

In the decade prior to joining the Red Cross, Anne served as General Manager of Spartan Stadium in San Jose, California. She began her affiliation with the International Association of Venue Managers in 1997 and served on their Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Anne is a graduate of University of Virginia with a BA in English and Psychology.

Finance Manager, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
 

Anthony Kinahan has been with the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority for 5 years, holding multiple roles in the Authority’s Finance Department. As the Financial Manager of Industry Analysis, Assessment and Planning, Anthony is responsible for evaluating initiatives, market research and improving financial performance. The MCCA operates two convention centers in Boston along with an innovative outdoor venue. Anthony has participated as a member of IAVM’s Research Committee for three years.

Senior Event Services Manager, Massachusetts Convention center Authority
 

Arthur Fritch has been with the MCCA for 29 years. Arthur started in 1988 at the Hynes working for Aramark as a Catering Supervisor. Arthur then joined the MCCA where he started as a Painter in the Maintenance department in 1989. In 1998, Arthur became an Event Manager. Arthur has over 35,000 hour's work experience, working on events both at the Hynes and BCEC. Arthur exhibits a passion for excellence and attention to detail with a natural ability to oversee all aspects associated with events. He is consistently exceeding expectations in customer relationships. He has excellent skills for streamlining processes and developing new procedures to ensure all aspects of a project and team are efficiently managed. Throughout his career, he has managed cross-functional teams, planned events, partnered with internal and external partners to deliver outstanding service.

Finance Manager, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
 

Anthony Kinahan has been with the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority for 5 years, holding multiple roles in the Authority’s Finance Department. As the Financial Manager of Industry Analysis, Assessment and Planning, Anthony is responsible for evaluating initiatives, market research and improving financial performance. The MCCA operates two convention centers in Boston along with an innovative outdoor venue. Anthony has participated as a member of IAVM’s Research Committee for three years.

Production Manager, Mesa Arts Center
 

Ashley Keen has been in the venue industry since college, starting out at Arizona State University. She has a background in Theater, Drama, and Education and has worked at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Ogunquit Playhouse, and the Mesa Arts Center. Ashley is currently the Production Supervisor for 1,000+ events in 4 different theater spaces.

Vice President of Sales and Touring, InHouse Booking
 

Barbara is an entertainment executive with over 25 years of experience in the production and promotion of concerts and theatrical shows; tour development and management; booking and routing; and arena and theatre administration. She is currently employed as the Vice-President of Sales for InHouse Booking, a boutique theatrical booking agency providing extensive industry knowledge and experience to both clients and buyers and dedicated to bringing the best of live touring entertainment to theatres across North America.

A graduate of Iowa State University, she started her career path in college as an actress and television host covering and reviewing arts and entertainment events. Immediately after graduation, she went on to act and stage manage at The Old Creamery Theatre as an Equity Intern. Realizing that she did not want to live as a starving artist, she went to work for Ogden Entertainment in technical and event set up and coordination at Hilton Coliseum, C.Y Stephens Auditorium and Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA. From there, she continued on to The Five Seasons Center and Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, IA.; and then as part of the executive team that opened the Fargo Dome in North Dakota. Barbara was also a promoter representative advancing and settling shows for two National tours of Neil Diamond and a variety of other Artists. In addition, she has developed and managed promotional tours for Fox Kids and Fox Family in Los Angeles as well as serving as a consultant for multiple intellectual property rights projects.

Prior to working with InHouse, she co-produced ELVIS LIVES, the first ever Elvis tour utilizing Elvis Tribute Artists endorsed and licensed by the Elvis estate. She holds a B.A. in Communications and Rhetoric and actively volunteers in theatre programs at the Girls Preparatory School and McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN where she resides with her husband Brad, daughter Sierra (18), son Grant (15) and their Bernese mountain dog, Pepper.

 
 

Barry Strafacci is veteran of the convention center, fairgrounds, and expo center industry with various senior management roles throughout his 35 plus year career. His most recent responsibilities include serving as Sr V.P. Convention Centers for Pinnacle Venue Services, a consultant with GFS Associates and prior to that Barry was Vice President, Special Projects and a Regional Vice President for Global Spectrum.

For almost 20 years with Global Spectrum, Barry was part of the senior management team of fastest growing company in the industry providing owners with innovative management systems of convention/exhibition centers, theaters, fairgrounds, and arenas. He was responsible for providing pre-opening assistance including design review, staffing, sales and marketing strategies/systems, labor relations, food services, and day to day operations, including supervision of various accounts. Providing strategic sales approach to booking meetings, conventions, banquets, trade shows, livestock events and fairs.

Prior to his time with Global Spectrum, Barry was the Stadium Manager for the Civic Stadium in Portland, Oregon; Director of Facilities of the Cashman Center Complex in Las Vegas Nevada; and the Director of the Tampa Convention Center.

Barry is also the former Vice President/COO for the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center and Commonwealth Convention Center.

Assistant General Manager, Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena
 

As the Assistant General Manager at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Becca helps lead an amazing team in hosting some of the best events in the country. In her role as AGM she oversees the marketing department, sets the creative direction for the building and manages all national marketing and branding efforts. A big believer in good design and thinking outside the box, Becca loves dreaming up big ideas and helping make things happen in Spokane. From developing nationally recognized and awarded marketing campaigns to creating unique branding opportunities, she’s all about meaningful marketing and creative promotions – with a sweet twist or two!

A 2009 graduate of Gonzaga University (Go Zags!), Becca just celebrated her tenth anniversary at the Spokane Arena and the Spokane Public Facilities District, where she started in 2008 as a marketing intern.

Becca is a 2013 recipient of Venues Today’s Generation Next Award and was recognized by the Spokane Tourism Awards in 2014 with the Rising Star Award.

Executive Director, Co-Curricular Athletics and Physical Activity Programs, University of Toronto
 

Beth Ali was appointed the Executive Director of Co-Curricular Athletics and Physical Activity Programs on November 1, 2016 after serving as the director of intercollegiate and high performance sport since August, 2010.

Ali is a recognized leader in Canadian inter-university and high performance sport, bringing 30 years of professional and volunteer experience in administration, coaching, event management and program development. A Level 4/5 certified coach with the National Coaching Certification Program in field hockey, she spent 17 years at U of T’s Faculty of Physical Education and Health as intercollegiate manager, program manager and head coach of Varsity Blues field hockey before taking on more senior roles elsewhere.

Ali was the associate director of athletics and recreation at Ryerson University and was also previously the associate director of athletics at the University of Waterloo. She served as chef de mission for the 2011 FISU Winter Games in Turkey.

She spent six years on the Field Hockey Canada national team coaching staff before becoming the high performance director of both the men’s and women’s programs from 2005-08. Ali represented Canada at the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games as well as the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Through both her personal and professional experience, Ali is a dedicated supporter of sport development and the benefits of sport in the development of the whole person, especially the positive impact it has on a student-athlete’s university experience.

General Manager, Bon Secours Wellness Arena
 

Beth Paul has been the General Manager of Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC since 2015, and prior to her current role, she served as the Arena's Director of Finance. The 15,000 seat arena is one of Greenville's greatest assets, and continues to be a top-play for touring acts in a highly competitive region.

Associate Athletic Director/General Manager UIC Sports Complex, University of Illinois at Chicago
 

Bill “Sparky” Bavirsha is an Associate Athletic Director and General Manager at the University of Illinois Chicago Sports Complex (UIC Sports Complex). Sparky manages approximately 500,000 square feet of indoor and 1,000,000 square feet of outdoor multi-purpose space which includes Curtis Granderson Stadium, Softball and Soccer Complexes, an Olympic size Natatorium, and several more Athletic training/administrative spaces. For over 25years Sparky has been instrumental in developing the UIC Sports Complex into one of the Premiere multi-purpose public assembly facilities in downtown Chicago.

Prior to UIC, Sparky worked as a Vice President of Game Operations for a minor league baseball team in Southern Indiana and a professional mascot entertainer. He has completed IAVM Public Assembly Facility Management School at Oglebay, the Senior Executive Symposium at Cornell University and recently his Certified Venue Executive (CVE) with IAVM. Bill is an Eagle Scout and has a Master’s Degree in Sports Management.

Chief Information Officer, Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC)
 

Bill McDonald has been Chief Information Officer at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) for the past fifteen years. He is responsible for the data networking services for events held at the MTCC and the business applications and technology infrastructure used within the MTCC.

A year ago, Bill’s role expanded to include the management and sales of the various digital sign assets to the events held at the MTCC. These signs include meeting room signs, general purpose and wayfinding signs, external marquees, and the recently added five large format digital media walls. In addition to revenue opportunities, these signs have transformed the MTCC experience for show mangers, exhibitors, and attendees.

Prior to joining the MTCC, Bill held various technology positions in the Canadian oil and gas industry.

Vice-President, Event Marketing & Sales, Southern Region, Feld Entertainment
 

 

Feld Entertainment and Motorsports is the largest live touring family entertainment and motor sports company in the world. As a VP of Event Marketing and Sales, Bill Powell currently manages the business of bringing live motor sports and entertainment events to major markets in the Southern U.S. Additionally he manages the event marketing and serves on the strategic committee for Monster Energy Supercross and Amsoil Arenacross.

Bill is past chairman of the board of trustees for the IAVM Foundation. Additionally, Bill has served as adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management where he helped develop the curriculum for live entertainment marketing.

On a community level Bill is active in raising funds and awareness for Tampa General Hospital Foundation and the Circus Ring of Fame Board of Directors in Sarasota, Florida.

In his spare time, Bill is a fitness enthusiast, avid cyclist, mountaineer and expert skier. He has completed successful summits of Mt. Rainier and Grand Teton. Bill and his wife Sherry (CMO for the Florida Orchestra) reside in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

Senior Projects Advisor, President's Office, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
 

From Toronto to Vancouver and back again, Robert (Bob) Hunter has spent his entire career marketing and managing some of Canada’s premier sports and entertainment facilities. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Hunter attended the University of Waterloo where he obtained his Honours Bachelor of Science degree and then attended graduate school at the University of Washington, Seattle specializing in Sports Medicine.

Hunter started his career at the harbourfront entertainment complex, “Ontario Place” in Toronto. In 1982, he left to open the 60,000 seat BC Place Stadium in Vancouver where, he was responsible for all event services, production and facilities management.

In 1985, he moved to the Expo ’86 Vancouver World’s Fair management team with a mandate to construct and develop British Columbia’s pavilions. Following construction of this $145 million entertainment complex, Hunter then managed the property throughout the six-month Fair.

Hunter returned to Toronto in early 1987 to work on the $600M SkyDome Stadium project as Vice President of Operations and Fan Services. After five years with SkyDome (now renamed Rogers Centre), Hunter was promoted to President and CEO.

In 1994, Hunter joined PROFAC Management Group as President and CEO. This firm was responsible for providing real estate investment and facility management services for large Canadian corporations.

In January 1998, Hunter returned to the sports and entertainment industry as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Canada’s newest arena, Air Canada Centre, home of the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs and NBA Toronto Raptors. Now 18 years later, the arena is still annually ranked in the top five busiest entertainment venues in North America. In addition to Air Canada Centre, Hunter also oversaw management and bookings for Ricoh Coliseum (home to the AHL Toronto Marlies) and BMO Field Soccer Stadium (home to MLS’s Toronto FC).

In 2014, Bob’s focus changed with his new position of Chief Project Development Officer. In this role, Bob manages major business and project opportunities as well as all annual capital projects for all Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment venues. This past year he completed over $200M in projects for the company including a $150M renovation to BMO Field, home of MLS’s Toronto FC.

Bob currently serves on the Boards of Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Toronto Entertainment District Business Improvement Association, the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence, and the MLSE Launchpad. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the University of Waterloo, Trillium Health Centre Foundation, Tourism Toronto and the Board of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). Also with IAVM, he has served as Chair of the Arenas Committee, Vice Chair on both the Certified Facility Executive Board and the IAVM Foundation. He currently serves as Chair of that Foundation and also lectures annually at the IAVM Venue Management School.

In 2007, he was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Waterloo. In the same year, he was recognized as one of the Top 50 Alumni on the occasion of the University of Waterloo’s 50th Anniversary. He currently sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.

Hunter is an avid squash player and golfer.

Looking Both Ways at the Corner of Practical and Applied, Georgetown University Sports Industry Management Program/The Goldwater Group
 

A respected and innovative industry veteran with an unparalleled combination of experience, Bobby Goldwater has had a career of impressive accomplishments including serving 24 years in a number of executive positions at Madison Square Garden, opening STAPLES Center as the arena’s first Senior Vice President and General Manager and leading the successful effort to bring Major League Baseball back to Washington, D.C. Bobby is currently the President of The Goldwater Group consulting firm with notable projects in the sports, entertainment and venue management industry and is the chairman of the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame. He is a distinguished faculty member with Georgetown University’s Sports Industry Management master’s program, with which he served an 18-month term as its Interim Associate Dean, initiated its online curriculum and developed a sports management education program in association with the Josoor Institute in Doha, Qatar. He is the co-author of the textbook, The Sports Management and Marketing Playbook, Second Edition, and also is a Wiley Education Services Faculty Fellow. An IAVM member for more than 30 years, Bobby currently serves as the chair of the Universities Committee and as a member of the VenueConnect Programming Committee.

Senior Principal, Populous
 

Brad brings nearly 30 years of focused arena design experience to Populous. As a senior principal and design director, Brad has played an integral part in the creation of arenas that provide extraordinary experiences including Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, the Orlando Magic’s Amway Center and Quebec’s Videotron Center. He is currently leading design efforts for the Milwaukee Bucks new arena which will open this fall as well as the new Belmont Arena for the New York Islanders’ long-awaited return to Long Island.

Brad’s arena design philosophy centers on using arenas as anchors for further civic development, as evidenced most recently in Milwaukee where the new arena will be the lynchpin for almost 30 acres of surrounding mixed-use development in a long-underutilized portion of downtown Milwaukee. He takes pride in working closely with the client and design team in all aspects of design – concept to completion - to create design solutions which are responsive to the unique goals and vision for each project. His aspiration is for his arena designs to go beyond the table stakes of sightlines, concourses and seats to instead be the places where people come together for unforgettable experiences.

A 1984 graduate of Kansas State University, Brad remains active with the college as an invited professional on the Dean’s Advisory Council. His work has been featured in major design and industry publications while also garnering numerous local and regional design awards, including the AIA KC Honor Award for his work on the Sprint Center.

Sr. Vice President, AEG Facilities and General Manager, Los Angeles Convention Center, AEG - Los Angeles Convention Center
 

Brad Gessner is a 40-year veteran of the hospitality and public assembly facility management industry. In addition to being the Sr. Vice President for convention centers for AEG Facilities, he is also the General Manager of the Los Angeles Convention Center, responsible for the day-to-day management of that facility. As the Sr. VP of Convention Centers for AEG Facilities, he is also responsible for overseeing and expanding the management services and delivery of best practices in the areas of convention center management, operations, guest services, sales and marketing, and is responsible for the management oversight of the Hawaii Convention Center and Puerto Rico Convention Center. Gessner came to AEG from the San Diego Convention Center Corporation (California) in 2012, where he spent 14 years in senior management positions and was the General Manager of that award winning convention center for six years.

He is an industry leader in the areas of sustainability and “green” practices and served as the Vice Chair and Chair of the Sustainability Committee for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) from 2008 – 2012. He also chaired the “Green Team” for the San Diego Convention Center Corporation and oversaw the process that resulted in that facility attaining LEED EB O&M SILVER Certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council in 2011. The Los Angeles Convention Center received LEED EB O&M GOLD recertification during Brad's tenue as the general manager.

Gessner has been an adjunct faculty professor and visiting lecturer for San Diego State University and “Executive in Residence” at Cal Poly- San Luis Obispo's Hospitality and Tourism Management Department and completed his Master's Degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management at SDSU in 2013.

President and CEO, International Association of Venue Managers
 

Brad Mayne, CVE, is the president and CEO of International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), representing public assembly venue professionals worldwide. Active members include managers and senior executives from arenas, convention centers, exhibit halls, stadiums, performing arts centers, university complexes, and amphitheaters. Member venues represent major expenditures of public and private funds in their communities, are economic engines, and attract millions of patrons to an astonishing variety of events including sports, conventions, meetings, conferences, and artistic offerings.

Mayne has 30+ years of broad experience and proven leadership skills as an accomplished executive in the public assembly venue industry. Throughout his career, he has worked in arenas, stadiums, convention centers, and performing arts centers and has been employed by municipalities, private, and public/private organizations. He has also served as a consultant and arbitrator for NHL, NBA, and NFL venues.

Most recently, Mayne served as the president and CEO of MetLife Stadium, the president and CEO of American Airlines Center, and the region manager for Ogden Entertainment Facility Management.

He has received numerous awards throughout his career including the Charles A. McElravy Award, the IAVM Foundation Legacy Award, SEVT Lifetime Achievement Award (University of South Carolina), the ALSD Visionary Award, the Ogden Entertainment Masters Award, the IAVM Ray W. Ward Award, and Pollstar magazine’s Venue Executive of the Year.

Active in communities Mayne has resided, he has served on boards for CVBs, chambers, sports commissions, the Super Bowl XLVIII, IAVM, and the Cotton Bowl Classic.

General Manager, Overland Park Convention Center
 

Driven by a desire to spend more time with his children, in 2010 Brett C. Mitchell returned as general manager for the Overland Park Convention Center, one of the few convention centers to generate a true operating profit annually.

Previously Brett held the position of vice president of convention center operations & regional vice president for Global Spectrum and directly managed operations totaling more 75 million dollars in revenues, 450 FT employees, and 5 million square feet of event space. He was instrumental in a dramatic expansion of Global Spectrum’s convention portfolio.

Brett earned a degree in Sports Business Management from Brigham Young University and later served on the Industry Advisory Council for the school’s Facility Management Program. He currently serves on IAVM’s Convention Center Committee, the Exhibitions and Meetings Industry Security Council, and the Destinations International/IAVM City Pairs Task Force.

Brett is the son of a Marine Corps General, the husband of twenty-two years to Sheila Cook Mitchell of Vernal, Utah and most proud of being father of 18 year-old Georgia, 16 year-old Emma, 14 year-old Noah, and 11 year-old Maia.

Agent, Creative Artists Agency
 

Brian Hill is a Music Agent at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Hill works in the Nashville office and represents many of the world’s leading musicians, including Frankie Ballard, Eli Young Band, LOCASH, Home Free, Kevin Fowler, Chase Rice, and Aaron Lewis, among others.

He has been nominated as Pollstar’s Third Coast Agent Of The Year four times, winning in 2006 and 2009.

Hill began his career in CAA’s Los Angeles mailroom in 1994. He worked at Paradigm for 22 years and returned to CAA in 2015.

Hill graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a degree in sociology. Hill lives in the Nashville area with his wife of nearly 20 years, Steffany, and their four children. 

Populous Active Director / Senior Principal, Populous
 

Brian Mirakian serves as director of Populous Activate in the Americas. Populous Activate uses the power of design to link fans, brands, teams and properties by enhancing and extending the in-stadium experience. Mirakian is a master of bringing brands to life by identifying strategic opportunities for immersive fan engagement on all levels, locations and media formats. His award winning work has been recognized internationally and has helped create transformative social experiences in such places as CitiField in New York, CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville and Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Mirakian has also developed brand engagement platforms for the PepsiMax Field of Dreams, Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games, and Worldwide Olympic Partner experiential activation for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games and the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

General Manager, Spectra Venue Management/Budweiser Gardens
 

25+ years working in smaller market venues in New England and Ontario.

Director of Operations, Harlem Globetrotters International
 

Casey Gray is currently the Director of Booking for the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters and works with Jason Smith and Bill Barrett to schedule over 300 games a year in North America. Casey has been in the entertainment industry for over 20 years and began his family entertainment career as an tour manager. Working for VEE (VStar Entertainment) for 12 years. He was in the Booking Department at VEE and then the Director of Operations before he left for the Globetrotters almost 3 years ago. Casey got his degree at Indiana University’s Department of Theatre and Drama in Bloomington, IN. Casey and his spouse are expecting their first child in less than a month.

Panelist Session on Theatres Access, DATT
 

Catherine is a co-founder and the Festival Director of the Toronto International Deaf Film and Arts Festival. She is an award-winning filmmaker and known for her work in documentaries, film and television. Catherine was the recipient of the ACTRA Woman of the Year Award 2016. Catherine was a Deaf Community Consultant, for DATT-Deaf Artists and Theatres Toolkit, Cahoots Theatre.

ASL coach & Continuity, for the Emmy & Golden Globe winner, for the"" Best limited series, or motion picture made for television"" ""Fargo"". (Season 1 & 3)

Selected acting Film/TV & credits: ""Silent Hill"" ""Kenny Vs Spenny"", “Murdoch Mysteries”, Theatre: “cas9” “ASL Improv” Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles. “Silence” World Premiere, at the Grand Theatre, Winter 2018. Upcoming: “Silence” at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Oct 17-28th.

She also established the National Deaf Youths Film and Arts Workshop to inspire young deaf and hard of hearing youths, into filmmaking and in the arts field. Catherine is a member of ACTRA, (Alliance of Canadian Cinema and Television and Radio Artists) and CAEA, (Canadian Actors Equity Association). Catherine graduated from Ryerson University, BFA in Film Studies.

EVP & Chief Operating Officer, IAEE and CEO, Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)
 

Cathy Breden is the CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). CEIR's primary purpose is to promote the growth, awareness and value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events by producing and delivering research-based knowledge tools.

Assistant Director for the School of Interactive Games and Media & Esport Advisor, RIT
 

Chad Weeden worked as a System Administrator for 15 year years and taught streaming media courses before becoming the Assistant Director for the School of Interactive Games and Media. He launched intramural and club esports at RIT last year. The club now has over 700 community members which include the athletes, coaches, managers, casters, production, technical and eBoard teams. The club has won 2 national championships in its first year and 5 of the 12 games which students compete in are competitive at the national level. Chad also is part of the build teams for Magic, the Esport Club Space, the Wallace Center, as well as being a member of the Performing Arts Task Force.

President, FPC Live
 

Charlie Goldstone’s career started with summer jobs at The New World Music Theatre outside of Chicago and Riverport Amphitheatre outside of St. Louis, which led to a position with the Belkin Productions office of Clear Channel Entertainment in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 2005 Charlie took a position as Senior Director of Artist Development and Tour Marketing for the Island Def Jam Music Group in New York. He worked on tour strategy and album launches for select artists on the label’s roster.

Charlie joined Frank Productions in 2007 and was promoted to President and Partner of Frank Productions Concerts (FPC) in July 2014. At that time FPC became the concert promotion arm of parent company Frank Productions Inc. In December 2017, FPC merged with Majestic Live in Madison, Wis. and was rebranded as FPC Live.

In addition to overseeing many of Frank Productions’ national touring projects and regional booking, FPC Live promotes all Live Nation touring dates in Wisconsin as well as owning/operating/exclusively booking eight venues in Madison, Wis. and Columbia, Mo.

President, Impression Sports & Entertainment
 

Chris Foy is the President and former owner of Impression Sports & Entertainment, a full service sponsorship and naming rights agency (ISE was acquired by FOX Sport's HTS division in 2017). Under Chris' leadership since its inception in 2011, Impression has secured over $143MM in sponsorship and naming rights revenue for its roster of high-profile clients. Recent highlights include securing naming rights partners for L.A. Coliseum (United Airlines), Camping World Stadium (Orlando, FL), TaxSlayer Center (Moline, IL), Indiana Farmers Coliseum (Indianapolis, IN), and Bon Secours Wellness Arena (Greenville, SC). Other recent success stories include securing Colorado Rapids shirt sponsorship (Transamerica), and title sponsorships to seven Bowl games. Through measurable results and client-focused approach to business, Chris has built solid relationships with many top brands within the sports and entertainment industry.

Director, Business Administration, Minneapolis Convention Center
 

Chris Hunjas has been in the hospitality industry her entire life from family owned restaurants to 20+ years in venue management. Since 2010, she has served as the Director of Business Administration for the Minneapolis Convention Center responsible for finance, human resources and IT. Prior to the Minneapolis Convention Center, she spent 3 years as Chief Financial Officer for the Overture Center for the Arts, and 10 years as Director of Finance for Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison, WI.

Chris has been a member of IAVM’s research committee since 2010. She graduated from Upper Iowa University with a degree in Accounting and Human Resources.

Managing Partner, XA
 

Chris Kerr is an accomplished touring and festival Production Manager based in Calgary, Alberta. He is a partner in XA, a boutique production agency focused on brand-boosting live events and touring productions for a diverse portfolio of select international clients.

Among his many projects, he is the Tour Production Manager for Grammy Award winning EDM recording artist Zedd, and is the Festival Operations Director for the FVDED In The Park music festival, which hosts 25,000 music fans daily in Surrey, BC every July.

He is a partner and founder of XA Staffing, Alberta’s largest staffing and security agency specializing in concerts, festivals, sporting events, and mass gatherings. Employing over 500 across their offices in Calgary and Edmonton, they staff over 1,000 events annually in the province.

Previously, he served over 11 years as Director of Production for the independent Canadian concert promoter Union Events, where he worked in countless venues and green fields across North America producing shows. He has represented promoters, artists, venues, and service providers in virtually every aspect of live event production.

Assistant General Manager / Director of Finance, INTRUST Bank Arena and The Orpheum Theatre

Chris Kibler is the Assistant General Manager / Director of Finance for INTRUST Bank Arena and The Orpheum Theatre, both SMG Managed Facilities.  She is responsible for all of the financial and accounting aspects of the arena and theatre as well as event settlements with show promoters.  Additionally, Chris assists in the operation and management of the facility and leads several committees focusing on improving the guest experience at INTRUST Bank Arena. Prior to joining SMG in May, 2009 she was an Audit Manager with Ernst & Young, LLP. 

Additionally, giving back to her community is a priority and she is currently the immediate Past-President for East Wichita Rotary, serves on the Operations Committee for Life Church - Wichita, and is an active member of the Operations Committee for Wichita River Festival.  Chris is also active in the industry as an IAVM member, she is a 2012 graduate of Venue Management School and has served on the Venue Connect planning committee. 

Chris is a certified public accountant (CPA) in the State of Kansas and holds a Bachelors Degree in Marketing and Management from Kansas State University and a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from Wichita State University. 

Away from work, you will find Chris spending time with her husband, Scott, at El Dorado or Table Rock Lake, cheering on the Kansas City Royals, going to concerts, and traveling.  In her down time, she enjoys running, reading, and listening to music.

Chief Executive Officer, Shooter Detection Systems
 

As the CEO of Shooter Detection Systems, Chris directs the efforts to commercialize technology to US Government, security, and commercial entities. Chris led the market development of the Boomerang Shooter Detection System for Raytheon BBN Technologies which has accounted for the operational fielding of over 11,000 systems that he now markets to the US Commercial Market. Chris founded Shooter Detection Systems in 2013 to advance the proven technology within Boomerang to create an indoor gunshot detection sensor, the Guardian Indoor Active Shooter Detection System. Chris also worked with a US Defense Contractor to rapidly deploy Counter IED Systems to our soldiers around the world. All of these companies have a singular focus: To assist in saving lives through mitigating emergent threats. Chris is a board member for several DoD prime contractors and continues to invest in life-saving technologies for the DoD and commercial marketplaces.

Director of Marketing, Metro Toronto Convention Centre
 

Christine Tse, Director of Marketing leads the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s (MTCC) strategic marketing and communications plans. Over the last 13 years, her leadership and direction have been instrumental in creating the MTCC’s esteemed brand profile as Canada’s leading world-class convention centre. Hear the MTCC’s experience on using digital marketing tactics to drive sales leads, increase online engagement and earned media for the Centre.

Assistant Director, Orlando Venues, City of Orlando
 

Craig Borkon is the Assistant Director of Orlando Venues, the City of Orlando department that owns and operates the Amway Center and Camping World Stadium. In this role, Craig acts as the liaison to Venues partners including the Orlando Magic, Central Florida Sports Commission and Orlando City Soccer while also working on special projects including the stadium reconstruction, bid submissions and contract negotiation. Craig serves as the City of Orlando's point person on major sporting events such as the NFL Pro Bowl, NCAA Basketball, WrestleMania and the 2026 World Cup Bid.

Prior to joining the Orlando Venues staff, Craig was president of CB Consulting, a political and public relations consulting firm. Before starting his consulting business in 2010, Craig worked in politics, the business sector and ran a non-profit conflict resolution program in the Palm Beach County school system.

Craig currently serves on several boards including Florida Citrus Sports and Central Florida Sports Commission. Craig was recognized in 2014 as the City of Orlando Employee of the year and most recently named one of Orlando Business Journal's “40 under 40” class.

A native of New Jersey, Craig attended the University of Central Florida.

Event Venue Manager, USC Trojan Event Services
 

Cynthia Tucker is the Event Venue Manager for Trojan Event Services (TES), a division of Student Affairs at the University of Southern California since 2015. She has 10 years of venue management and 20 years of event and wedding planning experience. She has worked at the City of Santa Monica, DreamWorks Pictures, The Walt Disney Company, and a local non-profit organization. For 10 years, she was the owner of an event and wedding planning company. As the Event Venue Manager, she is responsible for overseeing the business operations of TES, supervising a team of 6 full-time staff, 4 indoor event venues, 19 outdoor locations and 200 student workers. She works closely with campus partners for event approval, oversees the department's expenses and labor costs, prepares financial analysis and projections, and assesses the venue's policies and procedures. Her career in venue management started as a volunteer at a Historical Fire Station in Los Angeles turned museum and event space. She is a member of the International Venue Managers Association and volunteer with the University Committee. She has a MBA from Pepperdine University and a BA in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is born and raised in Los Angeles, California.

President and Founder, FutureTix
 

Dan DeMato is the President and Founder of FutureTix, the premier consulting company in the United States that specializes in consulting on ticketing practices and technologies for arenas, sports teams, universities, cultural institutions, and other entertainment attractions. Along with managing his crew of industry specialists, Dan enjoys working one-on-one with clients to manage and oversee projects, guiding potential opportunities into successful ventures. With over 30 years of ticketing sales and operations experience, Dan often draws upon his secret weapon, a network of contacts that includes some of the most progressive and savvy ticketing professionals in the business. Dan puts both this wealth of contacts and his own experience at his clients' disposal through FutureTix.

Promoter, Emporium Presents
 

Dan "Steiny" Steinberg, co-founder of Emporium Presents, started producing club shows at the Mercury Café in Denver at the age of sixteen. In 1993, Dan joined 2B Announced Presents as a talent buyer, and after college he relocated to Seattle at the tail end of 2002 promoting under the name Dan Steinberg Presents, later re-branded as Square Peg Concerts in October 2004. In June of 2015 Square Peg merger with Jason Zink’s Sherpa Concerts taking on the name of Emporium Presents producing live events all over the United States and Canada.

Dan was nominated as Independent Promoter of the Year in 2003, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 by Pollstar and was a member of the Concert Industry Consortium Panels in 2002 and 2004 and also moderated some legendary panels at Pollstar Live, SxSW, IAVM, Billboard Tour, CMW, Aspen Live, and ILMC known for treating the panelist to ‘Patron and Donuts’, yeah, you never know what the Jew will do, and yes its true his actual twitter handle is @TheJew.

Emporium Presents promotes all forms of live Entertainment, these past highlights includes shows Luke Bryan, Jason Mraz, Straight No Chaser, Kris Kristofferson w/ Merle Haggard, Daniel Tosh, The Scorpions, Keith Urban, Indigo Girls, Trailer Park Boys, Tedeschi Trucks Band Yo Gabba Gabba, John Prine, The Avett Brothers, Dream Theater, Eric Church, Dolly Parton, The Black Keys, Godsmack, BB King, Home Free and Cheech and Chong.

Steiny also hosts the live touring industries biggest podcast Promoter101.

VP, Communications & Public Relations, The Expo Group
 

Dana Freker Doody is a communicator, improviser, editor, innovator and community builder. She is vice president, communications and public relations for The Expo Group, committed to the mission of helping people perform at a higher level. Dana has degrees in journalism and history from Southern Methodist University and lives in Dallas with her sports-obsessed teenage son.

CEO, San Mateo County Event Center
 

Dana Stoehr has more than 25 years of extensive venue, fair, and event leadership experience, including working for private venues and county fairs. She has produced events ranging from fairs to large-scale concerts, conferences and, festivals. Dana has a reputation for creative thinking and professionalism.

Creative Change Agent, Mpact Communications
 

Dasha uses her words and art as tools for building inspiration and community. She founded a non-profit that has created training experience for young teaching artists and a community of urban art-ivists and has facilitated transformational programs and discussions throughout the U.S and in Canada, Botswana, Beirut and Mauritius. Dasha is an alum of HBO's Def Poetry Jam, been named Milwaukee Artist of the Year and twice finalist as Poet Laureate for the state of Wisconsin, serves on the board of Jaded Ibis Press and delivers a new, one-woman show about power, class, race, privilege and truth called "Making Cake.

Director of Venue Technology & Production, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
 

David is the Director of Venue Technology & Production for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.  MLSE is the owner of The Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), The Toronto Raptors (NBA), The Toronto Football Club (MLS) and the Toronto Argonauts (CFL).   MLSE also owns and/or operates 7 venues in the Greater Toronto Area. The Scotiabank Arena is MLSE’s flag ship property and home to the Leafs and Raptors and was ranked the third busiest venue in North America by Pollstar Magazine (2017).

The Scotiabank Arena has played host to over 39 million guests.  David is responsible for all broadcast & venue technology, as well as venue production throughout MLSE’s properties.  Under David’s leadership, MLSE continues its transformation from traditional to digital signage with David’s team responsible for the oversight of 1300 displays across 7 venues.  Other completed projects include: Raptors practice facility, Molson Draught Deck, Real Sports Apparel, 250 menu boards at Scotiabank Arena, and the complete conversion of BMO field.  David also served on the DSE end user council from August 2015 to July 2017.

Director of Programming, Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center/ Spectra
 

Over his eighteen-year career as an arts professional and venue manager, David Daly, CVP has had the privilege to work with some of the world’s finest performing artists in a variety of settings. In August 2017, David joined the Spectra Venue Management team as the Director of Programming at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. The facility, which will open in August 2018, is the cornerstone of a multi-purpose development in the heart of Sandy Springs, Georgia, located a few miles north of Atlanta.

David’s previous employment includes nine years as the Director of Programming and Facilities at Kennesaw State University’s Bailey Performance Center, as well as positions at the Eastern Music Festival, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. David received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia, and his Master of Business Administration degree from Kennesaw State University's Coles College of Business.

Founder, The Homeland Security Consulting Group
 

After a postdoctoral appointment at The National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST), Dr. McWhorter spent over seven years at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), a Federally Funded Research and Development Center. There, in addition to several Department of Defense projects, he served as the deputy project leader for IDA on the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) SAFETY Act (the Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002). In this position he led the technical evaluations of anti-terrorism products and services across a broad spectrum of countermeasures for chemical, biological, explosive, nuclear, cyber and human threats, including services. He was instrumental in orchestrating the creation of the evaluation process, the drafting of the application kits, the coordination of several government procurements, and the identification of Subject Matter Experts.

In 2007, Dr. McWhorter joined Catalyst Partners, a DC-based homeland security consulting and government relations firm. In his role as a Principal, he represented clients in front of DHS, private sector companies, and other potential customers, spearheading dozens of successful SAFETY Act applications.

Dr. McWhorter started his own firm in 2014: The Homeland Security Consulting Group (HSCG). Working with industry partners, The HSCG continues serving clients across the Homeland Security space.

Dr. McWhorter earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia and a B.S. in Chemistry from Washington and Lee University.

Director - Tour Planning; Arena Shows, Cirque du Soleil
 

David Pitman oversees global tour planning, contracting, and business planning for Cirque du Soleil’s arena productions, including current tours of Ovo, Crystal, Corteo, and TORUK, as well as future tours. Prior to joining Cirque in 2010, he contributed in numerous roles at Feld Entertainment, including Director of North American Routing & Tours; Director of International Tours; Company Manager; and Tour Accountant.

Director of Interactive Marketing, Columbus Arena Sports & Entertainment
 

Dave Redelberger is the Director of Interactive Marketing for Columbus Arena Sports & Entertainment. A survivor of 20 years in the radio industry, Dave started working in the live event business in 2010 and is an executive board member of the Event & Arena Marketing Conference. In Columbus, Dave manages digital and social media marketing for The Schottenstein Center, Nationwide Arena and the concerts and special events at Ohio Stadium.

Director of Athletic Facilities, Sacred Heart University
 

David Salomon joined the SHU Department of Athletics in March 2017 as the Director of Athletic Facilities. In that role he administers the day-to-day operations of the on-campus athletic facilities for varsity sports, including the supervision of security, parking, and event personnel.

Salomon comes to SHU following four years as Athletic Faciliites and Event Coordinator at Hofstra University Assisted with the operations of the 2016 Presidential Debate

In that role he oversaw and maintained indoor and outdoor athletic facilties, as well as coordinating game day operations for all sports

Sr. Park Manager - Internal Operations, Fair Park, TX
 

Dee Ann Hirsch is the Senior Park Manager at Fair Park, TX! An experienced professional with 20+ years in sports, festivals, tradeshows, facilities and marketing management, Mrs. Hirsch currently directs internal operations at Fair Park, including Event Services, Horticultural Services, Facility Services, Business Services, and historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. Hirsch’s previous experience includes work for her undergraduate alma mater, Baylor University, EDS Byron Nelson Championship (now AT&T Byron Nelson), TicketCity Bowl (now Heart of Dallas Bowl), AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, The Expo Group, The Payne Stewart Cup, and Anthony Travel.

DLM Creative
 

Diana is the Director of the McAninch Performing Arts Center and most recently she was the President of The Second City where she led the strategic planning for a major expansion of the historic facilities and was responsible for the creation of Second City's newest band, UP Comedy Club. Prior to that she was the Executive Director of The Paramount Theatre in Aurora for eight years, where she led a $6.5 million addition and renovation to the historic landmark theatre and re-branded the organization.

She has over 25 years of experience as an entertainment executive including directing for Kenny Rogers for seven seasons, and producing and directing at Pheasant Run Dinner theatre for 13 years. Diana posses a unique live entertainment background which includes a rich history in both creative and executive management, as well as proven track record in both the commercial and the non-profit arenas. Combined she has been involved as a producer/presenter or director in over 400 live theatre productions and concerts.

Principal, Donald Grinberg, FAIA - Architecture+ Planning+
 

Don Grinberg, FAIA is one of the nation’s leading architects specializing in convention center planning and design. With a career spanning more than 35 years, he has worked on over 50 convention center projects in the US and abroad. Among his more recent convention center assignments are expansion projects in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky; a feasibility study in Buffalo; a master plan for the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin; and a strategic plan for the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Formerly Director of HNTB’s Convention Center Architecture practice, since 2011 he has served the industry as a sole practitioner working out of Boston and San Francisco.

President & CEO, Destinations International
 

A seasoned tourism executive with more than 35 years of experience in the industry, Don Welsh serves as the President and CEO of Destinations International. Since joining the association in March 2016, Welsh has implemented a strategic realignment for the association through a renewed commitment to focus on member needs to deliver the resources members have determined to be essential to the success of their organizations.

Prior to joining Destinations International, Welsh served as the President and CEO of Choose Chicago. Welsh also held the CEO position at the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association and the Seattle Convention & Visitors Bureau. Prior to joining the destination marketing industry, Welsh served as senior vice president for Westin Hotels at its corporate headquarters, and has also held senior leadership positions in sales and marketing for Westin Hotels and Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas.

Executive Director of University Events and IU Auditorium, Indiana University
 

Doug Booher serves as Executive Director of University Events and IU Auditorium at Indiana University. Known for its presentation of a wide variety of events from university ceremonies and conference events to the latest popular concerts and Broadway attractions, IU Auditorium is a 3,200-seat proscenium theatre has been a model of campus and community programming and engagement since it was opened in 1941. Established in 2010, IU Event Services provides all event staff and management for major university events including IU Athletics events, as well as talent buying responsibilities for university-owned venues. In his role for University Events, he offers oversight, creative and compliance services for all executive, advancement and ceremonial events on all IU campuses. Together, IU Auditorium, Event Services, and University Events serve over one million guests each year.

Booher is one of 215 venue and event professionals across the world who has earned the Certified Venue Executive (CVE) designation and is a proud graduate of Indiana University. He is currently serving as the Chair of the International Association of Venue Managers, as well as holding membership in the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the Collegiate Events and Facility Managers Association, and the Event Safety Alliance. Throughout his career he has presented extensively in the areas of expert guest service, event management and artist contract negotiation and serves as an adjunct lecturer in IU's School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Senior Vice President & Chief Operations Officer, Music City Center
 

Elisa (Putt) Putman is the Senior Vice President/COO for the Music City where she leads the Operations team which includes Event Services, Technology, Facility Services, Purchasing, Engineering, Security, Parking and Sustainability including all service contracts for these areas. Putt is a native Nashvillian and has been with the organization since 1989. She earned her bachelor's degree in Recording Industry Management with minors in Business and Mass Communications from MTSU.

Principal, HKS Architects
 

Emir Tursic is a Principal with HKS Architects with 17 years of professional experience in internationally and nationally notable assembly, entertainment and hospitality projects. Emir completed two iconic performing arts center projects with the Salt Lake County; the restoration and expansion of the historic Capitol Theatre and the latest addition to the Salt Lake City Arts District, the Eccles Theater. Emir believes in the integrated design approach which makes the sustainable and energy efficient design an integral part of the design process and engages all project stakeholders. The result is a responsible, performance-based design that does not escalate the construction cost significantly while benefiting the operational efficiency and protecting the environment.

Promoter/Director of Festivals, Live Nation Canada
 

Emmanuel has been working in the music industry for 33 years and a fan of music as far back as his early childhood days of ‘mastering’ the violin and clarinet.

Emmanuel began his career in the music industry at the University of Waterloo, where he ran the Board of Entertainment (BENT), promoting rock shows for the student body at Federation Hall and Humanities Theatre.

In 1996 he was recruited by MCA Concerts and has been promoting shows on a national touring level as well as regionally throughout Canada.

Since joining MCA Concerts, Emmanuel has worked for Universal Concerts, Universal Concerts Canada, House of Blues Concerts Canada, Live Nation and presently Live Nation Entertainment…..all without ever having to change offices.

Some of his past and present clients include Oasis, Jay-Z, No Doubt, Tm Hicks, Slayer, Dita Von Teese, Owl City, Bryan Adams, Marilyn Manson, Jann Arden, Dean Brody, Great Big Sea, Slipknot, Meghan Patrick, The Tragically Hip, Lights, Alice in Chains, Janet Jackson, Billy Talent, Our Lady Peace, Green Day and Nickelback.

Emmanuel’s favourite colour is purple.

Director of Technology, Music City Center
 

Eric Blouin is the Director of Technology for the Music City Center (MCC). He has been with the MCC for the past 17 years, and provides strategic direction, leadership and oversight for the organization’s IT department. Eric is also responsible for MCC’s digital advertising program which includes convention/ tradeshow sponsorships, corporate advertising sales, and marketing the digital experience. Prior to joining the MCC, Blouin served as an Intelligence Analyst in the United States Marines Corps.

Sr. Director, Publicity, Harlem Globetrotters International
 

Eric Nemeth oversees the publicity efforts for the Harlem Globetrotters’ North American tour, which brings more than 300 games to over 250 cities annually. He orchestrates nationally recognized photo ops, including record breaking trick shots, Globetrotters’ events on rooftops and on ice, plus elaborate community initiatives that positions the team’s brand as the “Ambassadors of Goodwill.” Eric works with local and national media outlets that have led to segments on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “LIVE with Kelly and Ryan,” “Rachael Ray Show,” “SportsCenter,” “TODAY Show,” and “Good Morning America.” Before joining the Globetrotters, Eric was Director of PR for Comcast-Spectacor, where he worked with the Philadelphia Flyers, 76ers, and all events at the Wells Fargo Center.

Design Principal, Gensler
 

In his 25+ years of professional experience, Eric’s work has encompassed a broad range of building types and services, and has been recognized consistently for design and technical excellence. His 20+ years with Gensler have presented opportunities to lead the design of significant large-scale projects around the world. These projects include the recently completed Costa Rica National Convention Center in San José; the Dallas Cowboys Headquarters, Training Facility and Ford Center at The Star in Frisco; Farmers Field NFL Stadium; and New Century Plaza Hotel, Residences and Conference Center in Los Angeles.

In his role as one of Gensler's Convention Center Industry co-leaders, he has begun to leverage his broad experience to create impactful destinations, rather than just facilities. Current assignments on convention center in Chicago’s Navy Pier and the La Crosse Center in Wisconsin, and a permanent showroom building in Las Vegas all break the boundaries of the convention center box and engage the surrounding communities and economies to create projects that are vibrant and engaging.

Eric graduated with a B.Arch from SCI-Arc, and has served on the board of the A+D: Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles for 10 years.

Partner, Grobstein Teeple, LLP
 

With nearly 15 years of cybersecurity and security experience, to include leadership experience managing some of the largest data breaches over the past several years, Rasmussen is an industry leader in security consulting. Having investigated hundreds of cyber investigations and assisted in the apprehension of several transnational criminals, he brings a breadth of experience. Prior to joining the firm, Rasmussen led the North America cyber security and investigations practice at Kroll and worked several years in the financial services sector, to include running cyber intelligence programs at Visa Inc. and working closely with the Deputy CISO of an global payments processor.

As a Secret Service agent, Rasmussen served on the FBI's Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force and conducted numerous security advances in the United States, to include cyber security advance work for a Presidential Debate in 2012 and the dedication of a Presidential library in 2013.

A dedicated thought leader, Rasmussen has presented at RSA, Interpol, various webinars in concert with global law firms, as well as numerous law enforcement liaison engagements, such as speaking at USSS Electronic Crimes Task Force quarterly meetings.

Rasmussen started his public service career as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Tacoma, Washington.

Sr. Director of Client and Guest Services, Georgia World Congress Center Authority
 

Erik Waldman, is the Senior Director of Client and Guest Services for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA). In his role, he oversees event operations and guest services for the number 1 convention, sports and entertainment destination in the world. Prior to this role, Erik oversaw event operations for the Georgia Dome and public safety for the campus. In 2016, Erik received his Certified Venue Executive (CVE) designation from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). Prior to joining the GWCCA, Erik was the Vice President and General Manager of the BankAtlantic Center (now BB&T Center) in Sunrise, Florida. Erik received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administrations with a major in General Management & a minor in Hospitality Management from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in August of 2002. His career started at the Orlando Arena in 1998 as the Zamboni driver for the Orlando Solar Bears of the International Hockey League. In 2002, Erik worked as an event coordinator for the UCF Arena where his career began to rise. He is also a graduate of the GWCCA Senior Leadership Development Program in partnership with the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business. In August of 2015, Erik was named Chair of the IAVM Stadium’s Committee Sector. In August of 2017, he was named to the Board of Directors for IAVM. Erik has certifications from IAVM’s Academy for Venue Safety & Security and Venue Management School. In his free time, Erik spends time with his family and friends, competes in Ironman triathlons and participates in other endurance sports.

President and Chief Experience Officer, Fast Traffic Events & Entertainment
 

Frank Supovitz For more than 25 years, award-winning event producer Frank Supovitz has been at the helm of some of the world’s most prestigious, widely-viewed and well-attended sports and entertainment events. He founded Fast Traffic Events & Entertainment in 2014, an event management and consulting company based in New York. Fast Traffic’s current and recent clients include Indianapolis Motor Speedway, New York City’s South Street Seaport, the BIG EAST Conference, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Australia’s National Rugby League, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, among others. For ten years, Supovitz served as Senior Vice President, Events for the National Football League, overseeing the meteoric growth of Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, and the NFL Draft. Prior to joining the NFL, he led the National Hockey League’s Events & Entertainment department from 1992 to 2005, managing and producing the NHL All-Star Weekend, the Stanley Cup Finals, the NHL Awards Television Special, and international competitions across the globe in Canada, Europe and Japan. Together with the Edmonton Oilers, Supovitz developed the NHL Heritage Classic in 2003, the first stadium-based outdoor pro hockey game and forerunner of the spectacularly successful NHL Winter Classic. Supovitz also served as director of special events for Radio City Music Hall Productions, and his past credits include the Presidential Bicentennial Procession in New York, the 1990 Goodwill Games Welcoming Ceremonies in Seattle; the Stanford University Centennial, and the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia. It can honestly be said that Frank Supovitz wrote the book on managing and marketing live events. He is the co-author of The Sports Event Management & Marketing Playbook, the second edition recently published by John Wiley & Sons. Supovitz also authors the popular monthly “Ask the Event Doctor” advice column in Sports Travel Magazine. Additionally, Frank received an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree in Sports, Entertainment & Event Management from Johnson & Wales University in 2003 and was inducted into the Event Industry Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2014, he was honored as New York University’s Cal Ramsey Distinguished Lecturer. He was featured on NFL Full Contact, a six-episode documentary on NFL events that aired on truTV (2010) and in 60 Minutes Sports’ behind-the-scenes episode on Super Bowl XLVII on Showtime (2013). Frank also appeared in a cameo role in the Ivan Reitman-directed film, Draft Day (2014).

Director, Event Management Services, Exhibition Place, Enercare Centre, Beanfield Centre
 

Gilles Bouchard, CEM, comes to Exhibition Place with extensive experience in the exhibition, meetings and events business, previously working with GES Global Experience Specialists as VP Canada, and as Director of Events and Trade Shows for Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association.

An active member of the events industry, Gilles has previously served on the Board of CAEM and was part of the CAEM Committee to develop the Health & Safety Training Program.

Manager, CN Centre
 

Glen Mikkelsen has been in the event business for over thirty years.

As Manager of Prince George’s CN Centre, he oversees the gamut of arena-based events. This includes concerts, junior hockey, trade shows, motorsports, graduations, rodeos, Broadway shows, etc. Plus, he also oversees the events on Exhibition Park - which includes three other arenas, fairgrounds, riding arenas, barns, and a multi-use parking lot.

Mikkelsen also oversees the Prince George Playhouse - a 300-seat stand alone theatre. Besides promoting and coordinating events in these facilities, Mikkelsen also promotes shows in the 800-seat Vanier Hall.

Mikkelsen is a regular contributor to Facility Manager magazine, as the author of “In the Quirks”.

Director of Sales & Event Services, Cobo Center
 

With 30+ years of hospitality experience and being an active member of the green team and green initiatives at Cobo Center, I'm very passionate in my professional and personal life about the ecology of the planet. Our industry has substantially improved its' position on eco friendly practices and has an even longer way to go. Every person can make an impact through thoughtful decisions and actions and this can be multiplied when these same practices are implemented by companies and industries.

Technical Director, CEIA USA
 

Guy Leininger is the Technical Director of the Security division at CEIA USA, with responsibility to manage pre-sales technical product consulting, including technical presentations, training, product demonstrations, site surveys and technical proof of concepts with partners and/or customers. In working directly with the customer and the CEIA USA sales team, Guy applies CEIA solutions to specific customer environments, differentiates CEIA against competitive solutions and stays current with industry technology trends. Guy has worked in various technical roles with CEIA USA in the past 9 years, including Field Service Engineer, Technical Operations Manager, and Director of Testing and Measurement. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Leininger holds a BSEE from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

Training & Development Manager, City of Dallas, Dallas Park & Recreation
 

Hazel Roper, Training and Development Manager for Dallas Park and Recreation, has an extensive professional background in organizational development, education, and human resources.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Andrews University and a Masters from Western Michigan University. Hazel is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

Her career includes managerial and leadership experience in business development, manufacturing, health care, and higher education.

She is responsible for the design, development, implementation and evaluation of training, development and process improvement strategies. As a performance coach, Hazel assists employees in understanding themselves and others, respecting and valuing differences, capitalizing on their strengths and working together to advance organizational objectives and individual success.

Director of Operations, Levitt Foundation / Venue Manager, Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles, Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation
 

As Venue Manager of Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles, Heidi oversees the production of 50 free concerts presented to the downtown community each year. She simultaneously serves as the Director of Operations for the national Levitt Foundation, whose mission is to build community through music by providing free access to the arts. The Levitt Foundation is supporting free concerts in 26 towns and cities across the United States in 2018.

Heidi brings an extensive background in events and operations. Previously, she worked at AEG/STAPLES Center, Warner Music Group, and has held several roles at the Genius Loci Music Festival in Baja Norte, Mexico – including festival operations, production, and artist relations.

Heidi is a member of IAVM’s Amphitheaters & Fairgrounds Committee and will serve as Vice Chair of the Venue Safety and Security Committee in 2018/2019. She just completed her first year of Venue Management School and is looking forward to serving as an ambassador and class rep alternate in 2019.

Co-Founder, Ticket Alternative / Freshtix
 

As President and co-founder of Ticket Alternative and Freshtix, Iain has been a leader in the ticketing space for more than 14 years. He oversees a company who’s assets include two powerful ticketing solutions for festivals, live music venues, performing arts centers, professional sports teams and motorsports. Ticket Alternative are one of the largest event wristband suppliers & ticket printers in the USA.

Manager, Marketing and Communications, Shaw Conference Centre
 

Imran is an award-winning marketing and communications professional with 7+ years of experience leading marketing and communications strategy for large, diverse organizations. He has proven expertise in building organizational brand, enhancing company profile, driving revenue, and increasing relevancy in the marketplace.

Serving on the Shaw Conference Centre`s senior leadership team, Imran currently manages the marketing and communications portfolio for Edmonton's premier convention centre. The venue plays a significant role in enhancing the brand and reputation of Edmonton, hosting nearly 650 events and generating over $40 million in economic impact annually. His expertise includes but is not limited to:

  • Leading, coaching and developing marketing and communications teams
  • Marketing and communications strategy development with a focus on storytelling to drive both value for partners and build organizational brand
  • Corporate communications
  • Leveraging innovative technology to drive content strategy and business growth

Striving to be a better leader every day, Imran strongly believes in servant leadership by guiding teams to not only achieve organizational goals, but also their long term personal and professional goals. "True success is measured by the positive impact one has in the lives of others.

Partner, Schuler Shook
 

Jack Hagler has over 40 years' experience as a designer, technician, contractor and consultant for a variety of assembly facilities. Project types include professional, educational, and civic theatres, hotel and convention facilities, houses of worship, theme parks, and sports/entertainment arenas.

Jack's projects benefit greatly from his planning, design and project management experience and deep knowledge gained from working and designing a variety of assembly venues. Jack is continually broadening his knowledge of performing arts venue design and operation through his very active participation in the American Society of Theatre Consultants and the International Association of Venue Managers.

Senior Vice President Facilities, Vivint Smart Home Arena
 

For the past 26 years I have worked in the field of venue management with positions in Phoenix, Arizona and Salt Lake City Utah.

In my current role as Senior Vice-President of Facilities I oversee the following properties: Vivint Smart Home Arena, home of the Utah Jazz, family shows and concerts; Smiths Ballpark, home of the Salt Lake Bees triple A baseball club, affiliate of the Anaheim Angels and the University Of Utah men’s baseball team

Founder, Paciolan
 

As Founder of Paciolan, Jane established Paciolan’s name, concept and ideals in 1980. She has formed deep relationships between Paciolan and the live entertainment, ticketing and college athletics through ubiquitous involvement in industry events and associations. Jane has served in multiple capacities during her tenure including CEO, Chairman of the Board, and as the first female president of a major ticketing company. In 2017, Jane was honored with the Joseph J. Anzivino Distinguished Allied Award from IAVM. She has also been recognized as a Sports Business Journal Game Changer and presented with the Venues Today Woman of Influence Award. She is Past-Chair at INTIX, the International Ticketing Association. Jane studied accounting and business administration at University of Cincinnati.

Director of Production and Building Services, Des Moines Performing Arts
 

Janet Albanese is the Director of Production and Building Services for Des Moines Performing Arts. As a native Iowan, Janet is happy to be back in her home state after working on both coasts as a Production Manager at Williamstown Theatre Festival (Asst PM), CSULB, and Cal Rep, and as Stage Manager for Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival and Cornell University. Janet has taught at Drake University, GrandView University, Cal State Long Beach, and Truman State University. Janet holds an MFA in Stage Management and an MA in Theatre History from University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign and a BA in Theatre and BA in Religion from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. She is married to magician Patrick Albanese (of the Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA and the comedy Triple Espresso) and is so grateful he understands the world of production! They have two ridiculously talented and mischievous children: Ellie (8) and EJ (7). Right now, Janet feels that every bit of her life is “magical” – personally – wife and mom to an amazing family and professionally – working at such a world-class facility bringing Broadway and other live performance to Des Moines.

Sales and Special Projects Manager, US Testing Equipment, LTD
 

An over 19 year security industry veteran Jason Allen started his career in the United State Marine Corps specializing in Anti-Terrorism Force Protection in the Middle East with the Marine Corps Security Guard program. After serving in the military, Jason moved on to the private sector working as a manager for Securitas Security Services where he provided guard services, armed protection and training services for a number of private industry customers ranging from high tech companies to consumer apparel.

For the last 10 years Jason has worked with US Testing Equipment as the current Sales Manager and Special Projects Manager. US Testing Equipment is a leader in Security Screening Technology solutions this includes everything from Walk Thru Metal Detection, Under Vehicle Inspection Systems, ETD (explosives trace detection), AT X-Ray, Whole Body Imaging, Cargo Screening Technologies for containers, and other detection systems. Over the years Jason has worked on providing solutions for everything from the US Open for Tennis, PGA Golf events, regulatory aviation programs, sporting events, concerts Events and specialized government programs.

Jason has also become and Allied Member of IAVM and has completed the AVSS program being more involved in the IAVM community to better understand the emerging security needs of the venue Industry.

Associate Vice President, Operations, California College of the Arts
 

Jason E. Blackwell is a Certified Facilities Manager (CFM) and currently serves as Associate Vice President of Operations at California College of the Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has worked for more than twenty five years in venue/event operations, facilities management, construction project management, and stagecraft production in leading entertainment venues and arts institutions on the west coast. Most recently, he worked for seven years as Director of Operations at Portland'5 Centers for the Arts and before that a ten year stint at San Francisco Ballet as their Facilities and Construction Project Manager. Besides enjoying time with his family, Jason spends his moments of freedom in the great outdoors on foot, pedal, or climbing harness and/or in a local venue running a follow-spot for a entertaining show.

ADR Instructor and Facilitator, ADR Chambers
 

Jason Stitt is a Toronto-based facilitator, trainer, and coach with the Stitt Feld Handy Group, a division of ADR Chambers. He provides Alternative Dispute Resolution, negotiation and coaching training to organizations and the general public throughout Canada, the Caribbean and the United States. Jason is also an Adjunct Professor and the University of Toronto Law School teaching Negotiation. Jason has provided training for organizations including various government organizations, private companies, unions, and the military.

Jason earned his Bachelor of Sports Management at Brock University and then graduated with a J.D. from the University of Windsor Faculty of Law where he studied negotiation and conflict resolution. Jason is a member of the Ontario bar and a member of Mensa.

Prior to joining Stitt Feld Handy, Jason worked at an insurance defence law firm. Jason attended court regularly, making arguments before Judges and Masters and attended a number of mediations in this capacity.

Jason has worked for various NHL teams and the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team with their salary arbitrations. This work involved assisting with the negotiations between the players and the teams, as well as drafting briefs with arguments to be heard by the arbitrators.

Promoter, Emporium Presents

Jason is the co-founder of Emporium Presents which has offices in Denver, Seattle, and Birmingham and annually promote more than 600 shows in the US and Canada.  He is a talent buyer and promoter who has promoted tours as well as one nighters all over the US and Canada.
Jason started his career with Nederlander Concerts in Cincinnati before going to Denver to work with Barry Fey/Universal Concerts and House of Blues. He then moved to Nashville at Outback Concerts to be Vice President of Touring in 2003.  He started Sherpa Concerts in 2009 which then merged with Dan Steinberg’s Square Peg Concerts to form Emporium Presents in early 2015.

President & Founder, Venue Coalition
 

For over 35 years, Jeff Apregan has been booking, producing and managing live events and tours around the world. As a tour promoter, tour director and venue consultant, he has overseen the business end of the live events business for artists, venues and organizations. His years of experience working with venue operators have provided him with the knowledge and relationships necessary to assist venues of all sizes, from theaters and arenas, to NFL stadiums.

Attorney, Covington & Burling
 

Jeffrey White is a member of the Covington & Burling's tax practice group. His practice involves federal and state tax planning as well as audit and controversy work. Mr. White focuses primarily on advising sports leagues and teams on their state and local tax obligations and representing them in disputes with state revenue authorities. He also has significant experience advising clients on various tax matters, including tax and affiliate nexus, income and sales and use taxation, employment taxation, payroll matters, information reporting, fringe benefit matters, withholding tax on foreign entities, combined reporting, and foreign bank account reporting.

Assistant Managing Director, San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center
 

Jennifer began work at the War Memorial in June of 1988 as a lighting assistant at the San Francisco Opera. In December 1995 she found her way into venue management as the Booking Administrator for the Opera House, Symphony Hall and the historic 900-seat Herbst Theatre. As her responsibilities have grown through the years Jennifer has relied on IAVM to be an indispensable source for inspiration, continuing education and lifelong connections to venue colleagues. A lover of the performing arts Jen can be found in a theater on average 3.5 nights per week as she seeks out the most interesting events which the Bay Area has to offer. Jen holds BFA in technical theater from UCSB and a MFA in Theatrical Design from SMU. She has served for 10+ years as the Secretary of the Civic Center Community Benefit District. Jen is married to Doris and they have a teenage daughter Lily.

Marketing Director, Principal, Perkins+Will
 

Jenny Stephens is a Principal and the Director of Marketing for Perkins+Will Denver’s Sports+Recreation+Entertainment Practice. She has been with the firm since 1990 for twenty-eight years, playing a key role in strategic pursuits within the US and Internationally. She has been instrumental in the pursuit of high profile projects such as the Pepperdine University Event and Recreation Center national design competition, the Target Center Renovations, and Red Rocks Visitor Center. Jenny is an active member of several industry organizations, including NIRSA, ALSD, and IAVM.

Motivated by sharing insights with other professionals working in the sports recreation and entertainment environment, Jenny is an active member in a numerous industry organizations including NIRSA, ALSD, and IAVM and has co-authored numerous articles in industry trade publications. Jenny is a proud Colorado native and alum of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Jerry Teplitz Enterprises, Inc.
 

Dr. Jerry V. Teplitz' background is as unique as the techniques and approaches he teaches. He is a graduate of Hunter College and Northwestern University School of Law. He practiced as an attorney for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and also received a Doctorate Degree in Holistic Health Sciences.

Dr. Teplitz clients include the American Society of Association Executives eight times, Meeting Professionals International four times, and Professional Convention Management Association two times.

Jerry is co-author of a #1 Best Seller on Amazon - Switched-On Selling: Balance Your Brain for Sales Success. Other books he has authored include Managing Your Stress in Difficult Times: Succeeding in Times of Change and Brain Gym for Business, and Switched-On Networking: Balance Your Brain for Networking Success.

Articles on Jerry have appeared in such publications as Successful Meetings, Prevention, and Travel & Leisure Golf Magazine. He has also been listed in several editions of Who's Who in America and now hosts an internet radio show called Healthy Alternatives.

Jerry is one of only 600 speakers world-wide who has earned the title Certified Speaking Professional from the National Speakers Association. He has been selected by the PCMA as a “Best-In Class” speaker and by the CSAE as an Association Excellence Speaker based on the quality and impact of his presentations.
www.teplitz.com

Assistant Professor of Arts, University of Kentucky
 

Jill Schinberg is an Assistant Professor of Arts Administration at the University of Kentucky. She started her professional career at Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa and has subsequently held positions with Bay Area music promoter Another Planet Entertainment, Festival Internacional de Videodanza in Buenos Aires, Rena Shagan Associates in New York, and (most recently) Cal Performances in Berkeley. Along with producing and directing, she has served as a consultant to emerging arts organizations, venues, and dance companies in the United States and South America. Schinberg's research explores the dynamics, impacts, and implications of workplace gender disparities in arts and entertainment venues and organizations. She teaches courses in Leadership and Management, Programming and Event Planning, and Arts Entrepreneurship. Schinberg holds an MFA from the University of Utah and BAs in Spanish and Latin American Literature and Culture and Dance from the University of Iowa.

General Manager, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center/An SMG Managed Facility
 

Jim Finch is the General Manager for the SMG-managed Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center in Punta Gorda, Florida. He has been the GM since the building opened in 2009. Prior to Punta Gorda, Jim managed the Charlotte Sports Park for Charlotte County Florida, opened the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, Virginia, was the Assistant Director of the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Georgia and was the Operations Manager for the Asheville Civic Center. He has been a member of IAVM since 1996. Outside of work, Jim is involved with his local Kiwanis Club, Florida Restaurant and Hospitality Association, Chamber of Commerce and local Boy Scout Troop. In his spare-time he enjoys spending time outdoors geocaching, hiking and kayaking. Jim has been married 24 years to his wife Karon and they have two children, Kyle and Hannah.

General Manager, Spectra Venue Management - Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall
 

Jim Wynkoop is the General Manager for Spectra Venue Management at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Jim has worked for Spectra since 2002 joining as an Assistant General Manager at Colonial Life Arena as part of the opening team. He has been the General Manager at Whittemore Center Arena at University of New Hampshire, the Director of Facilities at Wasco Center at University of Miami, and General Manager of Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University. Prior to that Jim worked in various positions for SMG at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island, NY culminating with the Director of Operations role.

Jim has been an IAVM member for over 20 years and has been a member of the Board of Directors, Foundation Board of Trustees, Arena’s Committee, Universities Committee and Industry Affairs Council.

Director of Production, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
 

After graduating with a BFA in Acting from Emerson College in Boston, Jodi moved to the Bay Area. In addition to acting, she became a Lighting Designer and Production Manager for local theater and dance companies. Eleven years ago she joined Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as the Assistant Production Manager and is now the Director of Production. Jodi is grateful to live with her wife and daughter in a diverse, inclusive city and work for an organization who values it's employees.

Director of Event Services, Verizon Arena
 

Joe DeGeorge is a 24 year veteran of the arena business. He served as Assistant Director of Operations for Verizon Arena since its opening in 1999 and was promoted to his current position of Director of Event Services in 2006. During that time he has been involved in such events as Garth Brooks, The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, SEC Women’s Tourney and many others. Joe oversees event management, event and venue security, event staff and operations. He does the advance work on all the touring shows that come to Verizon Arena.

Prior to joining Verizon Arena, Joe held various positions at the North Charleston Coliseum, Convention and Performing Arts Center in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Joe is a veteran of the United States Army and would never tire of seeing AC/DC in concert.

Keynote Speaker, Author, Inclusion Strategist, Platinum Speakers Agency
 

Joe Gerstandt brings new clarity and fresh practices to diversity and inclusion work.

Joe has worked with Fortune 500 corporations, small non-profits, and everything in between. He speaks at numerous conferences and summits, and blogs at joegerstandt.com. He is a featured contributor for the Workforce Diversity Network Expert Forum and his insights have been published in Diversity Best Practices, Diversity Executive, HR Executive, The Diversity Factor, The American Diversity Report, the Corporate Recruiting Leadership Journal, Associations Now, other print and on-line journals and he co-authored the book Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships.

Joe grew up on a family farm in NW Iowa, served four years in the United States Marine Corps, including participation in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, attended Iowa State University and then spent 6 years working in management and business development for technology and communication companies. He then made a career change and went to work for a grassroots non-profit organization doing HIV and STD prevention work, and this is where he found himself drawn to issues related to diversity and inclusion and then became actively involved in that work.

Today, Joe believes that we can ill afford to continue applying a 20th century approach to an increasingly critical set of 21st century issues. A strong advocate for resetting the diversity and inclusion conversation, joe sees diversity and inclusion as poorly understood and often misunderstood. His keynote messages and interactive workshops bring greater clarity, energy, and application to diversity and inclusion work.

Joe lives in Omaha, Nebraska (the middle of everywhere) with his patient, kind, patient, loving and patient wife, two daughters, a son, a dog, and a guinea pig.

General Manager, Apollo Theater
 

For more than 25 years Joe Levy has been managing performing arts organizations including General Manager of Harlem's Word Famous Apollo Theater, Director of Operations at Kaufman Music Center, Director of Production and Facility Management for The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, and Production Manager for the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia.

Both managing and constructing performing arts venues has provided Joe with an abundance of experience related to the ever changing needs and challenges of safety and security. His significant work in the area of safety and security has been recognized by the International Association of Venue Managers' chairman Mark Mettes and he presented Joe with the Chair's Citation at the 2017 annual IAVM conference for his leadership, service, commitment, and contributions to our industry. This honor further exemplifies Joe's commitment to safety and security.

Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, VenuWorks
 

John Siehl entered the public assembly industry in 1965 at Hara Arena/Dayton, Ohio as an usher, followed by General Manager in 1982. In 1990 Siehl moved to the Nutter Center as the GM, retiring in 2010 as Executive Director. Siehl is currently Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for VenuWorks. He joined IAVM in 1978 and attained the Certified Venue Executive (CVE) in 1995. Siehl was Chair of the Board of Education, Life Safety Council, Board of Governors and on the Certification, Universities and Arenas Committees and Venue Safety & Security (AVSS) Chair and faculty, faculty at the Venue Management School at Oglebay. Siehl is a Past Chairman of the Board of the IAVM and received IAVM's Charles McElravy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. At Nutter, Siehl received the President's Award for Excellence in 2001. Siehl was inducted into the Dayton Hockey Hall of Fame, 2008. Siehl served on local Boards (Campfire, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Aullwood Audubon Center, A Special Wish (Chairman) and Greene County Foundation). Siehl is Past President of the Chamber of Commerce and Past President of the CVB. Siehl is a volunteer bereavement counselor/Hospice of Dayton. Siehl received a BA and MS, University of Dayton.

Vice President & General Manager, George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston First Corporation
 

John S. Gonzalez, is Vice President and General Manager for the George R. Brown Convention Center, a Houston First venue. He served as longtime Senior Event Manager and Director of Guest & Event Services before being promoted to Vice President. Today, he has over 20 years of experience in the convention/hospitality industry and oversees a team of 34 focusing on the day-to-day operations of the facility. He manages a budget of over $50 million and 200 contractual service employees for Food & Beverage, Communications/IT, Audio/Visual, Security and Engineering Services. Mr. Gonzalez served 16 years in the U.S. Army Reserve which included multiple tours to Southwest Asia in support of operation Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom. Mr. Gonzalez is a native Houstonian and very active in the community. He is married and has two children.

Principal, Fisher Dachs Associates
 

Fisher Dachs Associates Principal Joshua Dachs is recognized as one of the world's leading theatre planning and design consultants. Drawing on a background as a violinist, an architect, and theatrical set and lighting designer, he has led FDA's consulting practice since 1984, providing planning, programming, and design leadership for hundreds of successful projects. He has helped plan and design four opera houses, including the Mariinsky II Opera House in St. Petersburg; concert halls for major orchestras; and the newest Broadway theatre, the Stephen Sondheim. He has worked with many leading theatre companies, including the Arena Stage, Old Globe, the Guthrie Theater, Washington DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company, Theatre Clwyd in Wales, the Bolton Octagon, and Shakespeare's Globe on the extraordinary new Sam Wanamaker Theatre in London. For Lincoln Center, he is currently planning the re-imagining of David Geffen Hall, and he completed many other projects on the LC campus including the renovation of Alice Tully Hall and expansion of the Juilliard School. A graduate of the High School of Music and Art in New York City, he holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University. He is currently on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group, and a member of the American Society of Theatre Consultants and ISPA.

CEO, Expo Guadalajara Convention Center

Juan Gabriel, born in Monterrey, México, graduated as an Electrical Mechanical Engineer and has a Master’s Degree in Engineering & Administration. With more than 25 years of experience in the Exhibitions and Meetings Industry. Involved in sales, operation, marketing and management of Venues, mostly Convention Centers. He has launched some of them in different types of cities such as large city, beach and cultural destinations. He has advised and coached many construction projects in México and Latin America. He finished VMS program in Oglebay and he is the only professional in Mexico recognized as CVE (Certified Venue Executive) and TCM (Trained Crowd Manager) by IAVM and currently one of the five Mexican trainers accredited by IAEE as CEM Faculty he has taught several courses contributing to the CEM Certification of many professionals around the country. He also teaches CVP courses for IAVM in México in partnership with AMEREF. Juan Gabriel actively supports the industry with positions on the board of associations such as, Venues VP in AMPROFEC and recently, Past Chairman of AMEREF. He supports the Mexican Red Cross as a volunteer paramedic and instructor.

President, Armored Things
 

Julie Johnson is President of Armored Things. Julie co-founded Armored Things after working at Qualcomm, where she was focused on cybersecurity for the Internet of Things for both the corporate venture capital arm and as a strategic liaison for the Bay Area Research & Development team. She brings expertise in finance, operations, and strategy. Previously, Julie held various positions across trading, investment management, and venture capital. She has degrees from University of Pennsylvania, Wharton, and Harvard Business School.

Product Marketing Manager, Ungerboeck Software International
 

Justin D. Ungerboeck serves as Product Marketing Manager for Ungerboeck Software International, a leading provider of software for the event management industries. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Ungerboeck Software has offices in the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia, including in Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Justin has gained extensive industry insight during his 10+ years of experience at Ungerboeck and his frequent visits with event organizers and venues around the world.

Justin constantly keeps his finger on the industry pulse, rendering him a subject matter expert on a variety of topics. With an in-depth understanding of all the varying types of venues and business models, Justin is always on top of emerging trends and best practices. Prior to joining USI, Mr. Ungerboeck practiced law in St. Louis, Missouri. He holds both MBA and Juris Doctorate degrees from St. Louis University. Justin is a 2009 graduate of IAVM’s Venue Management School at Oglebay. He currently serves as Chair of the IAVM Research Committee, Allied Director on the IAVM Board of Directors, and a member of the IAVM Industry Affairs Council.

Justin resides in the St. Louis area with his wife Kara and their two children, Catherine and Aidan. In 2014, he was appointed by the Austrian Foreign Ministry to the position of Honorary Consul.

Professional Audio Describer, Live Describe
 

Kat is a member of the Canadian Association of Theatre Research and the Audio Description Association, UK. Kat is a staunch advocate of Audio Description Best Practices and Standards, she has implemented several initiatives regarding additional applications and incarnations of AD. There is increasing evidence that AD is helpful for many communities with lived experience of disability including people with neurodevelopmental/ sensory sensitivities and people with limited movement of the neck/ spine. She has been engaged in pilot projects providing “Relaxed Audio Description” for relaxed performances, AD for babies and toddlers, and off-site AD for remote communities. In addition to her extensive work in theatre, she regularly describes for Blind and partially sighted speakers and conference goers and is working with dance and circus artists on several integrated Audio Description projects.

Clients include: Stratford Festival, Luminato, foldA Festival, Cdn Association of Theatre Research Conference, Kingston Circus Arts, RARE Theatre, Theatre Direct, Femmes de Feu, U of Guelph, National Arts Centre, Young People’s Theatre, Power Productions (St. John’s NL), Ryerson, Festival of Original Theatre Conference (U of T), Tangled Art + Disability, U.S. Society of Theatre Researchers Conference (Atlanta, GA), Full Radius Dance (Atlanta, GA), Summit on Indigeneity and Disability (York U), HEMI Convergence (York U), Propeller Dance, Tarragon Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Wheelchair Basketball (ParaPan Am games).

Kat is an advocate for increased inclusion and autonomy for artists from historically marginalized communities with focus on artists with lived experience of disability, which includes creative endeavours with disability-identified artists. Kat is also a teacher and works in intensive support classrooms with kids with neurodevelopmental differences, predominantly Autism and Global Developmental Delay.

Artist
 

Kate Welsh is an artist, disability activist and educator. She lives with visible and invisible episodic disabilities. Kate's activism and art explore ways in which to not just change policy but make lives better now by creating consumable art that tackles hard to talk about topics such as chronic illness. Kate has a Master's of Education from University of Toronto, OISE and a BA from York in Sociology and Drama Studies. She has facilitated workshops on topics such as Queerness and Disability, Creating Accessible workshops and Unpacking Ableism. Kate has been involved in the Toronto performing arts and visual arts communities for over ten years.

Architect, ORCHESTRA Design Studio
 

Katherine Georgeson, FAIA is one of a few Architects who specialize in the building of hard-working performance spaces for professional and community arts organizations. Katherine Georgeson has risen to international status for her design expertise and passionate advocacy for the key role theatres play in building strong, healthy, inclusive, sustainable communities.

With over 200 theatre projects in her portfolio including the country's first LEED-certified new theatre, Georgeson's focus creates a substantial knowledge base for every aspect of performing arts architecture, resulting in finely tuned environments that enhance the art of performers, artisans, and technicians.

In addition to enhancing performance quality, Georgeson's designs meet the criteria of affordability, efficiency, and sustainability, elements that are critical to the success of any nonprofit or community-based project. Her design process is both comprehensive and collaborative, requiring the early and sustained involvement of every facet of theatre production -- from backstage through business management -- rendering her designs exceptionally functional from the very first performance.

Director of Strategic Partnerships, City of Orlando
 

Kathy DeVault serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships for Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando.

As Director of Strategic Partnerships, Kathy oversees the development and implementation of special projects as directed by Mayor Dyer. Kathy develops strategies to enhance the engagement of the community, businesses and residents with City government. Kathy also assists with policy initiatives, particularly those with a focus on economic development, technology and startup businesses and she manages partnerships with Orlando's higher education providers. Kathy is known for convening communities, building relationships with constituency groups and forging partnerships with business and community organizations.

Immediately following the June 12, 2016 Pulse tragedy that took the lives of 49 people and injured more than 50, Kathy was tasked with coordinating the Family Assistance Center (FAC) which co-located 35 different agencies to help address the immediate needs and provide information, support and resources to the Pulse victims and family members.

Kathy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Master of Public Administration both from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Centerplate
 

A career professional in sales and marketing w/ Centerplate, Inc., the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, Aramark Sports & Entertainment, Marriott International and Sheraton Hotels. Presently Sr. Vice President, Sales and Marketing w/ Centerplate a highly regarded event hospitality company with more than 300 client partners in North America and Europe. Specialties: Business Development, Client Relations, Sales & Marketing, Food and Beverage Sales and Operations Expertise.

System Administrator- Security and Mission Control, Golden 1 Center
 

Kayla Hicks recently completed her tenth season with the Kings and her sixth year in the Security Department. As Security System Administrator for the Golden 1 Center, Hicks oversees the facility security management systems, access control incident tracking database, and mobile security units.

Her primary responsibilities include working inside the venue's control centers to ensure a safe and secure environment for all guests and employees. She is also the Lead for Crowd Manager training within the Golden 1 Center facility.

A California native, Hicks graduated Cum Laude from Sacramento State with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice.

Executive Director of Customer Success, Ungerboeck Software International
 

Bringing 25 years of event management and software solutions to the market, Ken understands the challenges surrounding the industry and the technology solutions required to support delivery efforts. Ken currently manages all customer-facing activities for Ungerboeck Software, drawing upon his 14 years with the company. His previous experiences include serving as an Assistant Director of Conference Services at the University of Virginia and prior to that, as Assistant Director of Athletics and Recreation, also at the University of Virginia. Ken earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Virginia in 1991 and a Master’s Degree in Education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1993. He is a Certified Recreational Sports Specialist with the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, and is also a 2017 graduate of the IAVM Venue School of Management. Ken lives in Lake Saint Louis, Missouri with his wife, Beth, and three children.

Vice President, HKS, Inc.
 

“The human interaction that happens at a convention and other events is what’s important – it’s the reason people gather. Our work as designers is to create the places where these events happen in a way that encourages and enriches that experience.”

My work as an architect is to create a beautiful, comfortable, inspiring environment for those experiences. This philosophy about convention center design and planning has been built over 30-plus years of experience helping create award-winning facilities all over the US and in international settings in Asia, Africa, and South America.

Beyond designing its places to meet, giving back to the meetings industry that I have come to love is a priority. One of the ways I have done that is my participation as an Allied Member of the International Association of Venue Managers for more than 10 years, and volunteering as a member of IAVM's Convention Centers Committee for several years. This has given me the opportunity to serve as an author and speaker in industry publications and at industry events, as well as recognition by the media as a resource for comment on industry topics.

Director, Security, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
 

Kevin started his employment career in sports retail and transitioned into a senior role with the biggest sports retail in Canada. There, he took on the role as a District Manager, in charge of the Toronto Region, responsible for 14 big box retail locations with a combined revenue of $100 million dollars.

Kevin transitioned into Loss Prevention and became the regional loss prevention leader in Toronto to reduce both external and internal shrink. Forward thinking, educational training and incentive programing aided in bringing down a high shrink market to under 1%.

Currently 14 years with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. As Director of security he takes on the responsibility of both Facility and Event Security. Oversee the operations of the Air Canada Centre; home of the Raptors and Maple Leaf (NHL), BMO Field; home to the Toronto FC (MLS) and Toronto Argos (CFL) and Ricoh Colosseum; home to the Toronto Marlies (AHL). Also oversee the responsibility of 3 practice facilities for the Raptors, Maple Leafs and Toronto FC. Toronto is a big stop for the live music business in which our venues hold over 150 music acts a year.

Other key efforts are contributing to Business Continuity Planning, Pandemic Plans and Crisis Management Team. Other key tasks are developing Emergency Plans for all Leagues and Special Events, training and educating 500 part-time staff members and over 800 full time corporate staff. Building table top exercises and test all policies and procedures. In 2016 awarded by the NBA with the Facility of Merit for Security and Safety at the Air Canada Centre through NCS4.

Fostering a relationship with both Provincial and Federal Government agencies on training programs and risk assessments with weekly communications. Member of local security groups in Toronto in which there is communication on common issues and share best practices. Continue a close partnership with Toronto Police for support and security hardening for all MLSE facilities.

Senior Vice President, Booking & International Development, VStar Entertainment Group
 

Kevin Kulas is the SVP of Booking & International Development for Minnesota-based VStar Entertainment Group. A 28-year industry veteran, Kulas began his career at Target Center where he honed his skills in finance and booking before transitioning to the promoter side of the business, playing an integral role in opening Clear Channel Entertainment’s Minneapolis office. As Market Manager, he oversaw the booking, marketing and finances for over 300 events annually throughout Minnesota, the Dakotas and Wisconsin.

In late 2005, Kulas joined VEE Corporation, now VStar Entertainment Group, and quickly assumed the title of SVP of Booking & International Development. During his tenure with VStar, Kulas has led an impressive expansion of the company’s domestic and international touring while playing a key roll in new business development.

Director, Tacoma Venues & Events, City of Tacoma
 

As Director of Tacoma (WA) Venues & Events, Bedier is responsible for the iconic Tacoma Dome, one of the world's largest wood domed structures seating up to 22,000, and the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, with over 119,000 sf of meeting space. Cheney Stadium (home of the AAA Tacoma Rainiers), historic Pantages and Rialto Theaters, and Theater on the Square round out the portfolio.

Bedier served as Chair of the IAVM Board of Directors in 2015. She has been chair of the Arenas Committee, Arenas Sector Director, and Chair of the Board of Regents of Venue Management School. She instructs at VMS and for its Graduate Institute. Bedier also instructs at the Asia-Pacific (Australia) Venue Management School and Graduate Institute.

Bedier was named one of five inaugural “Women of Influence” in the venue management industry by Venues Today in 2007. In 2011, Bedier received the Ray Ward Award for recognition of her contributions to education at Venue Management School. In 2015, she was declared one of “10 Women Buyers You Should Know” by Amplify. Facilities & Events Management named her one of “Ten Leading Women Venue Executives” in 2016 and an “Entertainment Venue Executive Luminary” in 2017.

Chief Operating Officer, San Mateo County Event Center
 

Kletra Newton is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the San Mateo Event Center, located on the San Francisco Peninsula in California. As COO, she is an executor of strategy, a change agent, a corporate partner, a mentor, and trailblazer for the venue’s thriving corporate event business.

Newton joined the San Mateo Event Center team in 2014. Under her leadership, the event center’s corporate business has increased by 30% percent. Among her many organizational successes is the expansion of the venue’s events strategy and expansion.

Newton is a certified event planner and has managed over 500 events, as large as 130,000 guests. She is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers, Meeting Professionals International, and the Professional Business Women of California. Newton is the first minority woman to hold an executive position at the event center.

Marketing Manager, St. Charles Convention Center
 

Kristin Bowen is the Marketing Manager at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. A self-described “creative,” Bowen’s affinity for branding, social media and design are supported by nearly a decade of marketing experience. A proud Missouri State University alumna, Bowen graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communication and Marketing minor as well as a Master of Arts in Communication. Bowen has been an IAVM member since joining the industry in 2014, and is delighted to be speaking at Venue Connect for the second year in a row.

Program Director, XLIVE
 

Kye has served as the Program Director for XLIVE since July 2017, overseeing the program and content for all XLIVE conferences. Previous to XLIVE, Kye worked with Salt Lake Gaming Con, a 40k video game and tabletop convention and also overseeing all gaming operations at Salt Lake Comic Con and FanX.

When not running XLIVE conferences, Kye enjoys going to the beach with his wife and 2 kids, and competing in recreational esport leagues.

Vice President of Operations, Nashville Predators
 

Kyle Clayton is the Vice President of Operations for the 2018 President’s Trophy-winning Nashville Predators and the 2017 Pollstar Arena of the Year, Bridgestone Arena. Kyle joined the organization in 2008 and has served as Staff Accountant, Senior Accountant, Assistant Director of Finance, Director of Financial Reporting and Senior Director of Operations.

Kyle is integrally involved in ensuring that Bridgestone Arena remains a state of the art facility dedicated to the fan experience. Bridgestone Arena is notorious for being in a constant state of renovation. These renovation efforts ramp up each offseason, with a common theme of focusing renovation plans on enhancing areas for every person that enters the building, including guests, players, performers, promoters, tours, sponsors, partners, city officials and staff.

The Predators organization, along with the city of Nashville and other private partners have invested over $70 million in the past 7 years to renovate the 20-year-old facility. Recent offseason renovations include a complete home hockey locker room overhaul, food and beverage operation expansion and Event Level suite buildout. This offseason they will expand the Event Level premium space, replace the hockey dasher board system, build out administrative office areas and begin Phase 1 of a large-scale audio-visual project, which encompasses a complete replacement of the control room and replacement/ addition of in-bowl LED ribbon boards. Phase 2, which will commence in the summer of 2019, will include replacement of the center hung scoreboard.

Kyle’s background in accounting and budget management has enabled the organization to maximize each project’s potential. His team’s experience, along with a partnership with Populous, provides flexibility that allows many projects to be completed in extremely short offseasons while maintaining a busy concert schedule that consistently ranks in the Top 10 in the US.

Director of Digital Products, The Shubert Organization
 

In his role as Digital Projects Director at The Shubert Organization, Kyle works on understanding who your audience represents, one of the most important focuses for arts and entertainment. He is responsible for overseeing strategy, data integration, analytics and partnership development for digital marketing and emerging in-venue technologies. Previously, Kyle worked in marketing for Plum Benefits and the Kansas Health Foundation. Kyle serves on the Board of CO/LAB Theater Group, a non-profit organization offering individuals with developmental disabilities a creative and social outlet through theater arts.

Managing Director, Communications & Outreach, Southwest Airlines
 

Laurie, a twenty one-year veteran of Southwest Airlines, is responsible for guiding the efforts of the airline’s Strategic Public Relations, Employee and Visual Communications, Social Business, Community Outreach, and Preparedness functions. For more than ten years, Laurie has had the privilege of leading Southwest’s Community Outreach efforts which seek to Love People, Build Resilience and Live Responsibly. Their programs, such as Southwest’s Heart of the Community grant program and Take Off Travel Award, have garnered awards for their creativity and impact on the communities where we live and work. Laurie is a member of the Southwest’s Local Outreach Coordination Committee, Risk Committee, and is Co-Chair of the Emergency Response Committee, which all provide strategic guidance to the airline, which serves more than 100 destinations, both domestic and internationally, and operates more than 3,900 flights daily. Southwest has been named to FORTUNE Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies list for 22 consecutive years. With an emphasis on expressing Southwest’s strong corporate character and protecting its reputation, her Teams strive to be a leading global citizen. Laurie received her Bachelor of Science degree from Abilene Christian University, and is a mother of two busy teenagers.

VP/COO, Des Moines Performing Arts
 

Laura Sweet serves as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Des Moines Performing Arts, one of Iowa's premier non-profit arts organizations. In this capacity Laura oversees: production, building services, ticketing, guest services and human resources. Additionally, she leads the organization's safety and security initiatives and capital improvements including the extensive renovation to the organization's outdoor venue, Cowles Commons.

Prior to joining DMPA, she was VP for the Ordway in Saint Paul, Minn., and was the Associate Executive Director of the University of Nebraska's Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln, NE. Laura is on the Children and Families of Iowa board and executive committee (serving as Advocacy Chair), she is also in senior leadership of the Nexus Executive Women's Leadership alliance. She serves as co-chair of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Performing Arts Managers Committee and recently completed her final year with the Senior Executive Symposium. Laura has a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Kansas, respectively.

Director of Alumni Affairs and Community Engagement, University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Fine Arts
 

Now the Director of Alumni Affairs, Parent Relations and Community Initiatives for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Fine Arts, Larry served as Director of Artistic Programming and Production and Facilities Manager for the UNLV Performing Arts Center for three decades. A Certified Venue Executive, he has presented and coordinated more than 45 Barrick Lecture Series presentations, hundreds of arts events, and has been a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Chapter 100 Board since 2004. In 2015, Larry was named UNLV's President's Administrative Faculty Member of the Year. He has served on the International Association of Venue Managers Board of Directors, the I.A.V.M. Universities Sector Committee and is the past Chairman of I.A.V.M.'s Performing Arts Sector Committee. Larry also serves on the I.A.V.M. Research Task Force. He has written over two dozen articles for the Utah Shakespeare Festival, has gambled with Itzhak Perlman and had In-N-Out Burger with Joshua Bell.

Principal, Planning for Success
 

Les Selby has been a corporate, independent, and third-party event professional for more than 28 years. He has earned both his Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation and his Global Certification in Meeting Management (CMM). Inducted into Meeting + Incentive Travel Magazine's Industry Hall of Fame in 2009, Les is an active member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). He currently serves as a member of the MPI Foundation Canadian Council. In 1997, Les was recognized as Planner of the Year by the MPI Toronto chapter, and received the President's Award for 2009.

President, WNBA
 

Lisa Borders has more than 25 years of experience in operations, marketing, government relations and public service. As President of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), Borders is responsible for setting the vision for the WNBA and overseeing the league’s day-to-day business and basketball operations.

In 2016, Borders’ first year at the helm, the WNBA scored its highest attendance in five years and set record marks for digital, social media and retail. In addition, the league experienced double-digit growth in television viewership on ESPN Networks and welcomed several new league partners, including Verizon as the WNBA’s marquee partner.

Borders has worked and delivered results in all three sectors: public, private and non-profit. Prior to joining the WNBA, she served as Vice President, Global Community Affairs at The Coca-Cola Company and Chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation.

Borders was instrumental in bringing the WNBA to Atlanta in 2008, when she served as Vice Mayor of Atlanta and President of the City Council. In that role, Borders was responsible for managing the legislative branch of government and maintaining the relationship with the Mayor’s office during Mayor Shirley Franklin’s administration. She was also President of the Grady Health Foundation, the fundraising arm of Grady Health System, Georgia’s largest public hospital and metro-Atlanta’s premier level I trauma center.

Borders’ work in the community has focused primarily on family issues in the areas of education, healthcare and housing. She serves as a trustee of Duke University and The Westminster Schools and is a board member of Grady Health System and Operation Hope. As a co-founder of No Labels, Borders remains deeply engaged with public policy. She has received numerous honors and consistent recognition for her corporate and civic work.

Borders holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s of science in health administration from the University of Colorado.

Account Development Manager IDS, NEC Corporation of America
 

Lisa Johnson brings over 25 years of venue and team management experience for teams in 3 different leagues for teams such as the Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLS Chivas USA, and the Anaheim Ducks.  Her expertise in venue management, sponsorship, guest experience/engagement and ticket sales and operations brought her to the awareness that venues and teams were lacking a unified way to secure venues and identify fans.  She joined NEC Corporation of American in January with the goal of bringing a single, unified biometric key to sports and entertainment to grow fan identity for both security and business operations.

CEO, Cow Palace Arena & Event Center
 

Lori Marshall is a graduate from Modesto Junior College with her Associate of Science Degree in Agriculture and from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science.

Lori has been involved in a variety of civil and community organizations throughout her career along with an extensive list of participation in industry associations. .

Lori started her CEO role at the Cow Palace in April 2016. Previously she worked for 26 years at the Contra Costa County Fair, working her way through the ranks from the “girl in the livestock barns” to the CEO. The annual fair was always the highlight of each year for Lori and she is now looking forward to continuing the tradition of putting on the annual Grand National Livestock Expo, Horse Show, and Rodeo and to the growth and development of the Cow Palace facility.

What Lori loves most about the event industry is “We are working on something different each day, it’s never boring, and each day holds a new adventure.” she says.

In addition to her role as CEO at the Cow Palace, Lori lives in Pleasanton with her boyfriend John and is the proud mother of her son Brock and daughter Morgan.

Director of Operations, CEIA USA
 

Luca Cacioli is the Director of Operations at CEIA USA, with the responsibility to oversee all functions of CEIA USA, including leading strategic initiatives to expand and grow the organization. Originally from Italy, he moved to the US in early 2001 and worked at STMicroelectronics in Phoenix, AZ and then at Texas Instruments, in Dallas, TX, where he served in various worldwide product development and marketing management roles. As a WW marketing manager, his team was accountable for over $500M of business and major consumer electronics and corporate accounts. Mr. Cacioli also published articles for industry publications, including the EE Times. Mr. Cacioli holds a BSEE/MSEE from Universita’ di Firenze, Florence, Italy, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University (SMU), in Dallas, Texas.

Director, Stephen C. O'Connell Center, UF
 

Lynda Reinhart currently serves as Director of the University of Florida’s Stephen C. O’Connell Center, home to 6 NCAA Division I athletic teams. She began working at the venue as a student in 1994 and joined the full time staff in 1998. Lynda was named Director in July 2007. Lynda holds a BS in Business Administration and MS in Recreational Studies, both from UF.

An active member of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) since 1997, Lynda has served on and chaired numerous committees and projects. Her involvement on the Body of Knowledge Task Force was instrumental in developing a standardized facility management curriculum and college textbook. Other IAVM committee service includes: Industry Affairs, Arenas, University, Professional Development and Budget/ Finance. She served as Director for Universities on the Board of Directors from 2009-2011.

Lynda is a member of the Florida Facility Managers Association (FFMA), Country Music Association (CMA), International Entertainment Buyers’ Association (IEBA), Alachua County Hospitality Council, Rotary Club of Gainesville and the Gainesville Sports Commission. Previously, she has served as a FFMA Board Member, FFMA Scholarship Committee Chair, and President of the Sports Commission.

Lynda is currently serving as Vice President for FFMA and Director for Arenas on the IAVM Board of Directors as well as the Chair for IAVM’s Member Engagement Committee. She is a member of the Executive Committee for both organizations.

CEO, TicketForce
 

Lynne King Smith is a positive, community-minded visionary, and loves to share ideas about using technology across markets. Her passion to empower more women to lead and strengthen female entrepreneurs, has led to many relationships and partnerships across the US.

She is the CEO for TicketForce, a profitable and industry leader in ticketing solutions across N America, selling over $100M in tickets in 2018. She also serves as principal developer of Building 313, a mixed-use commercial real estate project, home to the national headquarters for TicketForce and founder of Thrive Co-working for Women, also housed in Building 313.

Lynne is a frequent presenter via webinars, podcasts, and national conferences, including Association of Arts Presenters (APAP), International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), International Ticketing Association (INTIX), and The League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT), FestForums and Pollstar. She received the Most Influential Women in Arizona award from the AZ Biz Journal and the Most Admired Leaders in Phoenix from the Phoenix Business Journal. Her leadership at TicketForce with a focus on positive company culture has resulted in being voted one of the Best Places to Work in Arizona 2 years in a row.

Her blog, The Whole Business is a casual conversation on life, balance, and business.

Deputy Director, Baltimore Convention Center
 

Mac Campbell, CVP is the Deputy Director at the 1.2 million sq ft Baltimore Convention Center. Mac oversees all facets of Center operations, sales, and aesthetics for a facility that sees over a half million people annually for trade shows, conventions, and meetings. Recently promoted in July of 2017, Mac was the Director of Client Services for the Center since 2012.

Prior to coming to the Convention Center, Mac spent seven years at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland. As Operations Manager his responsibilities included event set-up coordination and building maintenance supervision of both a new 2,000-seat concert hall and 114-year old historic colonial mansion on 11-acres of grounds.

Mac is an active member of IAVM, having participated or graduated from several courses such as: the IAVM Mentoring Program, Venue Management School at Oglebay, VMS Graduate Institute, Senior Executive Symposium and the Academy of Venue Safety and Security. Currently Mac is serving as the IAVM Region 1 Director. Mac received his Bachelors Degree from Elon University with a major in Corporate Communications and General Music and a minor in Jazz Studies.

V.P Stadium Operations and Security, Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club
 

Named to his current position in October 2005, overseeing the management of all Event Staff, Medical and Security Operations including, Investigations, Threat/Risk Assessments, BCP, Emergency Response Planning. Also responsible for securing large scale events at Rogers Centre, including all Blue Jays home games, concerts and special events. Graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1985, after having undertaken his secondary schooling at Toronto’s De La Salle College. He began his career with the Blue Jays Baseball Club working part-time in 1982 in game day operations…Employment on a full-time basis came in 1989 as the Club’s Manager of Game Operations.…Currently serves on the planning committee for the annual Toronto Police Emergency Management Symposium (since 2008)… He is a strong supporter of collaborative partnerships between private/public organizations in emergency management and special event planning…Mario is a founding member of SAFE (South Area Facilities and Entertainment Group) and serves on the Board of TAPPS (Toronto Associations of Police and Private Security) and participates in a number of key industry associations including ASIS, NCS4 (National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security - Advisory Board member), SMA (Stadium Managers Association(Director at Large 2018–present)) and also serves on the Membership and Technology/Operations Committees)

President, IA Stage
 

Mark's been involved with the entertainment industry for decades. He started installing stage machinery in 1978 and became installation superintendent for what was, at the time, the largest arts center project in the world, the Sala De Conciertos Rios Reyna. During the 1980s Mark was involved in almost every major performing arts center project constructed in the U.S. He founded InterAmerica Stage, Inc. in 1989 and quickly established a solid reputation with the major FL theme parks. Most notably, Mark developed, perfected, and patented SkyDeck™, the tension wire grid. Mark has been a member of USITT for over three decades and once served as co-chairman for the motorized rigging standards committee. He's held certifications as a general contractor, a crane and rigging hardware inspector, and a journeyman iron worker for over 35 years. A few of Mark's past projects include the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, CA; Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI; Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando, FL; Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires; La Monei in Brussels; Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City; SBT TV in Sao Paulo; Tejon Korea EXPO in Daejeon South Korea; Balboa School in Panama; Red Deer Performing Arts in Alberta; Harpa Concert & Convention Center in Reykjavik, Iceland; Education City in Qatar.

Senior Vice President, Contemporary Services Corporation
 

Mr. Camillo began his career in law enforcement as a Special Agent in the U.S. Secret Service where he completed a distinguished 21-year career that included three separate assignments at the White House. Specialized assignments at the White House required protecting four U.S. Presidents and family members in various capacities and ultimately being head of the White House Security Branch, which encompassed the supervision of daily security, emergency preparedness and all-hazards operations at the White House Complex.

Following his final White House tour of duty, Mr. Camillo continued his advancement in the Secret Service being appointed to the position of Deputy Assistant Director, detailed to the headquarters of the newly created Department of Homeland Security. He continued working in critical assignments until his return to Secret Service headquarters where he was appointed the Chief Technology Officer for the agency.

Mr. Camillo held several key positions during his career in major event planning, but the most notable was being appointed the Olympic Coordinator for the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. Under his direction, the Secret Service executed its mission through Presidential Executive Order to design, plan and implement the Federal operational security plan for the Games. The successful execution of this carefully designed preparedness and prevention plan was later identified by the White House Office of Homeland Security as an excellent model for future security designs at Events of National Significance.

Mr. Camillo is a well-known and respected subject matter expert in venue security and emergency preparedness, and currently serves Contemporary Services Corporation as the Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning.

Mark serves as Chair of the Commercial Facilities Sector Coordinating Council – Sanctioned and Supported by the US Department of Homeland Security; Appointed member, American Society of Industrial Security’s Global Terrorism/Political Instability and International Crime Council; Faculty member, IAVM Academy for Venue Safety & Security and serves as an Adjunct Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Department of Security, Fire & Emergency Management, New York City.

V.P. North American Routing & Tours, FELD Entertainment
 

Mark Duryea, Vice President North American Routing and Tours, FELD Entertainment

Mark is an entertainment industry veteran with nearly 30 years of experience. He has been with FELD Entertainment for 15 years. His team are responsible for routing, contracting and touring, Five units of Disney on Ice, one of Disney Live!, two units of Sesame Street Live!, One unit of Stadium Supercross, Four units of Arena Monster Jam, Four units of Stadium Monster Jam, One unit of Marvel Universe Live! And One unit of Jurassic World...totaling 820 domestic engagements annually.

Mark has 17 years of arena management experience as he held various leadership roles across the country. Mark has worked in the Los Angeles Coliseum and Sports Arena, Peoria Civic Center, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Stadium and Coliseum, MGM Grand Garden and opened the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC.

Mark has also worked with the Harlem Globetrotters, Great Russian Ice Show (which he and his father produced and toured) and Vee Corporation. Mark’s daughter Madison also works in the entertainment business as Event Coordinator at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Fl.

Mark has been happily married for 23 years. Mark and his family reside in Lakewood Ranch, FL.

Senior Vice President, SearchWide
 

Mark leads the convention, tradeshow and experiential marketing and event industries, as well as convention centers, stadiums, arenas and performing arts facilities. Prior to SearchWide, Mark spent more than 15 years in the convention industry.

Security and Emergency Readiness Specialist, STV Inc.
 

Mr. Dimmick is a global security & emergency readiness professional with more than 24 years of experience in security management, emergency management, and law enforcement. He has extensive domestic and international experience in the development, implementation, and management of programs involving all aspects of security, crisis management, and emergency preparedness. Mr. Dimmick provided the independent third party review of EMSSI’s Convention Center Security Guidelines.

His previous project experience has included conducting threat, risk and vulnerability assessments, security planning, and emergency operations planning for operators of corporate offices, commercial, critical infrastructure, and government facilities. Project qualifications include assessing, development and implementation of enterprise-wide security and emergency readiness programs for multiple clients in the commercial facilities sector including sports leagues, stadiums and entertainment venues.

His designations include Board Certification in Physical Security (PSP) by ASIS International and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Professional Designation (CPD) by the National Institue of Crime Prevention (NICP). He currently is currently on the ASIS International Utilities Security Council and the Workplace Violence Standards Active Shooter Annex Technical Committee.

Event Coordinator, Virginia Beach Convention Center
 

Max began his career while studying Arts Administration at Indiana University. He worked at the Indiana University Auditorium and completed internships at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, TX and the Portland'5 Centers for the Arts in Portland, OR. After receiving his masters degree in arts administration, he went on to become a Front of House Manager at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, TX and then the Patron Services Manager at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. He is now an Event Coordinator at the Virginia Beach Convention Center and he is working toward earning his Certified Venue Professional designation.

Consultant, AMS Planning & Research
 

Melora Cybul is a consultant with AMS Planning & Research where she has worked with organizations to explore the feasibility, form, and function of new, renovated or expanded cultural facilities, including Auburn University, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. She enables clients to define or re-think success for their communities by synthesizing stakeholder input, mapping cultural assets, analyzing historical trends, and modeling scenarios given programmatic aspirations or potential capital investment.

In addition to market and best practices research, Melora co-authored a white paper on performing arts center development and supported a research project with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to understand the role of anchor arts institutions and impacts of those organizations on their communities.

Before joining AMS, Melora worked with organizations including the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Springer Opera House, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and Georgia Thespians. She has presented research at Theatre Symposium and is an active member of IAVM, through which she interned with Venue Management School and currently serves on the Performing Arts Committee. Melora holds an MBA and an MFA from the University of Alabama and a BS in Theatre Education from Columbus State University.

Lecturer/ Consultant, Old Dominion University
 

Dr. Mercedes Hunt is a passionate sustainability advocate working in the venue, event and tourism industry. She currently a lecturer at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and utilizes her 15 years of experience as a managing director, event manager and researcher to consult organizations on employee engagement and sustainability. She currently sits on the IAVM sustainability committee. She has been involved in the development and enhancement of sustainability certifications and accreditations for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the APEX/ ASTM Sustainable Event Standard. She received her doctorate in sustainability in events and tourism from the University of Utah where she studied employee perceptions of convention center sustainability programs. Mercedes's career dossier includes teaching, organizational consulting, management and research. Prior to ODU, she worked for The International Ecotourism Society as their Managing Director and Event Director where she planned Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conferences in California, Kenya, Brazil and Ecuador.

Marketing & Communications Specialist, Shaw Conference Centre
 

Mevisha is the Marketing and Communications Specialist for Shaw Conference Centre. A graduate of the University of Alberta and the Public Relations program at MacEwan University, Mevisha's diverse experience includes amateur sport, local and international festivals, and convention centres.

Professor, Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management, NC State University
 

Dr. Michael Kanters is a Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management at NC State University and Director of the Sport & Entertainment Venue Management program. Over the past 30 years he has worked to support and enhance the recreation and sports industry through teaching and research that examines factors associated with children's sport and recreational experiences. He has been the principal investigator or collaborator on numerous externally funded projects totaling more than $2,000,000 and much of his research has been widely disseminated through publication in high impact journals and presentations at national and international scholarly conferences. Dr. Kanters is a Faculty Fellow with NC State University's department of Distance Education and Learning Technologies and has been recognized as a leading innovator in online education.

Director of Industry Relations, Assistant Professor of Practice, Thornton School of Music University of Southern California
 

Mike is full-time Assistant Professor for the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He teaches classes in music business, live-concert promotion, event management, as well as venue management. In addition to his responsibilities at USC, Mike teaches Music Business for the GRAMMY’s as well as Venue Operations and Venue Law for IAVM’s Venue Management School at Oglebay.

Mike has served in many levels of venue management and concert promotion throughout his forty-year career; including General Manager of The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, Senior Vice-President for Live Nation’s western US venues and Executive Director of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

He holds advanced certifications in Labor Management, Collective Bargaining and Executive Management from Cornell University. Mike is currently the Chair of the Board of Governors for the Senior Executive Symposium at Cornell University.

In order to remain current in the industry, Mike performs extensive industry-related research and consulting; advising clients in all aspects of live music and entertainment, including: venue management, collective bargaining, request for proposal creation, concert promotion, festival and event planning and tour management.

Mike started his career in the concert promotion industry working for legendary San Francisco concert promoter Bill Graham, where he learned the importance of infusing fun, music and fan-experience, what Bill called “vibe”.

Manager, Midway Concessions & Outdoor Exhibits, Canadian National Exhibition
 

I am presently employed as the Manager, Midway Concessions & Outdoor Exhibits for the Canadian National Exhibition and have been in that role since November 2004. In my position at the CNE I am responsible for sourcing out and engaging up to 60 Game concessions, 80 Food & Beverage concessions and 75 Outdoor Retail concessions. I prepare the site layout and organize the move in and placement of all concessions.

In addition to the regular concessions I manage the Ribfest I organized a food truck rally on the middle weekend of the Fair with 25 Food Trucks and 12 Craft Beer makers. This year we are adding some new events Asian Market, East Coast Kitchen Party and Classic Car/Vintage Motorcycle Rally.

Senior Principal, Populous
 

As the design director for Populous’ convention center practice, Michael is actively involved in all phases of design, production and presentation for public assembly projects. Michael provides design leadership and coordinates with client representatives to reach design goals through highly collaborative and interactive design workshops, encouraging cities and communities to actively participate in the design, planning and aesthetic of major civic structures.

Michael has taken on many unique design projects around the world. Recently completed projects include the expansion of the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar, the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona, the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. Projects currently in the design and construction phases include new buildings and expansions in diverse destinations such as Los Angeles, Anaheim, Sacramento and Oklahoma City.

Head of Industry - Live Events, Google, Inc
 

Mike is a 15-year veteran of Google and has held multiple leadership roles on the revenue generating side of the business.

He's currently heading up Google's Ticketing, Sports & Live Events Group where he oversees Sales and Account Services Team responsible for fostering strategic relationships with key partners in Sports, Family Entertainment, Music and Ticketing Industries; and works closely with key stakeholders across Google's Family of Brands to develop new ad formats and products for the Live Events category.

Prior to moving to Ann Arbor 11 years ago to help open Google's local offices, Mike was involved in establishing Google's Operations in his native Poland. He also ran Mid-Market Sales team for Google Canada.

Co-Owner of AFC Ann Arbor - Minor League Soccer Team in Ann Arbor, MI and (new!) - Head Coach of U-11 Boys Rec&Ed Soccer (his son's team)

He also teaches Video and Digital Marketing courses at Michigan State University and acts as Executive In Residence at Eastern Michigan University's Center for Digital Engagement.

Marketing & International Business graduate of Loyola University of Chicago, Mike currently resides in Ann Arbor, MI and considers himself extremely lucky to work in the cross-section of Sports/Entertainment and Online Marketing worlds.

General Manager, Verizon Arena
 
  • Born and raised in Tupelo, MS
  • Graduated with an MBA from MS State University in 1978 and advised the concert committee booking Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and Jimmy Buffett and others.
  • Worked as an agent for Triad Artists representing such artists as Tina Turner, Steve Winwood, and Whitney Houston for 6 years.
  • Director of the Tupelo Coliseum (Now Bancorp South Arena) for 5 years booking artists like Eagles, Tom Petty, and R. Kelly
  • Served as GM of Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, AR for 21 years. The arena has hosted such artists as The Rolling Stones, Kevin Hart, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, NCAA basketball opening rounds, and many other touring artists.
  • In 2004 named Pollstar Magazine’s Facility Executive of the Year
  • In 2006 earned the designation of Certified Facility Executive
  • Instructor, VMS 2009- present
  • Chair, Venue Management School, 2014-15
  • Ray Ward Award Receipient- 2018
  • 1st Chair elect, IAVM 2017-2018
  • Married to former Triad agent Meg Goldenberg and has a 21 year old son, Jonah.
Director, Pompano Beach Cultural Center
 

Michael enjoys the process of opening new venues and the Pompano Beach Cultural Center makes his second new venue opening in three years in the South Florida area. He recently started his own small business in Pompano Beach and has consulted on another new venue under construction. In his next career Michael would love to work as a theater consultant.

Job opportunities have taken Michael across the country more than once. Prior to coming to South Florida and the Pompano Beach Cultural Center he held positions at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, Wisconsin, the LSU Union Theater in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center in Lauderhill, Florida and the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona.

Michael earned both his B.A. and M.A at Florida State University where he first began working in theater twenty-something years ago and is an avid FSU football fan. He has four dogs – three senior dachshunds and one two-year-old sixty-pound Frisbee-playing mystery mutt – all rescues.

Regional Marketing Director, Spectra Venue Management-Duke Energy Convention Center
 

Michelle Hopewell is the Marketing Manager at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio where she oversees the marketing efforts of the 750,000 square foot award-winning facility. She also serves as a Regional Marketing Director for Spectra Venue Management, providing marketing support to over 20 Spectra-managed Convention Centers in the United States and Canada. A self-proclaimed data geek, Michelle has a passion for data-driven marketing, maximizing ROI and revenue generation.

Creative Director, NC State University
 

Mike Cuales is a creative director at NC State University's Department of Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA). He has spent the majority of his career working with creatives, empowering faculty, and producing engaging multimedia content. In his current role, Mike manages a diverse team of multimedia designers in the exploration, production, and application of multimedia content for higher education. For the past several years, he has focused on the production and development of immersive technologies to further student engagement in both the face to face and online environment. In 2017, after 15 years of service, Mike was honored with the University Award of Excellence for his numerous outreach efforts in STEaM and dedication to advancing the application of emerging technologies for education.

Mike began his creative journey on Long Island, NY and obtained a Masters of Industrial Design from NC State University after completing a degree in Business Management and Marketing. Mike has taught animation and digital imaging at NC State's College of Design and pioneered a 360 VR video production course for Duke T.I.P.. He has presented on virtual reality at events such as SXSWedu, HOW Design, Hopscotch Design, RTP 180, UNC Cause and AT&T DevLabs.

VP, Strategy, AudienceView
 

An expert in ticketing and e-commerce, Mike believes in creating epic audience experiences. This principle is entrenched in the AudienceView platform, which Mike is responsible for expanding. Mike has been driving innovation since he joined AudienceView in 2009, helping organizations like the University of Minnesota make industry history while increasing revenues and customer satisfaction. He also pioneered the concept for AVConnect. Previously, Mike was in product marketing with XOS Technologies and Director of Ticket Operations for the University of Oregon Athletics Department after beginning his career at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and two children, is an avid sports fan and enjoys 18 holes of golf when he has the opportunity.

Leader, Sawchuk Consulting
 

An accomplished and engaging leader with a demonstrated track record in bringing immediate value and delivering mission-critical results in business-to-business environments across multiple industries.

With over twenty-five years experience in the JanSan/Professional Cleaning Industry, Mike’s career spanned various leadership, sales, marketing, operations and training positions with both large and small companies, throughout North America.

As a frequent presenter at seminars and trade shows, as well as author of many articles, Mike is recognized as a ‘hands-on’’ expert on Green Cleaning chemicals and systems.

Principal, Sustainability, RWDI
 

Mike Williams brings over a decade of sustainable design experience to RWDI's High Performance Buildings group. Clients benefit from his expertise in green standards compliance and in the development of carbon reduction and energy efficiency strategies. Mike has been a key contributor to some of Canada's greenest buildings, including the CANMET Materials and Testing Laboratory in Hamilton and the Elementary Teachers' Federation Headquarters in Toronto, both of which earned LEED Platinum certification and set new standards for sustainability in their respective communities. Mike has a strong record of in-house innovation and thought leadership, including the creation of COMPASS, a groundbreaking energy data visualization platform.

Senior Director for Student Engagement, University of Florida
 

Nancy E. Chrystal-Green currently serves as the Senior Director of Student Engagement at the University of Florida providing leadership for the offices of Sorority and Fraternity Affairs, Student Activities and Involvement, the Brown Center for Leadership and Service as well as the facilities and programming functions of the J. Wayne Reitz Union. She is also a faculty member in the Department of Educational Administration and Policy. Nancy received her bachelor's degree in Political Science from McMaster University, a master's degree in Recreation Administration from Georgia Southern University and a doctorate in Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia.

Nancy has spent her twenty year career advising students and student organizations as a student affairs administrator in the fields of residence life, campus recreation and student activities. Prior to joining the Division of student Affairs at the University of Florida, she held administrative positions at Coastal Carolina University, Oxford College of Emory University, and the University of Georgia. She has collaborated on multiple publications including co-authoring the second edition of Advising Student Groups and Organizations, has given dozens of presentations at local, regional and national conferences on a variety of topics including crisis management, event management, the first amendment and student engagement. Her research interests include leadership development, co-curricular learning and engagement, and legal and ethical issues in student affairs practice.

Director of Events and Operations, Pasadena Convention Center
 

Naz Sabripour is the Director of Events and Operations for the Pasadena Convention Center, located 10 miles north of downtown Los Angeles featuring 80,000 square feet of state-of-the art meeting and event spaces. Naz, who reports to the Pasadena Center Operating Company's CEO Michael Ross, is responsible for the event management, guest services, event operations (maintenance), public safety, and parking departments for the convention center.

With fifteen years of industry experience, Naz's extensive experience has been a valuable asset in delivering over 400 high impact events annually for clients, ranging from annual consumer conventions to corporate trade shows. Having joined the Pasadena Convention Center in 2007, Naz has also held the positions of Director of Convention Services and Manager of Convention Services. She previously served as a Sales Manager and Events Manager at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX.

A native of Houston, Naz received her undergraduate degree from the University of Houston, and a graduate degree from the University of Denver. Naz is an active member of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) and currently serves on the Convention Center Committee and Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Committee. She is a graduate of the IAVM Venue Management School and received her CVP and CEM designation in 2016, Naz is also a member of International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and serves on the board of its Southwest Chapter.

Vice President, Commercial Sales, Evolv Technology
 

I have dedicated the past 18 years to making the world safer. By leveraging my U.S. Navy background and private sector experience, I am able to help customers achieve technical and operational solutions that are scalable, balanced, and layered.

At Evolv, we are putting our customers' operational and security needs first as we develop technology that is innovative, thoroughly tested, and disrupts the traditional physical security market.

With Evolv technology, stadiums, arenas, performing arts venues and convention centers can deliver an improved security posture with a better visitor experience. Venues can automatically detect guns, hidden bombs and other threats, and identify people of interest to prevent soft target attacks, with security that is transparent and seamless to visitors, without disrupting the pace of life.

VP, Creative, The Expo Group
 

Nicole leads Experience Design at The Expo Group, overseeing our creative teams to design and deliver unique, compelling and memorable experiences that attract, engage, immerse and reward. Nicole is a 15-year veteran having led the experience design and creative efforts for large associations, corporate events and global brands.

Focusing on attendee-journey-centric design means creating physical, emotional and learning environments that ensure a complete immersion of client’s audiences in their brands for all generations. Nicole’s charging fast into digital engagement design through virtual, augmented and mixed-reality experiences.

Nicole is a firm believer that great design is NOT budget-dependent.

When she’s not leading our design teams, try and catch her between sailing in Buzzards Bay on Cape Cod or snowboarding with her family. Sports and cooking are two of her passions.

Performing Arts Product Manager, JR Clancy
 

Patrick grew up in Ohio where he started working in technical theatre at a young age. In addition to educational theatre he spent his summers in high school working in the lighting and scenery departments of the local summer stock theatre company. He continued to work in theatre professionally throughout his college career at Baldwin-Wallace College. After completing his studies he proceeded to work up and down the East Coast at regional theatres and opera companies.

After a particularly rewarding experience with a renovation, Patrick became interested in and found employment in theatre consulting, where he used his experience working in theatre to help others design new and renovated performance spaces. In 2009 he joined with J.R. Clancy and to provide rigging and performing arts equipment to venues across the country and the world. His current position as Performing Arts Product Manager provides him with the opportunity to develop technical and equipment solutions to artistic challenges and to work with designers to help their ideas come to fruition.

COO, Ticketmaster Canada Ltd.
 

Patti-Anne Tarlton oversees Ticketmaster's Canadian business and operations as Chief Operating Officer, Canada. Ticketmaster, a member of the Live Nation Entertainment® family, is the world’s leading ticketing company. Tarlton’s mandate is to ensure its innovative and revolutionary new products and tools deliver exceptional value to Canadian clients and ticket buyers alike.

Patti-Anne has a deep understanding of the North American Live Entertainment Industry having spent her career as a concert promoter, venue operator and sports & entertainment executive in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. Prior to joining Ticketmaster, Tarlton headed up Live Entertainment Division for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE). Tarlton is a member of the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame (2018) and in December 2017, was recognized as one of Billboard Magazine’s ‘Women in Music 2017: The Most Powerful Executives in the Industry.’ In addition, Tarlton serves as a Board Member of Musicounts!, Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), Music Canada Live and is an appointed member of the Toronto Music Advisory Council. She is a past board member of CARAS, having served for 8 years.

Principal, Event Risk Management Solutions
 

Peter Ashwin is the principal and founder of Event Risk Management Solutions (ERMS), a consulting practice committed to enhancing organizational resilience for festivals and events through practical and effective risk management and security solutions. Peter is a former Australian Army special forces officer who has been consulting in the major events environment for over 15 + years. He has consulted on a wide range of international major events including six Olympic Games (2000 – 2012), the Baku 2015 European Games, Azerbaijan (Director of Security), the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup (Australia & NZ), the 2010 G8/G20 Summit (Toronto), and festivals & events across North America including the Calgary Stampede, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Kentucky Derby Festival, Memphis in May International Festival, Philadelphia Flower Show and the Beale Street Entertainment District (Memphis). Peter is a director on the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) World Board, and lectures on risk management and event security at the IFEA/NRPA Event Management School and the IAVM Academy of Venue Safety and Security. Peter has delivered workshops & seminars in Australia, Canada & the USA. Peter is based out of Boise, Idaho. Follow Peter's latest blogs & insights @ www.facebook.com/ermsglobal

Assistant General Manager, Bryce Jordan Center
 

Phil has been with the Bryce Jordan Center for 11 years. He first started as a student on the event staff and has worked his way to the Assistant General Manager position. A graduate of Penn State University, while has continued his facility education in attending VMS as well as the Graduate Institute. In 2017, Phil earned his CVP designation.

Assistant Executive Director, The Classic Center Authority
 

Philip has been in the venue management profession for over 20 years and has served in both professional sports and convention center/performing arts complexes in his career. Currently, in his role with The Classic Center in Athens, Georgia he serves as Assistant Executive Director of the complex and has direct responsibilities for leading & programming its' 2000+ seat Performing Arts Theatre.

Director of the Entertainment Management Program, Missouri State University
 

Dr. Philip Rothschild is a professor of Entertainment Management in the College of Business at Missouri State University (Springfield, Mo), where he teaches Talent Management, Venue Management, Sponsorships and Entertainment Management. He is also responsible for supervising Internships for fifty students each year. With a Ph.D. from Florida State Univesity, his research interests and published articles are in the areas of social media, event management, internet marketing strategies, curriculum development, and stakeholder management. He also serves as President of the Board of Directors of the historic Gillioz Theatre in Springfield. Philip is also the personal manager of author and speaker Jennifer Rothschild. Since 1986, “Dr. Phil” has overseen author development, event management, and booking. Since 2007, Phil has produced and promoted over one hundred events across the country in some eighty different venues. Philip has been married to Jennifer for 31 years. The couple has two sons, Clayton (29) and Connor (19).

Executive Vice President, Director, APA Canada
 

With over 40 years in the entertainment business, and a wealth of experience and dexterity when it comes to artist representation and talent booking, Ralph James has a distinguished and celebrated career that spans thousands of artists and live music shows, numerous accolades and a wealth admiration from his colleagues and peers around the world.

Ralph began his career as the bass player for CBS rock band Harlequin, touring North and South America for over a decade before helping to foster The Agency Group (Canada) in 1996 along with Neil Warnock and Jack Ross. He started with a small roster of established Canadian artists, and notably signed then-unknown acts such as Nickelback and Billy Talent among others, who have since garnered massive international success and appeal.

As the CEO and co-founder of The Agency Group (Canada), where he was also a member of TAG's Senior Global Management Team, Ralph has been involved in the development and growth of many artist careers and has continually flourished as one of Canada’s most experienced and respected agents.

Honoured five times as Booking Agent of the Year by Canadian Music Week, Ralph was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame in 2013. Additionally he was nominated for the Bobby Brooks North American Agent of the Year Award in 2007 and 2008 at the Pollstar Concert Industry Awards, and in 2011 was recognized with the Industry Builder Award at the West Coast Music Awards (**Harlequin was inducted into the WCMA Hall of Fame in 2006).

In 2015 The Agency Group was acquired by United Talent Agency creating a full service agency and major player in music artist representation. In 2017 Ralph James along with Jack Ross opened the Toronto office of APA Canada where he continues to book live music artists today – bringing the biggest and best opportunities to his roster of artists and clients.

Professional Audio Describer, Live Describe
 

Often working in with a team as ""Live Describe"" Rebecca is a top tier professional audience-access service provider. By working with community consultants, employing international standards and guidelines towards excellence, she is well equipped for major projects including guiding the introduction of new services to venues. Versed in US and UK methods, Rebecca is proudly helping to define the “Canadian accent” in Audio Description.

Rebecca specializes in preparing and presenting:

  • Audio Description for live performance,
  • Pre-recorded or live Verbal Descriptions for Visual and performance art or installations
  • Described Video for film and television.
  • Specialized descriptions geared towards accessibility for wider audiences

Rebecca has provided descriptions for; Luminato (Calatrava Atrium at Brookfield Place, Pearson International Airport, Fort York National Historic Site, Harbourfront Centre, Les Ballets C de la B), Stratford Festival of Canada, Native Earth Performing Arts, Tangled Art + Disability, RARE Theatre - Soulpepper, Young People's Theatre, ACTRA, Art Gallery of Guelph, Art Gallery of Ontario, University of Guelph- Project Re-vision, University of Toronto Festival of Original Theatre, and many Toronto theatres.

Rebecca is also a culture professional, performer, and producer.

Senior Vice-President, Craft Culinary Concepts
 

Reggie Davis joined Craft Culinary Concepts in October 2015 as Vice-President of Business Development and assumed the role of Senior Vice-President in October 2017. Reggie brings 30+ years of hospitality leadership in fine dining, casual dining, quick-serve dining, catering, resort, amphitheaters special event management and has a successful track record in creating guest focused teams. His clients have included sports teams, convention centers, resorts, government facilities and multiple use venues. Reggie’s experience ranges from elegant gatherings to leading the food and beverage programs 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Hockey Venues.

Reggie’s clients have included the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals Seattle Mariners, Seattle Sonics, Washington State Convention Center, Oregon Convention Center, Tacoma Convention Center Live Nation Amphitheaters, Hearst Castle, Sunshine Village Ski Resort, and Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and attended the Culinary Institute of America’s Continuing Education program.

President & CEO, Seafair
 

With over 35 years of experience in professional sports, venues and hospitality management, Richard Andersen, CVE ICD.D is currently President & Chief Executive Officer of Seafair, the premier festival management company of the Pacific Northwest.  He also serves as the Chief Illumination Officer for Venue Solutions Group where he heads up that organization’s training and human development programs.

Andersen was formerly the Principal of Lighthouse Management where he provided a variety of organizational training, teambuilding, performance evaluations, and facilitation services. 

Andersen previously served as President and CEO of one of Canada’s largest multi-purpose entertainment and meeting complexes, Northlands in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Preceding Northlands, he served as Executive Vice President of the San Diego Padres and General Manager of PETCO Park.

Earlier in his career, Andersen served as President and CEO of Joe Robbie Stadium (now Sun Life Stadium) in Miami, Florida, home to the Miami Dolphins and Florida (now Miami) Marlins. He also served as a senior member of the Super Bowl XXIX Host Committee. 

Andersen has served in a variety of senior roles for the International Association of Venue Managers including as Chair of the Board of Directors in 2012. He has served as an instructor at the IAVM’s Venue Management School and Graduate Institute since 2004, was the Chair of its Board of Regents in 2015, and is also on the faculty of the Venue Management Association schools (Australia). 

Andersen holds an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business and an ICD.C from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto. 

Andersen’s professional service honors and distinctions include being awarded the City of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter “Lamplighter Award”, the American Lung Association’s Clean Air Award, Virginia Citizen of the Year, MLB’s Lee McPhail Award and the Venue Management Schools Ray Ward Award.

Leader, Author, City builder,
 

Richard Peddie's entire life has been about leading with strong core values, building enterprise value, and creating excellent places to work.

Upon graduation Peddie joined Colgate in marketing. Then moved to General Foods and became president of GF's Hostess Foods. In 1985 he moved to become presi-dent of Pillsbury Canada. In 1989 Peddie became president of SkyDome. During his time there SkyDome was chosen as North American Stadium of the Year four con-secutive years and Peddie was honoured as the North American Facility Manager of the Year. Peddie then became the president of NetStar Communications.

In 1996 Peddie became president and CEO of the Toronto Raptors and in 1998 the first president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment . Richard lead MLSE for fourteen years: building Air Canada Centre, BMO Field, Maple Leaf Square and bring-ing Major League Soccer to Canada with the launch of TFC.

Peddie received an honorary doctorate from the university of Windsor in 2001. Today Dr Peddie is actively involved in the Richard Peddie Leadership Initiative at the Odette school of business where he helps create 21st Century Leaders.

Peddie has published a best-selling autobiography entitled ""Dream Job' and ""21 Leadership Lessons"".

Vice President, Guest Services, San Francisco Giants
 

Rick Mears, who enters his 38th year in the guest service business and his 20th season with the San Francisco Giants, is responsible for all ushers, ticket takers, and luxury suite and club level staff on game days at AT&T Park. He also trains many of the other game day staff working in and around the ballpark in their guest related duties.

Prior to joining the Giants, Mears served three years as director of guest services for the San Jose Arena (now SAP Pavilion at San Jose). During his tenure there, the San Jose Arena's guest services staff gained a reputation as one of the nation's finest.

Mears and his wife, Carlene, reside in Fairfield. They have five children—Jennifer, Brandon, Christopher, Spencer and Porter, and five grandchildren—Connor, Cody, Hector, Lucia, and Wendy. (from the SF Giants Media Guide)

Principal, tvsdesign
 

Rob leads tvsdesign’s convention center design practice and is regularly published on emerging trends in the meeting industry. He has spoken nationally and internationally on the design of convention centers and the transformational potential of developing convention centers as vibrant mixed use urban destinations.

Rob’s current projects include the expansions of New York’s Javits Convention Center and the Las Vegas Convention Center, new convention centers in India and Panama, and major renovations in Toronto, Memphis and Charleston. His completed project for Nashville and Puerto Rico have set a new standard for how convention centers can reflect a destination’s brand.

Rob is a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects, on the board of the Council for Quality Growth, a member of the City of Atlanta’s SPI-1 Development Review Commission, Co-Chairman of the Marietta Street Artery Association’s Land Use Committee and active in the ULI, CEIR and IAVM.

VP of Product, AudienceView
 

Rob is the VP of Product at Audienceview, an industry leading ticketing software provider used by over 2000 customers in 15 countries.

In over 20 years of experience across retail, concert venues, ticketing agencies, arts forums and ticketing industry bodies, he has continually strived to openly demystify technology, and to break stereotypes that surround technical departments by fostering friendly, approachable teams.

He has a passion for emergent and disruptive technologies, and the continued integration of social, mobile, and wearable technologies into our daily lives.

He also understands that every good implementation, enablement or upgrade is really about getting buy in for all levels of an organisation and helping them through the change process. Whilst he’s a software guy, he consistently values an organisations staff over its software!

Agent, Paradigm Talent Agency
 

Rob Zifarelli is a twenty-year veteran of the music business. He is involved in the careers of City and Colour, Feist, Vance Joy, Phantogram, Alexisonfire, Christine and the Queens, Tash Sultana, The Rural Alberta Advantage and Broken Social Scene. In 2018, he won Agent of the Year for the second time at the inaugural Live Music Industry Awards at Canadian Music Week. In August of last year, Rob joined Paradigm Talent Agency to spearhead the company's expansion into Canada with the opening of the Toronto office.

Director of Production, Mesa Arts Center
 

For the last 4 years, Robby has served in the Director of Production role at the Mesa Arts Center. Currently he leads a team of 9 employees and oversees the day to day production aspects of the Mesa Arts Center's 4 theaters, which produce or present over 1,000 events annually.

Principal Consultant, Theatre Consultants Collaborative
 

Robert Long is a member of the American Society of Theatre Consultants and is a Principal Consultant with Theatre Consultants Collaborative (TCC) Prior to co-founding TCC in 2003, Robert was with Theatre Projects Consultants for 21 years. This is his 7th collaboration with Scott Crossfield on the annual "History of..." series.

Tour Goddess, Mike Super - Magic & Illusion
 

As Tour Goddess for Mike Super – Magic & Illusion for over 2 decades, Robin Nemanick brings the unique ability and expertise of combining both the performing aspects and technical knowledge of Mike’s show. Throughout the 10+ years of being on tour with the production as Mike’s Stage Manager, she has the innate ability to assist the Executive and Technical Director in reviewing the Tech Rider to assist with venue budgeting.

Robin also utilizes her Marketing Degree (making her parents proud) by assisting venues in the 5 unique marketing strategies that only Mike Super delivers.

She is currently working on her autobiography “Road Kill Vol. 1, Life on Tour” which is slated for a 2030 release date. As an avid marathon runner, she is laser focused on obtaining as many shiny medals as possible. She also enjoys long walks on the beach and puppies."

Telecom and Technology Manager, Bell Canada, Vancouver Convention Centre
 

Robyn Tonack is the Telecom & Technology Manager with Bell Canada, the exclusive provider of telecom and technology services at the Vancouver Convention Centre, since 2015. One of her rolls is to help conferences, trade and consumer shows, meetings and special events brand, advertise and educate with digital signage opportunities throughout the venue and to increase revenues in this area. Since 2015, with the ever-evolving development of client collateral and streamlining services, she has seen growth in the digital signage revenue stream.

Robyn has first hand experience in the event industry, planning and marketing events for associations in BC and Alberta. Prior to that, she kept busy as an entrepreneur owning and operating several businesses including retail stores and an import company.

Executive Director, Portland'5 Centers for the Arts
 

Robyn Williams has worked in the public assembly facility management field for more than thirty years in Texas, North Carolina and Oregon-where she is currently Executive Director for Portland’5 Centers for the Arts. Portland’5 consists of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Keller Auditorium, the Newmark,Winningstad and Brunish Theatres.

Robyn is a member and past president of the International Association of Venue Managers. She was a 15 year instructor and Past Chair of the Board of Regents for IAVM’s Venue Management School.

She is a Certified Venue Executive and currently serves on the IAVM Foundation Board of Trustees.

In 2007, Robyn was voted one of the "Top Five Women of Influence" by Venues Today magazine.

Marketing, Branding and Creativity Expert
 

Relevant, engaging, and interactive, Ron Tite exceeds expectations each and every time he takes the stage. Named one of the “Top 10 Creative Canadians” by Marketing Magazine, he’s been an award-winning advertising writer and creative director for some of the world’s most respected brands, including Air France, Evian, Hershey, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Intel, Microsoft, and Volvo. Addressing a variety of topics surrounding branding, corporate strategy, creativity, content, and social media, Tite’s presentations are not only information-packed, they’re also infused with his unique humour–guaranteed to have you laughing while you learn.

Currently, Tite is Founder and CEO of Church & State, a content marketing agency based in Toronto. His work has been recognized by The London International Advertising Awards, The New York Festivals of Advertising, The Crystals, The Extras, The Canadian Marketing Association, and The Marketing Awards, to name just a few.

Tite is also executive producer and host of the Canadian Comedy Award-winning show Monkey Toast, and publisher of the award-winning and bestselling humour book, This is That Travel Guide to Canada, with CBC Radio’s hit show, This is That. He has written for a number of other television series, penned a children’s book, and wrote, performed, and produced the play, The Canadian Baby Bonus.

His newest book, Everyone’s An Artist (Or At Least They Should Be), was published by HarperCollins in 2016.

Director of Experience, City of Cedar Hill TX
 

The Director of Experience for the City of Cedar Hill, Mr. Read is responsible CVB, ED, OAC, Special Events, and of course opening a variety of new buildings.

Previously the VP of Operations for the AT&T PAC, Mr. Read has over twenty-five years of experience in the entertainment industry as an operations manager, designer, stage technician, pryotechnician, and arts administrator.

Prior to the AT&T PAC, Mr. Read oversaw all building and operational aspects of Plano Stages in Plano, Texas. Mr. Read also worked with Vari-Lite as a key industry contact for market requirements and product ideas and taught entertainment technicians the use of Vari-Lite systems.

Mr. Read began his career as a Theater Teacher at Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas. He has continued to mentor others in the entertainment industry.

A 9th generation Texan, Mr. Read earned a B.F.A. from Southwest Texas State University. Russell Read is a 2005 graduate of the Leadership Southwest 20th Anniversary Class, and a 2006 graduate of IAAMs VMS also the 20 anniversary class. When not working, Russell may be found with his wife embarking on a series of road trips in one of their restored British vehicles…always with a tool bag in the trunk!""

Director, Client Services, Taco Bell Arena at Boise State University
 

Sam Dores, CVP is currently the Director of Client Services at Taco Bell Arena at Boise State University. In this role, he oversees the event production and client services for Athletic Games, Campus Events and Community Events held in the Arena.

Prior to Taco Bell Arena, Sam was the Assistant Athletics Director for Facilities, Operations and Event Management at Long Beach State. There, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of 12 athletic facilities including the Walter Pyramid (arena) and Blair Field (ballpark) as well as the booking, planning, execution and event management of all sporting events and 3rd party events. Additionally, he has held positions with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Memphis Redbirds.

Sam received his Bachelor of Arts from UCLA, Sports Management MBA from San Diego State and is a graduate of IAVM's Venue Management School, class of 2017. Sam is also currently serving on the IAVM Arena Committee.

Theater Operations Manager, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
 

Sara Beatty, CVP is the Theater Operations Manager for the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts in Kansas City, MO. She brings a wealth of experience, with a career combining years as an Actor's Equity Stage Manager, a former high school and college educator, and multiple roles held in technical theater and venue management. She has moved through the ranks at the Kauffman Center, starting as a Production Services Supervisor in its inaugural season. Sara holds a wide range of responsibilities to include hospitality management; show advancement; show budgets, contracts, settlements, and oversees the booking software.

Sara holds a Master of Fine Arts in Technical Theater, Stage Management from the University of Missouri, Kansas City and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Missouri State University. She is a 2014 graduate of Venue Management School and a Certified Venue Professional. Sara has enjoyed serving on the Performing Arts Sector committee, and multiple scholarship committees in an attempt to give back to IAVM, and encourage young professionals.

Patron Services Manager, Peace Center
 

Sarah Robertson is the Patron Services Manager at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina. Sarah received her Masters in Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012. In 2014, she helped to open the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts by designing and implementing their front of house operations. She now oversees the front of house and security teams at the Peace Center.

Design Principal, Theatre Projects
 

Scott is Principal Theatre Designer with Theatre Projects in South Norwalk, Connecticut. Having designed theatres for nearly 25 years, Scott has become one of the world’s leading theatre design experts with hundreds of performing arts projects to his credit. Some of his most notable projects include Broadway’s Palace Theatre, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the Palacio de Belles Artes, the Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff Arts Center, the Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa, and The Cube at Virginia Tech.

Prior to joining Theatre Projects, Scott was a partner at Davis Crossfield Associates, Theater Consulting Services of New York City. Scott has served on the board of directors of the American Society of Theatre Consultants and he recently served on the board of directors of the Warner Theatre, where he was an active member of their governance and marketing committees. He is a member of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology.

Scott received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University.

Senior Director of Guest and Event Services, Buffalo Bills
 

Scott Lasker has worked in the Event and Facility Management industry for 21 years working more than 1,300 events with crowds of up to 75,000 and managing staffs as high as 800 people. He spent the first 15 years in sports and entertainment arenas working for such teams as the Buffalo Sabres, San Antonio Spurs, Arizona Coyotes and the Boston Bruins. He also worked for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games of 2002, the Athens Summer Olympic Games of 2004 and the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games of 2010. Scott has spent the last 6 years working for the Buffalo Bills and is currently the Senior Director of Guest and Event Services with the Buffalo Bills. He specializes in event and crowd management, guest services training, staff retention, crowd management. Scott is a graduate of the IAVM Venue Management School and the VMS Graduate Institute.

President, Raincross Hospitality Corporation
 

Scott Megna has spent his entire 28-year professional career in the hospitality industry. Megna has been involved in numerous sectors including hotels, restaurants, venue management and DMO management. In his current role, Megna is responsible for the oversight of the Riverside Convention Center, the Riverside Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Riverside Sports Commission, Taste! Catering and a boutique consulting business focusing on branding, culture and revenue management for venues and destination management organizations, both nationally and internationally. Prior to his current role as President of Raincross Hospitality Corporation, a Riverside, CA based company, Scott has held positions with branded hotels including Hilton, IHG, and Starwood as well as independent hotels and resorts.

Megna, currently serves as a board member of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and is an advisory council member of the California State University Hospitality and Tourism Alliance. Additionally, Mr. Megna is an active member of the International Association of Venue Managers, serving as the Vice Chair of the Research Committee and a Board of Governor of IAVM’s Senior Executive Symposium at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

He is a graduate of California State University San Bernardino with a degree in business and public administration.

Executive Director, TaxSlayer Center
 

Scott Mullen, CVE has been the Executive Director of the TaxSlayer Center since March of 2005. Mullen has also held General Manager Positions at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum and the Hersheypark Sports & Entertainment Complex in Hershey, PA.

Mullen has held Assistant GM and Director of Operations positions at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center as well as holding Event Manager Positions at Philadelphia Civic Center, Nassau Coliseum, American University and Temple University after interning at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. He has taught graduate level classes at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY and received his bachelor's degree from Drake University and a master's degree from Temple University.

Mullen has been an active member in the International Association of Venue Managers since 1993. Mullen is currently Chair of the IAVM Arenas Sector and serves on the Venue Connect Planning Committee. He is a graduate of Oblebay and has served on IAVM's Arena Management, Crowd Management, Stadiums and Convention Centers Committees and was also a Regional VP. He has served on Long Beach, Long Island and Quad City Sports Commissions, Genesis Health Foundation Executive Board and is the Chair of the Genesis Marketing Committee.

Director, Social Media, NHL
 

Sean leads the social media strategy and operations for the National Hockey League. He and his team are responsible for engaging with and entertaining hockey fans day and night across owned social media platforms and in collaboration with its 31 clubs and hundred of athletes.

Executive Director, Grand Theater
 

Sean Wright came to the Performing Arts Foundation in January 2015 as the Executive Director of the organization. In a short time, he has continued to build on The Grand’s commitment to providing the best in the performing arts for the region, as well as expanding the venue’s community and patron engagement initiatives.

During Wright’s tenure, The Grand has posted four straight seasons of record ticket sales and has sold out 48 performances. The venue has twice earned recognition as one of Pollstar’s Top 200 theatres in the world, including a 143rd ranking in 2017. The PAF has also developed new programming such as the 10x10 Series, and new community initiatives such as Access for All and the Community Engagement Series. Under Wright’s leadership, The Grand played host to events that brought over 130,000 patrons through the doors in 2017 from 67 counties across Wisconsin, and brought over 6000 first-time attendees to events.

Wright previously served as the Director of the Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center at Samford University in Birmingham, AL from 2010-14. Prior to coming to Samford, Wright also held positions at the University of Alabama, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of North Carolina.

Organizational Development Consultant, Insperity
 

Sharon Dye brings twenty nine years' experience as an Organizational Development Consultant and Executive Coach to her role as Organizational Consultant at Insperity. She has extensive experience in the areas of change management, leadership development, culture effectiveness, communication effectiveness, and corporate strategic planning. Prior to joining Insperity, Sharon was a consultant to Fortune 100 companies in the United States, Canada, and Europe. She has proven success assisting corporations successfully implement and navigate change while realizing a reduction in employee attrition and absenteeism, a rise in goal attainment resulting in an increase in employee morale. She is known for excellent consultative skills aiding organizations who are impacted by reorganizations, restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, leadership changes, and corporate culture challenges. Sharon has a talent for quickly assessing the issues causing barriers to success and an understanding of how to solve them. She is exceptionally skilled at putting necessary resources together to ensure corporate-wide goals are realized and often surpassed. Sharon uses her reputation for defining organization-centered strategies and goals, identifying roadblocks and how to overcome them, and improve overall organization performance.

Executive Director, Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation
 

As Executive Director of the national Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, Sharon Yazowski provides visionary leadership in fulfilling the Levitt Foundation’s mission of building community through music, by empowering communities across America to transform underused outdoor spaces into welcoming destinations through the power of free, live music. In 2018, free Levitt concert series are taking place in 26 towns and cities. Sharon is the Levitt Foundation’s chief spokesperson, traveling throughout the country to share the impact of Levitt programs and creative placemaking. As Levitt is a pioneer in the creative placemaking movement, Sharon is often an invited speaker at regional and national conferences. Her passionate commitment to the arts as a vehicle for positive change in communities has guided the strategic growth of Levitt programs nationwide.  

Prior to her position with the Levitt Foundation, Sharon was the founding Executive Director of Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles at MacArthur Park. Her work there and the venue’s impact in the community earned her the recognition of “Los Angeles Park Hero” by the City of Los Angeles. Sharon’s career began working with arts nonprofits in metropolitan Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University with a concentration in arts and business management.

Senior Vice President of Development, OVG Facilities, Oak View Group
 

Sims Hinds has spent his entire career as an executive in the sports and entertainment industries - having helped build and manage some of the most successful companies in their respective fields.

Beginning as a concert promoter with Jerry Weintraub and Concerts West (now AEG Live) Sims led the promotion and production for major concert tours for Eagles, Neil Diamond, Led Zeppelin, Bee Gees, Eric Clapton, John Denver and others.

Sims then moved to the venue management and develop business, playing a senior leadership role in the early growth of both SMG and AEG Facilities. In the summer of 2017, Sims joined Tim Leiweke and Peter Luukko at Oak View Group as Senior Vice President of Development for OVG Facilities. His venue development and management experience includes public assembly experience with:

  • High Point, NC – Development of Downtown mixed use district anchored by multi-purpose stadium – UNDER CONSTRUCTION
  • Raleigh – Helped relocate and establish the Carolina Hurricanes, including development of PNC Arena and Germain Arena in Ft. Myers, FL.

Sims is also active in community affairs, serving as:

  • Forward High Point, Vice Chairman
  • High Point University Board of Visitors
  • High Point Community Foundation – Advisory Board
  • High Point YWCA – Board member
General Manager, Kentucky International Convention
 

Stacey Church, a native of Elkhart, IN, graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and has spent the last 10+ years as a venue management professional. She began her career with Spectra Venue Management as Director of Finance in South Bend, IN at the Century Center and then in Springfield, MA at the MassMutual Center in both the Assistant General Manager and General Manager capacities. She also previously worked as the Assistant Director of the Fort Worth Convention Center and Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, TX. She currently serves as General Manager of the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, KY. Stacey is a graduate of IAVM’s Venue Management School at Oglebay and is currently working towards her Certified Venue Executive (CVE) designation. Prior to her career in venue management, Stacey spent time in the nonprofit sector. Stacey currently lives in Louisville, KY with her husband Nate and their two children, Jackson (14) and Reese (11).

Melbourne and Olympic Parks
 

Steve Harper CFE has 24 years’ experience in the Venue Management Industry working in venues within the United States and Australia.

Currently Director of Arenas for Melbourne and Olympic Parks (M&OP), Victoria, Harper oversees the commercial and operational management of Rod Laver (15,000 seats), Hisense (10,000 seats) and Margaret Court (7,500 seats) Arenas and the Australian Open Grand Slam operational obligations for Melbourne Park. These venues annually welcome around 400 events and attract more than 2.5 million people including the Australian Open Tennis, national and international sports and entertainment events.

Prior to M&OP Harper served as Chief Operating Officer at VenuesWest, Western Australia where he was responsible for the day-to-day running of seven geographically spread public assembly venues including nib Stadium (19,000 seats), HBF Stadium (5,000 seats) and HBF Arena, these venues attracted over 2 million patrons annually.

Previously Harper was Assistant Director and Acting Director for “SevenVenues” in Virginia, United States where he managed all facets of seven public assembly venues, including five theatres, Scope Arena (13,000 seats) and the Harbour Park Stadium (15,000 seats).

Preceding his time in Virginia, Harper spent nine year in Seattle, Washington managing seven recreation, sporting and entertainment facilities including the 75,000 seat Husky Stadium, which hosted the Washington Huskies Football team and for three seasons the National Football League's (NFL) Seattle Seahawks.

In 2005 Harper earned the Certified Venues Executive (CVE).

Harper has been on the Australian Venue Management Association (VMA) board since 2012. During this time he chaired three of the Association’s Annual Congress’ and the Membership Committee. In May 2017, Steve Harper became the eleventh President of the VMA.

President, EventBooking
 

Steve is the President at EventBooking, the world's very first cloud-based venue management and booking software, based in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has almost 35 years of experience within the Hospitality and Events industry, 25 of these on the event technology side. Originally from New Zealand, he also lived for 18 years in Australia before moving to the States in 2004.

Before joining EventBooking, he has worked in senior management roles with other event tech companies such as Micros, Ungerboeck, ASP Events and etouches.

Steve has spoken at conferences in over 20 countries about trends in event technology.

He's a graduate of the Oglebay Venue Management School, has been an instructor at the VMA's Venue Management School in Australia since 2011, and at the Oglebay school since 2017.

Senior Research Policy Manager, Events DC
 

Steve Schwartz has worked with IAVM's VenueDataSource research project since its inception, and has overseen the development of its major research projects.

President and Founder of VenuWorks, VenuWorks
 

Steve Peters is president of VenuWorks. He attended the University of Iowa, and held venue management positions with the City of Dubuque and Iowa State University before going to work in private management for Ogden Entertainment. In 1996 he founded VenuWorks with a concentration on the unique needs of venues in midsize markets. The company now manages some fifty venues, produces stage productions for Broadway and international tour, and owns the Evansville Thunberbolts of the SPHL. VenuWorks’ promotional division promotes some 300 concerts and other performances a year. He is a past president of IAVM and a McElravy Award recipient. Married for 47 years to Randi, they have five children and five grandchildren. They live in Ames, IA.

Professional Speaker, Spetha
 

Sunjay Nath travels globally sharing insights on leadership and performance. He is best known for his trademark, “The 10-80-10 Principle” which is a framework that helps individuals and teams improve performance. This methodology combines best practices with small wins to help people empower themselves.

He started an international speaking business when he was 19; he wasn't even old enough to rent a car. This was particularly problematic when he would travel. As a speaker, in 2005, Sunjay became the youngest Canadian and third youngest in the world to earn his CSP (Certified Speaking Professional). The CSP is the highest internationally recognized designation that a speaker can aspire to achieve. He has authored several books including The 10-80-10 Principle. Sunjay holds an undergraduate degree in Mathematical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration.

Director of Facility Finance, Spectra Venue Management
 

Susan Jordan is a finance professional in the venue and hospitality industry with over twenty years’ experience. For the past thirteen years she has creatively engaged field finance professionals in over 100 venues managed by Spectra as the Director of Facility Finance. Prior to this, she worked in hotels, country clubs and hospitality software companies in a finance leadership role. She coined the phrase, “finance is fun”!

As she worked with hundreds of general managers, directors of finance, and venue managers over the years, she watched some flourish with the dynamic nature of our industry and others crumble at the slightest hint of conflict. Her master’s thesis, Grit in Venue Management sought to examine what characteristic is possessed in effective venue managers to succeed in the long haul.

Susan has an M.B.A. from Penn State University, and graduated in May 2018 with a Masters in Organizational Development and Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University. She is a member of the IAVM Audit Committee and a member of the Organizational Development Alumni Advisory Board at Saint Joseph’s University.

Executive Director, Iowa State Center
 

Tammy Koolbeck, CVE is Executive Director of the Iowa State Center managed by VenuWorks. Her responsibilities include the day to day management including programming and overseeing marketing, sales, ticket office, finance, food and beverage and operations of two theatres and the conference center on the campus of Iowa State University. She has worked in the venue management industry for over 20 years and most recently served as Chief Marketing Officer/Senior Vice President for the VenuWorks corporate office.

Before joining the VenuWorks corporate staff, Koolbeck was Assistant Executive Director of Marketing and Programming for the U.S. Cellular Center Arena/Paramount Theatre and General Manager of the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.

Koolbeck currently serves as IAVM’s 1st Vice Chair and on the Board of Regents. On the Region level, she is a past Region III Director and Scholarship Chair. Koolbeck is a Past President for the Event and Arena Marketing Conference. In 2007, she was awarded EAMC’s highest honor, the Gigi Award of Excellence. Koolbeck also received the prestigious Women of Influence Award from Venues Today in 2010. In 2014, she was honored with IAVM’s Chairman Citation.

Family Assistance Center Lead -- Pulse Nightclub & Rt 91 Harvest Festival, American Red Cross
 

Tara is the Northeast Division Disaster Mental Health (DMH) Advisor for the American Red Cross, covering New England, New York and New Jersey. Tara is a DMH Chief and an Assistance Director for Operations in the national deployment system for the American Red Cross. She is a Subject Matter Expert in Mass Casualty incident response, working directly with victims and families in a Family Assistance Center model. Her Mass Casualty response experience includes a deadly tornado in Enterprise, AL (2007), the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 (2009), the Haitian earthquake (2010), the Newtown CT Sandy Hook school shooting (2012), the Boston Marathon Bombings (2013), the DC Navy Yard shooting (2013), the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting (2016), and the October 1 Rt 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas 2017).

Tara received her BA in Psychology from Boston College in 1988 and Masters of Social Work degree and Family Therapy Certification from Boston University in 1992. Since 2014, she has worked as the Coordinator for Human Trafficking Programs at the International Institute of Buffalo.. She is Adjunct Faculty at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, as well as the UB School of Social Work Continuing Education Department.

Vice President of Concerts, AC Entertainment
 

Ted has 27 years of live entertainment industry experience that began with booking Stairway to Heaven in a Knoxville club in the fall of 1990. He has spent over 20 years of his career with AC Entertainment based in Knoxville, TN. As Vice President of Concerts, Ted leads the AC booking team in programming venues that are theaters or larger. His focus includes exclusive relationships with the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, Tivoli Theatre in Chattanooga and Schermerhorn Symphony Center with the Nashville Symphony. In 2008, Ted became the presenter for Broadway at the Tennessee in Knoxville, later presenting Broadway at the Tivoli in Chattanooga. Ted spent 6 years as the Founder / CEO of 26.2 Music, an artist management company, booking agency and record label.

Facilities Services Manager, Walton Arts Center / Walmart Amp
 

Thomas DeBari is the Facility Services Manager for the Walton Arts Center and the Walmart AMP, where he leads a team of 20 employees in the day to day operation of 2 theaters, 1 amphitheater and various administrative and resident company spaces. Thomas holds a Master of Fine Art degree and has 13 years of experience in design, renovation and restoration. His facility management experience includes work with many of the leading hotels in New York City. Thomas has leveraged those real world experiences to provide in-house solutions and training for his team to optimize the guest experience.

Digital Marketing Specialist, Exhibition Place
 

Curious by nature and strategic by design, Tiffany is a digital marketing communications specialist with almost 10 years of experience working and volunteering in communications and events in Canada and abroad. She designs and leads integrated marketing communications campaigns across a variety of digital and traditional communications channels that deliver on organizational goals.

Tiffany is energetic, goal-oriented and strives for authenticity in all she does. What she finds most exciting about digital communications is the continually evolving nature of her chosen profession. She is also a storyteller who strives to tell stories that matter, fueling a life-long pursuit of discovering inventive ways of connecting creatively and meaningfully with new and established audiences.

Tiffany is passionate about diversity and inclusion, especially within the communications industry; tech, and wildly fascinated about the growth of marketing automation and AI; and she enjoys sharing her insights with emerging communications professionals.

Leadership Development and Teambuilding Expert
 

Leaders and teams are often in a tug-of-war, facing competing demands such as planning vs. action, structure vs. flexibility, change vs. stability, and work vs. home. In order to thrive, they must tackle these tensions head on. Tim Arnold provides his audiences with powerful tools that help them understand and breakthrough the chronic issues they face in both their professional and personal lives.

Tim Arnold has spent over two decades helping organizations unite teams, spark change and get unstuck, with clients that include The United Nations, Citibank, KPMG, Toyota, and Siemens.

Tim provides his clients with a real-world perspective through his experience launching successful for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, overseeing community outreach and healthcare programs, and managing international development partnerships in four continents.

Tim is the author of the bestselling book, The Power of Healthy Tension: Overcoming Chronic Issues and Conflicting Values.

Senior Director of Venues, Music Tours & Live Events, CAPS Payroll, A Cast & Crew Entertainment Company
 

Todd Dyer is the Senior Director of Venues, Music Tours & Festivals for CAPS Payroll, a Cast & Crew Entertainment Company. Todd serves as the senior leader in the Live Entertainment department within the Employer of Record Payroll Services Company to the Entertainment Industry. Todd has nearly 25 years’ experience as both an operator and business development executive within the sports, entertainment, convention and special events industry. Some of the more notable clients Todd has worked with throughout his career include the Rolling Stones, Metallica, Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney tours (among many others), Miami Heat, Houston Texans, Florida Marlins, New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. Todd has been instrumental in the coordination of premier events such as several Super Bowls, National Championship Football Games, and music festivals such as Coachella, StageCoach, and Bonnaroo - recruiting, training and managing crews in the thousands at a time. These days Todd supports the administrative side of staff productions for festivals, venues and touring acts by ensuring an efficient, digital and secure environment is provided for staff onboarding, timekeeping, secure document storage, and workers comp/medical insurance, all while providing employer of record payroll services to over a thousand clients in the industry.

Executive Director, BancorpSouth Arena and Conference Center
 

Todd Hunt, CVE is currently Executive Director of the BancorpSouth Arena and Conference Center in Tupelo, MS, a post he has held since 2007.

Hunt is very active in the International Association of Venue Managers, currently serving as the Chair of the Board of Regents at Venue Management School. He has also served on the IAVM Board of Directors as Chair of Region 5 (2017-2018), as Sector Director for Arenas (2014-2016), and was also Arenas Committee Chair (2011-2014), Vice Chair (2010-11), and committee member (2006-10). He has served on the Venue Connect, Industry Affairs, and Education Council committees, and is currently Past Chair of Region 5.

From 1999-2007, he was the Director of Humphrey Coliseum and Athletic Concessions for Mississippi State University. Hunt’s first general manager position was from 1997-99 at the Tupelo Coliseum, where he negotiated the first venue naming rights deal in the state of Mississippi while also bringing professional sports (ice hockey and indoor soccer) to the area for the first time. He has also held positions at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Auburn University, and served as assistant venue manager of the Ocoee Whitewater Center during the 1996 Olympic Games.

Executive Director, Landers Center
 

Todd Mastry – Executive Director, Landers Center

Todd Mastry is charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of a 10,000 seat arena, 17,000 square foot conference space and 400-seat theater. The oversight of this 88-acre multi-plex includes the booking of the arena with tenant and Southern Professional Hockey League member, Mississippi RiverKings and the NBA’s G-League team the Memphis Hustle as well as nationally touring shows ranging from Luke Bryan and Eric Church to Monster Jam, Justin Timberlake, Tool, Motley Crue and Jeff Dunham.

In Mastry’s previous role, Sr. Director of Event Operations for FedExForum and Memphis Grizzlies, he oversaw all aspects of every event that took place at FedExForum. Prior to his time in Memphis, Mastry spent 3 years in Columbus, Ohio on campus at Ohio State University as the Assistant Director of Event Services for the 21,500 seat on campus arena, the Schottenstein Center; as the primary liaison to OSU Athletics Department and all of their teams that played at the arena: men’s & women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey.

Todd began his arena management career at the Grand Garden Arena at MGM in Las Vegas while earning his Masters Degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Senior Sports Architect, DLR Group
 

As a Client Leader/Senior Associate for DLR Group’s National Sports Practice, Tom Tingle has over 30 years of experience as a practicing architect. More than 20 of those years have been focused on public assembly design and construction, developing in him a keen understanding of the dynamics and factors associated with sports and entertainment projects.

Tom has worked with many clients on notable sports projects such as Commonwealth Stadium at the University of Kentucky, San Diego’s Petco Park, Anaheim Arena, Michigan Stadium, Charlotte’s Spectrum NBA Arena, AutoZone Park, Purdue Mackey Arena, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Durham Bulls Minor League Ballpark and Orlando’s Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. Tom’s experience with complex, multi-faceted projects has taught him to be a creative problem-solver and consensus-builder who knows how to effectively extract, understand and translate client needs.

From coast to coast, Tom brings expertise in design, construction, business development, marketing and strategic client development. Working with key leaders of the DLR Group’s Sports Studio and our local offices, he ensures that every project receives our utmost commitment to innovation, technology, and quality. He tracks key issues, emerging trends and latest technological developments that will benefit DLR Group clients.

Director Security & Parking, Exhibition Place

 

Tony Porter brings a wealth of management experience to the role of Director Security & Parking with over 20 years’ experience working in the security, loss prevention and customer service industry.  Previously, Tony was Senior Division Manager for Contemporary Security Canada, which managed security services for the TO2015 PanAm Games.  Additionally, he held a Vice President title with one of Canada’s largest airport security firms, overseeing 2000+ employees.

Arlene Campbell, General Manager, Sales & Event Management of Exhibition Place said “Gilles and Tony are both key additions to Exhibition Place. We feel confident that their experience and knowledge will be excellent additions to our already outstanding team of employees, while continuing to promote our corporate mandates and values.”

Founder & CEO, InHouse Booking
 

Tracey is a seasoned theatrical executive with two successful decades of touring industry experience. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College with a degree in Theatre. After a year in UCLA’s MFA Actor/Waitress Training Program and a stint as an almost working actor, Tracey discovered the world behind the curtain and never looked back. She has held senior positions at The Booking Group and The Road Company, and has worked on a wide variety of touring theatricals including RENT, THE PRODUCERS, MAMMA MIA!, CABARET, SISTER ACT, ANNIE, DAVID COPPERFIELD, RUGRATS LIVE and MICHAEL FLATLEY’S LORD OF THE DANCE, to name a few. Tracey lives in New York with her husband, kids and the rest of their menagerie.

Superintendent of Operations & Programming, City of Medicine Hat
 

Trampas Brown hails from the home of the World's Largest Tepee in Medicine Hat, Alberta, and is the Superintendent of Operations & Programming for the City of Medicine Hat. After over 20 years history in the production and technical side of the industry Trampas has now moved into performing arts presenting for the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre.

The Esplanade is a unique venue in itself, presenting over forty shows every year as well as encompassing an integrated Art Gallery, Museum and Archives that serves a small city of 63,000. The highlight so far has been the creation of a new ‘On-stage Series' that promotes emerging Canadian artists in a unique and intimate venue.

Between involvement with his children's activities and side gigs to keep his technical skills sharp, he still manages to find time off in the year to enjoy the great outdoors!

Director of Security Strategy, Anomali
 

Travis Farral is the Director of Security Strategy for Anomali. With over 20 years of security industry experience, he has developed a strong background in threat intelligence, incident response, and Industrial Control Systems security. Previously Travis ran the Cybersecurity Intelligence & Strategic Services team at ExxonMobil and spent several years at companies such as Nokia and XTO Energy.

Tricia Baldwin, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
 

Tricia Baldwin became the Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (‘the Isabel’) in December 2014, and is responsible for its diverse programming featuring top emerging and established artists, education, student and community engagement, socially engaged art, and facilities management. She created the Ka’tarohkwi Festival for Indigenous Arts (Dylan Robinson, curator), and the Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival, and the Isabel Overton Canadian Violin Competition. Tricia is the co-creator of Queen’s University’s new M.A. in Arts Leadership program with Queen’s Dan School of Drama and Music.

Prior to the Isabel, Tricia Baldwin was the Managing Director of Tafelmusik from 2000 to 2014. During this period, Tafelmusik doubled its operating revenues and increased its endowment seventeen fold. The orchestra undertook over 50 international tours and 20 recordings and films, and launched its recording label, and artist training programs. Prior to Tafelmusik, she was the Executive Director of Ballet British Columbia and General Manager of the Kingston Symphony. Tricia received her Bachelor of Music (U. of T.) and her MBA (York U.). Tricia Baldwin has been awarded the Canada Council for the Arts’ John Hobday Award in Arts Management and the Queen’s Human Rights Initiative Award.

Executive Director, Chesapeake Conference Center/VenuWorks
 

Troy Thorn serves as Executive Director of the Chesapeake Conference Center, a venue professionally managed by VenuWorks. Before moving to Coastal Virginia, Thorn served as Executive Director of the Vicksburg (MS) Convention Center & Auditorium and Assistant Director of the Dallas (TX) Convention Center. With over 20 years as a venue manager, Thorn has chaired a number of IAVM committees and served as Region 6 Director. A graduate of VMS and the Graduate Institute, Thorn attributes an early introduction to IAVM through mentors Frank Poe and Mina Boyd as a key element of his successful career.

Hoya Blue to his core, Thorn has a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration from Georgetown University and attended the University of Texas at Arlington Graduate School of Urban Planning and Administration.

When not volunteering with youth in the community Thorn serves as a member of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Board, Chesapeake Economic Development Authority, Chesapeake Tourism Advisory Board and Tidewater Community College Business Management Advisory Committee.

Executive Director, Butler Arts Center
 

Ty Sutton is the Executive Director of the Butler Arts Center, which includes Clowes Memorial Hall, Schrott Center for the Arts, Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, and Lilly Hall Studio Theatre on the campus of Butler University. He has previously served as the General Manager of the Wagner Noel PAC in Midland, TX as well as the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, CO

CEO, Electronic Gaming Federation
 

Tyler Schrodt is the founder and CEO, of the Electronic Gaming Federation. Tyler started in esports in 2001 as a Counterstrike 1.6 player and tournament organizer and spent 6 years working in higher education before founding EGF in 2015. Today, EGF oversees a national league for some of the largest colleges in the US and the first-state endorsed high school league in the country while working with administrators on competitive and educational program development.

Vice President of Operations, Walton Arts Center/Walmart AMP
 

Wendy Riggs has 40 years of arts and venue management, marketing, consulting and teaching experience from arts and cultural institutions including the Fabulous Fox Theatre, Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, True Colors Theater Company, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and Walt Disney World. She is currently serving as Vice President of Operations at the Walton Arts Center and Walmart Amp where she oversees all renovation/construction projects and all operational departments including production, front of house and events, maintenance and housekeeping,

Prior to her current job, Riggs served as the Director of Arts and Entertainment for the City of Tuscaloosa where she oversaw daily operations for the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, the Tuscaloosa River Market and the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum. She has a BFA in Theatre Technology and Design from Auburn University and a MFA in Theatre Management and Arts Administration from the University of Alabama/Alabama Shakespeare Festival. She has also served as a professor at the University of Alabama where she taught Arts Venue Management and developed the Master’s program in Arts Administration for Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta.

Down Stage Right Industries Ltd
 

Mr. Wes Jenkins has spearheaded major projects for over 30 years in the Canadian theatrical industry with 20 of those years at Arts Commons. With project management training from the University of Calgary and years of practical experience, Wes has lead projects ranging from; creating new performance spaces to replacing the major theatrical lighting, audio, video and rigging systems, the rebuilding lobbies and refurbishing seating and aesthetics in a multitude of theatres. Major works related to base building systems include mechanical, electrical, structural, security and network systems. Construction works have included parkade and concrete restoration and commercial real estate base building infrastructure fit ups for restaurant spaces. He has also designed, installed, commissioned and inspected theatrical rigging systems throughout Canada. He has taught technical theatre courses at the Banff Centre and Mount Royal University. He has successfully executed thousands of performances, including the technical direction of the Banff Centre, the Calgary Opera and Arts Commons. Mr. Jenkins managed an annual operations budget in excess of $4 Million dollars and a capital budget of $8M.

Wes is also a fine chef and bicycle rider.

President, Garda Risk Management LLC
 

William Flynn is the president of GARDA Risk Management LLC specializing is homeland and national security policy and operations with a focus on critical infrastructure security and resilience. Mr. Flynn is also a partner at the digital firm The Power of Preparedness (TPOP) a next generation e-learning provider of preparedness and security training. He serves as a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security.

Mr. Flynn previously served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Infrastructure Protection, where he led the coordinated national effort to reduce risk to our nation’s critical infrastructure posed by acts of terrorism

Mr. Flynn joined the federal government after 24 years with the NYC Police Department. On September 11, 2001, he responded to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center where he oversaw the collection and custody of recovered evidence and property, the biometric identification of recovered victims and the deployment of emergency response equipment.

He holds a Baccalaureate degree in Criminal Justice from St. John’s University and a graduate degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.

Commercial Facilities Section Chief, DHS
 

Within the National Protection and Programs Directorate, Shannon serves as the Chief of the Commercial Facilities Section, facilitating information sharing with Senior Private Sector representatives, major trade associations, and Chief Security Officers from Retail, Gaming (Casino), Entertainment & Media, Lodging, Sports Leagues, Outdoor Events, Public Assembly, and Real Estate.

Before joining the Department of Homeland Security, Shannon worked in private industry as a senior operations and security planner leading teams providing analysis of critical infrastructure sector information requirements for decision support, planning, policy interpretation and implementation, and coordination of outreach. Prior to that, Shannon served 22 years as a United States Naval Officer and Naval Aviator where he lead numerous teams and maintained a myriad of responsibilities within the United States Navy; including Executive Director of an airshow, counter narcotics operations mission commander; Chief of an operational planning cell during high tempo operations while forward deployed; and as an Officer-in-Charge of a Patrol Squadron.

Shannon received numerous personal and unit awards and commendations throughout his career. He is a graduate of The Citadel earning a degree in Business Administration.

CEO, WorldGaming
 

Wim Stocks has been a respected leader in interactive and online gaming since 1990. From 2001 to 2006, Wim was Executive Vice President of the “new” Atari Inc. (a roll-up and amalgam of Hasbro Interactive, Infogrames, and GT Interactive), leading and managing one of the most broad-reaching interactive entertainment publishing networks in the world. In 2006, Wim started an entrepreneurial online gaming publishing business named Elephant Entertainment, assuming the role of President and COO. In March 2008, the leading games publisher THQ purchased Elephant and Wim assumed the role of EVP and leader of the Online Gaming division and initiatives. In 2010, Wim was recruited to join the executive management team of Virgin Gaming (now WorldGaming) as Executive Vice President. In this role, Wim helped launch the company and platform in 2010, as well as developed strategic investor, technology, game publisher, retailer, and other brand partnerships. In April 2016, Wim was named CEO of WorldGaming and Collegiate StarLeague, which was acquired by Cineplex in the Fall of 2015 (a leading movie theater operator having diversification into gaming, food/beverage, and other aligned entertainment and digital media businesses), and is presently leading the esports business, strategy, initiatives, and programs for the Company.

Wim currently serves as COO of the International eGames Committee & Board of Directors, is an Advisor to the Special Olympics International, is a Board Member of National Public Radio’s ‘Marketplace’ programming, and is also a Trustee and on the Board of Directors of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Wim is also Chairman of the Board of HPPS Ltd (a restaurant and real-estate holding company based in Minneapolis), and has also served on the boards of Allina/Abbott Northwestern Hospital, the Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Event Coordinator, University of Florida Performing Arts
 

Zakiya Smith-Dore serves as an Event and Operations Coordinator with the University of Florida Performing Arts Department. With this role, Zakiya is the direct manager of the Baughman Center and provides management support to the Curtis M. Phillip’s Center’s 1700 seat performing arts hall and 200 seat black box theater. Prior to her current role, she served as a Changeover Supervisor at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center where she learned the ropes of all things venue management.

Zakiya received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and is a currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration degree there as well.

Ms. Smith-Dore currently serves the International Association of Venue Managers as the Region V State of Florida Representative, is active on the University Venues Managers Committee, is an IAVM Mentor, and was a Class Representative and Ambassador for the 2018 Venue Management School. Outside of her roles to the venue management industry, Zakiya is President of the Rotaract Club of Gainesville, Co-Associate Producer of the University of Florida’s Gator Growl, and is an active member of both the Alachua County Hospitality Council and Gainesville Wedding Professionals Organization.

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