Guest Experience & Crowd Management Conference
February 20 - 22, 2018 /Minneapolis, MN


The 2018 conference is currently being developed. The following is from our 2017 program.

Bryan Lansing

Bryan is a dynamic speaker and generational junkie who uses humor and poignant personal stories to impact lives and bridge gaps in the workplace and marketplace. Bryan has been speaking for over 10 years in front of a wide variety of audiences including Target, 3M and General Mills. Regardless of who is in the room, he delivers with a fun, dynamic style that can capture the attention of any audience. As a representative of the Millennial generation, Bryan strives to combat Millennial fatigue and show that just because the newest generation works differently doesn’t mean they don’t work just as hard. He is a generational bridge builder who expertly paints the picture of who each generation is, why they behave the way they do, and what traits they bring to the workplace. With his energy, positivity, and professional poise, Bryan lights up the stage and delivers insightful strategies that create meaningful change long after he’s left the stage.

Adonis "Sporty" Jeralds, CFE
Clinical Instructor, University of South Carolina

Adonis "Sporty" Jeralds is currently a full-time clinical instructor at the University of South Carolina and also works in community relations with the NBA Charlotte Hornets. Mr. Jeralds is a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and graduated with a degree in criminal justice from Guilford College. He has an MA in Public Administration from UNC Chapel Hill and an MA in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts. Mr. Jeralds began his career in public assembly venue management at the Hampton Virginia Coliseum, and then 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. In that position Mr. Jeralds oversaw day-to-day operations and managed a $12 million operating budget and a staff of over sixty full-time and six hundred part-time employees. Mr. Jeralds is certified by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) as a Certified Facilities Executive (CFE), a designation currently awarded to approximately 300 executives worldwide. During his career, Mr. Jeralds has helped coordinate such internationally recognized events as the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four, the NBA All-Star Weekend, a visit by Mother Teresa, and a variety of major concerts and sports events. Mr. Jeralds is the author of three successful books, The Champion in You (2004), Let Your Light Shine (2010), and Follow the Bouncing Ball (2014), and in 2006 was awarded the Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Sports Management Department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Mr. Jeralds and his wife Teresa are the proud parents of Jazmine and Jacob.

Erik Waldman, CFE
Sr. Director of Logistics and GA Dome Events, Georgia World Congress Center Authority

Erik Waldman, was recently promoted to the Senior Director of Logistics and Georgia Dome Events for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) on January 4, 2016. In his role, he is overseeing event operations for the final year of the Georgia Dome in addition to Public Safety and Logistics for the GWCCA. Prior to his promotion, Erik started with the GWCCA as Director of Event Operations with the Georgia Dome in December of 2011. 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 Or-lando Solar Bears of the International Hockey League. In 2002, Erik worked as an event coordina-tor for the UCF Arena where his career began to rise. He is a graduate of the GWCCA Senior Lead-ership Development Program in partnership with the University of Georgia, Terry College of Busi-ness. In August of 2015, Erik was named Chair of the IAVM Stadium’s Committee Sector. Erik has certifications from IAVM’s Academy for Venue Safety & Security and Venue Management School. In his free time, Erik participates in triathlons, long distance running and is a member of an ice hockey league in Atlanta.

Benjamin Chakoian Jones
Singer, Songwriter

Benjamin Chakoian Jones is a composer, arranger, bassist, and violist from Nashville, Tennessee. He studied composition at Belmont University under Mark Volker and William Purssell. He has gone on to be a founding member of the band Humming House, which enjoys a busy schedule, touring theaters and festivals throughout the United States. As an arranger, Jones has written for both live ensembles and studio ensembles, including string charts for many of Humming House’s recordings. As a studio player, he has played on dozens of recordings, most notably with Australian artist Lanie Lane under producer Jack White.

In addition to his creative endeavors, Jones is the founder and curator of The Nashville Chamber Music Series, "a collective of composers, performers, and music lovers who wish to develop Nashville’s communal passion for classical and jazz music." Drawing on the chamber concerts of the Romantic period, Jones hopes to revitalize the capacity for classical music to be enjoyed on a casual and intimate level.

As a composer, Jones' works have been performed by numerous groups in the U.S. including The Nashville Collegiate Orchestra, The W.O. Smith Faculty Orchestra, The Newark Granville Youth Symphony String Quartet, and ensembles through his own Nashville Chamber Music Series. Jones' compositions are a hybrid of the populist American sound inspired by the likes of Aaron Copland and William Grant Stills, combined with the European jazz and folk music he has come to love in his personal travels.

Joe Hight
Journalist, Media Expert

Joe was named the Edith Kinney Gaylord Endowed Chair of Journalism Ethics in the Mass Communication Department in May 2016.  Joe is also a columnist, writer, consultant and a bookstore owner. His newspaper career as an editor, director, managing editor or reporter spanned for 35 years.  He was editor when The Gazette in Colorado Springs won the Pulitzer Prize winner in National Reporting for its multimedia series “Other Than Honorable.” He also was named to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 2013.   He writes a weekly personal column for the Oklahoma Journal Record and has done consulting in digital and social media strategy, community engagement, trauma coverage and other areas.

Jill Pepper
Executive Director, TEAM Coalition

"Ms. Pepper joined the TEAM Coalition in the spring of 2002. She oversees all operations of this national non-profit organization which has 24 members and 7 strategic partners and an annual budget of 1.5 million dollars.

She is a Master Trainer for the TEAM training program in effective alcohol management, conducting training workshops for sports and entertainment facilities managers nationwide.

Ms. Pepper manages the TEAM training program, including a network of over 1,000 active trainers representing more than 250 professional and collegiate sports and entertainment facilities. More than 250,000 professional sports stadium employees have become TEAM-certified in the past five years. Over 61,000 employees became certified in the last fiscal year (October 2015 – September 2016).

TEAM’s campaign called Responsibility Has Its Rewards, has encouraged more than 1,000,000 fans to designate sober drivers with the “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” message at MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL and NHL games, NASCAR races, Live Nation concerts and NCAA championships in the last twelve months.

Jill taught the Social Responsibility & Globalization in Sports course in the Georgetown Continuing Studies Sports Industry Management Masters’ Degree program from 2011 through 2013. Jill received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and her MBA from MIT.

Jill, her husband Todd and their son Nathan live in Alexandria, VA."

Senior Manager of Fan Experience, Jacksonville Jaguars, LLC

Sarah Tarbett was named senior manager of fan experience for the Jacksonville Jaguars in April 2015. After joining the organization in 2009 as a game day employee, she became the organization’s youngest manager at age 23 in 2013. She works as a liaison between the Jaguars and their stadium partners by ensuring that they provide a world class experience for every guest at EverBank Field. Following their “BE GREAT” service philosophy, her team’s efforts resulted in the organization’s back-to-back number one overall fan experience ranking in the NFL, voted upon by season ticket members in the NFL’s Voice of the Fan.

During her eight seasons in the NFL, Sarah has developed experience in project management such as the Jaguars logo changeover in 2013, customer service, budget development/management, kids club oversight, NFL best practices for security and the fan code of conduct. She also played an instrumental role in wayfinding that included the $63 million renovation featuring two swimming spas on a party deck and amphitheater/flex facility addition scheduled to open in May 2017. She is responsible for staff recruitment, hiring, as well as the development and training for 4,000 game day staff each season.

Sarah graduated magna cum laude from Flagler College in 2011 and that same year was the recipient of the Sport Management Departmental Academic Achievement Award. Sarah currently serves on the board of directors for the San Jose Academy and Preparatory High School in Jacksonville, Fla. She also serves as the captain of the Jaguars kickball team, captain of the two-time fitness challenge champion team and director of staff yoga. In her free time, Sarah enjoys home improvement projects, gardening, adding to her shoe collection and weight training.

Director of Guest Services, Schottenstein Center - The Ohio State University

Carolyn Speicher is the Director of Guest Services for the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University. She has been with OSU for over 11 years managing events and event day staff for the school’s 20,000 seat arena and assists with OSU Football guest experience planning and execution. Carolyn has published multiple articles in Facility Manager magazine regarding staff training, is an Oglebay Graduate, a TEAM trainer, and has been a presenter at IAVM regional and national conferences.

Director of Fan Experience, Philadelphia Eagles

Norman Vossschulte is originally from Berlin, Germany. His culturally rich background included ten years living abroad in Africa, Iraq and Spain before moving back to Germany to finish High School and College. He studied Biology and Physical Science before deciding to move to New York City in 1996 to attend the Herbert Berghof Institute for Fine Theatre Arts and Drama.

Norman’s work experience is as eclectic as his upbringing. He has worked in the hotel industry, the non-profit industry, as well as both sports and entertainment industries. Eighteen years of practicing customer and client relations, has given him an overview of which techniques consistently enhance guest experiences. Norman has over ten years of staff training and team leadership experience working with The Walt Disney Company and currently the Philadelphia Eagles.

Events Manager, Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College

Bob Potemski, CVP is an experienced practitioner in both venue management and adult training. After 14 years of experience in the training industry providing quality assurance for a company that offered technical and business skills training all over the world, Bob turned his attention to his true passion: venue management. Bob has worked at venues ranging from a small community theatre and art gallery to an 8000-seat outdoor amphitheater. He is currently the Event Manager for a multi-venue operation on a college campus, overseeing more than 200 events per year.

A long-time member of IAVM, Bob holds the credentials of Trained Crowd Manager, Guest Service Professional, and Certified Venue Professional, and has completed both the Core and Advanced years of AVSS, plus advanced training in severe weather preparedness and facility management law. He is a Certified Technical Trainer and an American Red Cross Disaster Services Instructor and Community Preparedness Instructor, and is currently pursuing his Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) certification through the Association for Talent Development.

General Manager, Dallas City Performance Hall

Russell is the General Manager of the Dallas City Performance Hall under the auspices of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. He directed the successful opening of the facility in 2012 and was responsible for the initial development and implementation of overall venue operations. The Dallas City Performance Hall is a critically acclaimed, award winning venue located in the Dallas Arts District, advancing the primary mission of providing professional performance space to local performing arts organizations in the Dallas area.

Mr. Dyer has spent over twenty years in the performing arts industry with extensive experience in technical theater and performing arts management. In addition, he has remained active in public safety/emergency services as a former professional Critical Care EMT, Licensed Paramedic, volunteer firefighter and rescue specialist. Russell currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the International Association of Venue Manager’s Safety and Security Committee.

SWAT Member, Dallas Police Department

Mark Lang is a 25 year veteran of the Dallas Police Department. He is a current member of Dallas SWAT and has been for the past 18 years. He is a lead instructor in areas of police sniper, 50 Caliber rifle, Aerial Platform and Public Venue Response. He is a 1991 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi where he majored in Criminal Justice. In 2008, he developed and began to teach his Public Venue Response curriculum designed specifically for Police Snipers, SWAT teams and Bomb Technicians. The curriculum was created to break the traditional roles of limited SWAT personnel on event day at venues. Understanding that to properly protect public venues, SWAT teams needed to be strategically deployed at venues prior to an event. Of greater importance was the consequential training that needed to take place prior to events at the venues. This enables local SWAT teams with the training necessary to stop or mitigate a domestic or international terrorist attack. To this end, Mark and his team of instructors have taught Public Venue Response courses in the United States and Canada to approximately 500 Federal, State and local police officers. In 2015, Mark and his team spent a week in Santa Clara, CA training multiple Federal, State and local agencies at Levi’s Stadium in preparation for Super Bowl 50. That training consisted of live fire scenarios by police snipers and Reality Based Training (RBT) by SWAT operators and Bomb Technicians. He is considered by many as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) in SWAT deployment and response to public venues. As a lead instructor for Tacflow Academy (, Mark has bridged the gap with venue management in allowing for safe live fire training at even the most modern venues. This past year his team conducted live fire training at University of Alabama (Bryant-Denny Stadium), Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, Nissan Stadium in Nashville and the University of Auburn (Jordan-Hare Stadium). Coupled with a track record of safety and accountability, Mark and his team have continued to push out this critical and relevant training for SWAT teams that have responsibility for the safety and security of guests at public venues.

Mark is a published author having written several articles for the National Tactical Officers Association Tactical Edge. He is an ongoing contributing writer for, Big 3 East and Law Enforcement Technology News. He brought light to Public Venues response for many law enforcement agencies with his published NTOA (Spring 2015) article ‘Protecting Public Venues from Terrorist Attacks’.

Paul Turner, CFE, CSSP
Senior Director of Event Operations, Dallas Cowboys / AT&T Stadium

Paul Turner, CFE, CSSP oversees event management, event and venue security and public services for all events at AT&T Stadium. He was part of the stadium planning group during construction and was responsible for the development of the stadium operations department. In his 27 years in the venue management industry, Turner has developed and led numerous guest and event services, safety and security operations in performing arts centers, arenas and stadiums.

Paul has previously held positions with the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, the NBA Portland Trailblazers, Theatre Projects Consultants and the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Southern California. He is active in the venue management industry and is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Board of Directors. He is a member of the National Advisory Board for the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4), Chair of the Academy for Venue Safety and Security (AVSS) and a faculty member of the Venue Management School (VMS).  In 2015 Paul received the Distinguished Leadership Award from NCS4 and he is a 2017 recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award.

Paul is well known for developing industry best practices for customer service, event management, security and venue operations. He has created many training and development programs and has presented at industry conferences in the United States, Northern Ireland, Germany, Australia and Russia.

Senior Manager, Guest Services, New Jersey Devils/Prudential Center

Dan Malandruccolo is currently the Senior Manager, Guest Services for the New Jersey Devils/Prudential Center. Prior to this position, he spent 5 years with the New York Mets starting off in their Human Resources department before moving into their Guest Experience department. Dan earned a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Rutgers University and a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Montclair State University. In his role with the Mets, Dan and his department managed and ran all in house training for seasonal employees. This included approximately 1000-1,500 new hires and all returning staff. In his current role with Prudential Center/Devils- Dan also assists in the training of new hire and re hire staff across multiple departments.

Managing Director, The Gate 15 Company

Andy 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. He has nearly 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. Andy graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Government and Politics and received his Masters degree in Management from Webster University. He skipped his college graduation to marry the former Michelle Wilson of Herndon, Virginia. Andy and Michelle have two children, Thomas and Jackson Jabbour. The family presently resides in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Director of Operations & Security, Toyota Stadium

Bucky Deichert is the Director of Operations and Security for Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX, which is the home to FC Dallas of the MLS. Bucky will be entering his 29th year in professional sports. In addition to all his day to day operations at Toyota Stadium, he is the contact person for setting up all security and emergency planning with the City of Frisco for events held at his venue.

Besides hosting MLS events and international soccer matches, Bucky oversees all logistics for concerts with the likes of Jimmy Buffett, EDGE Fest, Kenny Chesney, and OZ Fest to name a few. Bucky has worked for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club, Dallas Stars, and Midland Rock Hounds of the Texas League previously the Midland Angels.

Hostage / Crisis Negotiator, Dallas Police Department

Sr. Cpl. J.D.Byas is an officer with the Dallas Police Department having thirty-two (32) years of service. Assigned to SWAT in 1993, he was trained in hostage rescue and warrant services. In the year 2000, he was selected as a Hostage / Crisis Negotiator. At present he as received approximately 700 hours in crisis intervention training. His experience covers over 475 barricaded or suicidal persons as well as executing several hundred search warrants.

Byas is a Certified Texas Law Enforcement and Tactical Instructor

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