We are confirming 2017 speakers. Below is an example of our speakers from our 2016 VenueConnect in Minneapolis.


CEO of FUBU and Shark Branding, TV Personality on ABC Shark Tank

Daymond John has been a phenomenally successful business person for over 25 years. Along his entrepreneurial journey, through his many successes as well as failures, he has learned a few things about getting the best out of business and life.  He believes the keys to his success include establishing the right mindset and following a few fundamental principles, which he calls his five "S.H.A.R.K points.” 

Get ready! Daymond John is going to share his unique goal-setting and achievement strategies, which will empower audience members to make positive changes in every aspect of their lives.

Keynote Speaker & Owner, Brave New Workshop

John Sweeney doesn’t just understand human behavior; he has been changing human behavior within the biggest businesses in the world for 15 years. Having been trusted by the likes of Microsoft and Target not only can he guarantee tangible shifts in the culture of your teams and performance of your leaders, but his patented methods are backed by years of scientific research.

Owner of America’s oldest comedy theatre, John has been featured across countless media platforms including Inc and Forbes. He also runs the globally respected training and workshop company ‘Brave New Workshops’ where his team of performers instill the agility and resilience of live ‘improv’ into corporate team across the country.

John’s high octane presentations are consistently rated 10/10 at every conference he speaks at and his humor mixed with clear, actionable tools continues to create waves of change across organizations for years to come.

Jennifer Blackmon
Corporate Director, Culture Transformation, The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center

Ms. Jennifer Blackmon is an international speaker, advises organizations on culture transformation and is dedicated to sharing her passion for The Ritz-Carlton business practices. She began her career in hospitality over 30 years ago and has worked at The Ritz-Carlton for almost 20 years. While serving as Director of Catering and Conference Services, Jennifer’s team was recognized as The Ritz-Carlton Regional Team of the Year. The team also held a top 10 ranking in the company for customer satisfaction for five consecutive years. In her position as Corporate Director of Sales, Jennifer led service teams and designed numerous special events—growing the division by 400 percent. Her strong belief in leadership through example and building trust in teams was once again demonstrated in her role as Director of Sales and Marketing. She not only led the hotel to its best financial performance since opening, but also achieved average scores of 99 percent for employee engagement for six consecutive years. Jennifer resides in sunny Phoenix, where she takes full advantage of the beautiful Arizona weather by hiking the local mountains with her daughter and husband.

Pam Borton
President & CEO, Borton Partners

As the winningest coach in the University of Minnesota women’s basketball history and now top‐ performing, ICF executive coach, keynote speaker, and author, Pam Borton’s life’s purpose is dedicated to taking individuals, teams, and organizations to the “Next Level”.

Pam stands apart with 27 years of high‐level, Division 1 coaching experience, including 12 years as head coach at the University of Minnesota. She led her teams to a Final Four, three straight Sweet Sixteen’s, and six NCAA Tournament appearances. Having successfully navigated the pressure and expectations of a highly visible position in an ultra‐competitive environment, Pam now brings that unique background to her C‐suite, senior level leaders and coaching teams in business.

A multiple award‐winning recipient, Pam has been honored with the Top 10 Global Women of Leadership Pillar Award, Ann Bancroft Dream Maker Award, (Real) Power 50 Award, New England National Coach of the Year, and was a two‐time Naismith National Coach of the Year nominee. To further expand Pam’s life’s purpose and passion, she co‐founded TeamWomenMN in 2011, a non‐profit dedicated to empowering women to reach their full potential. In 2014, Pam also founded a leadership academy for girls in grades 5‐12, a non‐profit whose mission is to develop leadership skills among girls and young women. As a result, Pam was honored with the creation of the Pam Borton Endowment at the University of Minnesota in the College of Education and Human Development, the only endowment of its kind in the world.

In addition to founding Borton Partners in 2014, an executive coaching firm, she delivers dynamic keynote presentations nationally, and has authored a book titled ON Point being released this coming spring. Pam has a Master’s degree in Sports Management from Bowling Green State University, an advanced certification in personal and executive coaching from the College of Executive Coaching in Santa Barbara, CA, is certified in the Everything DiSC and customized 360 assessment tools and is certified and a member of the International Coaches Federation.

Josh Fenton
Commissioner, National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC)

Josh Fenton is in his third year as Commissioner of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). He was originally hired to the position on July 1, 2013. Coming off the second full competitive season in 2014-2015, Fenton guided the eight member institutions through the conference's most successful year in its early infancy. With two competitive years in the books for the NCHC, Fenton and leadership of the member schools have already developed a strong brand in college hockey.

Under Fenton's guidance in 2014-2015 the NCHC achieved great success. The conference placed a record, 75 percent of all members (six of eight members) in the NCAA Division I NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship Tournament. Two of the six institutions earned NCAA Frozen Four berths. Off the ice, the conference staff and Fenton built and launched NCHC.tv, the conference's fully-integrated digital network with over 115 live games and video-on-demand content. NCHC.tv was the first single-sport conference digital network to have been developed across all other NCAA single-sport conferences. The network has also been a revenue driver for the conference and each individual member school. Creating further exposure for the membership and fans through television, Fenton complimented the already in place CBS Sports Network partnership in a new relationship with FOX Sports. The amount of nationally distributed games for the conference grew by 89% from 2013-2014. The 2015 NCHC Frozen Faceoff (the conference's tournament championship weekend) saw a 25 percent increase in ticket revenue and attendance from the 2014 event. Financially, the conference revenue grew by 13% while the year-end operating surplus more than doubled from the previous year. Fenton and the conference staff remained committed in 2014-2015 to enhancing and communicating the NCHC brand through great student-athlete and fan experiences associated with digital engagement/promotion and unique events at the Frozen Faceoff. Beyond the great accomplishments in 2014-2015, Fenton, staff and member schools have worked hard recently to institute more student-athlete and fan initiatives that will prove impactful for the future. Some of these initiatives include mandating each member school's Concussion Management Protocol is reviewed through the NCAA Division I vetting process, instituting a conference post-graduate scholarship, creating the College Hockey Showdown at Madison Square Garden in 2016, growing the Officiating Program, a new TV relationship with American Sports Network, and instituting the first-ever 3-on-3 overtime structure to all of college hockey.

During the inaugural year (2013-2014), the conference accomplished a great deal to conduct the first-ever season of competition. Having to develop almost everything from scratch, the conference staff and Fenton most notably created the conference website (NCHCHockey.com), executed the first conference tournament (NCHC Frozen Faceoff), secured new corporate partnerships, developed NCHC branding guidelines, instituted a national television agreement with CBS Sports Network, formed an officiating program, launched the first college hockey conference app, operated with a year-end financial surplus, and drafted and instituted all conference governance documentation.
Prior to becoming Commissioner, Fenton played an integral role in the formation and development of the NCHC, while leading NCHC Board meetings and assisting legal counsel in drafting documents to establish the conference. Fenton also helped negotiate with CBS Sports Network as the conference’s national broadcast partner, created the operating financial models, secured Target Center in Minneapolis as the tournament championship site and served as the conference’s liaison on legal and financial matters.

Fenton has a wealth of intercollegiate athletics experience, previously serving as senior associate athletic director for finance and administration at Miami University prior to joining the NCHC

Generational Expert & Keynote Speaker, BridgeWorks, LLC

Phil’s life mission is to help people excel and bring out the best in every generation. He is a passionate generational expert that is skilled in developing strategies to improve inter-generational communication and collaboration. As an internationally recognized speaker, Phil has presented in 20 different states to over 100,000 people. Before becoming a speaker he pursued his passion to help people be their best selves as a high school teacher, college admissions professional, marketing coordinator, corporate trainer and even small business owner. He has maintained strong ties to his local community as a mentor and consultant to young entrepreneurs, and brings his diverse background and skill-set to the BridgeWorks team.

Phil is one of BridgeWorks’ resident Gen Xers, and brings his unique humor, experiences, research and generational expertise to every keynote, workshop and training session he delivers. He is a firm believer that with the proper motivation, training and support system, members of any generation can become capable of remarkable accomplishments. With his down-to-earth, relatable style and dedication to presenting research in a digestible, entertaining way, Phil has become a fast favorite with audiences around the country.

Long before becoming a BridgeWorks Gen Expert, Phil owned and ran a coffee shop in Minneapolis. He’s the proud father of a recently graduated Gen Edger, and is adjusting to life as an empty-nest Gen Xer

Director, Technology, Henderson Engineers, Inc.

Doug Weis has more than 24 years of management, security, and telecommunications experience. He is a vice president and director of Henderson Engineers' technology group. Prior to joining Henderson, Doug was director of technology for a public school district with 11 schools and support buildings and nearly 5,000 students and staff. He is involved in strategic planning, design, equipment acquisition, and project management, and has experience on a wide range of sports and educational facility projects.

Assistant Professor, Sport Management, University of New Haven College of Business

Dr. Mahoney is currently an assistant professor in sport management at the University of New Haven College of Business, teaching primarily in the areas of event and venue management. She previously served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina and The Ohio State University. Dr. Mahoney also has over twenty years of experience in various segments of the sports and entertainment industry and continues to do consulting work on a variety of special projects. She began her career at the Georgia Dome while in graduate school and then worked as an intern at the Charlotte Coliseum. since that time she has been involved with the industry as a contractor, client, and venue management. Dr. Mahoney has been involved in the opening of three new venues, including a convention center, a football stadium, and an arena. Her work as a regional manager with Show Pros Entertainment Services, Inc., provided opportunities to work in range of venues including stadiums, arenas, speedways, and amphitheaters. Dr. Mahoney previously served as an assistant commissioner with the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) and as executive director of the OHSAA Foundation. Most recently, she served as the director of communications and program development with Columbus Arena Sports & Entertainment (CASE), which oversees the day-to-day operation of Nationwide Arena and the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Dr. Mahoney received her BA in communications from the University of Kentucky, her MEd in sport and facility management from the University of Georgia, and her PhD in sport management from The Ohio State University. Dr. Mahoney and her husband, Mike, reside in Connecticut.

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.

Retired Venue Manager

Steve Camp retired after a rewarding thirty-four year career in public assembly venue management, destination marketing, organizational management, and sports-related event management. Mr. Camp has been certified by the International Association of Venue Managers as a Certified Facilities Executive (CFE) and has distinguished himself as one of the industry’s leading professionals in the Southeast. Mr. Camp has been involved with four major public assembly building projects in North and South Carolina and has successfully established organizations to manage and operate those venues. Mr. Camp learned his trade at the Charlotte Coliseum under the legendary Paul Buck and honed his experience at the Dean E. Smith Student Activities Center at UNC Chapel Hill, and then returned to open the new Charlotte Coliseum. In 1989, Appalachian State University designated Mr. Camp as a Distinguished Alumnus. Mr. Camp served as managing director of Charlotte’s Auditorium/Coliseum/Convention Center Authority from 1989 to 1997, overseeing the operation of four venues with an operating budget of approximately $23 million, and a full-time staff of over two hundred. While in this position Mr. Camp also oversaw the construction and staffing of the new Charlotte Convention Center. Beginning in 2001, Mr. Camp served as president and CEO of the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism, overseeing the construction and staffing of the new Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in South Carolina, which opened in 2004. During his career, Mr. Camp has managed venues that have hosted the very best in the sports, entertainment, and meeting and convention industries. Those events include the 1994 NCAA Final Four, ACC basketball tournaments, major musical concerts, Broadway plays, and a variety of other high-profile events. Mr. Camp and his wife, Jackie, live in Charlotte, NC.

Chief Listening Officer & Managing Partner, Venue Solutions Group (VSG)

For more than 36 years, Russ Simons has been involved in nearly every facet of the sports and entertainment facility industry including design, construction and management. At Venue Solutions Group (VSG), Russ directs the firm’s safety, security, risk and crowd management operations. He works with operators at every level from college to every major professional league.

Russ is a member of the IAVM, and former chairman of the Life Safety Council. He is a founder and instructor of the IAVM’s Academy for Venue Safety and Security and is an Instructor and former Chairman of the Board of Regents of IAVM’s Venue Management School at Oglebay. Russ continues to work on industry Safety and Security issues having recently lead webinars on Ebola and Civil Disobedience and Demonstrations. He serves on the Board of Advisors for the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security. He is currently the independent security consultant to the National Hockey League. Russ is a member of IFMA and the Stadium Managers Association.

Russ currently serves as the chairman of the Department of Homeland Security Public Assembly Facility Sub-Sector for Commercial Facilities. He is a former volunteer firefighter, instructor at the Hartford County Fire Training Center and Emergency Medical Technician.

Russ is the architect of the Walmart "Black Friday" crowd management plan, including the development and training of over 1.6 million Walmart Associates in more than 4,000 Walmart stores in the United States. Russ’ plan is now standard operating practices for all Walmart "Retailtainment" events.

Chief Revenue Officer, VenueNext

As Chief Revenue Officer, Tim Prukop is responsible for driving sales and business development at VenueNext, where he brings over 20 years of experience in delivering pioneering technology into the sports and new media markets. Prior to VenueNext, Tim was Vice President of Sales, Sports and New Media for LiveU Inc., where he led the effort to deliver LiveU's patented bonded-cellular video uplink technology to the market.

Before joining LiveU, Prukop was Vice President of Sales at Conviva and managed the North American sales team where they provided streaming video technology for customers such as ESPN, HBO, Turner Sports, MLBAM and NBC. Prukop held a similar position as Vice President of Sales for Demand Media where he led the effort to introduce the Pluck social media platform that many publishers use today to interact with their fans (including NFL.com, MLB.Com, and the USA Today). Earlier, Prukop was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at XOS Technologies which provides the video editing systems used by NFL and College coaches to analyze film and prepare their teams for games.

Before entering his professional sales career, Prukop enjoyed a 14 year career as a professional football coach with stints at teams including; Arizona State University, University of Southern California, Amsterdam Admirals (NFL Europe). Prukop holds an MA in Political Science and International Relations from Arizona State University at Tempe, Arizona and a BA in Political Science and International Affairs from University of California at Davis.

Vice President | Regional Leader, Sports + Recreation + Entertainment, HOK

Algen Williams is a regional leader of HOK's global Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice. Algen specializes in the planning and design of sports facilities for collegiate and professional clients throughout the United States. With more than 15 years of experience, he has developed a diverse portfolio of work, which includes feasibility studies, renovations and new construction. Drawing on his first-hand experience as a former football student-athlete at the University of Kansas, Algen has a passion for advancing the way that fans and athletes experience sports and entertainment venues. Before joining HOK, Algen was an associate principal and co-leader of the collegiate practice at Populous. His prior experience includes renovations to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida; the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium Renovation Master Plan in Knoxville, Tennessee; Colorado State University’s new multipurpose stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado; athletic master plans for the University of Florida in Gainesville and Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia; the University of Missouri’s East Side Memorial Stadium expansion in Columbia, Missouri; and the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome Arena renovations in Tampa, Florida.

Stan Deak
Vice President, Experience

Stan Deak serves as vice president of new business development for Experience, the fan experience technology company. Deak joined the company in early 2013, and is responsible for expanding the business specifically in the live event space.

Mr. Deak brings more than a decade of experience leading sales teams for marketing focused Software as a Service (SaaS) technology providers.

Most recently, Deak served as vice president of sales for Sidecar, a Philadelphiabased provider of automated online marketing solutions for online retailers. Prior to Sidecar, Deak was regional vice president of sales for Silverpop, a leading provider of marketing automation and email marketing solutions headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

While at Silverpop, Stan led the new sales and customer retention efforts for the eastern half of the United States.

A graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Mr. Deak received a Bachelor of Science in Management.

Zakiya Smith-Dore
Student, University of Florida

Zakiya Smith-Dore is currently a student supervisor at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Upon graduation, Zakiya intends to obtain an entry level job in facility management while obtaining a master’s in business (with a focus in facility/event management). With the entry level position, Zakiya hopes to obtain the skills and experience necessary to become a director of a facility one day.

Lee A. Esckilsen,CFE,CHE
Associate Professor, Johnson & Wales University

Mr. Esckilsen is currently an associate professor at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, teaching in the Center for Sports, Entertainment and Event Management. He stays active in entertainment and sports, venues and events, and development and management through his consulting company, ESVenues. During his thirty-year career, Esckilsen has been involved in the development and management of public assembly venues in both the United States and Great Britain. He has served as the executive director of six arenas, notably the pre-opening and management of the Mullins Center (UMass-Amherst) and the Manchester Arena (NYNEX-UK). He has generated more the $150 million in revenue and has booked and successfully managed more than 1,500 sports and entertainment events in his career. Esckilsen is a Certified Facilities Executive (CFE) awarded by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). He is also a Trained Crowd Manager, certified by IAVM and a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), certified by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, Washington, DC. Esckilsen was a co-author of Public Assembly Facility Management: Principles and Practices, 2nd Edition, 2009, published by IAVM. Esckilsen serves as a Chair Emeritus for the Professional Golf Association Deutsche Bank Championship, played at the Tournament Players Championship Course in Norton, MA. He received his AS in Recreational Leadership from Dean College, his BS in Recreation Administration from Bowling Green State University, and his MS in Recreational Sports Management from Indiana University. Mr. Esckilsen and Victoria Warnock live in New England.

Maggie Gendernalik
Marketing and Box Office Manager, Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State Sports & Entertainment Park

Maggie Gendernalik is the Marketing and Box Office Manager at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State Sports and Entertainment Park. With seven years of experience in sales and marketing. Maggie has a strong passion for teaching students the importance of selling the whole patron experience in order to be an effective marketer. Maggie has been an advisor to Night Owl Productions for two and a half years.

Derrick Palms
Executive Lead, Night Owl Productions

Derrick Palms is the Executive Lead of Night Owl Productions. He has been serving in this roll for three years. Derrick is a Senior at Kennesaw State University majoring in Marketing. He hopes to become a venue manager once upon graduation May 2017. He is a recipient of the IAVM 30 under 30 award.

Ciara Feely
Hotel Conference Sales Catalyst, Facilitator, Speaker, Author, Conference Converter

Ciara Feely helps Hotel GMs & Management Teams who want to rank better in their comp set, win more profitable business & market share. She does this by helping them to stand out in the mind of the Buyer and Planner and have the relationship their clients want to have with them. These relationships drive revenue and help the sales team to win more juicy, profitable Conference, Meetings & Event business from their competitors. She is not a Hotel Consultant; she is a teacher and mentor who inspires rather than tells. She helps the sales team build profitable relationships with key corporate decision makers. She has developed the Client Converter System™ - a blue print on how hotels and venues can WIN a lot more Conference & Event Business.

Dana Freker Doody
Vice President, Corporate Communications, The Expo Group

Dana oversees all communication outreach for The Expo Group and helps integrate strategic, personalized experiential solutions for clients with an eye to community building and attendee engagement. She is active in social media networks and has developed solutions for several clients to take advantage of the impact of digital tools on their events. Dana is a 15-year veteran of the company and the industry, to which she brings a strong service background from her days at Disneyland and a communications background forged in the newspaper industry. She earned bachelor of arts degrees in journalism and in history from Southern Methodist University and is often heard speaking at industry conferences and meetings.

Bobby Goldwater
President, The Goldwater Group

A widely respected 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 a distinguished adjunct professor and textbook author with Georgetown University’s Sports Industry Management master’s program. He has been an IAVM member for more than 30 years and presently serves on the Universities Committee and the Allied Advisory Council.

Naomi Pesky
Vice President, External Relations, Hennepin Theatre Trust

Naomi Pesky is vice president of external relations at Hennepin Theatre Trust. She drives the strategies that grow earned and contributed revenues, advance the Trust’s position and brand in the community and fulfill its mission. In service of her role, she leads the development, marketing and communications activities for the organization.

Prior to joining the Trust, Naomi held leadership roles at Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, a network of more than 1,800 charitable affiliates across Minnesota, and General Mills. She has distinguished herself in brand management, new product launches and business growth.

Naomi is an active leader in the community and serves on the board of Temple Israel in Minneapolis. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She also was a 2012-2013 policy fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Lynne King Smith
CEO, TicketForce

Lynne King Smith is a writer, blogger, lover of social media, and loves to share ideas about using technology across markets. She helped to found and ran the communications for a non-profit from 1996-2002 and worked as a senior writer and web-content manager for ten years.

She holds a BS/Business degree with an E-business concentration and manages the online presence for TicketForce, where she is the CEO since January of 2010. Her blog, The Whole Business is a casual conversation on life and business.

Passionate about seeing women succeed in our industry, she is a thought leader, hosting panels, webinars and interviews with female leaders with the hope of encouraging all women to overcome the barriers to success we all face.

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA
President & CEO, IAEE

David DuBois is the President and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE). As IAEE’s president, DuBois is responsible for the management of 23 full-time professional staff, producing the annual business operating plan and budget, overseeing the support of all meetings of governance units, leading business development, directing fund raising efforts, advocating for the industry and the organization’s members, providing organizational leadership and strategic counsel to the board. Also, he serves as the association’s representative with industry coalitions, partner organizations and strategic alliances.

DuBois began his career with Sheraton Corporation in various sales positions including Regional Director of Sales and the Director of Marketing Programs. He has served as both President and CEO, and Senior Vice President at the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) where he was responsible for all operations and a $7 million budget. As Senior Vice President he managed the development of 15 new chapters and was responsible for magazine advertising sales and membership recruitment and retention.

DuBois has also served as both the Chief Operating Officer at Meeting Professionals International (MPI) from 1996-2000. During this time, he supported programs and services for more than 16,000 members worldwide, and served as the Executive Vice President of the MPI Foundation. David has also served as MPI’s Vice President of Sales and Key Account Management and Vice President of Corporate Services.

Most recently, DuBois has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau where he had oversight and full responsibility of 42 staff, with the responsibility of attracting convention and tourism business with a $8.5 million budget.

DuBois has also served as a board member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE); Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Texas Society of Association Executives; board member and Chairman of the Dallas-Fort Worth Tourism Council; and board member of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves as Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Convention Industry Council (CIC). He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Meetings Mean Business Coalition and the U.S. Travel Association.

Justin Burleigh
Senior Vice President of Product, Ticketmaster

Justin Burleigh serves as the Senior Vice President of Product for Ticketmaster.  Justin’s team focuses on building innovative products that help our clients fuel their business and service their fans.
Justin is a well-known industry expert who has a long history of leading enterprise disruption. He has previously led mobile, emerging technology and security transformation strategies for some of the largest companies in the world. Additionally, he advises several cloud & mobile companies on product and roadmap direction.

Kevin Anderson
Co-Founder & SVP Business Development, Appetize

Kevin leads business development, partnerships, and strategy for Appetize. Anderson Co-Founded Appetize along with Max Roper and Jason Pratts, and has helped lead the company's growth to 75 employees, 350 entertainment properties, 6 product lines and over $1B in processing. A late-twenties entrepreneur, Anderson was named to the Next Gen 10 Sports and Entertainment list in 2014 and has been featured on the likes of CNBC and Business Rockstars. Appetize was named to the Top 50 Startups to Watch in Los Angeles list, and it's clients include the Minnesota Vikings, Fenway Park, Sacramento Kings, Live Nation and AEG.

Mike Morris
Chief Information Officer, Legends

Michael Morris is responsible for all aspects of Legends’ Information Technology strategy, delivery and innovation across each of its business verticals. As Legends first CIO, he is responsible for identifying and deploying robust Point of Sale, Marketing, Analytics, Retail Automation, Electronic Payment and other corporate technology platforms that enable Legends business operations and improve the fan experience.

Prior to joining Legends, Michael served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Major League Baseball where he spent 14 years in various roles within the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. Prior to MLB, he worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLC and EDS in a variety of technology management and consulting roles.

Michael holds a B.A. in Computer Information Systems from James Madison University. He works in New York City and resides in Yardley, PA with his wife, Lexie, and their children Michael and Tommy.

Justin Ungerboeck
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. 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 an MBA and Juris Doctorate degree from St. Louis University. In addition to graduating from IAVM’s Venue Management School at Oglebay, Justin currently serves on the IAVM Board of Directors, Research & Knowledge Council, and Industry Affairs Council.

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

Dean Dennis
General Manager, Owensboro Convention Center/Spectra Facility Management

Dean has been in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years as Vice President of the Pueblo, Colorado Convention and Visitors Council for the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce and General Manager of the Pueblo Convention Center.

Dean served as Vice President within the Spectra family to develop new business opportunities including management and consulting contracts. Dean successfully recruited and secured management contracts for 20+ accounts representing 30 venues of various size and scope.

His was responsible for the pre-opening and opening of the new 170,000 gsf Convention Center for the City of Owensboro and Daviess County, KY., where he provided design and operational consulting with the venue owners, architect, general contractor and all subcontractors. Dean cultivated community relationships resulting in over $800,000 in corporate sponsorships and naming rights for the facility as well as producing and promoting 28+ public events generating $455,000 in additional revenue and attracting 40,000+ attendees.

He also partnered with Paciolan (Spectra Ticketing and Fan Engagement) to create OwensboroTickets.com, a much-needed regional ticketing system which provides a convenient and affordable ticketing service for the Center’s events and other local venues and live events.

He has served as board member of the Colorado Travel & Tourism Authority and as president of the Tourism Industry Association of Colorado. He attended Adams State College in Alamosa, CO and University of Southern Colorado, now CSU-Pueblo. He is also a graduate of the Public Assembly Management School at Oglebay.

Billy Langenstein
Director, Event Services, SMG/U.S. Bank Stadium

Billy is entering his first season with SMG at U.S. Bank Stadium as the Director of Event Services. He is specifically responsible for security and public safety, medical services, transportation, guest experience and overall event oversight. Working closely with the Vikings, MSFA and the entire community his goal is to deliver a safe, clean and family experience at each and every event.

He spent five seasons with the Washington Nationals as the Director of Event Operations. He was specifically responsible for the day to day Guest Experience, Parking and Transportation, Housekeeping and overall event set up and break down operations; however also works closely companywide with all other Departments at the Nationals to help oversee that day to day event operations at the Park are successfully carried out.

Prior to joining the Nationals, Billy worked as an Operations Assistant with Live Nation assisting with the event operations and production at many of their music venues. Additionally, he has worked with various security and production operations companies that staffs and operates multiple venues in Philadelphia and throughout the Northeast.  He has traveled extensively both on tour and across the country to nationally known music festivals to serve as an operations, security and guest experience consultant.

A native of Philadelphia, Pa, Billy graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Master’s degree in Sports Management from Georgetown University.  His commitment to the profession is vast as he is the Vice Chair of the Stadium Committee for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), Professional Sport Facilities Advisory Committee for the  National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) member of the Event Safety Alliance (ESA) and a Team Trainer for Team Coalition. His true passion is in the realm of professional development and leadership by taking continuing educational certification classes with FEMA, DHS, FBI and sharing the knowledge with his colleagues and continuing to be a student in the industry.

Alec Vidmar
Agent, UTA

Alec Vidmar began his career as a promoter and venue operator in Orlando, FL before accepting a position at Colt Ford’s Nashville record label Average Joe’s. In 2013, he was hired by the Bobby Roberts company as the west coast territory agent for the roster before the company merged with The Agency Group/United Talent Agency in 2015. Alec currently handles all of the southeast bookings for the country roster in the which include the LACS, Chris Janson, Toby Keith, Marty Stuart and John Anderson among others.

David Causton
General Manager, McCormick Place

As of July 1, 2011, Mr. Causton continued in his role as General Manager of McCormick Place for SMG, a private management firm that was hired by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and is responsible for the overall management of the nation’s largest convention center.

David Causton is a 25 year veteran of the convention and tradeshow industry. Mr. Causton’s introduction to the convention industry began in the early 1980’s when he managed a consumer event for the City of Baltimore for 3 years. This lead to a position with the Baltimore Convention Center when he was hired to manage and operate Festival Hall, a new consumer oriented exhibition facility added to the Baltimore Convention Center in 1984.

After 2 years he was promoted to Director of Sales and Services for the Baltimore Convention Center, a position he held until 1994. Causton was involved in the planning and schematic design for the expansion of the Baltimore Convention Center to its current configuration today.

In 1994, Causton moved to Chicago to open and oversee a new midsize convention facility being built as part of the redevelopment of Navy Pier. Opened in 1995, Festival Hall at Navy Pier is a 170,000 exhibit hall, with an historic 18,000 square foot ballroom and 36 meeting rooms. His duties expanded at Navy Pier as well to include overseeing public entertainment, special events as well as Pier Park.

In 1999, he moved to McCormick Place first as Assistant General Manager and then General Manager beginning in January, 2004. His current duties include managing 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space and 700,000 square feet of meeting space.

Tom Meehan
General Manager, Irving Convention Center

Tom is the General Manager of the SMG-managed Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. Joining SMG in 2005, he was involved in the construction and opening of the 350,000sq/ft Shreveport Convention Center in Shreveport, Louisiana as Director of Operations and Assistant General Manager. In March of 2010, Tom moved to the Dallas area and was involved with the construction and opening of the 275,000sq/ft Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. Upon opening in January 2011, he was promoted to General Manager.

Prior to joining SGM, Tom spent 16 years working with AMC Entertainment in the theatre business. He was involved with the construction and opening of many 30 screen movie theatres across the country including Arizona, Texas and Georgia.

Tom has been around public assembly venues for almost 27 years and has a vast amount of experience dealing with the best interests of facilities and the public. He continuously strives to improve and has developed many relationships in Texas with all sectors of security.

Fiona Pelham
Chair, MPI International Board of Directors & Managing Director, Sustainable Events Ltd

Fiona launched not-for-profit Positive Impact in 2005 to provide education and collaboration opportunities to create a sustainable event industry. Positive Impact shares stories of sustainability best practice with the global industry.

Fiona is also managing director of Sustainable Events Ltd whose clients range from Manchester United Old Trafford to Unilever and whose team of associates are based across the world.

Fiona was the youngest female to chair an ISO standard when in 2012 the ISO 20121, a management system for event sustainability inspired by London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was launched.

In 2014 Fiona received an honorary doctorate from Leeds Beckett University for services to the event industry in sustainability.

In January 2016 Fiona became international chair for Meeting Professionals International, a global association of over 17,000 members.

Fiona is passionate about sustainability and her background in events and strategic implementation of sustainability gives her a unique perspective, which she has shared at numerous presentations to the event industry around the world.

Taki Pappas
Director, Programming - Concerts & Comedy, Durham Performing Arts Center

Taki Pappas is currently the Director of Concert & Comedy Programming at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) in Durham, NC. DPAC is a 2700 capacity Broadway house that has been open for 8 years. DPAC is regularly in the top 5 theatres worldwide by attendance, housing an extensive Broadway series in addition to over 50 concert/comedy events per year. Prior to his current position, he spent 2 ½ years at the University of Texas at Austin programming Bass Concert Hall, and previously spent 13 years at Live Nation, serving in various roles, ultimately as Vice President of National Touring in the company headquarters.

Brian Smith, AVM
Special Events Manager, BOK Center

With a passion for music, food and outdoor events, Brian Smith began his career in Tulsa, Oklahoma after graduating with a double-degree is Public Relations and Sports Media PR. Smith first got his taste of the live event industry as the summer marketing intern at BOK Center in 2011 and quickly returned  to Tulsa after graduation as the Special Events Coordinator in 2012 to work for the SMG-managed venue. In 2013, Smith was named Special Events Manager and began to oversee the annual events and festivals created by SMG Tulsa including Winterfest, Rock ‘n Rib Festival, Dodgebrawl and Wingapalooza. He has helped other SMG buildings imitate the success of the events in Tulsa and looks forward to adding new events to the Tulsa roster. As a 30 Under 30 recipient this weekend, Smith is excited to attend VenueConnect and looks forward to meeting other leaders in the industry.

Brad Murphy, CFE
Executive Director, Adams Center, University of Montana

Brad Murphy, CFE is the Executive Director of the Adams Center. A multipurpose use facility located on the campus of University of Montana in Missoula. The Adams Center is Western Montana’s largest indoor facility and home to University of Montana Athletics.

Lynda Reinhart
Director, Stephen C. O'Connell Center

Lynda M. Reinhart currently serves as the Director of the University of Florida’s Stephen C. O’Connell Center. She began working at the venue as a part time student in 1994 and was appointed to the full time staff as Senior Event Coordinator in 1998. Lynda worked her way up the ranks until she was named Director in July 2007. At the University of Florida she served as adjunct professor for the College of Health and Human Performance where she directed student research on the feasibility of a facility management degree program at UF and taught the Facilities Management course. Lynda holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Science in Recreational Studies, both from UF.

An active member of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) since 1997, Lynda has attended numerous training/educational opportunities and is also a graduate of the PAFMS at Oglebay, the Graduate Institute, and the Academy for Venue Safety and Security. Her involvement on the Body of Knowledge Task Force was instrumental in developing a standardized facility management curriculum and college textbook. Lynda has also served on the organization’s Arenas Committee, University Committee, Foundation Marketing Sub-Committee, Professional Development and Budget/Finance Committees and has served as Sector Director for Universities on the Board of Directors from 2009-2011.

Lynda is also an active member of the Country Music Association (CMA), International Entertainment Buyers’ Association (IEBA), Florida Facility Managers Association (FFMA), Alachua County Hospitality Council and the Gainesville Sports Commission. She served as an FFMA Board Member from 2011-2013 and is a Past President of the Sports Commission. Lynda is currently serving as Chair of the FFMA Scholarship Committee and Vice Chair of the IAVM Arenas Committee.

Dusty Saine
Director of Events, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

Dusty Saine is a graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. He has been a member of IAVM for 12 years and will become the Universities committee chair this year. Dusty has authored several articles that have been published in Facility Manager, which is an industry recognized facility management magazine. He is also a graduate from Public Assembly Facility Management School, which is a two- year program of intensive instruction for the best professional facility management education in the industry. In addition, he has received special training by the Academy of Venue Safety and Security and the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to his job here at Rowan-Cabarrus, he managed Clemson University’s Littlejohn Coliseum, a 10,000 seat multi-purpose arena. He is an experienced professional in facility management, operations, marketing, contract negotiation, staff training and his favorite booking talent. Dusty has booked and coordinated over 50 concerts and managed the overall game day operations for six NCAA basketball seasons for Clemson University. Dusty booked and hosted the inaugural Zac Brown Band Music and Food festival. You can contact Dusty at dusty.saine@rccc.edu.

Ross Trout
Student, University of Montana

Ross is currently in his final year of the Entertainment Management program at the University of Montana. Ross works as a student intern for the Adams Center in our Event Planning division.

Lane Carlson, CPE
Facility Manager, Minneapolis Convention Center

Lane Carlson has over 29 years of experience in the Facilities Engineering field, the last over 14 years of which he has been Manager of the Facilities Operations department at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Over the years at the Minneapolis Convention Center Lane and his dedicated staff have managed numerous capital improvement projects such as: Replacing roof surfaces, Renovating restrooms, Replacing escalators, Upgrading HVAC controls and Building Wide Re-commissioning, Carpet replacement, Kitchen upgrades, Grounds improvements, L.E.D. Lighting upgrades, Installation of high speed roll up doors, and various building construction projects such as UPS store, Dunn Brothers Coffee shop, Nursing Mothers room, New Visitor Information Center with upper deck Craft Brew Lounge and now under construction a Rainwater Harvesting system. He and his staff have done this all with an eye toward improving energy efficiency and providing our customers with a dazzling “Minneapolis” experience!

Mark Haley
President, Smart City Networks

As the President of Smart City Networks, Mr. Haley oversees Smart City’s sales and operations teams and all strategic corporate initiatives. With over 30 years of experience in the convention industry Mr. Haley has worked with many of the largest convention centers, stadiums and arenas in North America.

Before taking the helm at Smart City, Mr. Haley was Vice President of Facilities for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitor’s Authority following a 23-year tenure at Aramark culminating his role as Executive Vice President of Aramark’s Convention & Cultural Attractions Group.

Mr. Haley has the unique perspective of having worked as both a facility manager and exclusive facility partner in a variety of roles. This perspective has led to numerous speaking opportunities both in the United States and abroad. He is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), Association Palais de Congress (AIPC), and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE). Most recently he addressed AIPC’s 56th Annual Congress in Berlin, Germany on current technology issues and trends in the Convention Center market.

Michael Sawaya
Executive Director, Convention and Sports Facilities (CSF) Department for the City of San Antonio

Michael Sawaya is the Executive Director of the Convention and Sports Facilities (CSF) Department for the City of San Antonio. His department has responsibility for operations of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Lila Cockrell Theatre, Alamodome, and Asset Management and ground lease management for the Nelson Wolff Baseball Stadium, Toyota Field Soccer Stadium, and the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Michael’s career with the City of San Antonio began in 2003, when he was hired to merge the Convention Facilities and Alamodome departments. Most recently, he directed the $325M expansion of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center – the largest single capital improvement project in the history of the City of San Antonio, and initiated a $50M renovation of the Alamodome that is currently underway. He served as Interim Aviation Department Director from 2008 – 2009 before returning to his role as Executive Director of the CSF Department in 2009. He has more than 30 years of experience in the visitor industry. Michael currently serves as chair of the Toyota Field public facilities corporation, ex-officio to both the Hotel and Lodging Assn. and Tourism Council, and on the Board of Directors for the Valero Alamo Bowl.

Before joining the City of San Antonio, he served as General Manager of the Omni Severin Hotel in Indianapolis, IN, the Omni San Antonio Hotel, and 11 other hotels around the country. He also served as Chairman of the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Commission, President of the San Antonio Hotel and Lodging Association, as an executive committee member of the San Antonio Area Tourism Council, and on the board of directors of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Sawaya holds a BBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and is a Certified Hotel Administrator. Mr. Sawaya, a native of Little Rock Arkansas, and his wife, Leslie, have two sons, Miles – a recent graduate of the University of Texas, and Meade, a Sophomore at UT.

Patrick Skaggs
Sr. Director, Campus Operations, Georgia World Congress Center Authority

Patrick Skaggs is the Senior Director of Campus Operations for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Patrick has worked in venue management for 20+ years - working in a number of stadiums, arenas, theatres, and convention centers. He has been with the GWCCA since 2009, overseeing the operating departments for the 220-acre campus, including the Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park.

Patrick joined IAVM in 2002, participating in a number of volunteer roles. He currently serves on the IAVM Board of Directors recently, and is incoming Vice-Chair of the Industry Affairs Committee. Patrick just rolled off of the Executive Committee and was past Chair of the Convention Center/Exhibit Halls Committee.

Patrick earned his bachelors and masters degrees in sport administration from Florida State University. Prior to attending FSU, he served four years in the U.S. Air Force.

Guy Villa
SVP Business Development, AXS

Guy Villa brings over 20 years of B2B sales and client service experience to AXS by demonstrating the value of our products and services to customers across the sports and live entertainment industry. He and his team are transforming ticketing operations for organizations across professional sports leagues, college athletics and live entertainment venues. Prior to joining AXS, Guy was integral in forging customer relationships for 17 years with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

Andy Jabbour
Founder, Gate 15

Andy founded Gate 15 in 2011 and began full-time in January 2014. He is a partner at Gate 15 where he leads operational activities and team development and leads Gate 15’s vision, strategy, growth and development. Andy is primarily responsible for ongoing Gate 15 operations and client support to include personnel, productivity, client relationships and all other aspects of service. Presently, Andy serves as Director for Threat & Risk Analysis and leads a variety of preparedness, analysis, and operational activities.

Andy has previously served in a variety of roles including leading analysis for the Real Estate Information Sharing & Analysis Center (ISAC), where he served as Managing Director and the Financial Services ISAC where he serves as Preparedness Director and working with critical infrastructure partners around the country in some of the nation’s biggest businesses.

Before that, he was employed at the Battelle Memorial Institute as Task Manager for the numerous projects with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP), where from 2007 – 2012 he led projects in planning, training and exercise and in support to incident operations. He also led similar projects at the Department of Defense, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Andy has extensive experience working in the field of preparedness with public and private organizations. In his efforts, Andy has closely coordinated amongst industry and government partners from the Federal, State, local, regional, tribal and territorial levels. Some of Andy’s exercise efforts have included the Top Officials / National Level Exercises, DHS IP and critical infrastructure owner and operator partners exercise efforts, including a variety of exercises across the critical infrastructure community. He has also supported DHS IP’s incident response, serving in the IP Incident Management Cell / Crisis Action Team during several incidents.

Prior to joining Battelle, Andy served as a facility Operations Manager and served 8 years in the U.S. Army assigned to bases in the United States, Germany, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, serving as Battery Commander; Platoon Leader; Civil Affairs Officer; and Battery, Company, and Brigade Fire Control Officer. Andy has received two Bronze Star Medals, the Combat Action Badge, the Parachutist Badge and numerous other decorations. He has 17 years of project and personnel management experience and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Six Sigma Green Belt.

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.

Tad Bowman
Venue Director, Red Rocks Amphitheatre Denver Coliseum

Tad Bowman is the Venue Director for Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Denver Coliseum for the City of Denver’s Division of Arts & Venues. As the Venue Director he and his staff oversee the business and operations of the facilities including booking and contracting, food and beverage service, capital maintenance and improvements, production services, and guest services.

Russell Read, CFE, CMP
Vice President, Operations, AT&T Performing Arts Center

The Vice President of Operations for the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Mr. Read has over twenty-five years of experience in the entertainment industry as a designer, lighting and sound technician, pryotechnician, and arts administrator.

Mr. Read also worked with Vari-Lite, Inc. the pioneer in automated entertainment lighting, Mr. Read was the key industry contact for market requirements and product ideas and taught entertainment technicians general lighting practices as well as the use of Vari-Lite instruments and systems.

A native Texan, Mr. Read earned a B.F.A. from Southwest Texas State University.

When not working, Russell may be found with his wife embarking on a series of road trips in one of their restored vehicles…always with a tool bag in the trunk!

Aaron Bare
Director of Marketing, Etix

As Director of Marketing, Aaron Bare brings more than 15 years of venue marketing and management experience sports, concerts, and the performining arts to Etix and its client marketing division Rockhouse Partners.

The only metric for success at Rockhouse is client satisfaction. With an extensive knowledge of both traditional and newer marketing practices, Bare leads Rockhouse Partners in blending digital marketing and real-world, everyday needs of Etix clients.

Katherine Walch
Products & Solutions Specialist, Tickets.com

As Products and Solutions Specialist for Tickets.com, Katherine is responsible for demonstrating the benefits of the company’s products and services to key prospects, clients and partners. Katherine has over 12 years of experience in ticketing and operations. She joined Tickets.com in March of 2010 as an Application Systems Analyst. Prior to joining Tickets.com, Katherine was with Indianapolis-based non-profit Drum Corps International. Katherine holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Iowa State University.

Erik Waldman
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.

Dave Scarborough
Chief Strategy Officer, Ticketmaster

Dave Scarborough is Ticketmaster’s Chief Strategy Officer focused on product and technology. Dave assumed his current role in early 2011 and is responsible for the vision of its products and services and provides the primary link between the business segment needs of the company and the product and technology division. Dave has been with Ticketmaster for 18 years and previously the EVP of Technology since 1998, when his company was acquired by Ticketmaster. Prior to Ticketmaster, he was CEO of Distributed System Architects, Inc. (DSA). At DSA, he developed the first true windowing ticketing system, Archtics, for the Boston Celtics in June of 1995 while he was consulting with them on their move from the Boston Garden to the FleetCenter. He initiated his work in this market by introducing computerized relocation algorithms and software for use by the Baltimore Orioles in moving their season ticketholders to Camden Yards in 1991. Dave founded DSA in 1994 along with two other partners which worked on system architecture consulting contracts along with the sports consulting work previously described.

Prior to DSA, Dave worked over 10 years with IBM at the Federal Systems Division in Manassas, VA. At IBM, Dave was a Senior Systems Engineer responsible for leading a variety of projects including Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems (IVHS) and several radar and sonar electronic systems found on today’s F-16 airplanes and Trident nuclear submarines.

Dave is a BSEE graduate and former basketball player of the Penn State University. Dave holds a unique distinction at Penn State as the only undergraduate Senior ever to teach Calculus at the University.

Alexis Berggren
Director, Event Services, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Alexis Berggren currently serves as Director of Event Services at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center – the sixth largest convention center in the nation. In her role as Director, she supervises the planning and execution of all events held at the Convention Center from event management to exhibit service coordination. Prior to New Orleans, Berggren served as Director of Operations and Event Services at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA. In that position, Berggren directed all areas of event services and building operations and acted as primary liaison for many high-profile events including internationally recognized awards shows and multiple television specials. Berggren has an in-depth knowledge of the facility management industry, having served in both operations and event management roles at a variety of venue types, which also include the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, OR and the Mid-America Center (arena and conference center) in Council Bluffs, IA.

Kathryn Carlson, CVP
Guest Services & Security Manager, American Airlines Center

Kathryn Carlson is the Guest Services & Security Manager at American Airlines Center. American Airlines Center is the 21,000 seat home of the NBA Dallas Mavericks and NHL Dallas Stars. In her current role, Kathryn is responsible for overseeing and monitoring employee relations in the department as well as developing and implementing training, coaching, and incentive programs for an in-house Guest Services and Security team of 500 employees.

Prior to joining the AAC, Kathryn gained experience in box office, marketing, security, operations, production, and event management in venue types ranging from 1,200 seat theaters to 12,000 seat university venues to 120,000 seat motor speedways.

Kathryn is actively involved with IAVM as the incoming Chair of the Mentor Connector Committee. She has volunteered on IAVM task forces and committees as well as at schools and conferences since 2008. In 2012, Kathryn founded the Women in Leadership Program for IAVM's VenueConnect.

Having obtained an undergraduate Business Administration and Mass Communication degree from the University of Florida, Kathryn then earned a Master’s degree in Sport and Entertainment Management from the University of South Carolina. Kathryn is a graduate from IAVM’s Venue Management School and recently earned the Certified Venue Professional (CVP) designation.

Erin Jepson, CMP
Director, Event Services, Oregon Convention Center

Erin Jepson serves as the director of event services for the Oregon Convention Center in sunny Portland. Erin oversees the event management team and guest services department which includes, ticketing, parking and the venue’s volunteer program.

She has been with the Oregon Convention Center since 2013. Prior to that, she was with Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, AR overseeing event sales and management, front of house services and festival management.

Erin graduated from The University of Texas in Austin with a BA in Music Studies where she focused on musicology hoping to one day be the most inspiring music history professor in the field. Instead, she strives to be the most inspiring manager in the events industry and knows she has big shoes to fill. She is a member of International Association of Venue Management (IAVM), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), and Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA). Erin graduated from IAVM’s Venue Management School in 2013 and received her Certified Meetings Professional (CMP) certification in 2015 from the Convention Industry Council.

Mercedes Miller
Executive Director, Georgia International Convention Center

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Mercedes is a true veteran of the hospitality industry. She is currently the Executive Director for the 2nd largest convention center in the state of Georgia, the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC).

She is a graduate of Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. Mercedes began her hospitality career in marketing at the Stouffer Waverly Hotel. From there, she was promoted to Sales Manager, where she became part of the opening team for The Stouffer Concourse Hotel at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport (now known as the Renaissance Concourse Hotel). Her career path then led her to her current employer, the GICC as a National Sales Manager, where she advanced to Director of Sales and Assistant Director. Prior to her many positions at the GICC, Mercedes was hired by the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau as the National Sales Manager for the Airport Area.

Ms. Miller attributes her success in large part to her community involvement. She currently sits on the board for the Atlanta Airport Chamber of Commerce and the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce. She is also a founding member of ATL Airport District Destination Marketing Organization and sits on the board for a non-profit organization “Motherless Daughters”.

She has also been honored as one of Atlanta’s most interesting personalities and a leader in her community with her repeated inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Atlanta, 100 Most Influential People in Hospitality for (3) years by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. She received an award for the 100’s List of Georgia Most Powerful & Influential Women Looking Ahead. Most recently she received the “Oscar Burnett Award for Distinguished Achievement in Business” from her Alma Malta Morris Brown College.

Mercedes Miller lives by a quote from her favorite poet “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” Maya Angelou

Frank Poe
Executive Director, Georgia World Congress Center Authority

Prior to accepting the position of Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) executive director in April 2010, Poe was director of the Convention/Event Service Department for the City of Dallas (Dallas Convention Center, Union Station, Dallas Farmers Market, Office of Special Events and Reunion Arena) where he started his career in 1972 as a part-time laborer. He was appointed General Manager of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from 1979 to 1980 and found his way back to Dallas for the next 17 years holding several leadership positions in the center’s Event Services and Cultural Affairs departments. The convention center veteran was appointed to the position of executive director of Alabama’s Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in 1997, which he held for seven years until moving back to Dallas in 2004 to assume the director position for the next six years. As executive director of the GWCCA, Poe has lead the negotiations for new development on the state-owned campus, including the College Football Hall of Fame, Junior Achievement Discovery Center and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Frank has served as President of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) from 2000 2001 and chair of the IAVM Safety and Security Task Force from 2001-2004. He is currently the Dean of the IAVM Academy for Venue Safety and Security, which he served as a founding member and also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and the Board of Directors for Central Atlanta Progress.

Frank graduated from Texas A&M University-Commerce with a degree in political science and history.

Phil Ross
Sales Engineer, Oracle Hospitality

Phil Ross serves as Sales Engineer for the Sports & Entertainment group at Oracle, and looks after the entire North American market. He has been with Oracle since 2014 and prior to that he worked for MICROS Systems Incorporated, leading POS platform provider in the large venue space.

As a sales engineer, Phil is responsible for using Oracle's disruptive technology solutions and services to help venues engage fans like never before. Phil also enjoys architecting solutions for Oracle's customers whom have more specific needs and fan experience objectives.

Considered a thought leader, Phil spends a great deal of time working with the Oracle Sports & Entertainment customer portfolio to stay ahead of market trends and drive "off the beaten path" innovations.

Phil resides in the Baltimore, Maryland area and is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Tom Alexander
Booking Manager, Tacoma Dome

Tom Alexander started off his career 24 years ago cataloging master tape reels in the Sony Music tape library in Santa Monica, California. Coincidentally, that same office housed the West Coast booking office for PACE Concerts where Tom jumped on board as a booking assistant for ex-ICM and CAA agent luminary Hal Lazareff.

This early opportunity introduced Tom to several key industry people including John Meglen, Bob Roux and Louie Messina, who remain allies to this day. The touring bug caught Tom and he jumped on the road with Yanni, Andrea Bocelli and an Interscope Records baby band.

Opportunity knocked again and Tom spent seven years working for AEG Live in their L.A. and Dallas offices managing the tour and regional contract administration reviewing venue, artist and co-pro deals and contract legalese.

With the touring bug still in his system, Tom joined Live Nation touring in 2009 to work on the worldwide Nickelback tour immediately followed by Roger Waters’ “The Wall Live” tour. The road bug was cured with the arrival of two wonderful and active kids.

Following a couple more booking gigs in Houston with Live Nation and the Allen Event Center just outside Dallas, in 2013 Tom received the call to join the team at the Tacoma Dome in Washington State as the Booking Manager. With the Pacific Northwest being his favorite spot in the entire country and having family nearby, he has firmly dug his heels in and plans to help continue a revenue growth trend while booking meaningful and exciting content.

Beth Paul
General Manager, Bon Secours Wellness Arena

Beth Paul is an Anderson, South Carolina native who graduated from Presbyterian College. In March of 2015, she was appointed General Manager of the Bon Secours Wellness Arena by the Greenville Arena District Board of Directors, after acting as the Interim General Manager for five months. Ms. Paul has been with the Arena for over ten years serving as its Assistant General Manager and Director of Finance. Before becoming the Director of Finance at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, she was the Director of Finance at the Harbor Yard Arena (now Webster Bank Arena) in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She is the only female General Manager of an Arena in South Carolina and one of only a handful in the country.

Andrew Prince
Executive Vice President, Venue Coalition, Inc

A savvy music business professional in an innovative environment, Andrew brings extensive knowledge of the live entertainment industry as a promoter, talent buyer, and venue booking consultant. Andrew is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Venue Coalition and is focused on identifying new business and programming opportunities for its participating member venues. He has been instrumental in the development of the organization since its inception.

Prior to his career at Venue Coalition, Andrew has worked with Apregan Group, Arch Angel Concerts (Neil Diamond), Shoreline Amphitheater, and Bill Graham Presents. Through his work at Venue Coalition, Andrew earned recognition as one of Billboard Magazine's top 30 executives under 30 years of age in the world. He is also a graduate of IAVM's Venue Management School and has a great passion for live events and confirming shows!

Kyle Eichman
Director, Technology Solutions, Sacramento Kings

Kyle Eichman will be entering his 10th season with the Sacramento Kings and 2nd as Director, Technology Solutions. He currently oversees the development of all fan engagement elements at the new Golden 1 Center including the creation/deployment of the fan master data layer, beaconing strategy and deployment, arena wayfinding/line queue capabilities, fan loyalty program development, In-app/push notification capabilities, and other fan interaction elements designed using the latest technology available. Prior to joining the Kings, Kyle spent over 10 years in the gaming industry working in various roles for organizations such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Mirage Resorts, the Venetian Resort and Pinnacle Entertainment. Originally from Colorado, he earned a Finance degree from Colorado State University.

Wes LeBlanc
Consulting and Analytics Director, Gensler

Wes is an economist with significant project experience in market and financial analysis. His specialty is in unusually large, complex, and/or multidisciplinary projects. Wes focuses on supporting concept development and decision making with data and information in a way that improves project outcomes. Wes has managed market analysis for projects ranging from new city development concepts in Asia, to integrated resorts and casino developments in the US and internationally, to urban mixed use projects and adaptive reuse programs among others. He has worked in Asia and the Middle East for branded real estate developers, landowners, and large conglomerates with ancillary landholdings and investments, in addition to his work in Europe, Australia, and throughout North America. In this capacity Wes managed more than 100 assignments completing due diligence and informing over $12 billion in real estate and investment decisions for AECOM and ERA (Economics Research Associates). He has notable project experience related to urban migration and re-urbanization in the US, as well as media economics – a highly specialized field in economics.

Bill Lyons
Managing Director, Gensler

Bill brings an extensive background in interior architecture and design to his roles as Principal and Managing Director of Gensler’s Minneapolis office, where he directs regional, national and global accounts. Recognized for his effective collaboration style as well as his seasoned project management capabilities, he works closely with his clients to create environments that further their business objectives while fostering lasting relationships. His design leadership and innovative approach to problem-solving have been recognized with numerous honors, awards and publications, including the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” and the International Interior Design Association’s “10 to Watch.” A Certified Interior Designer, Bill earned his Bachelor of Interior Architecture from the University of Wisconsin.

Sasha Zeljic
Design Director, Gensler

With nearly 20 years experience on a wide range of complex, high-profile projects – including Shanghai Tower, Manila’s Finance Centre Tower and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago – Sasha strives to design beautifully crafted, high performance buildings for clients around the globe. He serves as a Design Director in Gensler’s Chicago office and the Tall Buildings Practice Area Leader for the firm’s North Central region, working to deliver innovative solutions for clients through his continued passion for excellence. In the professional community, Sasha is a strong contributor to organizations such as UN-Habitat and the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC); has authored numerous white papers; and serves as the Chicago chapter chair of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

Barry Strafacci
Consultant, GFS Associates

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 a consultant with GFS Associates and prior to that Barry was Vice President, Special Projects and a Regional Vice President for Global Spectrum.

For GFS Associates, Barry provides senior executive perspective to new and existing public assembly venues. Recent clients include: the Portland Expo Center, the Sharonville Convention Center, Nathan Benderson Park, and the Lakeland Center.

For 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, stadiums 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 to all Global Spectrum clients. Including supervision of various accounts. Providing strategic sales approach to booking meetings, conventions, banquets, trade shows, livestock events and fairs.

As a Regional Vice President for Global Spectrum, Barry’s responsibilities included direct supervision of day to day management of various accounts including: Clovis Civic Center, St Charles Convention Center, Overland Park Convention Center, Palm Beach County Convention Center, Greater Richmond Convention Center, Las Cruces Convention Center, Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, Durham Convention Center, Richard R Borchard Fairgrounds, and Owensboro Convention Center.

Barry also served as General Manager or Interim General Manager for the following Global Spectrum facilities: Greater Richmond Convention Center, Harborview Convention Center, South Okanagan Entertainment Complex/Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, and the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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. In this role he was responsible for day-to-day management of operations, sales/bookings, administration, box office, parking operations and event services. Responsible for all long term lease agreements to include land lease agreements with Executive Inn East, Executive Inn West and downtown Hyatt Regency. The facility was home to University of Louisville men's basketball and football games, Louisville Redbirds Triple A Minor League baseball, major national tradeshows, national/international horseshows, livestock events and the Kentucky State Fair.

Barry started his career as the Senior Policy and Budget Advisor for the Kentucky Governor’s Office of Policy and Management.

Barry is extremely active in the following professional organizations: International Association of Venue Management (IAVM), International Convention Center Conference Program Chair, Meeting Planners International (MPI ), American Society of Association Executives (ASAE ), International association of Exhibits & Events (IAEE ) National Association of Consumer Shows (NACS ), Industry Advisory Council- Center for Exhibition Research, Convention Industry Council Advisory Board, Florida Facilities Management Association (FFMA).

Troy Thorn, CTA
Executive Director, Chesapeake Conference Center

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 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.

Ryan Conway
Project Manager, Brailsford & Dunlavey

Mr. Conway’s professional experience has been concentrated in the areas of project management, market research, and public finance. At Brailsford & Dunlavey, he has provided advisory services to the firm’s public and private sector clients on projects ranging from professional sports and university venues to community recreation facilities. Over the past four years he has assisted the District of Columbia with the development of a new soccer stadium for DC United providing market, financial, and economic/fiscal impact analyses during the planning phase and program management services during horizontal construction. He’s also advised on a range of other venue and community recreation projects including redevelopment planning for the RFK Stadium Campus (DC), capital improvement planning for Nationals Park (DC) and Amalie Arena (Tampa), ballpark planning for Macon-Bibb County (GA) ballpark, recreation master planning for the City of Vestavia Hills (AL), stadium enhancement planning for Air Force Academy (CO), and venues planning for the Washington DC 2024 Olympic bid.

Jason Hopper
Director of Preconstruction, Mortenson Construction

Jason Hopper DBIA is the Director of Preconstruction for Mortenson Construction’s Sports Group. In this role, he is responsible for providing full-service project management during the design and planning phase of projects. These services include leading the integration of construction support personnel with the design effort, providing constructability feedback, orchestrating continual budget management activities, and providing overall scheduling input.

Jason has extensive experience working on complex projects in which Mortenson has leveraged collaboration principles to build integrated teams which deliver high performance results. He also has experience using virtual design tools and prefabrication techniques in the planning and prefabrication of project components.

Jason received a B.S. in Construction Sciences from Texas A&M University.

Alan Horton
The "Voice" of the Minnesota Timberwolves,

Alan Horton enters his sixth season as the play-by-play announcer for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Horton will call every Wolves game this season on the team's radio home, WCCO 830.

Horton also handles the radio play-by-play duties for the Minnesota Lynx. He comes to the Timberwolves and Lynx after spending the summer of 2007 WNBA season calling the Seattle Storm's games for Seattle radio, as well as serving as the executive producer of the Seattle SuperSonics radio network.

A native of Massachusetts, Horton spent 10 years in Southern California as a sports broadcaster on both radio and television. In addition to his time with the Storm, his play-by-play experience includes the San Diego Padres, San Diego State University football, men's and women's basketball and baseball, as well as high school football.

Mike O’Donnell
Sr. Facility Project Manager, Tampa Bay Lightning/Amalie Arena

Mike O’Donnell is the Senior Facility Project Manager for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Amalie Arena and has over 10 years’ experience in architecture, construction, and project management. He has concentrated his career in architecture and project management on sports design, operations, facility management, and construction. Over the last 6 years at the Lightning, Mike has lead multiple major renovations and smaller capital improvement projects totaling over $85M. His knowledge of sports design, building code, and industry standards coupled with facility operations and management bring a unique perspective to leadership at Amalie Arena as well as the design and construction teams he leads. Through these projects, Mike has embraced the Lightning’s goal of becoming the ultimate sports franchise with a reinvented facility while keeping its fans experience as the highest priority. He holds an architectural degree from the University of Kansas, and is actively involved in the community, arts and AIA Tampa.

Tom Proebstle
Founder & Design Director, Generator Studio

Tom is a founding partner and design director for Generator Studio, a full-service architecture firm providing a wide-range of services including: architecture; interior design; planning and urban design; consulting; owner’s representation and sustainable consulting.

Founded in 2009, Generator Proebstle specializes in renovating NHL arenas, with recent loge box retrofits and premium-seat upgrades at Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota and Amalie Arena in Tampa, in addition to improvements to Scottrade Center, home of the St. Louis Blues.

Previously, Tom was a founding partner and design director for Crawford Architects, overseeing the design work of the Kansas City and Sydney offices, with key projects the University of Northern Iowa’s McLeod Center, and the Seattle Seahawks’ VMAC training facility. From 1994 to 2001, Tom was an associate shareholder and lead project designer at Ellerbe Becket (AECOM). Cutting his teeth in sports and hospitality at Ellerbe, Tom soon led the design for Conseco Fieldhouse and the renovation to Lambeau Field – two once in a lifetime projects.

Lester Bagley
Executive Vice President, Public Affairs & Stadium Development, Minnesota Vikings

Lester Bagley brings three decades of public affairs and communications experience to his role as the Vikings Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Stadium Development. Currently in his 12th year with the Vikings, Bagley oversees the team’s public relations, public affairs, community relations and charitable giving initiatives.

The Vikings and sports fans throughout the Upper Midwest will embark on a thrilling new chapter in 2016 as state-of-the-art U.S. Bank Stadium opens and ushers in a new era for Vikings football. The striking addition of U.S. Bank Stadium to the Minneapolis skyline will vault the community to center stage for marquee events from international soccer and blockbuster concerts to Super Bowl LII and the NCAA Final Four. An outstanding fan experience awaits at U.S. Bank Stadium with best-in-class amenities and cutting-edge technology that place the facility with the best in the world. Fans will be treated to the closest seats to the action in the NFL, unrivaled food and drink offerings and a wide variety of seat and suite options that connect fans to the heartbeat of the Vikings.

Bagley was instrumental in securing the support and financing that brought the new stadium to fruition. The $1.1 billion facility, the largest construction project in Minnesota history, has been enhanced through an additional $125 million of Vikings ownership investment since the initial building began, bringing the total team/private investment to over $600 million. Bagley spearheaded the public discussion and advocacy for the stadium during difficult political and economic conditions to secure the agreement to finance and construct the new stadium. On May 10, 2012, the Minnesota House and Senate passed stadium legislation that was significantly impacted by the coalition of elected officials, sports fans and business, labor and community leaders that Bagley led. Four days later Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill into law. Bagley was honored alongside Governor Dayton and stadium bill authors Senator Julie Rosen and Representative Morrie Lanning with the "Public Policy Achievement" award as part of Minnesota’s Leaders in Public Policy 2012. Following passage of the stadium bill, Bagley was part of the Vikings leadership team that designed and built this progressive architectural marvel.

In 2014, Bagley led the Vikings involvement to secure Super Bowl LII to be played February 4, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Bagley worked with Vikings ownership and management, and Minnesota corporate and civic leaders to create the Super Bowl bid and secure the support of the NFL for the pinnacle event to be held in Minnesota. Bagley currently serves on the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee’s Executive Board with Richard Davis/U.S. Bank, Doug Baker/Ecolab, Marilyn Carlson Nelson/Carlson, Michael Langley/GreaterMSP, and Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee.

Bagley’s role on the Vikings management team and working relationship with the Wilf family ownership group includes the next facility project on the club’s horizon, planning and designing the new Vikings headquarters in Eagan, MN that gained approval from the Eagan City Council on June 21, 2016. The new home for the team will bring the entire organization under one roof and accentuate Ownership’s desire to build a first-class atmosphere in pursuit of World Championships.

A native of Barron, WI, Bagley began college at the University of Minnesota before graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He served as a White House intern and studied at the University of Oxford during his undergraduate days.

Bagley currently sits on the Executive Board of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, and serves on the boards of the Downtown East Commons Implementation Committee, the Public Affairs Council, the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Vikings Children’s Fund.

Ted Johnson
Chief Strategy and Development Officer & Senior Vice President, Minnesota Timberwolves

Ted Johnson enters his 13th season with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx, having served as chief marketing officer for eight years prior to his promotion to senior vice president & chief strategy and development officer in 2015. Johnson is responsible for aligning company strategies and leads long-term growth initiatives. In addition he oversees the technology and communications functions including the FastBreak Foundation and the teams' radio and television broadcasts.

Since 2010, Johnson has also led the team’s facilities and public affairs efforts. In this role he led the development of The Courts at Mayo Clinic Square -the highly acclaimed training center and headquarters that opened in June of 2015. Johnson also continues to lead the teams’ efforts around the design and development of the $130 million dollar Target Center Renovation project that is scheduled to begin in spring of 2016.

Johnson’s work has been widely recognized in the industry including two regional Emmy awards, a PRSA Silver Anvil, numerous other industry awards and is listed by Social Media Marketing Magazine as one of the Top 100 CMO's (#50) on Twitter and by CEO World Magazine as one of the most influential CMO's on Twitter.

Prior to his joining the Wolves, Johnson spent more than a decade managing dynamic, multifaceted campaigns for clients, policy issues and political candidates. As a director with public relations agency Weber Shandwick, Johnson co-directed the Minnesota Department of Health’s national award-winning teen anti-tobacco campaign. In politics he spent eight years serving State Senator Sam Solon, Congressman James Oberstar, Clinton/Gore campaigns of 1992 and 1996, the Minnesota Attorney General and finally as deputy campaign manager for Hubert H. Humphrey III’s 1998 gubernatorial campaign. Johnson also spent time between 1994 and 1996 on the White House advance staff organizing official visits for President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Johnson is an honors graduate from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with degrees in political science and history. He is active in the Twin Cities community serving on the boards of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Warehouse Business District and 2020 Partners. He is also active in Twin Cities Dunkers, Norway House, Serving Our Troops and has previously served on the boards of Ronald McDonald House Charities and Athletes Committed to Educating Students (ACES.)

A native of Coon Rapids, Minn., Johnson, his wife, Lisa, son, Thor, and daughter, Greta, reside in Vadnais Heights, Minn.

Dave Mona
Senior Consultant & Former Chairman, Weber Shandwick

Dave is a 40-year veteran of corporate and agency public relations. A Minnesota native, Dave began his journalism career as a reporter for WCCO-TV (CBS/Minneapolis) and three years later he joined the staff of the Minneapolis Tribune, where he worked as a reporter and editor for five years, winning regional and national awards for his feature and sports writing.

After leaving the newspaper, he worked for 10 years in corporate public relations, first as director of public relations for International Multifoods Corp., and then as vice president–communications for The Toro Company, both Fortune 500 firms.

In 1981, Dave founded Mona Meyer McGrath & Gavin, a Twin Cities public relations agency that grew to 65 employees in seven years and was later acquired by London-based Shandwick. Today, the Weber Shandwick office has more than 120 professionals serving a variety of clients regionally, nationally and internationally.

In 2000, Dave was board chair of the Greater Minneapolis Area Chamber of Commerce and chaired the Board of Meet Minneapolis, the region’s convention and visitor’s bureau, from 2005-2007. He also chairs the Minnesota Vikings Children’s Fund, the Twin Cities Dunkers breakfast club and is a co-chair of the 2015 Senior Games.

Dave St. Peter
President, Minnesota Twins

Dave St. Peter was named the fourth president in Minnesota Twins history on November 26, 2002. He oversees the team’s day-to-day operations, strategic planning and interaction with Major League Baseball.

St. Peter played a central role in the approval, design, construction and opening of Target Field, which was named 2011 Sports Facility of the Year by the Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily. He also recently led the Twins effort to secure and host the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game; expansion of the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers, FL – named Ballpark Digest’s 2015 Major Ballpark Renovation of the Year; as well as the team’s partnership with Hennepin County on the design and programming of Minnesota’s newest intermodal transit hub - Target Field Station.

At age 49, St. Peter begins his 27th year with the Twins. He joined the organization as an intern in 1990 and over his first decade with the franchise held a variety of positions including Pro Shop Manager, Communications Manager, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Senior Vice President of Business Affairs. As the club president, the Twins established a new single season franchise attendance record in 2010 by attracting more than 3.2 million fans to Target Field while the team was recognized by ESPN as having the best stadium experience in all of professional sports. St. Peter’s leadership has been integral in the team’s growing corporate partnership base; development of the "Magic Moments" customer service initiative; the "Go Twins, Go Green" environmental stewardship platform; expansion of the Treasure Island Baseball Network; aggressive community outreach; and enhanced alumni involvement -- including creation of the Twins Hall of Fame.

Chris Oxley
Vice President/General Manager, Rose Quarter

Chris Oxley is in his 14th year at the Rose Quarter. He currently holds the position of Vice President/General Manager of the Rose Quarter for the Portland Trail Blazers and is responsible for the management of the Rose Quarter campus including the Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum. His duties include content booking, event development, finance, administration, event and facility operations, marketing, capital planning, community relations, client relations, ticket operations, real estate and governmental affairs. He joined the Rose Quarter in 1999 as an Event Manager, in July of 2008 was named General Manager and in January of 2012 was promoted to his current position with the Trail Blazers. Chris is an 18-year veteran of the facility, sports and entertainment industries and has worked in many notable Colorado venues including Red Rocks Amphitheater, Mile High Stadium, Coors Field and McNichols Sports Arena. Chris is a graduate of Drake University with a BA in Economics and Business Administration. He is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), and is a recent graduate of Leadership Portland. In addition, Chris serves on several boards including the Portland Business Alliance, Oregon Sports Authority, Portland Center for Performing Arts Foundation, Trail Blazers make it better Foundation, Citizens Crime Commission and the Lloyd Business Improvement District. Chris resides with his family in the Multnomah Village neighborhood in SW Portland.

John Park
Lead Project Manager, PlanLED

John Park is the Lead Professional Sports Liaison to Human Centric Lighting (http://humancentriclighting.com/) and the Lead Project Development Manager for PlanLED. John was the lead project manager for marquee projects for PlanLED including Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Seattle Seahawks VMAC Practice Facility & the Moda Center. He has become one of the primary thought leaders of the rapidly advancing global LED lighting movement. John has been instrumental in developing a platform to communicate lightings effect on human physiology between the commercial sector, professional sports teams and researchers. John is a fervent educator and advocate for delivering lighting-related sustainability improvements, enhancements in quality of life under electrical lighting and creative LED lighting solutions across the US. John also leads the efforts within PlanLED to manufacturers to birth new products that integrate key findings from the Human Centric Lighting Society.

Justin Zeulner
Executive Director, Green Sports Alliance

Justin J. Zeulner, Executive Director and founding Board Member of the Green Sports Alliance, is one of the principal leaders of the sports greening movement. Zeulner has helped guide the Green Sports Alliance in reaching critical mass and major influence within the global sports industry. Prior to joining the Green Sports Alliance, Zeulner was a Senior Project Developer at Vulcan, Inc., the philanthropic and innovation company founded by Paul G. Allen. In this role, he was responsible for public engagement and campaign development around conservation and climate change. Prior to that, he served as Senior Director for Sustainability and Public Affairs for the Portland Trail Blazers. Among his accomplishments there, he was directly involved in environmental initiatives that led to the Trail Blazers assuming a leadership role in the greening of sports movement and the Moda Center achieving LEED Gold status, the first LEED Gold existing building in professional sports in the world. A graduate of the University of Oregon with a Master’s degree in Business Administration, Zeulner is a native of Portland, Oregon.

Kevin Pelegrin
Senior Director, Insights & Analytics, Aramark Sports & Entertainment

Kevin currently serves as the Senior Director of Insights & Analytics for Aramark Sports & Entertainment. In his role, Kevin is responsible for the development of strategies by leveraging data analytics and consumer insights aimed at optimizing the consumer experience. Kevin has been with Aramark since 2008. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, receiving a B.S in both finance and logistics. He earned his MBA in marketing from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.

Kim Stone
Executive Vice President, Miami HEAT & General Manager, American Airlines Arena,

A veteran of the dynamic South Florida sports market for more than two decades, Kim Stone’s experience spans almost every functional area of a professional sports team. She has been an integral part of building the success of the Miami HEAT and American Airlines Arena by developing and implementing sound business strategies and management practices. Last summer, Stone received the 2013 Women of Influence award from Venues Today magazine, and she was honored in 2009 by the South Florida Business Journal in its inaugural class of Influential Business Women.

Promoted to her current position of Executive Vice President & General Manager of American Airlines Arena in 2006, Stone is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Arena. Pollstar magazine ranked AA Arena first in Florida, fourth in the USA and 14th busiest in the world in the third quarter of 2013. It is home to the three-time World Champion Miami HEAT (2006, 2012 and 2013) and hosted four consecutive NBA Finals from 2010-2014. A variety of megastars have played sold out shows at AA Arena over the years, including Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Madonna, Marc Anthony and Disney on Ice, just to name a few.

During the past 19 years, Stone has risen through the ranks of the HEAT organization. Hired initially into the Sports Media Relations Department in 1996, she worked directly with players and coaches such as HEAT All-Star Tim Hardaway and NBA Hall of Fame inductees Alonzo Mourning and Pat Riley on a daily basis. She coordinated the media operations during the HEAT’s playoff runs from 1996-1999 and worked several NBA All-Star Weekends, including the league’s star-studded 50th Anniversary celebration in 1997. In 1996, she assisted with the media relations duties for the men’s and women’s basketball competitions at the Atlanta Olympic Games. Most recently, she planned and coordinated the 2012 and 2013 Miami HEAT championship celebration and parade, which saw a peaceful and joyous crowd of 300,000-plus gather in the streets of downtown Miami to cheer on their team.

Stone’s focus on providing an exceptional experience extends to her additional responsibilities for retaining the HEAT’s multi-million dollar season ticket holder base. Since taking over this area in 2004, the department has set team records for most seats and revenue renewed and consistently ranks among the best in the NBA with innovative and customer-eccentric programs that are often cited as a best practice among league teams. This spring, the HEAT achieved a 98% renewal rate for the second year in a row.

Stone’s career began at the University of North Carolina, where she assisted in the sports information office while completing her degree in journalism and public relations. In October of 2014, she was inducted in to the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Hall of Fame for Public Relations. In December of 2003, she graduated with honors from the University of Miami with a master’s degree in international business administration. She is formerly an adjunct professor in the St. Thomas University Masters of Sports Administration program and serves as a board member of the University of Miami’s President’s Council, Miami Downtown Development Authority and is currently President of the Florida Facility Manager’s Association.

Daniel Huerta
Executive General Manager, Fair Park Dallas

Daniel Huerta is Executive General Manager of Fair Park and Community Services Division for the Dallas Park & Recreation Department. His responsibilities include oversight and management of Fair Park, TX, a 277-acre national historic landmark that annually attracts over 5 million visitors and is home to five museums, two performance venues, the largest collection of intact art deco exhibition facilities in the world, and the Cotton Bowl Stadium. He also oversees the department’s aquatics facilities, building and athletic field reservations, volunteer services and media & public engagement activities.

As a member of the International Association of Venue Managers, he has served on the Industry Affairs Council, International Steering Committee, Conference Planning Committee, Awards Review Task Force and as past chairman of the Diversification Committee and the Membership Committee. He currently is the Vice Chair for the new Amphitheaters and Fairgrounds Committee. Daniel is a lifelong member of the National Park and Recreation Association and now serves as a Preservation Dallas board member. He has served on the board of Preservation Dallas, the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and East Kessler Park Neighborhood Association.

Author of several articles on venue management, Huerta is a frequent speaker at national conferences. Some of his featured presentations are "Event Management-Beyond the Basics," "Diversity and its Benefits," "Overcome Limitations and Maximize Volunteers at Your Venue," "The Emerging Latino Population and Park and Recreation Services," "Mixing It Up – Fair Park, TX Offers Diversity and Fun in One Park" and "Off-leash Sites."

Huerta holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Texas Tech University and a Master of Arts in Recreation Administration from Texas Women’s University. An experienced backpacker and hiker, he is an avid national parks enthusiast having visited 26 national parks to date. Daniel also walked 180 miles of the Camino de Santiago in Spain last fall and is set to return to complete the 490 mile trek in September 2016.

Director, Project Development – Sports, Mortenson Construction

Logan brings extensive industry experience in both the private and public sector. His sports project experience includes work in professional baseball, football, and soccer facilities in addition to collegiate competition and training facilities, including athletics master plans. He is a Registered Architect, a LEED Accredited Professional and NCARB Certified.

Logan earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and minor in Construction Management from the University of Minnesota while competing as a student athlete for the Gopher baseball team. He then completed his studies at the University of Colorado where he received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Architecture. He has also guest lectured in the sports management programs at the University of Minnesota and Concordia University on the development of sport facilities.

Logan currently leads Mortenson’s project development efforts within the professional and collegiate sports and entertainment markets.

Engineering News-Record currently ranks Mortenson the second largest sports builder in the United States with notable sports facilities underway including Chase Center (Home of the NBA Golden State Warriors); Milwaukee Bucks New Arena (Home of the NBA Milwaukee Bucks); SunTrust Park, (Home of the MLB Atlanta Braves); and the recent 6-week early completion of U.S. Bank Stadium (Home of the NFL Minnesota Vikings).

John Hutchings, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Sports Principal-in-Charge, HKS

For John, job satisfaction comes on opening day – from seeing a stadium or arena operate on all 12 cylinders, to everything running smoothly and fans having a great time. His 40-year career has been centered on giving sports clients and tenants the quality they have come to expect from the HKS Sports & Entertainment Group. John’s experience with international sports projects has made him particularly sensitive to his client’s diverse cultural needs. "I’m driven by culturally responsive design – one that reacts appropriately to place, people and their values."

John received his Bachelor of Architecture fromTexas Tech University.

Michele Kelm-Helgen
Chair, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority

Michele Kelm-Helgen was appointed Chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority in June of 2012. She leads the Authority in its role of planning and designing U.S. Bank Stadium.

Prior to this, Michele served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs, in the Office of Governor Mark Dayton, from 2010 to 2012. She was Chief of Staff for the Minnesota State Senate from 2006-2010. Michele also worked as Director of Control Data Corporation’s (now Ceridian) City Venture division and later became a partner with North State Advisers, a governmental affairs/public relations consulting firm.

For over 10 years, she served as Chair of the Eastern Carver County School Board, and of the school district’s personnel and legislative action Committees. Michele was an active member for the Chaska Rotary Club and currently is a member of Club 9 Rotary in Minneapolis. She also is a member of Dunkers and serves on the board of Meet Minneapolis.

Michele received her B.A. from the College of St. Catherine, and her M.B.A. with honors from the University of St. Thomas.

John Wood
Senior Vice President, Mortenson Construction

John is a senior officer of Mortenson and a 39-year veteran of the firm. John led Mortenson’s entry into the sports construction market in the late eighties, and has provided executive leadership on most of the firm’s sports projects nationally, including U.S. Bank Stadium.

Of particular satisfaction for John in his career accomplishments is leading Mortenson’s initiatives to maximize the opportunities for people of color and women to be employed and to have business opportunity on Mortenson projects. Beginning with The Minneapolis Convention Center in 1987, Mortenson has been the leader in the construction industry for inclusion. The company has continued to raise the bar through new initiatives including its Community Workforce Program, which has been adopted as the "model" in numerous cities around the country including Memphis, on the FedExForum; Minneapolis, on U.S. Bank Stadium and Target Field; Kansas City, on the Sprint Center; Louisville, on KFC Yum! Center; and in Scottsdale, at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Spring Training Facility

Brian Oaks
General Manager, Prairie Capital Convention Center

Brian Oaks has worked at Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, IL since 2003 and has served as the General Manager since 2007. The facility hosts events on approximately 225 days per year that include concerts, family shows, sporting events, conventions and banquets. The facility promotes several concerts each year through a combination of in-house buys, co-pro’s and rentals. Brian, who was born in Springfield, enjoys traveling and playing with Barbies…with his 6-year old daughter Avery. He also enjoys golf, playing poker and attending live music events.

Marty Elliott
Executive Director, KSU Sports + Entertainment Park & General Manager, Fifth Third Bank Stadium, Kennesaw State University,

Marty Elliott joined Kennesaw State University as the executive director/general manager of the KSU Sports and Entertainment Park in February 2012. Elliott, who is the first person to hold the position in the school’s history, oversees the operations of the 88-acre KSU Sports and Entertainment Park, as well as the 9,000-seat stadium.

Since the inception of this department, the park has hosted professional sporting events, NCAA championship events, international sporting events, concerts and festivals in addition to KSU athletic events, 5Ks, club sports and intramurals for students. Approximately 200,000 fans attend stadium events and another 150,000 visit the park annually for non-ticketed events.

Elliott had the privilege of launching two inaugural seasons in one fiscal year. Working in tandem with the KSU Athletic Department, the Owl’s Division I Football began in the fall of 2015. In the spring of 2016, Major League Lacrosse announced expansion with a new professional men’s lacrosse team, the Atlanta Blaze calling Fifth Third Bank Stadium home.

Elliott and her team created Atlanta’s only Hot Air Balloon Festival, Owl-O-Ween, which invites families to come in costume to trick or treat among hot-air balloons, while enjoying 5 stages and more than 120 performers. This event, billed as "Atlanta’s Largest Costume Party" attracts more than 40,000 annually. In 2015, the park hosted Georgia’s first major country music festival featuring more than 24 country artists including headliners such as Blake Shelton, Rascall Flatts and Brad Paisley drawing more than 32,000 fans for the weekend.

Elliott established a student-led production company, Night Owl Productions, which employs more than 300 KSU students who work in box office, conversion, production, guest services, hospitality, facility operations, street team and administrative roles throughout the park.

Prior to Kennesaw State, Elliott spent 11 years as Director of Major Events and Business Development for Clemson University. In that role, she managed university venues such as Littlejohn Coliseum, Tillman Theatre, Bowman Field and the Hendrix Student Center. She successfully generated operational event budgets exceeding 3.3 million and had oversight of more than 500 events each year. During her time at Clemson, more than 220 major touring artists were hosted for public concerts. She is credited for utilizing campus venues for community outreach and economic impact through sports and entertainment.

Elliott has served as a talent buyer and logistics coordinator for several community festivals and served on the board of directors for the Anderson County Fair. She is currently the chair for the university sector on the national board of IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers) and serves on the Executive Committee and Industry Affairs Committee.

Elliott began working with events and venue operations at the University of Florida as an undergraduate student in the late 1980s and has been hooked on the excitement that comes with orchestrating major events ever since. She received her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Florida. She has 3 fabulous children, two are out of college and one hasn’t yet started kindergarten.

Derek Hillestad
Director, Operations, TCF Bank Stadium/University of Minnesota

Derek Hillestad is the Director of Operations at TCF Bank Stadium with the University of Minnesota and has been in the venue management field for 16 years. Derek joined Minnesota in the fall of 2008 as efforts were underway to bring football back to campus through TCF Bank Stadium, a LEED Silver project (c/o July 2009). Derek ushered in ownership from construction phase and was responsible for developing a staff structure (full-time & part-time), implementing procedures, communicating policies and setting expectations for operating standards within venue sustainability, security, operations and engineering.

Prior to joining UM Athletics, Derek was in the corporate sector with Spectra as Operations Manager at University of Phoenix Stadium. While in Arizona, Derek was part of the venue opening team (c/o June 2006) and spearheaded the development of an in-house custodial department (daily office, pre-event, event, post-event, floor care, machine care, supplies). Derek has also worked in university venues for 6 years, including positions at the University of San Diego and Ball State University. He serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Sport Management program at the University of Minnesota.

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 64,000 employees became certified in the last fiscal year (October 2014 – September 2015).

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.

Eric Smallwood
Managing Partner, Apex Marketing Group, Inc.

Eric Smallwood has over 16 years of industry experience in a variety of roles providing results driven consulting services for clients. He started Apex Marketing Group, Inc in May 2015, to provide advertising and branding consulting services and customized sponsorship & brand analytics/feasibilities for municipal/venue owners and commercial brands.

Apex’s Team has negotiated strategic alliances and long-term business relationships with key decision makers located worldwide, including United States, Canada, Croatia, United Kingdom and Abu Dhabi.

Apex’s Team has built corporate marketing alliances and vending partnerships with numerous Fortune Global 500 companies and can leverage current & past relationships to secure partnerships.

Apex’s Team has managed all facets of a commercial rights sales program; directed various concurrent operational tasks including quantitative analysis, policy development, new business prospecting and solicitation, contract negotiations, strategic development and account management.

Apex’s Team has provided extensive support on corporate, brand and facility research, sales materials development, and significant competitive analysis to a variety of clients.

Apex Marketing Group offers a unique analysis tool for brands, venues & municipalities (ApexMetrics) to analyze and measure their sponsorship initiatives. This analysis tool is catered to the client’s needs utilizing Apex’s senior leadership and their 15+ years of evaluating advertising and sponsorship assets.

Apex’s leadership was responsible for opening and providing commercial rights services and planning development for various Arenas, Stadiums & Convention Centers taking them from pre-opening through full operation.

Dr. Lee Nelson
Chair in Choral Conducting, Director of Choral Activities at Wartburg College,

Dr. Lee Nelson is the Patricia R. Zahn Chair in Choral Conducting and director of choral activities at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Nelson was recently honored with the John O. Chellevold Award for Excellence in Teaching and Professional Service. He conducts the Wartburg Choir and Ritterchor and teaches beginning and advanced conducting and literature at Wartburg. He also serves as the artistic director of Christmas with Wartburg, which was nominated for a regional Emmy in 2012.

Nelson made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall in 2011 and was invited to return in 2012 and 2014 to conduct the National Festival Chorus. His national and international tours have earned overwhelmingly positive reviews. On the most recent tour of Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Italy, Germany, France and Turkey, critics lauded Nelson’s innovative programming and the choir’s "rich and colorful" choral tone. Internationally renowned composer Morten Lauridsen praised Nelson and the Wartburg Choir’s performance of "O Magnum Mysterium" stating: "It was in the top echelon of any performance of that piece by any choir that I have ever heard."

A highly sought-after conductor, clinician and adjudicator, Nelson has directed all state and honor choirs throughout the United States and Canada, including Colorado, New York, Alaska, Mississippi, Nevada, Indiana, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Iowa, Nebraska, and Manitoba, Canada.

In March of 2014, Nelson conducted the Wartburg Choir at the North Central American Choral Director’s Association conference. In December 2011, Nelson and the Wartburg Choir were invited to perform at the White House Holiday Concert Series. While in Washington, D.C., the choir also performed at the Washington National Cathedral for a worldwide simulcast of the Bethlehem Prayer Service. Nelson was a featured conductor at the 2012 North Central ACDA conference, where he conducted Stephen Paulus’ Holocaust oratorio To Be Certain of the Dawn with more than 360 musicians from six states.

A champion of contemporary music, Nelson regularly commissions and performs new works of choral literature. He has helped to launch careers of promising young composers and promotes music by established composers in his choral series. ECS Publishing distributes the Lee Nelson Choral Series internationally.

Prior to his appointment at Wartburg College, Nelson served on the faculty at St. Cloud State University, where he received the SCSU Professional Achievement Award in 2008. Earlier in his career, Nelson received the Outstanding Young Choral Conductor of the Year, awarded by the Minnesota American Choral Directors Association, and won the 2005 National ACDA Conducting Competition in Los Angeles, Calif.

Nelson recently retired as music director and conductor of the Metropolitan Chorale, a 100-voice community choir based in the Cedar Valley. Nelson has led the ensemble in performances of choral/orchestral masterworks by Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Mozart, Leonard Bernstein, Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Johannes Brahms, Gabriel Faure, Franz Joseph Hayden, and Carl Orff. Dr. Nelson earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. He has done graduate work at Westminster Choir College and is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Arizona, where he earned his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees.

Rand Arnold
Founder & CEO, AVAI Mobile Solutions

Rand Arnold is a computer engineer, system architect, and entrepreneur.

An experienced technology solutions provider, Rand has broad experience in both the business and technical realms of software development and system integration. Having founded and bootstrapped several companies to multi-millions in revenue, Rand has a track record of cost effectively building successful businesses.

Rand founded AVAI Mobile Solutions in 2008 to help companies make money with mobile, which lead to the introduction of the revolutionary AMP™ platform. AMP is a software as a service that provides a better way for building and managing mobile apps.

Alex Coulombe
Theatre Planning and Design, Fisher Dachs Associates

Alex is a jack of all trades, master of some. Prior to joining Fisher Dachs Associates in March 2012, Alex worked for a variety of architecture firms where he used his many talents as a designer, render artist, modeler, on-site surveyor, marketer, and BIM manager.

A graduate of Syracuse University's School of Architecture, Alex received his Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Drama. While at school, he pursued diverse creative opportunities as a means of enhancing his design work. These included set design, music composition, game design, and interdisciplinary charrette competitions. His award-winning thesis project, ""Scopic Operations in Military Theatre,"" transformed Fort Jay on Governors Island into a performance venue.

Alex is a co-founder of the Warehouse Architecture Theatre (WhAT), a dramatic troupe at Syracuse University committed to accommodating the hectic schedules of architecture students. Since its inception in 2006, WhAT has grown to serve all non-drama majors in search of a theatrical outlet, and has produced over 50 shows. Though Alex has held all manner of positions within the group from director to actor to administrator, he feels most at home as a playwright, a passion he continues to pursue. To date, seven of his original plays have been produced by WhAT and other organizations. "Dystopiapiapia" was performed at the Times Square Arts Center in 2014, and he is currently writing an immersive Augmented Reality opera with composer Jason Oberholtzer for On Site Opera.

Beyond architecture, Alex is also passionate about all things Virtual Reality, and often utilizes it as a creative tool in all of his work, from video games to real estate marketing projects to solving unique design problems. In 2015, an app he developed was instrumental in locating projectors in the Ed Sullivan Theater for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. This year he developed a method for capturing stereoscopic panoramas in a mobile web link that has been adopted by the VR group Virtual Xperience. He has presented his VR work at the 2014 City Tech INTERSECTIONS Symposium, at the 2014 and 2015 National Opera Conference, for the New York City VR Meetup, for a BIG Picture session at the Bjarke Ingels Group office, and for a VR Architecture Studio at Syracuse University's Fisher Center.

Steve Mackenzie
President, EventBooking

Steve is currently the President at EventBooking, the world’s first cloud based venue management and booking software. He has 30+ years of experience within the Hospitality and Events industry, originally from New Zealand but he also lived and worked for 18 years in Australia until 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 Software International, ASP Events and etouches – focused on driving their global growth.

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

Dave Brooks
Founder & Editor, Amplify Media

Dave Brooks is the founder and executive editor for Amplify, a digital destination for the events and live entertainment industry. Launched in August 2014, Amplify has become a must-read for anyone working in the music business. Amplify's fun and informational media properties like The Real, Trade Shot TV and its List This series are enjoyed by over 5,000 industry professionals each week. Just five months after launching, Amplify boasts over 350 paid members and is developing new advertising and branding opportunities for its industry partners. Prior to l Amplify, Dave spent eight years working at Venues Today where he rose from staff writer to managing editor. He also spent two years working at the Los Angeles Times in Orange County, California. He currently resides in Long Beach.

Brandon Dowling
Director, Sports, Johnson Consulting

Brandon Dowling specializes in market and financial analysis for public assembly facilities. Brandon provides analysis through experience with financial modeling, research, data analytics and industry best practices. He is also experienced in economic and fiscal impact analysis and has assisted cities and communities in their application for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and/ or other public funding.

Since joining Johnson Consulting in 2008, Brandon has completed over 50 public assembly feasibility studies. His most recent achievements as a sports consultant came in 2015 with the successful opening of four sports facilities in which he served as lead feasibility consultant, which included three collegiate facilities and one minor league ballpark, resulting in over $200 million in successful development. Brandon recently led an economic and fiscal impact analysis for the St. Louis Blues as they begin to consider a major renovation of the Scottrade Center. Additionally, he is currently serving as a stadium committee member for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM).

He holds a degree in Business and Urban Planning from Arizona State University and resides in Chicago, IL

Steve Poppen
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Minnesota Vikings

Currently in his 18th season with the Vikings in 2016, Steve Poppen serves as the team’s Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. In his role, Poppen is responsible for all financial aspects of the team, including business planning, budgeting, day-to-day financial and administrative operations, human resources, facilities, and U.S. Bank Stadium project financing.

Poppen plays a key part in the new Vikings headquarters and training facility that is underway in Eagan following City Council approval in June 2016. As a project leader on the facility, Poppen is involved daily with financing, design, construction and cooperating with city, county and regional governing bodies to keep the project on track.

For several years Poppen played a lead role in the Vikings attempts to pass new stadium legislation, an exhaustive effort that culminated with Governor Mark Dayton signing the stadium bill into law on May 14, 2012. Since the passage of stadium legislation, Poppen continues to serve on the Vikings stadium team, assisting with the design and construction process and helping negotiate the team’s use agreement and development agreement, as well as other documents governing the construction and operation of the new publicly-owned facility. Poppen also oversees the Vikings efforts to finance the over $600 million team/private commitment to the project. In 2013, he helped secure $375 million in loans from the NFL and a bank syndicate led by U.S. Bank as part of the team contribution, a significant step forward for the stadium project.

A native of Watertown, SD, Poppen spent eight years as a Certified Public Accountant in the business assurance group of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Kansas City before joining the Vikings. In 2006, Poppen participated in the NFL-Stanford Program for Managers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a program developed by the NFL to promote growth of leaders within the League. Poppen helped engineer dramatic renovations to Winter Park during the 2006 offseason that featured a total remake of the locker room and equipment facilities and an upgrade of the athletic training areas. In 2009, he joined the NFL’s Green Committee to enhance environmental awareness among clubs and has been key in the Vikings Planet Purple initiatives to operate the franchise in a more Earth-friendly way. Poppen received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Evangel University in Springfield, MO, in 1991. Poppen played football at Evangel, an NAIA member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Poppen is an active member of his community, Poppen served on the board of Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, a faith-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for Minnesota adults and teens, from 2002-2012. Poppen retired from the board in 2015 of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District’s Executive Committee, an organization promoting business development in downtown Minneapolis. He holds a position with the Minnesota State Fair Foundation board of directors, including serving as the chair of the Audit Committee. The State Fair Foundation was created to preserve and improve the historic Minnesota State Fair buildings and grounds and support State Fair educational, scientific and agricultural programs. Poppen also served on the Entertainment Subcommittee of the Downtown 2025 working group of Minneapolis civic and business leaders focused on a progressive future for downtown. Poppen also serves on the board of directors of Kansas City-based M3Sixty Administration LLC, a business that provides fund accounting, fund administration and transfer agent services to the mutual fund industry.

Poppen and his wife, Christy, who holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Evangel, have four children – Natalie, Andrew, Nathan and Avery. The Poppen family resides in Chanhassen.

Matt Hollander, CFE
General Manager, Miami Beach Convention Center, Spectra Venue Management

Matt oversees all daily operations of the Miami Beach Convention Center, a convention center facility with 500,000 square feet of exhibit space currently undergoing a $630 million modernization and expansion project. Additionally, Matt provides corporate support to the Spectra-managed MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA. Matt has been a venue management professional since 1990 and has been an active member of IAVM since 1992. He currently serves on the association’s Certification Board and as Vice Chair of the Convention Center/Exhibition Halls Committee, and previously served on the Board of Directors representing Region 1. Matt earned both a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University.

Xen Riggs
President, The Jerome Schottenstein Center

With almost 35 years of experience in the live event and facility management industry, Xen Riggs has provided management oversight of multiple facilities and operations including four arenas, six theaters, student unions, recreation complexes, campus dining services, movie theatres, hotels and conference centers.

Currently Xen’s titles at The Ohio State University (OSU) include Associate Vice-President of Business Advancement, Associate Vice-President of Student Life, and Executive Associate Athletic Director. He is also COO for Columbus Arena Management (CAM) and President of Columbus Arena Sports and Entertainment (CASE), where he is the senior officer in charge of joint management for the Jerome Schottenstein Center and Nationwide Arena - both 20,000-seat multipurpose arenas in Columbus, Ohio. He serves on several Boards including the Executive Committee for the Arena Network.

In Xen’s various positions at OSU, he oversees multiple campus facilities and new program development. As Associate Vice-President of Business Advancement, Xen supervises the Schottenstein Center, the Blackwell Inn, Drake Performance and Event Center, Fawcett Conference and Event Center, Gateway Film Center, and Strategic Business Advancement which includes Trademark and Licensing and university-wide Affinity Agreements and Sponsorships.

Erin Schnieders
Associate Vice President, Venue Development, National Basketball Association

As Associate Vice President, Venue Development at the National Basketball Association, Erin Schnieders oversees the league’s domestic arena renovations and new arena construction. In her role, she develops and implements NBA Arena Standards – the minimum design and construction requirements followed by all teams undergoing arena renovations or new construction. She also is active in the advancement of best practices for facility operations. Schnieders is involved in the research and facilitation of new rules, technology and elements that add to the production of the in-arena experience and serves as a day-to-day resource and liaison between each NBA arena and the league office.

Schnieders also worked as the Manager of Business Development with the Houston Rockets. In her role, Schnieders was a member of Toyota Center’s arena development team, focusing on project management and facility capital improvement projects. Prior to joining the NBA league office, she acted as Lead Project Manager in ventures with Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority and a dessert retail concept located in The Woodlands, TX.

Schnieders received a bachelor’s degree in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University. She resides in New York City with her dog Brady.

David Touhey, CFE
President, Venues, Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE)


Jason Pedone
General Manager, John Paul Jones Arena/University of Virginia in Charlottesville

Jason Pedone discovered Sports and Facilities Management courses as an undergrad at the University of Tennessee and has since enjoyed a rewarding 15+ year career with LMI/SMG. Jason currently serves as General Manager for John Paul Jones Arena on the grounds of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. JPJ Arena is the largest arena in Virginia, home to University of Virginia Basketball, and the site of many major live entertainment events. Jason currently serves on both the Universities and Mentoring Committees for IAVM and graduated from VMS in 2008. Before moving to Charlottesville, Jason was Director of Event Services for NRG Park in Houston and Event Manager for Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Ron Freiheit, FASA
Director, Acoustics, Wenger Corporation

Ron has spent more than 25 years at the cutting edge of acoustics technology. He became a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2003 and holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern Polytechnic Institute. Ron also completed graduate studies in Engineering of Acoustics at Penn State and holds a U.S. patent for acoustic virtual environments. He’s also a member of the Audio Engineering Society and the Institute of Noise Control Engineers.

Don Meyer, CFRE
Senior Gift Planner, Wartburg College

Don is Senior Gift Planner at Wartburg College. He has worked in the development profession for 30 years, following a 12-year career as an architect. In 2001 he received his Certified Fund Raising Executive certification (CFRE) from CFRE International. Don has been active musically most all of his life, with vocal performance. He and his wife, Kris, live in Waverly, IA, and have two grown children. Don is active in the Waverly community as a member of the Waverly Rotary Club, and as chair of the Waverly Historic Preservation Commission.

Jim Pennock
Director,Technology, Wenger Corporation

Jim Pennock has a deep passion for music and creating new products for the audio industry. For over 30 years he has been developing new ideas and launching countless new award winning products ranging from guitar pedals, vocal harmonizers, and studio effects processors to cinema immersive-sound and active acoustic systems. He is currently working for Harman International Industries’ Professional Audio Solutions Division as the Director of Technology in Salt Lake City, UT and is managing a group of DSP engineers working on new products for many Harman brands including Lexicon, JBL, DigiTech, dbx, Crown, and BSS. With 13 current patents and more pending Jim is always on the lookout for the next “Big Idea” to move the audio industry forward.

Kathy Armistead Olen
Agent, Atticus

Kathy is a pioneer in the field of brand-artist partnerships & live performance. She has a 30-year track record of successful pairings through tour sponsorship, produce endorsement, music use, commercials, PR initiatives, venue sponsorship sales and other forms of corporate partnership. Kathy is widely recognized for her achievements and expertise by global brand executives and artists in music, television and the commercial advertising world.

In 2011, Kathy launched Atticus Brand Partners, focusing on matching brands & artists in strategic partnerships. Also offering corporate booking services to brands and agencies in answer to needs expressed by clients, it quickly became a successful area of the company’s new business.

Prior to Atticus BP, Kathy was Vice President of Brand Partnerships at The William Morris Agency/William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, and Director of Marketing & Corporate Sales for both the Nashville Arena (now Bridgestone Arena) and Nashville’s Starwood Amphitheatre, focusing on venue sponsorship, tour marketing, ticket & corporate sponsor programs, and producing live shows throughout the Southeast region.

Kathy has produced tour sponsorships and endorsement campaigns for global brands including Firestone, Fireball Whiskey, Kraft, Hershey’s, General Motors, Anheuser-Busch, Hostess, State Farm, KFC, Ocean Pacific, WD-40, General Mills, International Harvester, World Vision, Colgate, Sharpie, McDonalds, Sea Ray, AT&T, among many others.

Recent artist partnerships Kathy has delivered include Kelly Clarkson, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldredge, Foreigner, Robin Thicke, Brad Paisley, Kenny Rogers, Lee Brice, Kix Brooks, just to name a few.

She is a Board member of the Academy of Country Music, member of the Country Music Association, Leadership Music, and other trade organizations.

Clay Layne
Food & Beverage Director, Walton Arts Center/ Walmart AMP

This is Clay's eighth year working for the Arkansas Music Pavillion. Starting in restaurants and bars industry many years ago. Clay moved to, Miami, Florida and the Florida Keys where he worked for American Airlines and for Nobile House properties. For much of his hospitality career Clay has found himself engaged and leading exceptionally talented people with great passion - "it is because of those people I feel empowered..." He moved back to the Ozarks Mountains where he now lives with his wife and two sons Rhys and Liam. He and his wife are raising their family on a hobby farm in Rogers, AR and his family is the one "project" Clay is continually amazed by daily. Extending the spirit of hospitality and exceptional customer experiences have been a driving force for much of Clay's time in service. Leading the food and beverage team for the Walmart Amp; he is reminded daily of how fortunate he is to have found a home and a career that rewards him so regularly.

Wendy Riggs
Vice President, Operations, Walton Arts Center/ Walmart AMP

Wendy Riggs has 38 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 operational departments including production, front of house and events, and maintenance and housekeeping,

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

Julia Karrenbauer
Senior Director of Business Development, Georgia World Congress Center Authority

Studying at the University of Georgia, Julia obtained two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism and Communications through the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Julia went on to continue her education at the University of Georgia and received a Masters Degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations, also through The Grady College.

Julia began her career in the entertainment industry at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia as Marketing Manager for a 13,000 set area, convention center and performing arts center, from 2005-2010. While there, she marketed over 200 Arena events; including 80+ sold-out shows, over 30+ multi-date family shows, as well as SEC and NCAA Basketball Tournaments.

Following working at the Arena, Julia served as Regional Director for Marketing for AEG-TMG in Nashville, Tennessee. As lead marketer for the southeast region, Julia handled multiple national tours as well as numerous regional and local tours.

Beginning in October of 2011, Julia began her tenure with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA). She began as Director of Business Development at the Georgia Dome, which included being responsible for overall sales, marketing, and event booking efforts for the Dome. Continuing at GWCCA, Julia then moved over to join the team at Centennial Olympic Park before joining the World Congress Center’s Commercial Team as Senior Director of Business Development. Her current responsibilities include a focus on non-traditional revenue, marketing and overall business development for the campus.

Carsten Peterson
Attorney, Hawley Troxell

Carsten Peterson has a civil litigation practice which includes personal injury, medical malpractice claims, insurance coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist claims, insurance bad faith, employment discrimination, wrongful termination, employment wage disputes, and transportation liability. Carsten is admitted to practice law in Idaho and Utah in both state and federal courts, with substantial experience in handling litigation in federal courts. He regularly practices throughout Idaho and Utah.

He has significant experience in defending health care providers in medical malpractice claims, defending employment practice claims, catastrophic personal injury cases involving traumatic brain injuries (TBI), wrongful death, and transportation liability. He is also experienced in administrative complaints filed with the Idaho Human Rights Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with respect to discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (race, color, religion, sex and national origin), and state laws prohibiting discrimination. Further, he is experienced in defending health care providers in prelitigation screening hearing panels before the Idaho State Board of Medicine.   

In addition, Carsten advises clients in matters involving disputes with the Idaho Department of Labor and Idaho Industrial Commission. His experience also includes advising clients in business formations, purchases, and risk management.

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