Senior vice president, arena and event operations, and general manager
Hornets Sports & Entertainment

Donna Julian and her venue, Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., have survived several hurricanes, a national political convention (with another one coming), a national boycott over a state “bathroom bill” and a tenant team that has never won a championship.

“Hosting the Democratic National Convention in 2016 afforded me the once-in-a-lifetime experience to meet President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama,” Julian said. She’s looking forward to collaborating with all of the groups that will make the Republican National Convention happen at Spectrum Center in 2020.

In between political conventions and Charlotte Hornets home games, Julian has squeezed in this year’s NBA All-Star game, the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, the CIAA men’s and women’s tourneys, big-name concerts from Fleetwood Mac, Justin Timberlake, Ariana Grande and Pink, and family events like Monster Jam and Cirque du Soleil.

“We create events that appeals to all demographics,” Julian said of the winning formula. 

She’s also proud of a partnership with KultureCity which certified the venue as sensory inclusive, and an initiative to add small pods for nursing mothers.  

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated since it was posted.