I noticed it the first time I attended a Women of Influence reception, in 2019: the buzz, the excitement, the camaraderie, the pride. It was strong and unmistakable, to the point that I nearly forgot to be nervous when I got up to speak,

That was my real introduction to the power of a program that dates back to 2007 at Venues Today, one that has been a cornerstone for the publication and a source of enthusiastic engagement among its readers, especially those who are honored or hope to be someday.

This year, Women of Influence becomes Women of Live as we align the program with a similar one at our sister publication, Pollstar. It’s part of our effort to have these two brands work together better and offer more value to everyone who reads one or both of them. We’ve made some other changes, too: increasing the number of honorees, allowing former winners to be honored again, and having the editorial staff select the list rather than counting up subscriber votes.

But, you might ask, if it ain’t broke …

And you’re right: It ain’t broke. We don’t think of these changes as fixes, though, but more as enhancements.

Increasing the number of honorees recognizes the growth of women in positions of importance and (dare I say) influence in the live industry. Everyone would agree that those numbers aren’t where they need to be, but we have more candidates to pick from than ever before, and we want to take full advantage.

Those added slots mean that we can in some cases recognize previous winners who have stepped up their game to an even higher level. And moving to staff-selected lists gives us the freedom to discover worthy honorees from sectors that may not make up a large chunk of our readership but still help drive the live biz.

Women of Live has the heart of Women of Influence plus a longer invite list. And speaking of invite lists: missing another honoree reception was part of my COVID-19 regret list from 2020. We hope to restart that tradition soon and properly welcome to the club our 2020 and 2021 winners. It will be the biggest party yet.

— Rob Knapp

On Thursday, March 25 at 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT Pollstar and VenuesNow will host an expanded Women Of Live Digital Session featuring a fireside conversation with Women of Live cover honoree Judi Marmel, co-founder and president of Levity Live, in conversation with comedian, television host, actress and author, Loni Love. This conversation will be immediately followed at 2:30 pm PT / 11:30 am PT by a power-packed Women of Live Roundtable moderated by 2020’s “Women Of Live” cover honoree Ali Harnell, President of Live Nation Women with six highly accomplished executives representing different live sectors. To view the Women of Live Fireside Chat as well as the Women of Live Roundtable, participants must register for the webinar.


Jenna Adler

Music Agent


Nathalie Bellon-Szabo

Global CEO

Sodexo Sports & Leisure

Alisann Blood

Co-Head Global Brand Partnerships

Toni Wallace

Co-Head Global Brand Partnerships

Samantha Kirby Yoh

Partner & Co-Head of Worldwide Music


Sara Bollwinkel


Paradigm Talent Agency

Maria Brunner


Insight Management/Musically Fed

Larita Clark


Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority

Brenda Colladay

VP of Museum Services

Country Music Hall of Fame

Amy Corbin


C3 Presents

Donna DiBenedetto

VP, Global Touring

AEG Presents

Lucy Dickins

Co-Head of Music


Rosalyn Durant

SVP, Walt Disney World Operations

The Walt Disney Co.

Dayna Frank

Owner and CEO

First Avenue Productions



Julie Giese


Phoenix Raceway

Stacey Hall

Director, National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security, and Professor of Sport Management, College of Business and Economic Development

University of Southern Mississippi

Ali Harnell

President/Chief Strategy Officer

Live Nation Women

Leonora Hill

Director of Event Operations and Guest Experience

Nederlander Concerts / Drive-In OC at City National Grove of Anaheim

Mary Hilliard Harrington

Artist Manager

Wild Heart/Red Light Management

Rachel Hodgdon

President and CEO

International Well Building Institute

Mary Kay Huse

CEO and Co-Founder


Ann Jackson

Chief People and Culture Officer

Oak View Group

Laurie Jacoby

EVP and Chief Entertainment Officer

BSE Global

Charlotte Jones

EVP and Chief Brand Officer

Dallas Cowboys

Gina Keltner

Director of Talent Logistics and Scheduling

Grand Ole Opry

Samantha Kirby Yoh

Partner, Co-head of Worldwide Music

Alisann Blood

Co-Head Global Brand Partnerships

Toni Wallace

Co-Head Global Brand Partnerships


Deborah Klein

Music Manager Partner

Primary Wave

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. Senator


Tammy Koolbeck

Executive Director, Stephens Auditorium


Stephanie Langs

Music Agent


Amy Latimer


TD Garden

Joyce Leveston

Senior VP of Convention Centers


Geni Lincoln

GM and SVP of Live Events

The Forum

Heather Lowery

President and CEO

Femme it Forward

Judi Marmel

Co-Founder Partner

Levity Live

Angela “Angie” Martinez, Esq.

Attorney At Law

Angela N. Martinez, P.A.

Jayne McGivern

President of Development and Construction

MSG Entertainment

Kate McMahon

Executive Vice President

Messina Touring Group

Stephanie McMahon

Chief Brand Officer


Beth Montuori Rowles

General Manager

Phish Inc.

Executive Director/Co-Founder

The WaterWheel Foundation

Priya Narasimhan

Founder and CEO


Marla Ostroff

Managing Director North America


Yves Pierre


ICM Partners/Concert Leadership Committee

Berkeley Reinhold


Business & Law Firm of Berkeley Reinhold

Brandy Sanders

VP of Global Entertainment Experiences and Partnerships

American Express

Noelle Scaggs


Diversify the Stages/Fitz & The Tantrums

Stormy Shepherd


Leave Home Booking/NITO

Janet Marie Smith

EVP of Planning and Development

Los Angeles Dodgers

Demetra Thornton

Architect and Senior Associate


Tara Traub

SVP, Touring

Live Nation

Marsha Vlasic



Toni Wallace

Co-Head Global Brand Partnerships

Alisann Blood

Co-Head Global Brand Partnerships

Samantha Kirby Yoh

Partner & Co-Head of Worldwide Music


Kathy Willard


Live Nation

Caroline Yim

Partner and Co-Head of Hip-Hop/R&B