Although we hope to be past the periods of prolonged shutdown due to COVID-19, the pandemic shook up the industry and created havoc for operators of all types. There’s no making lemonade out of those lemons, but many in the industry have stepped up, taken on new roles and responsibilities and shown they’re more than eager to take on any challenges thrown their way.

This year’s class of IMPACT: NextGen honorees has demonstrated that resolve, talent and willingness, and then some. Like last year, VenuesNow, in collaboration with sister publication Pollstar, recognizes some of the industry’s brightest rising stars, with a look to the future. It’s about more than just age, IMPACT: NextGen is not only people but trends, visions and leadership that will impact the live events business for years to come.

Like last year, IMPACT: NextGen is a dual-publication feature, with winners in both this issue of VenuesNow and the Sept. 2 issue of Pollstar. VenuesNow will continue to honor those who work for venues or in businesses related to them, and Pollstar focuses primarily on the talent, programming and content within the broader live entertainment industry. While there is overlap between the two, VenuesNow strives to honor those primarily in the facilities business.

This includes everyone from arena managers to ticketing professionals to architects, concessionaires, contractors and ticketing providers. Chosen internally through the editorial staff as well as with input from the industry, VenuesNow is pleased to present a cross section of the industry that has not only overcome the challenge of the last three years but is building into something stronger than ever before.

Steve Ackles
Senior Director of Touring, Live Nation

Zhubin Aghamolla
Co-Director of Booking, I.M.P.

Akin Aliu
Music Touring Agent, CAA

Warda Baig
Tour Promoter, Live Nation

Jared Blashinsky
VP Artist Development & Live, 88rising

Lindsay Dworman
Director of Global Touring, AEG Presents

Joe Howard
Global Festival Promoter, C3 Presents

Louise Johnson
VP of Marketing, Patriot One Technologies

James June
Creative Manager, Live Nation Urban

Haley McCollister
President, Messina Touring Group Nashville

Mapuana “Mapi” Moran
Vice President, Brand & Marketing, Goldenvoice

Josh Mulder
Agent, TBA

Andile Ndlovu
Senior Artist Manager, Electric Feel Entertainment

Nate Ritches
VP / Agent, Wasserman Music

Kinsey Shomo
Executive Assistant to Judi Marmel, Levity Live

Scott Schreiber
Agent – Music, UTA

James Simmons
Agent, WME

Tom Skoglund
Manager, Full Stop Management

Ashley Ventura
Booking Agent, MAC Agency

Andrea (Dre) Wallace
CEO, Opnr

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Tracy Buskirk
Manager, Events & Settlements, Nederlander Concerts

Brita Christensen
VP, Artist & Promoter Relations, Ticketmaster

Grant Hall
Director Business Services and Strategy, ASM Global

Rachel Hill
General Manager,
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Kelly Holton
Principal, Brand Activation Director, Populous

Erik Hudson
General Manager,
Mountain America Center and Hero Arena

Brian Krajewski
General Manager,
Liberty First Credit Union Arena,

Lauren Mahaney
Director of Strategic Hospitality,
Sodexo Live

Gracie Pugliese
Director of Marketing,
Snapdragon Stadium

Keith Robinson
Principal, Creative Director,
Manica Architecture

Ellen Spangler
Project Manager,

Ashlee Stokely
Vice President,
Stadium Events & Experience, NIssan Stadium

Amanda Trimble
Studio Design Leader, Sports & Entertainment; Vice President, HKS

Paige Vicari 
Senior Premium Manager,
Live Nation VIP Food & Beverage Experience

Dionna Widder
Chief Revenue Officer,
Houston Dynamo, Houston Dash, PNC Stadium