Date: September 2004
Sarah Dandaneau has joined Ovations Food Services as sales and marketing assistant, working at the company's main office in Tampa. Dandaneau previously worked as the special events and communications manager for the American Heart Association's Tampa Bay Division.
Robert Hansen has been appointed director of arenacross for Clear Channel Motor Sports. Hansen joined the division seven years ago and was the director of regional arenacross. Hansen will oversee all operations for the National Arenacross Series and all Regional Arenacross events.
Kevin James has been named sales manager and Aaron Gross, sales executive, at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta. James had worked with the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. Gross had been with UniverSoul Circus.
John LaChance has been appointed to the newly created position of director of contracted services for Global Spectrum. LaChance, a food and beverage concessions specialist, was most recently a general manager and assistant general manager within Global Spectrum facilities, including the Pinellas Expo Center. For five years prior to joining Global Spectrum, he handled the food and beverage department for Boston Concessions Group at Harborview Center, Clearwater, Fla.
SMG and the Long Beach (Calif.) Convention & Entertainment Center have promoted Dan Lee to director of Facilities. With SMG for more than 10 years, Lee has been responsible for overseeing the Center's Accounting, Box Office, Purchasing and Human Resources Departments. Earlier this year, the Parking Department was made part of his responsibilities. Now he will also oversee the Operations Department.
Don Law has been named chairman of Global Music for Clear Channel Entertainment. He had been co-CEO of the company's Music Division. (Aug. 11 VT e-newsletter). Michael Rapino, formerly CEO of CCE's European Music Group, is now president of Global Music. Dave Lucas, formerly co-CEO with Law, is to become chairman of North American Music Operations. Thomas Johansson has been promoted to chairman of European Music. In an earlier announcement, Miles Wilkin was named COO of CCE (Aug. 4 VT e-newsletter).
Brett Mitchell and Doug Higgons have been promoted to regional directors for Global Spectrum. Mitchell will expand his role as general manager at the Overland Park (Kan.) Convention Center in Overland Park to oversee the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines and future venues in the Midwest for Global Spectrum. Higgons, who is also general manager for the Ted F. Constant Convocation Center on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., will oversee the University of Central Florida's multi-purpose venue and their proposed new arena for the University, and future venues in the Southeast for the company.
Michael A. Loparo and Charlie Taylor have joined the Arena Football League (AFL) as vice president of Consumer Products and director of Partnership Services, respectively. Both take on newly created positions and will be based in the AFL's New York office. Loparo will focus on building the AFL's retail-marketing program. Loparo had served as the national sales director for VF Corporation. Loparo also worked for the National Football League (NFL) for 13 years, as director of Consumer Products from 1995 to 2003 and as senior manager of Retail Development from 1991 to 1995. Taylor will focus on managing AFL partnerships. He has worked with AFL teams for the last five years, most recently as the director of marketing for the AFL's Los Angeles Avengers. Prior to that, Taylor was the business operations coordinator for the AFL's Detroit Fury and an account representative for Palace Sports & Entertainment in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Rodney Reese has been named general manager of UCF Arena at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, for Global Spectrum, which is partnered with University Partners International (UPI) in management of the venue. Reese, was most recently assistant general manager at the Global Spectrum-managed Ted F. Constant Convocation Center on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.
Wendy Riggs has been named managing director of the Galleria Performing Arts Centre, Atlanta. She had been assistant general manager for the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Riggs will be responsible for identifying, coordinating and managing all promotions and artistic programming for the facility as well as overseeing, directing and managing all physical and operational aspects of the building. Her 22 years of experience includes serving as managing director for Horn Performing Arts Center in Las Vegas; training and facilities manager and project manager for the construction of two new theatres for Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; theatre manager of the historic Bama Theatre in Alabama; and stage manager roles ranging from the 1982 World's Fair to regional dinner theatres. Riggs has also taught Theatre Management on the college level for several years. The Galleria Performing Arts Centre includes a 2,750-seat theatre. Groundbreaking is planned for early 2005 with projected completion March 2007.
Michael P. St. Peter was named vice president of Venue Productions for Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E). St. Peter will be responsible for the production of all events at The Palace, DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Festival. St. Peter joined PS&E in 1988 as production manager, before getting promoted to technical director in 1996. Previously, he worked as the production manager at Saginaw (Mich.) Civic Center for eight years, in charge of stagehand labor and concert production.
Dennis Sankovich has been named executive director of the Riley Education and Performing Arts Center at Mississippi State University in Meridian. He will oversee a $23 million renovation of some of the halls.
Gail Soloman has been named executive services manager at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta. She had owned and operated two destination management companies.
Robert M. Johnson was named vice president, corporate controller for Palace Sports and Entertainment (PS&E). Johnson joined PS&E in 2000 as corporate controller for the accounting and finance department. Previously, he worked as the vice president of Finance at The Off Card Shop Inc. in Southfield, Mich. He began his career as audit manager for Grant Thornton in Southfield.
Senior staff appointments at the Omaha (Neb.) Performing Arts Society (OPAS) include: George Thompson, senior vice president/programs; Erick Hoffman, vice president for marketing and communications; Melissa Steimer, vice president for development; and Scott Roberts, vice president for finance and administration. Thompson had been executive director of the Washington Ballet, and, prior to that, executive vice president and general manager of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Hoffman, who will also oversee Ticket Omaha, previously worked at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Ore. Steimer served as the director of Development for the Durham Western Heritage Museum for the past several years. Roberts was previously with infoUSA where he served as president/general manager for one of their divisions after previously serving as corporate controller and acting chief financial officer.