Date: January 2005

The San Diego Convention Center has promoted Phyllis Bradley Azama, CMP, to vice president of Sales, Eastern Region. Azama, who previously served as the director of National Accounts, will now direct the Convention Center's overall sales effort in its Washington, D.C., office. A 19-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Azama was a sales executive with the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau for 11 years.

Michael J. Bandy has announced his decision to step down as president and leave the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) effective March 31, 2005, according to Sal Cavallaro, CME, chairman of the TSEA Board of Directors. Bandy plans to form an association management and consulting company with his wife, Dee Dee, who has been with TSEA since 1984.

Gina Brydson has been named membership marketing manager for the International Association of Assembly Managers. Brydson, most recently operations manager of membership services with Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), joined IAAM on Dec. 1. Brydson has 11 years of member service experience.

Steve Cahoon has joined Boston Culinary Group as vice president of business development. He had been with Ovations Food Services, and before that with Fine Host and Ogden over nearly 24 years in the business.

Chris Connolly has been promoted to senior event manager at the Wachovia Complex, Philadelphia, for Comcast-Spectacor. He had been event manager. He joined the company six years ago as a marketing and hospitality coordinator.

At the FleetCenter, Boston, Erin Cooney has been promoted to community affairs and special events manager and two new hires include Jennifer Twomey, Group Sales account executive and Matthew Gillespie, Group Sales associate. Cooney had been the community relations and marketing coordinator. She has been at FleetCenter for five years. Twomey most recently worked at Concentra Integrated Services as a finance account specialist. Gillespie had worked at the Baltimore Bayhawks as the director of sales & marketing.

Bill Griffin, formerly the director of Sales and Marketing, has been named Heartland Park Topeka (Kan.) general manager. Chris Bovis, who had been the director of Event Development, will assume Griffin's responsibilities as director of Marketing in addition to retaining his role in Event Development. Bovis had previously handled marketing and promotions for Clear Channel Entertainment-Motor Sports and also worked for Yokohama Tire Corporation.

Daktronics Inc. announced the appointment of Seth Hansen as vice president, sports systems; Reece Kurtenbach as vice president, video systems; and Brad Wiemann as vice president, commercial and transportation markets. Hansen began his career at Daktronics in 1983 while a student, working in customer service and software design. Kurtenbach began at Daktronics while a student in 1982 working in manufacturing and customer service. Wiemann began his career at Daktronics in 1983 as a student working in customer service.

Robine S. Hendricks, AIA, associate principal at Morris Architects, has been named associate director of the firm's Public Assembly Studio. She has been with Morris Architects for eight years and is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Steve Hyman is now president of CCO Entertainment, Chicago. CCO is owned by Hyman and Ryan Companies US Inc. Hyman had been the longtime executive director of the Mark of the Quad Cities, Moline, Ill. CCO Entertainment will pursue consulting, conceptual design and operation of arenas nationwide. Its first client will be the $60 million Hoffman Estates (Ill.) Arena being developed by Ryan Companies and Sears.

Todd Johnson has been named SMG's director of Event Services for DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, Mich., after having worked as operations manager for Van Andel Arena there for five years. Johnson began his career with SMG as an operations laborer at Van Andel Arena in August of 1996. He became event coordinator shortly after the building opened and, three years later, was named operations manager.

The Charlotte (N.C.) Bobcats have named Donna P. Julian senior vice president of Arena Operations for the New Charlotte Arena, scheduled to open in November of 2005. Julian comes to the Bobcats after 15 years as general manager of the 1st Mariner Arena, formerly the Baltimore Arena, in Baltimore, Md.

B. Scott Kellogg has joined Freeman's customer design and fabrication staff as senior designer in the Dallas office. Kellogg holds a B.S. from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. His extensive experience includes creating designs for exhibits, corporate environments, and showrooms for Giltspur, Heritage, and most recently, Exhibit Dynamics. He has received Exhibitor Magazine's Silver Award for Exhibit Design and was awarded Business Marketing Association's Design Excellence Award in 2004.

Adam Phillips who has served as executive vice president for corporate development and strategic planning for the past four years at Clear Channel Entertainment will leave his full time position with the company and become a consultant on special projects. Phillips' department was moved to Corporate Headquarters in Houston and Phillips decided not to relocate from Florida.

Bryan L. Rives, formerly director of The Whiting, Flint, Mich., has been named chief operating officer of Michigan Opera Theatre, Detroit, and its 2,800-seat Detroit Opera House. His last day at the Whiting, operated by the Flint Cultural Center Corp., was to be Dec. 31. Prior to his job in Flint, Rives was facility manager of the University of Nebraska's Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln, and sales manager for the Reno (Nev.) Performing Arts Center, director of Indiana University's auditorium in Bloomington and director of the Touhill Performing Arts Center in St. Louis.

Tickets.com has named Michelle Somkovic to the position of Midwest regional director, based in Chicago. Somkovic joins Tickets.com from the San Diego Padres baseball team, where she managed premium suite sales and services at the team's Petco Park.

John Sparks has been named vice president/general manager of the SBC Center, San Antonio, replacing Steve Zito, who has become a consultant. Sparks served his country for 20 years in the United States Navy as a senior enlisted propulsion engineer and Master Training specialist. He retired in 1997 as a Master Chief Petty Officer and become director of Building Operations CNN Center in Atlanta. As Philips Arena started construction, Sparks acted as Owners Quality Assurance Representative and was appointed director of Operations for Philips Arena. He joined SBC Center as assistant general manager.

Patrick Talty, a 10-year veteran of public assembly facility management, has joined Global Spectrum as director of Operations of the Arizona Cardinals Stadium, Phoenix, scheduled to open in the fall of 2006. He had been with the Lansing (Mich.) Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority as interim president and CEO since last August. He had been vice president of Operations for the multi-purpose sports and entertainment complex since 2001. Prior to Lansing, Talty spent five years at the RCA Dome and Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

IHRA (International Hot Rod Association), a division of Clear Channel Entertainment Motorsports, announced a major reorganization, promoting three vice presidents from within the company and hiring two new team members in the business development and operations departments. Debra Sue Tobak was named vice president of Finance and Human Resources, Jim Marchyshyn, vice president of Marketing, and Skooter Peaco, vice president of Competition. In addition, Matthias Czabok was hired as vice president of Business Development, and Sharon Ramlow was hired as Operations Coordinator.

Randy Weeks succeeds Lester L. Ward, who is retiring, as president and chief operating officer of The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) effective April 1, 2005. Weeks is currently vice president and executive director of Denver Center Attractions. The DCPA Board unanimously approved the appointment of Weeks, who will continue to oversee operations of Center Attractions, the organization's Broadway touring division. Ward will remain as a trustee. The announcement completes a change in executive leadership at The Denver Center, which also includes the appointment of Kent Thompson as Denver Center Theatre Company artistic director to succeed Donovan Marley, Vicky Miles as CFO to succeed L. Darby Smith, and Dorothy Denny as director of development and communications.

 

GENE BLAUM – 68, longtime manager of the Morris FX Jeff Municipal Auditorium and Mahalia Jackson Theatre of the Performing Arts in New Orleans, Dec. 6 of cancer. After graduating from De La Salle High School and the University of Southern Mississippi, he served 10 years in the Army. After several years as assistant director of Charity Hospital, he formed Gene Blaum Productions, promoting Rod Stewart, Bill Cosby and Mikhail Baryshnikov, among others. In 1987, he was named general manager of the New Orleans venues. He was a board member of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation and a member of its Gala Committee. He will be honored at the 2005 Jazz and Heritage Foundation Gala. He is survived by his wife, Dolly Mitchell Woods; three sons, Bryan, Greg and Jeff, and five grandchildren.

RICHARD (DICK) BURROUGHS – 63, salesman, golfer and past allied member chair of the International Association of Assembly Managers, Dec. 2 in Des Moines, Iowa. He was born Oct. 28, 1941, and grew up in Buffalo, N.Y. He spent most of his working life in Green Bay, Wis. In 2001, he and his wife, Denise, retired to Lake Panorama, Iowa. Besides his wife, survivors include sons; Brian and his wife Lori Burroughs and their children Kyrsten and Danielle of Green Bay, Wis., Kevin and his wife Jennifer Burroughs and their children Cale, Ian, & Grace, also of Green Bay, Wis.; and brother Gary and his wife Linda Burroughs of Lititz, Pa. The family requests memorials be sent to the American Cancer Society or to the First Presbyterian Church, Guthrie Center.

LARRY SADOFF – 75, promotions director and marketing consultant in the sports and entertainment industry, Nov. 21 in Phoenix, of emphysema. Sadoff's entertainment industry career spanned more than 40 years. His first industry job was for Arthur Cantor and Henry Guettel, Broadway producers. Throughout the '60s he served as both manager of the Cincinnati Gardens Arena and director of promotion and marketing for Holiday on Ice, working for his mentor Al Grant. In the '70s, he was a promoter for the American debut of The Royal Lipizzaner Stallions Show, under the ownership of the late Harry Lashinsky, his sons Philip and Gary, and Don Woods; promotion and marketing consultant to Bruce Lehrke's Longhorn World Championship Rodeo, and, late in the decade, vice president of MSG Attractions for Madison Square Garden, New York, where he oversaw the routing and booking of the Bugs Bunny Live shows, for Rodger Hess. In the '80s, he was executive coordinator of the second Leonard-Duran Championship Fight; co-producer of the 1984 National Tour of the United States Olympic Gymnastic Champions; vice president of marketing and tour administrator for the three National Companies of the Alvin and the Chipmunks Arena Shows; promoter for PACE Management's Masters of the Universe; and Special Marketing/Promotion Consultant to the Houston Sports Association. From 1993 until his retirement in 2000, Sadoff was director of Special Projects for Tom Collins Enterprises' Champions on Ice tours. Sadoff was born Aug. 2, 1929 in Toronto.