FACES & PLACES
ASM Global has formed its own talent buying group with the acquisition of Madison Entertainment, headed by Roger LeBlanc. The company is known for booking various types of festivals, fairs, private events, clubs and theaters across the U.S. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Madison Entertainment will operate as a wholly-owned business unit of ASM Global and continue to serve its current client base of music clubs, theaters and festivals, while dedicating personnel and resources to booking ASM Global-managed arenas and its network of 57 theaters and amphitheaters.
Oak View Group has hired Noël Mirhadi as director of the Theater Alliance, tasked with building, launching, and growing the group that was announced Jan. 13 at the APA conference. A longtime music agent, Mirhadi has spent her career focused on booking artists in the adult contemporary and performing arts space. The initial Theater Alliance roster includes high-profile venues in markets across the country.
The National Independent Venue Association announced the appointment of Stephen Parker as its new executive director. Parker’s previous experience includes working for the National Governors Association, the Country Music Association, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and the National Guard. Parker replaces outgoing Executive Director Rev. Moose, who co-founded the organization in March 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the shuttering of the live industry. The advocacy group galvanized an outpouring of both public and political support resulting in a historical $16.25 billion Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which was part of the second COVID-19 Relief Bill passed on Dec. 27, 2020.
Sodexo Live! announced Belinda Oakley as chief executive officer for North America. Oakley joins the Sodexo Live! Global Executive Committee and reports to Nathalie Bellon-Szabo, Sodexo Live!’s global chief executive officer. Oakley has two decades of food service management on three continents. In her new position, Oakley will lead 20,000-plus team members across 150-plus partner venues throughout the U.S. and Canada. A native Australian, Oakley was most recently CEO of Chartwells K12, a $1 billion business where she led 16,000 employees serving two million meals daily at 4,400 schools across the U.S. Previously, she held leadership roles for Famous Brands International, Brumby’s Bakeries and Benugo.
Nick Alvarez has been hired as executive chef at the Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in greater Atlanta. Alvarez was most recently the executive chef at the Marietta campus of Kennesaw State University. He has also been sous chef for Bacchanalia, one of Atlanta’s top restaurants.