Faces + Places
Sports architect Chris Lamberth, among the most well-connected professionals in the industry, has returned to HKS as a principal, responsible for global venues business strategy across multiple disciplines. His first day back at the firm was May 9. Lamberth, 53, has more than 25 years of experience in architecture. Early in his career, he worked at HKS from 2001-2004, helping design upgrades to ballparks for the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox.
Steve Eckerson has been named general manager of Pechanga Arena San Diego, which is approaching its 60th anniversary. Eckerson is a 30-plus-year industry veteran who served as general manager for ASM Global at Mechanics Bank Arena, Theater and Convention Center in Bakersfield, California, since 2016. He also served as general manager of Toyota Arena (then known as Citizens Business Bank Arena) in Ontario, California, opening that facility in 2007. Eckerson played goalie for the University of Vermont ice hockey team and is in the UVM Athletic Hall of Fame. He succeeds Steve Tadlock, who was general manager from 2021-23 before joining LiveCo as senior vice president of venue relations..
Bluemedia, a producer of large format branded displays, has promoted Gina Patel to president and chief financial officer. Patel joined bluemedia in 2000 as vice president of finance and was promoted to CFO in 2021. Patel has 16 years of experience in the financial and manufacturing sectors. Bluemedia clients include the NFL Draft and Super Bowl, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game and NASCAR Championship Weekend. The company, headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, was founded in 1997.
ASM Global has appointed Jason Humphrey as general manager of Ithaca (New York) Downtown Conference Center. An industry professional with over 12 years of experience in event services and hospitality, Humphrey will be the first general manager of the new center. In the role, Humphrey will oversee every aspect of venue management and customer experience as well as work closely with the Downtown Ithaca Local Development Corporation, which owns the Ithaca Downtown Conference Center, to drive new economic activity in the destination. Most recently, Humphrey served as an event services manager for the University of Pittsburgh. Before that, he managed catering sales for Cornell University and served as an assistant general manager at the Hilton Garden Inn in Ithaca.
Talent agency APA has named music agent Alex Chaykin and production department agent Brady Torgeson partners, CEO Jim Gosnell and President Jim Osborne announced May 26. Chaykin, a veteran of more than a decade with the full-service agency, specializes in crossing music artists over into other areas including touring, TV, film, non-scripted and endorsements. He set rapper Tyga in a new residency at the Wynn Las Vegas for 2023, booked his client En Vogue out on more than 50 arena dates with New Kids on the Block in 2022, and is following that up with a 21-date shed tour this summer. Chaykin also helped land En Vogue appearances on Fox TV’s “Masked Singer” and ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Client CeeLo Green has been cast on numerous non-scripted reality shows, plus Disney voiceover animated project “Proud Family” and launched his James Brown Tribute concert at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival last year.
Talent agency Madison House has tapped Jon Bell to lead its Nashville office and added Lee Huber and Mike Kaiz as agents. “As with any small business coming out of the pandemic, we have experienced tremendous growth and opportunity in the live touring industry,” managing partner Adam Bauer said. “Being able to tap Jon Bell who is incredibly well respected in the industry and was previously the co-head of Nashville is a key part of mine and (co-founder) Nadia Prescher’s vision. Jon will continue to help lead the critical mission of expanding our Nashville presence. Concurrently, we also brought on four additional team members, including two agents – Lee Huber who joins us from Odyssey Touring, Mike Kaiz from Skyline, a new business manager Steph Belcher, and Ashleigh Neilio as an agent assistant. These are just the continued signs of how excited we are for the future at the agency. You can expect the dream to be alive for many years to come.” Madison House is based in Boulder, Colorado.