Faces + Places




Omaha Performing Arts has appointed Erika Hansen as vice president of commercial entertainment, overseeing a new specialized department dedicated to commercial music, comedy and other popular shows at its three performance venues: Steelhouse Omaha, the Orpheum Theater and the Holland Performing Arts Center. Hansen previously held the roles of director of booking and booking & programs manager for the organization. Before coming to Omaha Performing Arts, Hansen served as general manager and chief marketing strategist for the Tyson Events Center and Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City, Iowa.




Sarah Zawalski has been promoted to senior vice president of booking and industry relations at Detroit-based 313 Presents, succeeding fellow booking veteran Dana Warg, who will continue with the company in a more strategic role. 313 Presents President Howard Handler said in the announcement that Zawalski, who has been in the venues business for more than 25 years, was selected after a national search. Zawalski began her career with Olympia Entertainment, in roles that included private event sales, arena production and, eventually, director of booking. She actively participated in the planning and development of Little Caesars Arena, home of the NBA Detroit Pistons and NHL Detroit Red Wings. She’s credited with offering key input into the building’s artist compound, seating configuration and concert sightlines and was instrumental in the creation of 313 Presents.




Kim Bedier has departed Honda Center and the surrounding OCVibe development surrounding the Anaheim, California, arena, exiting as of May 3. She joined the facility in 2021 as senior vice president of ocV!BE and Honda Center in 2021. In an email exchange with VenuesNow, Bedier said she is going to take time off “to focus on the ‘life’ part of ‘work-life balance.’” Bedier emailed colleagues from the IAVM’s Venue Management School, where she has been an instructor, announcing her departure and intention to take a break before determining her next move. A native of Canada with decades of venues industry experience, Bedier is a certified venues executive who has taught venue management both in the U.S. and in the Asia-Pacific region. She came to Anaheim in 2022 from Tacoma, Washington, where she ran the Tacoma Dome.



Lucky Man Concerts has hired talent buyer Jesse Teer to join its Arizona team as booking manager for clubs and theaters. He is mainly responsible for booking small to mid-range capacity venues with a focus on The Marquee, a 2,425-capacity venue in Tempe, Arizona, as well as clubs and theaters in the Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque and Salt Lake City markets. Most recently, Teer was talent buyer for the 550-capacity Crescent Ballroom and 250-capacity Valley Bar in Phoenix, helping establish emerging artists in Phoenix. Teer also started and continues to host Phoenix’s original weekly songwriters showcase. The hire marks the latest personnel expansion for Lucky Man Concerts, which named concert veteran Jesse Morreale its executive vice president of  talent and venues in February.




Kelly Austin, Budweiser Gardens assistant general manager and director of marketing since 2015, is taking over as GM of the 10,200-seat facility in London, Ontario, following the retirement of Brian Ohl. Austin has played a key role in venue operations while leading the facility’s marketing, group experiences and box office efforts. She has worked in the NBA and G-League, in sales, community relations and promotions.

Officially retired as of July 1, Ohl plans to fill a new role as Oak View Group’s project manager for the $24 million renovation of Bud Gardens. “I’m still with the company and doing a few projects as I ease into retirement,” Ohl said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and working events. It’s going to free up nights and weekends a lot more, which my wife is thrilled about.”




Trevor Mitchell, who currently serves as executive director and CEO of American Mensa, has been selected as the next president and CEO of the International Association of Venue Managers. He will take over for Brad Mayne, who is retiring in July. Mitchell’s first event as president and CEO will be VenueConnect 2024, IAVM’s annual conference and trade show, from July 28-31 in Portland, Oregon. Asked about his priorities for his first 100 days in office, Mitchell said he will focus on connecting with leaders and membership to understand challenges and raise the organization’s profile.