Vice President of Ticketing
Nicole Raymond grew up in Farmersburg, Iowa, a town of about 300 in the northeast part of the state but, by the time she was 13, she knew the big city beckoned.
By then, she and her best friend started a website featuring photos, concert reviews and band interviews they would conduct during visits to shows in Minneapolis, about four hours away; La Crosse, Wisconsin, about a 90-minute drive; and occasionally, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“Our parents would cart us around,” Raymond recalled.
After high school, Raymond got a full-ride scholarship to study music business at the now closed McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota.
“My parents were like, ‘What?’” she said of their reaction to a field of study they didn’t know existed. But a full ride is hard to argue with, so off she went.
Soon after, she began interning for local concert promoter Mr. Chan Presents, which staged shows at a large proportion of Minneapolis-area clubs.
“I did whatever they needed, filed show contracts, worked different shows. They put in a good word for me at Ticketmaster and that became my first big-kid job,” Raymond said of her move to the ticketing giant in 2007.
She started in client support, working with clubs, theaters and college arenas, about 30 clients in all, before moving on to an event support role. After five years, she moved on to the Target Center, where she worked for eight years, working her way up in box office management.
It was then that she connected with a key mentor, Marcus Kroulik, now vice president of ticketing at Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert, California.
“He was always the person encouraging me to advance and apply elsewhere, even though he would be losing my services,” she said.
Raymond moved to Austin, Texas, in January of 2020 to take a job with C3 Presents handling all local concerts for the stalwart concert promoter, but then came March and the COVID shut down, and she found herself laid off in September.
In February of 2021, she landed the job of box office director at Austin’s Moody Center, at the University of Texas, which opened a little more than a year later.
In fact, Raymond considers being involved with the opening of Moody Center to be her top career accomplishment to date.
At Moody Center, Raymond has risen to the position of vice president of ticketing and made a key hire of Lauren Dugan as ticketing manager. Dugan has since risen to the role of box office director.
“She has a lot of experience and her own management style and ideas,” Raymond said. “The two of us work well together.”
Raymond is a member of INTIX, which she calls an extremely giving organization, and attends the group’s annual conference, although this year, after receiving her Ticketing Star Award, she will hustle back to Austin for a Tool show at the arena.
As for working at a new building in a dynamic music market with bosses like Casey Sparks and Jeff Nickler, Raymond says she was familiar with the duo as respected leaders within a tight-knit industry.
“They are legends in the industry and to actually have the opportunity to work with them has been life-changing,” she said. “They really took a chance on me and stuck to their word in everything they promised.”
The biggest challenge facing Raymond
now is meeting the huge demand as virtually every major show coming to Austin plays Moody Center, the only arena in the vibrant college town and “live music capital” of the U.S.
“In Minneapolis, we were always competing,” she said. “Here, we get all the major events.”
Having 150 events a year, however straining, is a nice problem to have and Raymond is bringing all she’s learned from various experiences and people, including Kroulik, her mentor still.