Vote for the 2020 VenuesNow Women of Influence Awards by June 22, 2020!

We’re pleased to announce the 50 women on this year’s ballot, outstanding leaders with extraordinary achievements in the live entertainment industry. As a valued subscriber, we kindly ask that you take a moment to cast your vote and help us determine this year’s class of honorees.

Subscribers, you have been sent an invitation to vote via email.  Please use that email to vote.   Please note, voting is limited to one (1) entry per subscriber (additional voting will nullify your vote) and any votes submitted by non-subscribers will be invalid. Select up to ten (10) nominees from the list provided.

VenuesNow will honor this year’s inspiring leaders in our August issue,

Please submit any questions to vote@venuesnow.com.  Do not send votes to that email, it will not be tallied.  Subscribers, please vote through the invitation to vote sent directly to you.

2020 Women of Influence Nominees:

 

Renee Alexander
Deputy GM
Minnesota State Fair

As Deputy General Manager for the Minnesota State Fair, Renee Alexander is responsible for booking and producing entertainment for its 13,000-seat historic grandstand, which draws more than 150,000 concert-goers in just 12 days. She provides oversight for the scheduling and production of five free stages — more than 900 total performances. Alexander also leads the fair’s marketing, graphic design, web, education, and ticketing departments. Over her 15 year tenure, the Minnesota State Fair has grown to attract over 2 million visitors annually to its 320-acre grounds in St. Paul. Alexander is a Certified Fair Executive through IAFE, an organization in which she has been active for years and served as Annual Convention Program Chair in 2011. She is the 2020 Chairwoman of IEBA’s board of directors, another association that has benefitted from her leadership for more than a decade.

Susan Ambo
CFO and VP of Business Operations
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Susan Ambo is the backbone of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Not only is she a visionary and effective communicator, but she has helped strategically transform the ASO into a perennial winner — touting 5 straight years of budget surplus. Not bad for an orchestra. She constantly searches for new revenue streams to grow business, enhance the experience and keep patrons coming back for more. One major key to this success has been Symphony Hall LIVE, the ASO’s in-house non-classical promoter, which has grown from 10 shows a year to over 70 performances annually under Susan’s helm. Best of all, she is liked and respected by all on her team. She challenges and inspires everyone she comes in contact with to think outside of the box, do their best work and up their game. As the past few months have brought great challenges to the world, let alone the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Susan has once again proved invaluable to our organization alongside our sister organizations at the Woodruff Arts Center through her leadership. Her strength, compassion, financial savvy and grace under pressure has helped the ASO and its partners find stable ground and brave hearts to work through the harshest of moments, and set a trajectory to establish a new normal in an ever changing world.

Christine Barkley
President and CEO
Creative Booking Agency

Christine is a true advocate for the performing arts.  She tirelessly works for her artists and does everything above and beyond so that her clients get their money’s worth when booking a show represented by CBA.

Hyacinth Belcher
President
Onstage Systems

In the last 3 years, Onstage has seen a 30% growth while still maintaining a humble approach to business.  Her passion, love for humanity, and commitment to make a positive impact on the world are reflected in all who work under her.  Under her guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hyacinth has managed to promote pivotal opportunities for the business to operate while providing a safe and secure environment.

Liz Berlin
Co-Owner
Mr. Smalls Theatre, Millvale, Pa.

I am nominating Liz Berlin, owner/operator of Pittsburgh’s 1,000-capacity venue Mr. Smalls Theatre, which was awarded “Best Local Music Venue” (1st place), “Best Place to See a Local Band” (1st place), and “Best Small/Intimate Music Venue” (1st place), in the 2019 City Paper’s Reader’s Poll. Liz Berlin, founding member of triple platinum Pittsburgh band Rusted Root, bona fide actual rock star, would be an amazing face to represent VenuesNow Women of Influence Awards 2020. She is the hardest working woman in Pittsburgh’s music community. She runs a music program which helps foster youth produce their original music at Mr. Smalls Recording and Mastering Studios through her nonprofit Creative Life Support in conjunction with Allegheny County Department of Human Services. She also teaches a music industry class at Carnegie Mellon University. During the time of the pandemic, she has maintained creative programming for the venue, planning and executing the first Pittsburgh Women’s Music Festival as a livestreamed event, and expanding into virtual educational programming with her Creative Life Support students. In addition to her work with Mr. Smalls Theater, Mr. Smalls Recording Studio, and educational pursuits, she has maintained her vibrant creative career with her solo music and her other bands, Social Justice Disco and Drowning Clowns. Pittsburgh artists like myself owe Liz Berlin a great debt of gratitude for everything she has done for our greater creative community. Every internationally and nationally touring act who has been blessed to play her stunning stages was presented in a world class venue for delighted fans, with superior production values.

Michele Bernstein
Partner
WME

Michele has been on the forefront of all the biggest tours in our industry.  She has an amazing knack of knowing how to market tours and sell them out.  And she’s a badass and can hang with the big boys.

Randi Bernstein
SVP, Business Development and Legal
Oak View Group

Randi is brilliant and is responsible for closing complex transactions on our arena developments. She works to identify and evaluate capital investment opportunities in the sports and live entertainment industries. In addition, she helps manage all aspects of the development of sports and live entertainment facilities, from the structuring of partnership arrangements to the negotiation of agreements related to the design, development, financing, construction, use, operation and management of such facilities. Randi worked 13 years at DLA Piper and was a partner there when she moved to Oak View Group in 2019.

Diana Busino
Managing Director and COO
Turnkey Search

As the No. 2 at Turnkey Search, Diana leads the identification and promotion of talent in every line of the business, especially the Venue Operations vertical, and is a fierce advocate for the consideration of candidates in underrepresented groups. In the consultation with companies on organizational structure and support systems for potential candidates, she is able to affect the complexion of executive leadership teams in a way that can sustain the effort to have sports and entertainment organizations better represent the diversification of thought needed to build strong, sustainable businesses. Personally, she serves as a coach and mentor to a myriad of up-and-coming executives, a sounding board for how to continue to grow personally and professionally with an eye toward serving in a top-level leadership role. You will also regularly see Diana speaking at industry-leading conferences on topics like Recruiting Talent, Retaining Rock-Stars, and Diversity & Inclusion. Diana has directly placed Kim Stone at Chase Center, Joe Crowley at the Dodgers, Brett Stefansson at the Hawks, Joe Myhra at the United Center, Ryan van Maarth at Levi’s Stadium, and many, many more.

Marla Calico
President and CEO
International Association of Fairs & Expositions

While a constant educator and inspiration to our industry, her true leadership skills have been front and center during the coronavirus pandemic. Providing a constant source of communication, tools, guidance, and encouragement, Marla has provided a positive influence for the entire Fair, Festival, and live event community during these challenging and changing times.

Jackie Candelino
Owner and Production Manager
JaxCandy

She runs the team at Gillette Stadium for all concert events. Oversees a team of well over 200 people, handles show settlements, advance, logistics … pretty much everything!

Maggie Cannon
Talent Buyer
Bowery Ballroom

She books the legendary Bowery Ballroom — an independent NYC venue in a fiercely competitive market.  She comes from D.C. where she booked with I.M.P. Presents, and her two years at Bowery Ballroom have been a big success in a very competitive market.

Anshia B. Crooms
CEO, Founder and Chief Booking Agent
Briclyn Entertainment Group

Anshia is the CEO of Briclyn Ent. and also a talent booking agent, it’s 2 jobs in one! She is a hard worker, always trying to please the clients, be with them as much as possible on the road while pitching for other clients and managing her business at the same time. She also gives back to people with her nonprofit organization Project Hygiene to make sure children have hygiene products to fight bullying at school and in general.  She is also very honest and fair in her business which is very HARD to find nowadays especially in the music industry!

Donna Daniels
GM and EVP
Prudential Center

With over 25 years of experience working for the National Basketball Association, including one year as President of the Roanoke Dazzle, one of the NBA G League’s inaugural teams, Donna paved the way for many of the best practices in sales, operations, team operations, marketing and forward-thinking initiatives used in the league today. In 2016, Donna left her role as Vice President of Team Marketing and Business Operations at the NBA for a senior leadership position with Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment’s New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center, where she is currently the EVP and General Manager of Prudential Center. Over the last year under Donna’s counsel, Prudential Center formed “One Team,” an initiative which brings together all 900 team members who interact with arena guests. The mission of the program is to live as #OneTeam to perform amazing work while finding time to have fun which leads to big wins. All team members Live, Work, Play and Win together and are trained in the following four service principles: Safe, Tidy, Accommodating and Resourceful. In August 2019, MTV brought the VMAs to N.J .and Prudential Center for the first time. This event marked the first International Awards show in N.J. history and the first time the VMAs were held outside of NYC and LA. Donna led Prudential Center’s operations team to execute and oversee the following for this momentous event which included: 80 straight hours of load-in, four rehearsal days, 3,000+ seats removed, coordination of 300 union stagehands, 100 trucks worth of equipment move in, entry of 1,200 credentialed media and staff of credentialed media, staff/performers.

Tina Farris
Tour Manager and Owner
Tina Farris Tours

Tina Farris followed her favorite band, The Roots, on the road for so long that she was asked to stick around. She has turned that a 20-year career and has managed tours for artists like The Roots, Chris Rock, Nicki Minaj, Anderson.Paak, Ella Mai, The Internet and Steve Lacy.

Dayna Frank
President and CEO
First Avenue Productions

As music venues across the world shuttered, Dayna played an integral role in the formation of the National Independent Venue Association and was quickly nominated as its first president. Under her leadership the newly created organization continues to grow, boasting more than 1,700 members from every state and D.C. She has lead NIVA’s national lobbying efforts coordinating activities that led to more than 500,000 letters being submitted to Congress on behalf of venues. Her leadership and organization were exemplary and even more impressive was the rapid formation and functionality of the group. And all this while still overseeing the daily operations of one of the most legendary venues in the country, First Avenue. In the midst of this chaos, First Avenue celebrated its 50th anniversary. Dayna has led her team, and shown compassion for the staff of First Avenue & 7th St Entry and associated venues (Fine Line, Turf Club, The Fitzgerald Theater, and the operation of the Palace Theatre) in Minneapolis and St. Paul during this crisis.

Becky Gardenhire
Agent and Co-Head of WME Nashville
WME

Becky is a phenomenal leader bringing insight and empathy to client and office challenges alike.  She wears many hats, has a great roster, and manages the many personalities in our office.

Stacie George
SVP
Live Nation New York

Winner of this year’s Pollstar’s talent buyer of the year award (small clubs), a very successful second season at Pier 17, and the only woman (to still be there) who has negotiated and worked her way up the ladder as a talent buyer at LN NY who is still very much on her way to the top of both the Clubs & Theaters and NAC (amps & arenas) divisions. All of these professional accomplishments aside, as someone who used to work directly with and for her at LN NY for many years, there are few women in the business who do more to advance the careers of other women than Stacie. The amount of women within the business who in some way have Stacie to thank for at least a margin of their success or access to a seat at the table is overwhelming and I think almost unmatched. From fighting for someone else’s promotion, to helping them run numbers, to genuinely caring about their underlying happiness and overall wellbeing, there really is no end to her kindness, moxie, and willingness to fight for others. There are clearly many women in the business who deserve to be nominated for this, but to me the only one that’s obvious and a no brainer is Stacie.

Hannah Gordon
Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel
San Francisco 49ers

Hannah Gordon is one of the most influential women in top management in the sports industry, driving business initiatives and a winning organizational culture at the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers. As Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Gordon leads Legal, Public Affairs, Strategic Communications, Risk Management, Community Relations, Fan Engagement, 49ers Foundation, 49ers PREP, 49ers EDU, and the 49ers Museum for one of the most legendary brands in sports. Hannah advises both the football team and affiliated entities,  playing a key role in the finance, construction, and operation of Levi’s Stadium. She is responsible for the negotiation of events such as Super Bowl, the College Football National Championship, NHL Outdoor Series, WrestleMania, and concerts, and all of the holding company entities’ interaction with the public entity that owns the venue. In 2019, her Fan Engagement department launched 49ers PRIDE to national acclaim, the first professional sports team platform for members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community. This followed prior work reenvisioning the team’s outreach to female fans doubling membership. In 2020, her work has focused on the team’s expanding market into Oakland and the East Bay. Most recently, Hannah is leading the coordinated response to COVID-19 on behalf of the 49ers and Levi’s Stadium, including business and scenario planning, return to work and play, interfacing with medical experts and government, ensuring the building and practice facility are compliant in a new and ever-changing environment, and leading community engagement efforts that include philanthropic giving of over a half-million dollars.

Facetta Greene
Operations Manager
The Dell Music Center

She has worked for The Dell Music Center in Philadelphia for 23 years, operation manager for 10 years. She’s also responsible for a program in partnership with De La Salle high school where she works with at-risk adjudicated youth.

Joann Gullo
Founder and CEO
Extreme Management Group

In a genre and industry that is mostly male-dominated, Joann Gullo has carved out her mark in the Artist Manager field, specializing in the Extreme Metal and Hard Rock genre. Managing some of the most high-profile artists in the genre she has shown that gender is not a weakness but a positive. Over the course of her management time with Extreme Management Group Inc. she has secured high profile honors for acts on the roster including having the only metal genre artist , Suffocation, inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame alongside greats like Joan Jett and Billy Joel. She has worked hand in hand with top industry labels and helped to market and create success for artist Cattle Decapitation’s 2020 release “Death Atlas” which was hailed as the top album of 2020 in the metal/rock genre. Her drive to grow artists not just through touring and marketing but through other channels has allowed her to carve out systems to help smaller artists grow with the assistance of a top level manager through consulting and coaching programs tied to her management company.  These outlets give smaller artists access to contacts and opportunities that they may not have otherwise been able to reach out to. Her dedication to her craft and thinking outside the box mentality has given her a name that is widely regarded and respected in the metal/rock genre.

Teresa Guy
Director of Booking and Partnerships
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Teresa currently serves as the Director of Booking and Partnerships for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. In her role, Teresa is responsible for booking events of all sizes at the Coliseum with a goal to attract new business to one of Los Angeles’ most iconic venues. Prior to joining the team at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Teresa served as National Booking Manager/Talent Buyer for Venue Coalition, where she handled arena and theater bookings regionally and nationally. Teresa worked with 70 arenas ranging from 5,000-20,000 capacity and theaters from 3,000-9,000 capacity. Teresa has an incredibly deep Rolodex of contacts in the world of entertainment, and has booked everything from elite A-list talent (Pink and Pink Floyd) to family shows (WWE, Cirque du Soleil, Harlem Globetrotters). Teresa has worked directly with talent agents/managers, negotiates contracts and goes through the full booking process.  Over the course of a given year, Teresa will book anywhere between 200-300 shows with 50% of them being concerts.  In addition to her past experience, Teresa also worked as a booking agent for Supreme Entertainment and APA-Agency for the Performing Arts,  where she was tasked with signing and developing talent and securing touring opportunities.

Marlene Hendricks
SVP of Guest Experience
Hornets Sports & Entertainment

Marlene Hendricks was promoted to her role in September 2019 after more than a decade leading a team providing award-winning customer service.  During that time, she crafted HSE’s Service Promise — Spectacular Fun and Memories that Marvel —  and expanded upon it by making it not just about the guest experience, but also about the experience of team members.  Marlene builds her team of more than 500 part-time employees on principles that include having the right people in place, providing ongoing learning and training, and creating a fun and engaging atmosphere for them. As HSE has developed a reputation for service, Marlene is always willing to share her knowledge, assisting other HSE departments and other NBA teams, working with sports and entertainment venues in Charlotte and throughout the Carolinas, and being invited to speak at conferences around the world.  In the last year, she has spoken on topics such as best practices in the guest experience field, creating a service culture, and being an impactful leader. Marlene and her team welcomed the world to Spectrum Center for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.  She is also currently part of an NBA roundtable aiming to review and update leaguewide guest experience standards, after previously being a member of the group that originally designed them several years ago.

Jolanda Jansen
CEO
Rotterdam Ahoy

Jolanda Jansen joined the Ahoy arena and convention center in 2004 when the city of Rotterdam still owned the building. She was instrumental in the management buyout in 2006, when the operation of the complex was privatized. Jolanda worked on the venue’s own in-house promotions, sports events and family shows, before taking on the role of co-CEO in 2011 and becoming sole CEO in 2018.

Laurie Kemmit
Vice President, Partnerships
Spectra 

Laurie Kemmit is a key member of the Spectra Partnerships executive team. She is responsible for leading our business in the Midwest with oversight of the sale of commercial marketing rights — which includes naming rights, sponsorship and premium seating sales — for 15+ entertainment venues, including the Iowa Events Center (Des Moines, Iowa), the Alerus Center (Grand Forks, N.D.), the Budweiser Events Center (Loveland, Colo.), and the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater (Detroit). The 15-year Spectra veteran has become one of the industry’s leading venue sponsorship executives. Over the last year, Laurie has played a critical role in delivering millions of dollars for clients and building strategic partnerships with numerous brands. Her team’s success is underscored by three high-profile naming rights in the last year: the Stormont Vail Events Center (Topeka, Kan.), which was the first naming rights for the formerly named Kansas Expocentre; the Cable Dahmer Arena (Independence, Mo.); and a 10,000-seat venue, which will be publicly announced in July. Laurie’s team also launched the arena sales effort for the new Xtream Arena (Coralville, Iowa) that is currently under construction and guided the Stormont Vail Events Center through a major renovation. Under Laurie’s direction, the Midwest region excelled over the last year, achieving 125 percent of its annual budget. Laurie has continued to influence others throughout her career, leading by example through her performance, growth within the company, and contributions to the industry. She currently serves on the inaugural leadership committee of the newly created Spectra Women’s Network.

Joyce Leveston
SVP of Convention Centers
Spectra

Joyce took her current role last year after 30 years running major convention centers across the nation, most recently as General Manager in Boston’s Hynes Convention Center and Boston Convention & Exhibitions Center. Previously, she held positions at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., the Miami Beach Convention Center, the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston; and the San Diego Convention Center.  Joyce holds industry memberships with PCMA, IAEE, ASAE, AIPC and sits on the committee for diversity and inclusion for IAVM. She received her CMP in 1997, her Certified Meeting Management (CMM) in 2015, and her Certified Venue Professional (CVP) recognition in 2018.

Geni Lincoln
VP, Concert Bookings
Forum Entertainment

Geni Lincoln is a fixture in the Los Angeles concert business who has handled concert bookings at some of the most iconic venues in the city including Gibson Amphitheater and the Forum. Her competitive nature strikes the optimal balance of strength and grace, resulting in hundreds of legendary shows at the Forum. Geni and her team embrace the music-first attitude of the Forum. Their attention to detail for every show creates a best-in-class environment for artists, road crews, and fans.

Jamie Loeb
VP, Marketing
Nederlander Concerts

Jamie Loeb is the Vice President of Marketing for Nederlander Concerts.  She is responsible for the online development, marketing initiatives and promotional campaigns for Nederlander’s award-winning venues and its bookings at third party facilities. With more than 30 years of local, regional, and national experience, Jamie is well known for her ability to create innovative strategies and tour marketing campaigns, which integrate traditional and new media technologies resulting in a deeper connection between artists, their fans, and ticket sales. Most recently, Loeb worked with Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental projects, on Demand, the new data-driven software, which enables the live music industry to better identify key markets, optimal pricing, and purchase intent. Additionally, she participates on panels nationwide, including SXSW, Fest Forums, Pollstar, and the Aspen Live Music Conference, with digital marketing pioneers and other promoters in the industry. Prior to Nederlander, Jamie was the Senior Director of National Tour Marketing for Live Nation, where she developed national tour marketing plans for Def Leppard, Avril Lavigne, Projekt Revolution, and more.

Mary Lovci
Managing Director
The Times Center

Mary started with The Times Center in April 2018. Since her arrival, The Times Center has had its most successful year in its 15 year history, client relations have improved and deepened, and Times Center Staff satisfaction has increased significantly. Mary encourages everyone around her to be the best version of themselves. She inspires excellence and positivity in those around her, and The Times Center has flourished because of it. She is a phenomenal leader and our team is truly lucky to have her. In the time since she came on board, she has led our business to major growth financially and also instilled a culture of kindness, genuine respect and professionalism that has revolutionized our day-to-day work life. She runs The Times Center with grace and efficiency, from her personable interactions with clients to the overwhelming support she provides to her entire staff. She makes the job look easy, when we all know it is not. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic with staff temporarily laid off and the building closed, she constantly checks in and ensures that everyone is receiving clear information and helpful encouragement. Since arriving at The Times Center Mary headed new initiatives for getting new business and maintaining past clients. While building our business she also made sure to start new team building and social strategies making us a more profitable and more cohesive team. Mary has brought exciting new types of events to The Times Center, a typical corporate conference space, like fashion shows and pop-up shops. She tactfully balances a fierce competitiveness and kindness.

Heather Lowery
President and CEO
Femme It Forward

Heather has forged her own path in the music business after spending time in many sectors of the industry, beginning with interning in the legal departments of LaFace Records and Fox Television stations while studying prelaw in college. After joining the staff at a Philadelphia recording studio as a receptionist and working her way up to general manager, she broke into the live business as an assistant at William Morris. She founded her own boutique agency, Agency For Artists, in 2005 and in 2017 she joined Live Nation as Vice President of Talent & Touring at Live Nation Urban, overseeing events including Roots Picnic and Broccoli City Festival. Heather launched Femme It Forward as a multiformat series of all-female curated lineups in April 2019 and by December it entered a joint venture with Live Nation, which she points to as her greatest work accomplishment for “providing platforms and vast opportunities for women in live music as well as artists in hip-hop and R&B.” Between April and December, Femme It Forward produced more than 20 shows and panels across the U.S. with all female lineups including major stars like Cardi B and Jill Scott, along with newcomers like Kiana Ledé and Nicole Bus. As a joint venture, Femme It Forward is expanding with female-led music festivals, concerts, original content, comedy shows, philanthropic endeavors, college engagements and more.

Patricia Lynch
Executive Director
The Music Hall, Portsmouth, N.H.

Patricia Lynch has generously and graciously served The Music Hall as Executive Director for 15 years, and although this is her last year here, she has continued to leave a lasting impact on our historic venue. The successful partnerships she formed with other nonprofits such as the Ogunquit Playhouse have continued to thrive with outstanding performances of “Elf the Musical” and “Annie,” and epic collaborations with the city of Portsmouth both revitalized downtown streetscapes and demonstrated the city’s vision for green spaces with a mini-festival, Concert in the Lot. Continuing with award-winning programming in partnerships with NH Public Radio, she’s brought bestselling authors Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Connelly, and Hoda Kotb to our stages. The Loft venue welcomes award-winning and up-and-coming artists and authors under Patricia’s curatorial eye. By cultivating our partnership with the University of New Hampshire, she’s mentored students, hosted professors on panels, and connected with the greater community. In 2019, she made the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra our resident orchestra, and together, we added a sparkling Champagne Holiday Pops event to our programming calendar. In the same year, she saw the completion of a definitive history book on The Music Hall, a three-year-long endeavor written by local, renowned historian J. Dennis Robinson. To ensure a long life for our 1878 theater, Patricia Lynch has helped run capital campaigns and been a fierce protector of the arts, and ever-inspiring mentor and Executive Director.

Amanda Mann
SVP and GM
Rose Quarter Operations

Amanda oversees 70 full time and 1,200+ part-time employees in Booking, Ticket Operations, Guest Experience, Security and Event & Facility Operations for Moda Center, Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Rose Quarter campus. The Moda Center is also known for their exceptional and hyper-local food and beverage operations which Amanda manages with Levy Restaurants.  She also serves on the Senior Leadership Team providing strategic oversight and management for the company. Amanda has spent her career in the sports and entertainment business starting with CAA and quickly moving up to VP of Booking for Clear Channel Entertainment, Texas. Prior to joining the Trailblazers, Mann served as Assistant General Manager, VP of Booking & Event Operations at Toyota Center in Houston. She is one of five female NBA arena general managers and is a trailblazer in the sports and entertainment industry, a true leader among NBA arena GMs. Over the last three months starting before the NBA season went on hiatus, Amanda started scheduling and leading weekly calls with 35+ NBA and NHL arena GMs to discuss best practices and idea sharing to deal with COVID. Since her start with the Rose Quarter in October 2016, Mann has been the driving force behind increasing sales, attendance, concerts and events. Her vision and leadership have helped increase fiscal gross sales more than 41 percent and fiscal turnstile attendance 12 percent. Additionally, Mann and her team have almost doubled the number of concerts and events hosted at the Rose Quarter since her start. Under Mann’s leadership, the Rose Quarter’s Moda Center became the first existing building to receive O+M LEED Platinum Certification.

Lori Marshall
CEO
Cow Palace Arena and Event Center

Being under the CEO’s direct supervision the past year and a half, the Cow Palace has been called upon in a variety of ways and Lori has taught me to share your accolades; from our recent partnership with SF-Marin Food Bank to our very successful Bruce-Mahoney high school basketball classic earlier in the year, from growing our Google Business Page and overall social media presence to simply experiencing my first rodeo last year, some accomplishments I cannot tangibly measure but Lori’s enthusiasm and contagious laughter is just another reason of what makes the Cow Palace such a special place. By aiding in her team members’ professional development, I am currently enrolled in year 2 of IAFE’s Institute of Fair Management and transitioned into a new sector of the venue management industry after moving from an East Coast convention center.

Kelly McGrath
Director, Sales and Marketing
Xcel Energy Center

Xcel Energy Center is home to more than 150 sporting and entertainment events and approximately 1.7 million visitors each year, and Director of Marketing Kelly McGrath is an integral part of the executive leadership, planning and execution that go into making each and every event a success. Her guidance in producing world-renowned events has helped put a spotlight not only on the city of St. Paul, but on the state and region as a whole. Kelly, who began her career in sports and entertainment over 20 years ago and oversees a team of mostly women, leads by example. Even during this pandemic, she motivates people by inspiring them to work toward a common goal, and gives them freedom to use their talents and expertise with unfailing support. In 2019, Kelly was named a Women of Inspiration Award Winner by the Twin Cities chapter of Women in Sports and Events and was recognized as their 2019 Woman in Business; actively volunteered for Youth Advantage, an organization where she had previously served as a two-time Board Chair; and served as a mentor in the St. Paul Public Schools. She was an active member and supporter of Saint Paul Capital Club, regularly looking for opportunities to connect colleagues and create beneficial partnerships; Capital Club (CAPS), a sports-centered, business-networking group designed for C-suite business professionals and owners;  Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce; Visit Saint Paul; and Trinity Lutheran Church.

Debbie McWilliams
Director of Entertainment
Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow

Debbie is responsible for the overall management, commercial delivery, event booking and content creation at Scotland’s biggest entertainment complex, which comprises The SSE Hydro, the SEC Armadillo and SEC Centre. She was promoted to the position in March 2019, having been head of live entertainment and ticketing for the campus. “Debbie has been instrumental in the growth and success of the live entertainment sector of our business,” said Peter Duthie, chief executive of the campus, upon her promotion.

Amy Minniti
VP and Deputy General Counsel
Spectra

Amy’s work influences the strategic direction of Spectra, in terms of structuring relationships with business partners, establishing company policies, and advising on risk management and regulatory matters. In 2019, after two years with Spectra, she was elevated to Vice President. In her role, she is responsible for reviewing, drafting and negotiating contracts and license agreements and providing legal support and counsel to Spectra’s corporate team and colleagues who operate venues across North America. Amy has played a key role in helping Spectra navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. She has provided leadership in the areas of event cancellations, health and safety, and liability issues, as well as the repurposing of venues into medical facilities. She has developed new companywide policies, such as temperature screenings, as part of Spectra’s efforts to safely and responsibly reopen its venues. Earlier in the year, Amy structured, negotiated, and advised on Spectra’s deal to open and operate a Top Chef Quickfire restaurant in the Comcast Center in Center City Philadelphia.  She provided business and legal advice that was instrumental in solving a myriad of challenges as the deal was being constructed and brought to close. Amy is a lawyer with a sense of humor, which helps her relate to others and be an effective advocate for the company. She has gained the trust and confidence of colleagues and business leaders by dispensing practical legal advice, always with an aim toward achieving business objectives. This, along with her ability to weigh risk and benefits to find a reasoned solution to problems, sets her apart from other attorneys in the industry.

Amanda Moore
SVP, Las Vegas
Live Nation

Amanda Moore is the secret weapon behind Live Nation’s domination of Las Vegas residencies. Her marketing strategies and ability to propel these shows to heights they’ve never reached before are unprecedented. She has been behind the success of numerous power acts’ success in Vegas such as Aerosmith, Lady Gaga, Cher and Gwen Stefani. Here at Maverick/LiveNation we call her the Mayor of Las Vegas. She’s truly a badass woman and there’s nothing she hasn’t done and can do!

Lucy Noble
Artistic and Commercial Director
Royal Albert Hall

For nearly 30 years , Lucy as senior executive of the Royal Albert Hall has worked with countless performers and artists to grace the stage of this 150-year-old venue. Lucy is respected by her colleagues and by the industry and in addition to her role at the hall, she is currently the chair of the National Arenas Association, which represents 23 arenas across the U.K. and Ireland. In the past year Lucy has been instrumental in the Royal Albert Hall’s success not only as a concert venue but also as a promoter of its own shows, in addition to increasing revenue through partnerships and increasing the reach of its cherished Education & Outreach Programme. In 2019 the hall presented more than 80 of its own-promoted performances and saw the highest ever Christmas season turnover in the Hall’s history. Overseeing preparations for our ambitious 150th anniversary celebrations in 2021, Lucy had secured an unprecedented programme of events to mark this landmark year in the hall’s history. COVID-19 has had an inevitable impact on these plans, but Lucy has remained positive and constructive throughout, while sitting on various DCMS working groups and committees, dedicated to reopening the sector safely.     Lucy was inducted into Music Week’s Women in Music Roll of Honour in November 2019.    Lucy’s focus on sustainability has driven change at the venue, with significant reductions in single-use plastic and the introduction of more environmentally friendly catering. As a senior executive with three young children, Lucy is frequently cited across music industry press as an inspirational female leader. In 2019 Lucy reinforced this reputation by taking on more formal mentorship roles, regularly meeting and advising women in the music industry in the earlier stages of their careers.

Lori Otelsberg
President
Signature Entertainment

Lori is a hardworking talent buyer for her clients.  She is dedicated around the clock and has really stepped up advising her clients since the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 37 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Lori has established and maintained successful working relationships with top talent, agents and managers in the business. She has worked with many casinos, corporate buyers, major theme parks and fairs, booking many levels of talent. Lori was IEBA’s Casino Buyer of the Year in 2019 and is a past chairman of the organization’s board.

Caroline O’Toole
GM
The Stone Pony

Caroline O’Toole is an in integral part of not only the Asbury Park community but the concert industry as a whole, managing one of the most iconic music venues in the world. From large touring acts to charity events, Caroline and the Pony represent all that is great in our industry.

Sherri Privitera
Senior Principal and Senior Architect
Populous

 Sherri has nearly 23 years of experience with a primary focus developing collegiate sports facilities. She has impacted more than 50 universities through her involvement in more than 70 projects over the years, which qualifies her as one of the leading architects in sport facility design. Serving as the Principal-in-Charge, Sherri is involved with projects at the University of Missouri, University of Texas, UTSA and Purdue University. She served as the project manager on four projects at Baylor University, including the $266 million McLane Stadium.

Cherise Rhyns
GM, Lincoln Theatre
I.M.P.

Cherise Rhyns was promoted early this year to general manager of the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C., after rising through the ranks at I.M.P.’s 9:30 Club from part-timer to night manager. Cherise is responsible for operations and direct oversight of facilities and show management while highlighting the building’s history and connections to the community. “Cherise has been with the company part time for 10 years and is truly a rock star,” said I.M.P. COO Donna Westmoreland at the time of Cherise’s promotion. “We’ve been trying to figure out a way to bring her further into the fold for a while now and are thrilled to have her at the helm of the ‘Jewel of U Street.’”

Michelle Romeo
VP
Romeo Entertainment Group

Michelle Romeo is an Agent, Entertainment Producer and Vice President/Senior Talent Buyer at Romeo Entertainment Group in Nashville, Tenn. REG is a national full-service talent buying agency, specializing for over 65 years as a family business securing national head-lining talent for fairs, festivals, rodeos, casinos and special events. Michelle is a third-generation talent buyer who joined Romeo Entertainment Group in 2008 as a Marketing Specialist, and was promoted as Assistant to VP/Junior Agent, and became a seasoned industry expert with over five years as a Senior Talent Agent providing outstanding talent buying services and event/venue production, consulting and marketing support for her clients prior to being promoted to Vice President in 2019. Her talent buying prowess has helped her deliver a successful range of artists like Old Dominion, Kelly Clarkson, Train and Steve Miller Band and many others. Michelle’s clientele includes the Colorado State Fair, Pueblo, Colo; Brown County Fair, Aberdeen, S.D.; MontanaFair, Billings, Mont.; Montana State Fair, Great Falls, Mont.; Medicine Hat Stampede & Exhibition, Medicine Hat, Alberta; Corn Palace, Mitchell, S.D.; Sioux Empire Fair, Sioux Falls, S.D., and more. Michelle is an active member of IEBA and previous Board of Director and Executive Board Member. She volunteered for 10 years as a Talent Coordinator for the Academy of Country Music’s renowned All-Star Jam event, in both Las Vegas and at the 50th ACM Awards, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas. Her music industry recognitions include the 2015 International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) Fair Buyer of the Year, 2016 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Don Romeo Talent Buyer of the Year Nominee, and 2017 Dakota Fairs Convention, Jack Hunter Award. Michelle has been and remains a guiding force in the fair and entertainment business.

Kristin Ropp
VP and GM
Heritage Bank Center and Cincinnati Cyclones

Kristin Ropp is the Vice President and General Manager of Heritage Bank Center (formerly U.S. Bank Arena) and the Cincinnati Cyclones (since 2002). Previously, she was Director of Operations / Production Manager at Riverbend Music Center & The Taft Theatre. She is responsible for bringing the biggest names in music to the Queen City and continues to have record years and much success. As GM of the Cyclones, she’s earned the ECHL Executive of the Year award twice and is the only woman to win the award, and twice was honored with the ECHL Award of Marketing Excellence. Ropp is the only female General Manager of an ECHL hockey team, but she doesn’t let her gender define her job. “Once you get past being the only woman at the Board of Governors meetings, I never think of myself as a ‘female general manager.’ I just always thought of myself as a person doing a job,” she once said in a magazine interview. Cincinnati and the U.S. Bank Arena won its bid to host the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Midwest Regional thanks to Kristin’s leadership and network.     Kristin is most of all, a great mentor. She sees the potential in her employees and pushes them to greatness.  She makes the work environment entertaining and one where it’s OK to learn from mistakes. She ultimately cultivates talent to follow her simple motto, “if you’re going to do it, do it right.”

Robyn Schon
GM
Berglund Center, Roanoke, Va.

Robyn Schon, General Manager of Berglund Center, is a woman of passion, business, creativity, leadership and — influence. At Berglund Center, you will see her impact at the center of every event, and after the show, you might even see her ride off on her motorcycle. At 19 years old, Schon began her career working as a receptionist at Greensboro Coliseum. That part-time job turned into a full-time position when the advertising department noticed her creative side and asked her to join their team. From there she worked her way up and gained experience in booking events, writing contracts, and negotiating deals. After working at three other venues around the country, including one with the Detroit Red Wings, Schon finally landed at Berglund Center, formally known as Roanoke Civic Center, in 1998, where she started as the Marketing Director. In 2010, Schon became the General Manager of Berglund Center, which includes the Coliseum, Performing Arts Theater, and Special Events Center. Five years later as General Manager, she began work on an initiative to drastically reduce energy usage by 70% in the coliseum and in return cut the local government subsidy in half — saving taxpayers’ money while still providing exceptional entertainment. This work paid off and in 2019, Berglund Center earned recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy as a Better Buildings Challenge Goal Achiever — one of only seven local governments to do so. While Schon is the General Manager at Berglund Center, she has always made it clear that no job is too big or too small. Whether it’s picking up trash after a show or negotiating deals with promoters, Schon is there.

Danielle Snyder
SVP, Guest Services and Security
Staples Center

Danielle is an exceptional executive and mentor. She advocates for safety, security, and the guest experience, is mindful of the growth and development of her team and colleagues, and has shown amazing leadership and mindfulness especially during this unprecedented time. She is working hard alongside experts within AEG and the industry to ensure that when we reopen we have the appropriate policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of guests and staff while still creating a great event experience. Not only has she shown amazing leadership during this time, but through her many years in the industry she always impresses, and I look forward to following her as she continues to make breakthroughs in our industry.

Elena Sotomayor
EVP
Cárdenas Marketing Agency, Henry Agency

Elena has a track record of orchestrating and activating national sponsorships for tours produced by Cárdenas Marketing Agency and entertainment programs for Fortune 500 brands. In addition to promoting major artists like Bad Bunny, Marc Anthony, Nicky Jam, Becky G, Daddy Yankee, Maluma and Banda MS, the firm is working with brands including Advanced Auto Parts, Spectrum, Corona, Forbes Foundation and Miami Marlins. Despite previous challenges, partnership revenue in 2019 was up 70 percent over 2018.

Denise Taylor
President, Global Technology Solutions
Legends 

Denise is a true star in the world of venues. I met her when she was CIO at AEG and we worked on Barclays Center together.  Denise then moved on to become CIO of Westfield, where she defined retail shopping mall  technology.  Currently Denise is President of Legends Technology Solutions Group where she is leading the technology design of many sports venues currently under development.

Katie Tuten
Co-Owner
The Hideout, Chicago

Katie is a force of nature and an incredible leader. Besides founding The Hideout which has been consistency ranked one of the top music venues not only in Chicago but nationally, Katie co-founded the Chicago Independent Venue League and has singlehandedly made a significant impact protecting the legacy of independent live music venues in Chicago. Katie’s tireless work ethic, business acumen, organizational skills and profound ability to inspire and mobilize the community have grown CIVL into a formidable business association. When the current Covid-19 pandemic arose, CIVL, under Katie’s direction, was ready to move quickly. CIVL is in continuous communication with the Mayor’s office and government at all levels. Katie and CIVL were also directly responsible for inspiring the creation of the National Independent Venue Association, which has now grown to over 1,700 venues nationally and has to date motivated over 120 congressman and 25 senators to support specific  legislation for a stimulus carved out specifically for independent live music venues. She is incredible and I believe perfect to be honored with this award.

Donna Westmoreland
COO
I.M.P.

She has led the I.M.P. organization during a pivotal and trying year and has done so with grace and humor.  She has been with the organization for over 20 years and has worked almost every job within the organization.  The I.M.P. family has grown exponentially over the last three years and she has been instrumental in guiding the organization to success.

Hallie Yavitch
VP, Booking
Staples Center and Microsoft Theater

Hallie currently serves as Vice President of Booking for AEG’s flagship Staples Center and Microsoft Theater, where she oversees booking as well as sourcing talent and negotiating and securing deals with high priority clients and promoters, creating new and original content and managing the booking departments at the two Los Angeles venues. Prior to joining AEG, Hallie spent more than a decade with the Cleveland Cavaliers Quicken Loans Arena organization, most recently serving as Vice President of Event Booking. Prior to working at Quicken Loans Arena, Hallie spent 14 years with Playhouse Square in Cleveland in various roles including Assistant Director of Programming, Concerts Manager and Contemporary Programming Coordinator. Earlier in her career, Hallie spent time working with Magic Arts & Entertainment as the Associate General Manager of Touring for shows including Mannheim Steamroller, David Copperfield and Lord of the Dance. For five consecutive years, Hallie served as Board Member – Governance Chair for the Cleveland Chapter of Women in Sports and Events (WISE).