Awards

Venues Today offers a number of annual awards to honor excellence in the venue industry. While Venues Today issues separate calls for nominees for each of its four awards, nominations are accepted year round. Think you know someone deserving of an award? Then email nominations@venuestoday.com and detail what makes that individual a strong candidate. Remember to cite as many specific examples of excellence as possible, and try to include accomplisments from the last 18 months. Below is an approximate schedule of when nominations are typically due.

Box Office Stars - January Issue (Nominations due the previous Nov. 1)

Generation Next - May Issue (Nominations due the previous Feb. 1)

Women of Influence - July Issue (Nominations due the previous Apr. 1)

Silver Spoon Awards- October Issue (Nominations due the previous August 1)

Hall of Headlines - December Issue (Nominations due the previous Sep. 1)

 

Box Office Stars

Each January, Venues Today honors three box office professionals for excellence in the ticketing industry, whether it’s a new innovation that has improved the ticket-buying experience, or an idea that leads to a bump in revenue. The awards are given out during the opening luncheon for the annual International Ticketing Association conference.

2017

  • David Arnold, Box Office Director, KFC Yum! Center/AEG
  • Tricia Brown, Box Office Director, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Bankers Life Fieldhouse
  • Lee Ann Gibbons, Director of Ticketing, Messina Touring Group

2016

  • Deb Aleff, director of Ticketing, Duluth (Minn.) Entertainment Convention Center &
    Amsoil Arena
  • Sergio Fresco, assistant director of Client Services, Verizon Center/ Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Washington, D.C.
  • Jim Sachs, director of Ticketing, Select-A-Seat / Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kan.

2015

  • Cait Schumann, Nationwide Arena and the Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio
  • Jon Secunda, CenturyLink Center Omaha and TD Ameritrade Park Omaha (Neb.)
  • Paige Stouch, Global Spectrum, XL Center & Rentschler Field

2014

  • Mark Arata, SMG New Orleans (Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans Arena, Champions Square)
  • Cathy Lebo, Hersheypark Stadium, Hershey (Pa.) Pavilion & Giant Center
  • Jason Varnish,Consol Energy Center/AEG, Pittsburgh

2013

  • Gail Anderson, Minnesota State Fair, Minn.
  • Brent McNamee, Budweiser Gardens, London, Ontario
  • Jamie Vosmeier, Fox Theatre, Atlanta, Ga.

2012

  • Mary Ann Collins, Nederlander Concerts, Los Angeles
  • Chris Convery, Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.
  • Shawn Robertson, Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles

2011

  • Anita Guerricabeitia, Boise State, Idaho
  • Bernie Berry, WolfTrap Performing Arts Center, Vienna, Va.
  • Sharon Dunaway, BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla.

2010

  • Brian Sayre, PlayhouseSquare, Cleveland
  • Tom Benson, Tickets.com
  • Diana Bullion, Staples Center, Los Angeles

2009

  • Sherry Caldwell, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Josh Logan, Houston Rockets
  • Russ Stanley, San Francisco Giants

 

Generation Next

Venues Today honors these young professionals who make a difference in sports, music, conventions, family shows, fairs and festivals.  All winners of the 2nd annual Generation Next award were profiled in the June issue of the magazine.

2017

  • Lucy Albers, Sr. Marketing Manager/SMG, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Brian Chia, Director of Client Services, EventBooking, Knoxville, Tenn.
  • John Ciolfi (Social Butterfly), Marketing Manager/SMG, Dunkin’ Donuts Center & Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence
  • Jordan Silberman, Vice President of Operations, Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Michael Sulkes (Readers' Choice), Assistant General Manager, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

2016

  • Laura Alexander, director of sales and marketing, Spectra/Owensboro (Ky.) Convention Center  (Readers' Choice recipient) 
  • Matt Chapman, director of food and beverage, VenuWorks/Swiftel Center, Brookings, S.D. 
  • Kelli Ireland, director of marketing, SMG/Canalta Centre, Medicine Hat, Alta. 
  • Trent Merritt, regional VP, Spectra Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality and GM, USF Sun Dome, Tampa, Fla. 
  • ​Mike Warkentin, venue manager, Rexall Place at Northlands, Edmonton, Alta.(Social Butterfly recipient)

2015

  • Rebecca Bolton, Las Cruces (N.M.) Convention Center (Readers' Choice Award)
  • David Farrar, Santander Arena & Performing Arts Center, Reading, Pa.
  • Gunnar Fox, PPL Center, Allentown, Pa.
  • Russell Gordon, Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles (Social Butterfly Award)
  • Casey Sparks, BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla.

2014

  • Tyler Bates- Readers' Choice Award, Director of Booking, Barclays Center
  • Juliette Feld, Executive VP and Producer, Feld Entertainment
  • Andrew Newport, General Manager, Klipsch Music Center
  • Christine Pileckas, Director of Sales & Marketing, Intrust Bank Arena
  • Adam Cook, General Manager, Rexall Place & Edmonton Expo Centre

2013

  • Jason Blumenfeld, General Manager for Global Spectrum — Abbotsford (B.C.) Entertainment & Sports Centre
  • Monty Jones Jr. - Social Butterfly Award, General Manager for Global Spectrum — Augusta (Ga.) Entertainment Complex
  • Deidra Sibila, Senior Director of Ticketing for Live Nation
  • Brian Sipe - Reader's Choice Award Winner, General Manager for SMG - Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, W.Va.
  • Becca Watters, Marketing Manager for Spokane Public Facilities District

2012

  • Jeff Nickler, BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla. (Reader's Choice award winner)
  • Matt Kautz, Paciolan
  • Cassandra Zebisch, AEG and L.A. Live, Los Angeles
  • Jennifer McCrary, Ottawa Convention Centre & Aramark
  • Brian Penix, National Shows 2

2011

  • Katie Pandolfo, General Manager of the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
  • Cara Vanderhook, Sr. Manager of Communications and Marketing at Staples Center and Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live
  • Barry Kahn, CEO for Qcue
  • Jon Petrunak, National Talent Buyer for SMG
  • Carl Mittleman, Regional VP for Aramark’s Central Region

Women of Influence

In July, Venues Today honors three professional women for their contributions to the live entertainment industry. Considered to be one of Venues Today’s most prestigious honors, the Women of Influence are given out each year during the International Association of Venue Manager’s annual conference.

2017

 

  • Kim Damron, President, Paciolan, Irvine, Calif.
  • Donna Julian, Senior Vice President of Arena & Events Ops & GM Spectrum Center, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Michele Montague, Assistant General Manager & Vice President, Events Verizon Center, Washington
  • Marla Ostroff, EVP of Arts and Theatre and Strategic Accounts Ticketmaster, New York City
  • Debra Rathwell, Senior Vice President, AEG Live, New York

2016

  • Sandra Dunn, General Manager, DCU Center/SMG, Worcester, Mass.
  • ​Ali Harnell, Senior VP / AEG Live - Nashville
  • Michele L. Swann, General Manager/CEO of  Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority, Atlanta

2015

  • Carol Pollock, Hoyt Sherman Place/VenuWorks (Posthumous) WOI and first Hall of Famer
  • Leslee Stewart, General Manager, Paramount Theatre, Oakland, Calif.
  • Kerry Painter, Assistant General Manager, Cox Business Center, Tulsa, Okla.
  • Karen Totaro, General Manager, Atlantic City Convention Center, 1st Vice Chair IAVM

2014

  • Jan Addison, Deputy General Manager, Orange County Convention Center
  • Lynn Carlotto, General Manager, Rogers K-Rock Centre
  • Wesley Cullen, General Manager, Coliseo de Puerto Rico
  • Susan Rosenbluth, Senior VP AEG Live/Goldenvoice
  • Cheryl Swanson, Executive Director, Alerus Center

2013

  • Adina Erwin, Fox Theatre, Atlanta
  • Maureen Ginty, SMG
  • Kim Stone, AmericanAirlines Arena and The Heat Group, Miami

2012

  • Susette Hunter, Birmingham-Jefferson (Ala.) Convention Complex
  • Cyndee Pennington, Pensacola (Fla.) Civic Center
  • Vanessa Kromer, Nederlander Concerts, Hollywood, Calif.

2011

  • JoAnn Armstrong, Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.
  • Sydney Greenblatt, Sydney Greenblatt Event Marketing
  • Sally Roach, Township Auditorium, Columbia, S.C.

2010

  • Liza Cartmell, Aramark
  • Tammy Koolbeck, VenuWorks
  • Christy Castillo, Staples Center and Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live

2009

  • Nicole Feld, Feld Entertainment
  • Sandie Aaron, SMG
  • Patti-Anne Tarlton, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment

2008

  • Jane Kleinberger, Paciolan
  • Claire Rothman, The Forum, Inglewood, Calif.
  • Peggy Daidakis, Baltimore Convention Center
  • Brenda Tinnen, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Shura Lindgren, St. Charles (Mo.) Convention Center

2007

  • Donna Dowless, XOXO Media Group
  • Robyn Williams, Portland (Ore.) Center for the Performing Arts
  • Carol Wallace, San Diego Convention Center
  • Kim Bedier, Comcast Arena, Everett, Wash.
  • Barbara Hubbard, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces

 

Silver Spoon Awards

In October, Venues Today announces our  Silver Spoon Award Winners and Honorable Mentions for standouts in concessions.

2016

BEST SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE

Hunger at Home
Ewell Sterner, General Manager Convention Center Operations at Team San Jose

BEST NEW CONCEPT IN FOOD AND DRINK

Test Kitchen
Kelly Fortune, General Manager, Aramark, Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH


BEST NEW MENU ITEM

Ramen Live Action Station 
Jody Harris, Director of Food and Beverage, SAVOR… at The OnCenter, Syracuse, NY

2015

BEST SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE

  • Tampa Bay Lightning and Amalie Arena, Tampa, Fla.

BEST NEW CONCEPT IN FOOD AND DRINK

  • Shaun Beard, Senior Vice President, SMG Savor, The University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) Athletics

BEST NEW MENU ITEM

  • Affonso Jefferson, Spectra Food Services & Hospitality General Manager at Pensacola (Fla.) Bayfront Stadium

2014

BEST SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE

  • REAL Certification at Music City Center in Nashville

BEST NEW CONCEPT IN FOOD AND DRINK

  • The Local Detroit Experience at Ford Field

BEST NEW MENU ITEM 

  • Surf and Turf Burger at PPL Park in Philadelphia

2013

BEST SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE

  • Minnesota’s Target Field ‘Roots for the Hometeam’

HONORABLE MENTION GOES TO:

  • Vancouver Convention Centre Donates To United We Can

BEST NEW CONCEPT IN FOOD AND DRINK

  • The Kitchen Experience, Ovations at the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Convention Center

HONORABLE MENTION GOES TO:

  • Edgar’s Cantina at Safeco Field in Seattle

BEST NEW MENU ITEM FOR 2013

  • Beer Shakes, introduced by Minor League Baseball’s Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs at Joseph R. Riley, Jr. Park and their Director of Food and Beverage John Schumacher

HONORABLE MENTION GOES TO:

  • Kuku Paka, introduced by Executive Chef Allan Wambaa, Oregon Convention Center in Portland

Hall of Headline Awards

Each December, Venues Today hands out its most prestigious honor, the Hall of Headline Award. The award is given to members in four different categories – News, Bookings, Marketing and Concessions. The awards are given to individuals who have made a difference in the facilities industry in the last 12 months, and recipients are nominated and elected by Venues Today readers.

2016

  • News-Allen Johnson, Executive Director of Orlando Venues
  • Ops & Tech-Don Graham, AGM/VP, Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles & Lee Zeidman, President, Microsoft Theater, Staples Center, LA Live
  • Bookings-Rich MacKeigan, SMG Regional GM, Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Marketing-Meghan Doyle, Director of Marketing, BOK Center
  • Concessions-Mark Anderson, General Manager and VP, Premier Food Services, Del Mar (Calif.) Fairgrounds and Race Track

2015

  • News-Doug Thornton, executive VP of SMG and Steve Tadlock and Michael Krouse, regional VPs of SMG
  • ​Bookings-Louis Messina, president, Messina Touring Group, and Lee Zeidman, president, Staples Center, Los Angeles
  • Ops & Tech-Jim McCue, SVP, SMG andJohn Bolton, Vice President, SMG
  • Marketing-Amy Latimer, president, TD Garden, Boston
  • Concessions-Marco Fabozzi, director of Operations, Levy Restaurants at Barclays Center, Brooklyn

2014

  • News-Doug Thornton, Executive VP of SMG
  • Bookings-Ben Farrell, Varnell Enterprises
  • Marketing-Jen Compton, VP Marketing, TD Garden & Boston Bruins and Jim Delaney, president, Activate Sports & Entertainment
  • Ops & Tech-Michael Godoy, SMG, VP of Operations
  • Concessions-Don Riccardi, Ovations GM, The Mountain Winery, Saratoga, Calif.

2013

  • News - Bruce Ratner & Brett Yormark, Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets, respectively
  • Bookings - John Bolton & Jeff Nickler, BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla.
  • Ops & Tech - Steve Goodling & Charlie Beirne, Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau and SMG/Long Beach Arena respectively
  • Marketing - Peter Luukko & Kevin Lovitt, Comcast-Spectacor & Pointstreak, respectively
  • Concessions - Tim Ryan, Anaheim Ducks and Honda Center

2012

  • News - Ed Snider and Peter Luukko, Comcast-Spectacor
  • Bookings - Alex Hodges, Nederlander Concerts, Los Angeles
  • Marketing - Sarah Haertl, Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kan.
  • Concessions - Chef Vincent Lai, McCormick Place, Chicago

2011

  • News – Gregg Caren & Bob McClintock, SMG/McCormick Place, Chicago
  • Bookings – Finn Taylor, Cirque du Soleil
  • Marketing – Rich Krezwick, Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.
  • Concessions – Nick Nicora, Ovations Food Services

2010

  • News – Jay Roberts, Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh
  • Bookings – Jon Bon Jovi
  • Marketing – Paul Hooper and Matt Johnson at Rupp Arena in Lexington
  • Concessions – Norb Bartosik, California State Fair, Sacramento

2009

  • News – Lee Zeidman, Staples Center Los Angeles and Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live
  • Bookings – Gregg Perloff with Another Planet Entertainment, Marc Geiger from William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and Brad Parsons, Arena Network
  • Marketing – Ed Snider and Peter Luukko, Comcast-Spectacor
  • Concessions – Steve Zahn, Centerplate

2008

  • News – Kenneth Feld, Feld Entertainment
  • Bookings – John Bolton, BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla.
  • Marketing – Jeff Blosser, Oregon Convention Center, Portland
  • Concessions – David Padilla, Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan

2007

  • News – Wes Westley, SMG
  • Bookings – Bruce MacTaggart and Brad Parson, Walking With Dinosaurs
  • Marketing – Larry Wilson, John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Va.
  • Concessions – Ken Young, Ovations

2006

  • News – Peter Sullivan, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
  • Bookings – Mike Scanlon, Rose Quarter, Portland
  • Marketing – Terry Barnes, Ticketmaster
  • Bookings – Ken Young, Ovations

2005

  • News – Doug Thornton, Louisiana SuperDome, New Orleans
  • Bookings – Brad Parsons, ArenaNetwork and Ron VanDeVeen, Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J.
  • Marketing – Dennis Scanlon, Rose Quarter, Portland
  • Concessions – Peter Luukko, Comcast-Spectacor
     

Stewards of Sustainability

In our August “Green” issue, Venues Today honors three executives or facilities for their stewardship toward the environment, whether it’s a venue that has achieved LEED status, or an executive who has reduced waste.

2011

  • Kevin Lyman and Warped Tour team
  • Amsterdam RAI
  • Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

2010

  • Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta
  • Target Field, Minneapolis
  • Eric Ritz, Global Inheritance

2009

  • Jim Tripp, Aramark at Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center
  • Target Center, Minneapolis
  • Leonard Bonacci, Philadelphia Eagles