Thank you to those who nominated and voted for these influential leaders. Venues Today is honoring these young professionals who make a difference in sports, music, conventions, family shows and festivals. Our annual Generation Next Awards honoring leaders 35 or younger will be profiled in the May issue of the magazine.

Congratulations to our 2017 VT Generation Next Award Recipients!

Lucy Albers
Sr. Marketing Manager/SMG
Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Age: 30

For playing a key role in opening the The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. Opened in 2014, Albers placed advertisements, wrote annual reports for SMG and created the publication of a “First Year” book for the new venue and posters for shows.  Albers was hired in 2011, as a box-office supervisor.  She worked in that role until 2013 when she was promoted to the assistant box-office manager.  She excelled in her roles in the box office and when the opportunity for marketing manager came up, she jumped on it.  In May of 2013, Albers was promoted into that role, where she made many differences in marketing strategies that improved the facility’s exposure. In July of 2016, Albers received yet another promotion; to senior marketing manager because of her hard work, diligence and ability to take the lead and get things done when needed.

Brian Chia
Director of Client Services
EventBooking, Knoxville, Tenn.
Age: 27

For organizing the moving parts that make a concert, conference or sporting event possible using reliable venue management software. Chia leads the Client Success team, which serves over 10,000 individual users. Brian’s ability to quickly customize the best solution for each client is invaluable as he travels to venues in-person to perform more in-depth assistance and training. Chia’s dedication to personalized customer support has taken him all over the world, from London to Beijing. He is solely responsible for the success of EventBooking’s partner in China, having trained all of their staff so that they are then capable of training others. Last year EventBooking began redesigning its core venue management software. Chia was appointed product owner of the new initiative. This meant that in addition to his client services responsibilities, he guided a team of software engineers so that each cycle of the development process was tailored to clients' needs and workflow.

John Ciolfi (Social Butterfly)
Marketing Manager/SMG
Dunkin’ Donuts Center & Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence
Age: 30

For his ability to communicate with young patrons and promoters in a way that keeps his Rhode Island venues on the cutting edge in the digital age. Since 2013,  Ciolfi has been with the SMG management team representing the venue locally, regionally and nationally to promoters and industry leaders. Ciolfi is well respected by the NCAA for his work on their regional championships and sits on the Statewide Local Organizing Committee. In addition, he currently works on many high-

profile Request For Proposal projects for the city and state. Recently, Rhode Island hosted several national journalists and Ciolfi acted as PR ambassador. This past year, he was awarded the “Stars of the Industry Volunteer of the Year” from the Rhode Island Hospitality Association.

Jordan Silberman
Vice President of Operations, Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Age: 29

For daily oversight of operations and conversions for the building. There was a span of 95 events across 70 days, which involved 46 changeovers, including two different setups during the same day. While managing the logistics for the 95 varying events, Silberman also took on the role of being the local tournament director for the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament, which took place at the arena last March. As tournament director, Silberman was responsible for the oversight and management of the event across operations, ticketing and marketing. Another major project he was involved in was overseeing the completion of a $6-million renovation on the event level. The renovations entailed the buildout of a 10,000-sq.-ft., brand-new VIP club hospitality space and relocating, reconfiguring and redesigning of several rooms on the event level. Prior to being in operations, Silberman also developed a new processing system for accessible seating orders at Verizon Center when he served as the director of accessible seating.

Michael Sulkes (Readers' Choice)
Assistant General Manager, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Age: 30

For planning and managing of the day-to-day operations at the Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia. In addition to overseeing the venue’s booking process, Sulkes is instrumental in pursuing new business opportunities for the facility. During his tenure at Wells Fargo Center, Sulkes has taken the lead on many marquee events the venue has hosted, including the recent 2016 Democratic National Convention, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Frozen Four, multiple NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments, the National Hockey League draft and major global touring concerts, including last spring’s historic Pearl Jam concerts, Paul McCartney’s 2015 “Out There” tour and the Rolling Stones’ 50th Anniversary tour. Sulkes was also instrumental in the venue's 20th anniversary campaign and led the charge to create a free, community open house birthday party.