Congratulations to the 2017 Hall of Headlines award winners! Venues Today will be highlighting their accomplishments in the December issue. Contact an account executive to reserve a congratulatory ad by December 8.


Peter Luukko and Tim Leiweke, co-chairs, Arena Alliance
Oak View Group, Los Angeles
For purchasing Pinnacle Venue Services and establishing OVG Facilities, aiming to build the biggest private management firm in the world. Tom Paquette and Doug Higgons, owners of Pinnacle, joined the new firm and, under Luukko's leadership, OVG Facilities is seeking to build on Pinnacle's six-venue portfolio at a rapid pace.

Chris Verros, CEO
For facilitating the sale of Centerplate to Sodexo for $675 million. The sale will close by the end of the year. Verros will continue as CEO of the combined companies in North America and Sodexo will take over Centerplate’s international accounts.

Jerry Goldman, AGM/SMG
U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
For booking the Summer ESPN X Games and three stadium concerts at U.S. Bank Stadium within the first year of operating. Goldman secured Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay and U2 to Minneapolis for a 2017 concert series, topping 147,000 in attendance for the concerts and over 100,000 attendees for the X Games with an estimated 400 million viewers worldwide. Additionally, Goldman secured the Summer ESPN X Games (2017 and 2018) and the 2020 NCAA Wrestling Championships, both of which have never been hosted by an NFL Stadium until their U.S. Bank Stadium debut.

Maureen Ginty, Exec. VP – Marketing Services & Human Resources
SMG, West Conshohocken, Pa.
For implementing the launch of a “Gift of Kindness Campaign” in celebration of SMG’s 40th Anniversary (1977-2017) and to reflect the character of the employees who have contributed to SMG’s ongoing success. The campaign honors the spirit of charity and compassion SMG employees demonstrate in their work life and personal life. SMG chooses 4 quarterly winners with an overall grand prize winner at the end of the year. All recipients receive a themed Waterford crystal ornament, part of their greatest gifts collection. The gift of kindness promotes understanding and strengthening the bonds of humanity. In addition, each winner receives a cash award. This concept fits perfectly with the basic tenet of the company training programs “knekt.”

Kerry Painter, AGM
Cox Business Center, Tulsa Okla.
For her work leading a rebrand, overseeing major construction projects, teaching within the industry, and acting as an Interim GM for another SMG facility, all while guiding an IAVM Venue Excellence Award winning team and facility. After inclusion in Tulsa’s 2020 Vision Master Plan and approval of funds through the Tulsa Vision plan, Painter began work on modernizing the space. In 2017, her work paid off when the venue was selected as “Top New or Renovated Meeting Space” by Convention South, selected by Tulsa People reader’s as “Best Event Center” in Tulsa, and one of five national venues selected by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) for the Venue Excellence Award.

Sandra Dunn, GM, & Albert Fera, Dir. of Food & Beverage for Savor
DCU Center/SMG, Worcester, Mass.
For implementing a new Branded Batch Cocktail Program as a way to decrease concourse congestion, increase per caps, control liquor and labor costs and enhance the fan experience. Since the program began, Savor…Worcester has recorded the highest per caps in the venue’s history. The Branded Batch Cocktail Program features event-themed craft cocktails premade in 5-gallon water jugs and served from large drink dispensers on portables throughout the concourse. The custom Batch Cocktails are branded to target the shows key demographics featuring flavor profiles and colors that are popular and spirits that are trending and then given names that are easily recognized by the audience and that tie into the event. Through increased points of sale, the Batch Cocktail Program has led to the top 6 gross sales per cap records for arena concessions including Pearl Jam ($11.19 + $10.55), Phish ($11.02 + $10.82), Dead & Company ($12.43), Garth Brooks ($13.14, $13.71, $10.48), Megadeth ($13.50) and I Love The 90’s Tour ($15.76).

Congratulatory ad deadline: December 8, 2017

Advertising contacts:

Rich DiGiacomo
Northeast, Western U.S. & Int'l
(310) 429-3678

Jim McNeil
Texas, Southeastern & Midwest U.S.
(207) 609-2676