Maureen Andersen, president and CEO, INTIX
A Magical Career
Maureen Andersen is known as an innovator, a mentor and a voice of reason in the ticketing industry
One of the moments that helped shape Maureen Andersen’s career happened during her first trip to New York City, when she was 23, “naive, young and excited to be on the Great White Way.”
At that time, the president and CEO of the International Ticketing Association was one year into a 23-year stint with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, where she was director of ticketing services from 1982 to 2005.
“We tried to get tickets to “Cats,” which was the biggest hit on Broadway at the time, but it was sold out,” she said. “Then, with all the naiveté of the young, we went over to the Palace Theatre where “La Cage aux Folles” had just started in previews.”
After brazenly walking up to the ticket window and asking for two matinee tickets, the guy behind the window looked at Andersen, then up at his ticket rack before relaying the hefty price.
“I started writing traveler’s checks and finally he told me to stop and handed me two tickets,” Andersen said. “As the usher led us to our seats in the fifth row dead center on the aisle, I was gobsmacked. Now I know that man in the window sold me two house releases.”
The kid from the sticks was mesmerized, and the 1984 Tony Award winner for best musical remains one of Andersen’s favorites.
“This taught me something I will never forget and that is part of my mantra at INTIX — the person in the ticket office window and all of us have great power to affect the lives of those we serve, the ticket buying public,” Andersen said. “Seemingly small moments can create magic. Never had buying a ticket been as simple as when that nameless man behind bars made my dreams come true. This is now the message I carry for these professionals.”
Making a difference has been a cornerstone to Andersen’s career and has garnered her recognition as a 2019 Woman of Influence.
“This honor is meaningful and speaks to an industry that cultivates the success of the gender by having limited glass ceilings compared to other industries,” Andersen said. “Being included with this group of women across so many industries, venues and types of venues and parts of the industry is incredibly humbling, and I have such gratitude for it.”
Andersen has been in entertainment ticketing in one incarnation or another for her entire career, which spans almost four decades and has encompassed nonprofit, commercial arts, Broadway, regional ticketing, performing arts and colleges.
“I’ve been blessed with having jobs that allow me to sit in the chair,” she said.
Andersen’s experience includes ticket offices, call centers, season tickets, group sales, marketing, fundraising and management. Before joining INTIX in 2016, she worked for two ticketing software companies: six years as vice president of arts and entertainment at Toronto-based AudienceView and before that as senior business consultant at Paciolan from 2005 to 2009.
However, she got her feet wet in her current role when she served as INTIX’s interim president for a year in 2009.
“It was a wonderful interim job running INTIX as they looked for a CEO,” Andersen said.
When it was her turn at the helm, Andersen, a 33-year INTIX member with 18 years on its board, including three stints as chair, was an obvious choice.
“When I was being recruited for the INTIX president’s position, I decided that was my next logical step,” Andersen said.
In the job, she said, she no longer represents a given software company and her identity is no longer solely tied to her extensive performing arts ticketing experience.
“Taking this role, for me, was about realigning myself to be neutral and look at how I, with help from a whole lot of people, talk about an industry and elevate it,” Andersen said. “To me, this was a turning point and how all the parts of my career led to this job. I had to rely completely on my experience, because there is no playbook on how to run this organization; I’m relying on my roots, so the transition is profound.”
What makes it even more challenging is the constant evolution of ticketing technology, which has changed so much and so rapidly that it requires constant learning and a very nimble approach.
Add to this Andersen’s day-to-day agenda, which has her securing speakers, sponsorships and reservation fees for INTIX 2020 while fielding member calls, among other responsibilities. She also helps elevate the association’s profile by consulting for other organizations on speakers and content for their conferences as well as serving as a speaker herself.
“INTIX is a not-for-profit, so I’m also wearing fundraising hats,” she said. “My days are interesting and varied and turn on a dime.”
Andersen credits Denver theater producer Bob Garner, who died at age 80 in 2012, as the one who gave her a crash course on negotiating.
“Bob taught me the value of your word and handshake, and how to stick to your guns, but know when to compromise and take a step back,” Andersen said. “The line in the sand is something you can step over.”
Consequently, Andersen empowers her staff members to learn the same way.
“This business is like a puzzle every day, with new and missing pieces and constant shifting and changing course,” she said. “The nuances of it being live makes it about living in the moment. When you’re a Type A personality, you like to control, fix and engineer everything, and that can be tough to do in this business.”
Andersen appreciates the many mentors that have been invaluable along the way, including Jane Kleinberger, co-founder of Paciolan; Jack Lucas, president of Spokane, Wash.-based WestCoast Entertainment — Broadway and past president of TicketsWest; and Gary Lustig, owner of LusTicks Consulting in Medina, Ohio.
When Lucas began his career and joined INTIX in 1987, he said, Andersen took him under her wing.
“She introduced me to people and was always there as a resource,” he said. “As my career and our relationships grew, Maureen has been not only a great mentor but a great friend.”
Lucas added that, 30 years ago, ticketing professionals didn’t have a seat at the table. But because of INTIX, technology and the sophistication needed to run ticketing organizations today, that is no longer the case.
“Maureen has helped develop that sense that we are ticketing professionals who have a certain skill set that others don’t have,” Lucas said. “She is an incredible individual and a strong leader.”
Lustig, who has known Andersen for more than 30 years, said she quickly became one of his most trustworthy friends.
“I can think of no person more deserving of receiving the Woman of Influence honor,” he said. “Maureen is a visionary pioneer who has actively worked to grow the influence and visibility of ticketing professionals in the entertainment industry, always placing the needs of others ahead of her own self-interest.”
Linda Forlini, vice president of Ticket Philadelphia, has been Andersen’s colleague for a number of years.
“Throughout that time, she has proven to be a sounding board for questions, problems or just professionally,” Forlini said. “She is an innovator, creator, leader, mentor and friend. Maureen always has been a giver, a listener, a wonderful person, and I thank my lucky stars that she is a woman of influence in my life.”
DeeDee Hill Naff, general manager at SmithsTix in Salt Lake City, has known Andersen for almost 20 years.
“She is one of those people that will help you when you call,” she said. “We live in a tumultuous world, and she is always the voice of reason. I don’t know anyone in this business that knows more or keeps up. She is truly is an amazing leader and there for everybody.”
Andersen noted that being successful in the ticketing industry means being willing to learn, ask a lot of questions and find many mentors, whether they’re official or unofficial. “Imitate those you respect, talk to people you want to be like, do the work, take every job you can at an organization and don’t be afraid to so,” she advised. “Show business is nights, weekends and holidays as well as long hours. Those who embrace that will have a great life and career.”
OTHER 2019 WOMEN OF INFLUENCE HONOREES
Pam Matthews, IEBA
Kate McMahon, Messina Touring Group
Beth Paul, Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Mel Raines, Pacers Sports & Entertainment
Rena Wasserman, Nederlander Concerts