VenuesNow Speakers

VenuesNow Conference will bring together thought-leaders and visionaries across our dynamic industry to speak about the myriad of opportunities and challenges that face our business.  The following individuals have been confirmed as speakers for VenuesNow 2017

– with more to be announced!

Day Two


Kevin Anderson


Kevin is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Appetize, the leading enterprise Point of Sale platform for sports and entertainment, education, and professional industries.  He leads overall strategy, partnerships, and revenue for the company. Anderson was named to the Next Gen 10 Sports and Entertainment list in 2014 and has been featured on the likes of CNBC and Business Rockstars.  Appetize has raised over $25MM in funding to date and has grown over 125% every year since inception.


Carlos Bernal

Delaware North Sportservice

As president of Delaware North Sportservice, Bernal is responsible for developing and implementing strategic plans for growth and profitability, developing operations staff into dynamic leaders and managing client relationships. Bernal rejoined Delaware North in 2015 – nearly three decades after starting his career with Sportservice as the company’s general manager at the former Chicago Stadium in 1986. From 1989-1991, he served as general manager at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, before moving on to leadership roles outside of Delaware North. During his career of 30-plus years in the hospitality industry, Bernal has been responsible for operations, business development and franchising within multiple business lines encompassing a broad range of concepts. As a vice president at Host Marriott Services, he was responsible for the strategic planning and growth of the company’s non-traditional business. As the senior vice president at The Mills Corporation, Bernal created and executed the strategic planning and genesis of the company’s new food and beverage division. Bernal also served as president of FoodBrand LLC, where he had operational responsibility for 79 restaurants across the country. Most recently, he served as CEO of Wagamama North America – a Japanese-inspired restaurant chain that combines fresh and nutritious food with friendly service; he oversaw the strategic growth and vision for this chain.


Jeanie Buss

Los Angeles Lakers

Entering her fourth season as CEO and co-owner, Jeanie Buss is responsible for running all aspects of the Los Angeles Lakers organization.  These include overseeing all business and basketball operations including marketing, broadcast and administration as well as working closely with new Lakers basketball President, Earvin “Magic” Johnson.


Justin Dragoo

Latitude 38 Entertainment

Justin is a founding partner of BottleRock Presents and Latitude 38 Entertainment, producer of the BottleRock Napa Valley music festival. Within this music enterprise, he runs a wide array of functions including music production, VIP programs, festival design, finance and operations. Prior to BottleRock, Justin moved back to the Napa Valley from New York City to become President of Gargiulo Vineyards, a luxury wine estate. At Gargiulo Vineyards, he was instrumental in the growth and transformation of this entrepreneurial endeavor to create the finest wines in the world from their estate vineyards in Napa Valley. Justin is a Level II Certified wine sommelier within the Master Sommelier program. Prior to the wine business Justin spent 13 years in the technology industry, last serving as Vice President of Global Technology Services at IBM in New York. Justin’s staff of consulting, technical, and sales resources produced $500 million in annual revenues, delivering solutions to Fortune 500 clients across the Americas. Justin has an MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State, and currently lives in the Napa Valley.


Rick Fox

Echo Fox


Rick Fox is a Founding Partner at Vision Venture Partners, spearheading the firm’s move into professional esports and providing strategic guidance, creative direction and business development support to each of VVP’s portfolio companies. Apart from VVP, Rick is renowned as a three time NBA Champion and former team captain for the LA Lakers. He is also a seasoned TV and film actor, as well as producer and analyst for NBA TV. Rick’s success also extends into the business world, with a winning record as an investor in the retail wireless business in Southern California, interactive video streaming innovator Smiletime, production studio HDFilms, esports powerhouse Echo Fox, among others. Rick holds a degree in Radio, Television and Motion Pictures from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


Paul Korzilius

SVP of Arena Alliance
Oak View Group


Paul Korzilius, a widely respected and successful senior entertainment executive with 40 years’ experience in the business, serves as the Senior Vice President of the Arena Alliance. Paul has been responsible for four consecutive Bon Jovi #1 worldwide tours. Korzilius was the recipient of Billboard Magazine’s 2013 “Manager of the Year” and has served as Producer or Executive Producer on a dozen long-form music TV productions.


Louis Messina

Messina Touring Group

Louis Messina is the CEO of Messina Touring Group. He promotes the tours of heavy-hitters such as The Lumineers, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Jake Owen, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (Soul2Soul), Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, Blake Shelton, George Strait, and Taylor Swift. Over his forty year career he has promoted a variety of acts like the Dixie Chicks, Nickelback, Led Zeppelin and Metallica. Messina began booking small shows as a high school student. Building a solid reputation, he moved onto club and theatre acts in and around New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. In 1975 Messina moved to Houston and (with longtime friend and mentor, Allen Becker) co-founded PACE Concerts. Under his direction, PACE Concerts gained regional and national acclaim among artists, agents, artist management and competing promoters. As the company evolved from PACE Concerts to SFX on to Clear Channel Entertainment, Messina established himself as one of the country’s preeminent promoters. In addition to promoting club, arena and stadium acts, Messina conceived and created the George Strait Country Music Festival, Ozzfest (along with Sharon Osborne), Texxas Jam, Van Halen’s Monsters of Rock and the Fleetwood Mac Reunion Tours. Since establishing The Messina Group, Louis has been the exclusive concert promoter for Kenny Chesney, George Strait and Taylor Swift. He is known for special events and record-setting stadium concerts such as the Jimmy Buffett – George Strait – Alan Jackson triple headliner at Texas Stadium and the opening event at Cowboys Stadium featuring George Strait. Strait’s final sellout show at ATT Stadium, The Cowboy Rides Away, set record numbers with over 104,000 tickets sold in 2014. Swift’s recent 1989 World Tour saw five sold out shows at Staples Center, setting a record for the artist with the most sold out shows at the venue (16) and all of them sold out instantly. Chesney has played 135 stadiums during his career and is ranked in the Top Ticket Sellers of the past 25 years, while only headlining the last fourteen.


Jared Paul

Faculty Productions


Jared Paul launched Faculty Management and Productions with Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino in 2013 in partnership with Artist Nation, the largest artist management company in the world. Faculty Management is a full service artist management company representing many of today’s biggest artists and Faculty Productions focuses on developing and producing live branded entertainment and concerts.   Jared began his career as director of entertainment for the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, where he was recruited as a senior manager by Irving Azoff to help relaunch Azoff’s mega-firm, Frontline Management. There, Paul spearheaded the reunion of New Kids on the Block, who have since sold over two million concert tickets worldwide to generate over $100,000,000 in revenue. Jared continued his partnership with Azoff to create AGPS Management & Productions, expanding Frontline’s roster to include clients as powerful and diverse as Jennifer Hudson and the Smashing Pumpkins. At AGPS, Paul fostered his team’s capabilities to include oversight, creative development, and management of global touring for some of the biggest shows on television, including Dancing with the Stars, Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush, and Glee Live!, the all-time highest grossing TV touring property to date. Jared currently manages headline acts, New Kids on the Block, Il Divo, Sabrina Carpenter and Lea Michele. Most recently, the production company has toured all of these acts including 2017’s stand out concert experience, The Total Package Tour, featuring NKOTB, Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul. Additionally, Faculty Productions has most recently produced Dancing with the Stars: Live!, MOVE: Beyond – Julianne & Derek Hough Live on Tour, America’s Got Talent Live!, and pop concerts My2K Tour featuring 98 Degrees, Mixtape Festival and Show of the Summer and benefit concert Boston Strong.


Ramona Shelburne

NBA Insider and Senior Writer


Mike Tomon

President of North American Operations


Shelli Azoff

The Forum

Shelli Azoff, the managing partner of Southern California’s “Fabulous” Forum, has been involved in the entertainment industry for most of her adult life. A California native, born and raised in North Hollywood, Ms. Azoff is very familiar with the iconic Forum’s notable history and importance. Ms. Azoff was the driving force in the $150 million remodel of the Forum in 2013. Through her ability and unwavering determination to create a unique experience for both artists and fans, she surpassed her mission when creating the revamped Forum. With five star-caliber dressing rooms and state-of-the-art acoustics, she pays attention to every detail, such as the special red wall in the tunnel, the canvases every artist who plays the Forum has signed, as well as custom-made cakes which feature each artist. Her imagination and style in designing and developing the Forum to be the ultimate artist-friendly arena has set the standard that all other venues strive to emulate. Shelli never accepts industry standards and makes sure that every show or event at the Forum provides a unique and new experience for both the fan and the artist. Ms. Azoff oversees marketing, design, sponsorships, ticketing, amenities for both the front and back of house, and all food elements at the Forum. The all-entertainment venue was named the top grossing 2016 West Coast venue and books twice as many events as its nearest Southern California competitor. She continues to set the trend to make the Forum the leading building in the world. Ms. Azoff will also be involved in all future MSG venues. Early in her career, Ms. Azoff became an agent to several players on the US National Soccer Team.  When the team qualified for the 1990 World Cup, she was a major proponent on the players’ behalf. While nobody else would, Ms. Azoff, without prior experience, became a very successful agent to many of them for more than ten years. She was instrumental in helping soccer become what it is in America today. In 2011, Shelli and her husband, Irving, were the first couple honored with the Spirit of Life Award, saluting those that exemplify the ideals and values that guide City of Hope, a leading research, treatment and education center for cancer diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. As with everything else Shelli does, she curated a memorable and creative evening raising a record amount of money that people still talk about. Shelli has a very busy and full life, both personally and professionally.  She has a beautiful family, with whom she spends a lot of her downtime, and she always talks about how lucky and grateful she is for all that she has.


Brian Bowe

Senior Director, Premium Services

Brian Bowe has worked at Ticketmaster for 10 years and currently oversees the Premium Services division within the OnTour group. In this role, Brian is responsible for the Platinum ticket business, for liaising with VIP partners, and for driving the overall growth of the Premium ticket category by focusing on consumer and Artist needs, partner expansion, and technology improvements. Brian has previously worked as a consultant at A.T. Kearney and has an MBA from UCLA Anderson and an undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College.


Coran Capshaw

Red Light Management

Capshaw founded Red Light Management in 1991 at the beginning of his now 25-year role as the personal manager of Dave Matthews Band. Red Light has since grown to become the largest independent artist management firm in the world with approximately 250 clients.  RLM’s roster includes Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Chris Stapleton, Lady Antebellum, Tiësto, Enrique Iglesias, Lionel Richie, Alabama Shakes and many more. Red Light Management has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Charlottesville, Nashville, Atlanta, Seattle, London and Bristol.   Capshaw is a three-time winner of Pollstar’s Personal Manager of the Year award. In 2011 the Billboard Touring Awards honored Capshaw with their Humanitarian Award, the first of its kind to be presented to a manager. Complementing the entrepreneurial management approach that Red Light is known for, Capshaw created GreenLight and New Era to forge innovative partnerships for events, bands and brands.  In 1998 Capshaw launched Musictoday, an entertainment web-commerce company and pioneer in the direct-to-fan model, including integrated ticketing, fan clubs and merchandise.    Red Light’s sister company Starr Hill Presents promotes live music on a regional and national level. Together with its partners, Starr Hill Presents has an equity position in large-scale music festivals and venues including the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Free Press Summer Festival in Houston, Lost Lake Festival, Wanderlust Yoga and Music Festival and the Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville. 


Andrew Dreskin

Co-Founder & CEO

Andrew was the co-founder, president and CEO of TicketWeb, the first company to sell event tickets on the web. Andrew has had his hands in the music business for many years, as co-founder and producer of the Virgin Mobile Festival, General Manager of Beserkley Records, Director of Marketing at California Concerts, and as the largest shareholder in the Big Easy chain of concert venues, before it was acquired by Knitting Factory Entertainment. He holds a B.A. from Tulane University, where he is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council. He serves on numerous Boards of Directors including Headcount, a non-profit voter registration organization. He throws a damn good party and can be bothered for amazing music stories anytime.


Amy FriedlandeR

Head of Business Development
& Experiential Marketing


Amy Friedlander Hoffman is currently the Head of Business Development & Experiential Marketing for Uber and oversees experiential marketing, entertainment and strategic partnerships. Prior to Uber, she has had 15+ years of experience in bringing new platforms to life, including ATT U-Verse. Amy holds a JD from the University of Chicago and a BA with honors from the University of Michigan. Amy sits on the board of Los Angeles Waterkeeper and is a rabid live music fan.


Peter Luukko

Oak View Group Arena Alliance

Luukko, 57, currently serves as the Executive Chairman of the Florida Panthers and its parent company, Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, LLC. He is a nationally-recognized sports management leader and member of the National Hockey League Board of Governors with over 25 years of experience running a professional NHL franchise. Luukko’s main responsibility in his current position is to build the Panthers and Sunrise Sports Entertainment, LLC into a world-class sports and entertainment company by generating a significant and broad base of corporate, community and fan support across South Florida for both the Panthers as well events at the BB&T Center. Prior to joining the Panthers in April of 2015, Luukko was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Comcast-Spectacor, L.P. where he oversaw the Philadelphia Flyers. During his 25-year tenure, Luukko led Comcast-Spectacor's facility-management business, running more than 125 sports arenas, stadiums and convention centers. He was also responsible for the expansion of Comcast-Spectacor’s broad range of businesses.  Under Luukko’s leadership, Comcast-Spectacor helped Philadelphia garner national attention by attracting several high-profile events to the city of Philadelphia, including the 2000 Republican National Convention, the 2000 NCAA Women’s Final Four, the 2001 NCAA Men’s East Regionals, the 2001 and 2002 X-Games, the 2002 NBA All-Star Weekend, the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Gymnastics, the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships, the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four and numerous other sports and entertainment events. As President of the Flyers, he played an instrumental role in his club participating in two Winter Classics (2010 and 2012), while also hosting the 2014 National Hockey League Draft.  A recognized leader in the facility management industry, Luukko was the 2000 recipient of the City of Hope’s Tri-State Labor Award. He also received the 2002 prestigious Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Sports Management Program of the University of Massachusetts, his alma mater, for his accomplishments in the field of sports management. He received the 2013 Police Athletic League PAL Award for his contributions to the Philadelphia community. In March 2017, he was honored with the SEVT 2017 Lifetime Achievement in Sport and Entertainment Award. In 2013, Luukko and Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider ranked 43rd on Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal’s prestigious list of the Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Sports Business. The two are also two-time winners of Venues Today’s Hall of Headlines. He also was named one of Billboard Magazine’s Power 100 (2012 and 2013). Luukko and his wife, Casey, recently relocated to South Florida and are the proud parents of three children, Nick, Dana and Max. Luukko is a hockey player, hockey coach and hockey parent. His son, Nick, was recently signed to the Reading Royals, an AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.


Bruce Miller

Senior Principal

Bruce Miller is a seasoned architect with experience in a variety of sporting venues. He has led project teams for minor league baseball, professional baseball and professional soccer since he started at Populous in 1989. He participates in a wide range of efforts, such as site selection studies, feasibility studies and full-service architectural design. Bruce managed the Populous design team for the award-winning Target Field, modern day Major League Baseball’s most compact site in downtown Minneapolis, and he is currently leading design teams for the Orlando City SC and the new Minnesota United FC MLS Stadia.   Bruce is often cited as an expert source on stadium design for media including Sports Business Journal, Urban Land Magazine, National Public Radio, Design Intelligence, The Business of Sports and Athletic Business. He has been guest lecturer at NYU and has spoken to industry leaders at the Freitas Seminar during the Winter Baseball Meetings. He was named a Sports Business Journal 40 Under 40 winner in 2003.


Tim Romani

ICON Venue Group

Tim Romani is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of ICON Venue Group, a Denver-based Project Management / Owner’s Representative firm in the sports, entertainment and public assembly industry. ICON has demonstrated expertise in designing, constructing, commissioning, and operating projects for NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS franchises totaling more than $6 billion in the North America and Europe. Having served as Executive Director of two stadium authorities in Chicago and Denver, he is a proven public sector executive skilled in guiding large, high-profile projects through complex political landscapes. Tim has managed the development of some of the most well-recognized sports and entertainment venues in numerous national and international markets. With offices in Denver and Charlotte, Tim is responsible for guiding strategic direction and new initiatives for the company and leading its domestic and international business development efforts. ICON has overseen the development, design, and construction of major stadiums and arenas throughout North America and Europe, and is currently underway on new construction or renovation projects for sports teams including the Chicago Cubs, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Utah Jazz, Colorado State University Rams, Orlando City Soccer, and AS Roma. In 2016, ICON completed new venues for the Sacramento Kings, Edmonton Oilers, Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Raptors, and Toronto FC. ICON’s world-class portfolio is the most extensive in the sports and entertainment industry, and includes The O2 arena in London, PPG Paints Arena, Prudential Center, Sprint Center, Rogers Place, Sports Authority Field, 10 of the 14 MLS stadiums constructed or renovated, and the Wrigley Field Restoration project, among many others. Tim’s innovative and sophisticated approach to project management, particularly in the focus areas of Preconstruction and Project Controls has revolutionized the way sports projects are delivered. Establishing, communicating and managing cost and schedule mandates is the hallmark of how ICON Venue Group operates on behalf of its clients and sets ICON apart from all other firms. ICON is a division of leading entertainment and sports agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA). 



Vision Ventures

Stratton Sclavos is a Founding Partner at Vision Venture Partners where he leads the Executive Operating Committee, providing management oversight, strategic planning and operational guidance to each of VVP’s portfolio companies. Prior to VVP, Stratton was a General Partner at Silicon Valley-based Radar Partners, where he invested in many successful early stage tech companies. Additionally, Stratton served as Chairman and CEO of internet security company VeriSign, which he led for over a decade as VeriSign grew into a NASDAQ-traded corporation with over 5,000 employees, $1.7 billion in annual revenues and a market value of over $25 billion. Stratton was also part of the ownership group of the San Jose Sharks professional hockey team for more than a decade and served as its CEO and Managing General Partner for many years. Stratton holds a B.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California at Davis and sits on the University of Southern California (USC) President’s Leadership Council.


Pete Vlastelica

President / CEO
Major League Gaming
Activision Blizzard

Pete Vlastelica is President and CEO of Major League Gaming (MLG), a division of Activision Blizzard devoted to creating the best esports experiences for fans across games, platforms and geographies. Prior to MLG, Vlastelica was the Executive Vice President of Digital at FOX Sports, where he focused on content and product development, social media, technology, and creation of multi-platform content properties, including the Emmy-award winning “Garbage Time with Katie Nolan.” He directed the growth of and the mobile app FOX Sports Go, where he oversaw the streaming of thousands of live sporting events, including Super Bowl XLVIII, which set a new internet record for streaming viewers for a sporting event. Recognized for his influence in the sports media industry, Vlastelica is a member of Sports Business Journal’s prestigious “Forty Under 40” Class of 2014. Vlastelica earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Stanford.


Gerry Barad

Live Nation Global Touring

Gerry Barad, Chief Operating Officer of Live Nation Global Touring, a division of Live Nation, the world’s most successful leader in the live entertainment industry, has a been a music industry trailblazer for over 35 years. Gerry and his world-class team have promoted and produced most of the top grossing tours of the last four decades with past and present clients including U2, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Barbra Streisand, Rush, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, The Police, Neil Young, CSNY, Nine Inch Nails, the late David Bowie, Pink Floyd, David Gilmour, The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Bette Midler, Roxy Music and The Rolling Stones. His passion for live entertainment also extends beyond the world of Rock and Roll and Pop and into the world of theatre. An avid theatre patron himself, his appreciation of the fine arts came at an early age with his love for the theatre, musicals and classic films. For the past four years, Gerry has sat on the Board of Directors for the prestigious Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago including co-chairing their last three annual fundraising galas. Originally hailing from the beautiful and rugged coast of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Gerry has resided in the city of Chicago since 2010. Gerry shares his passion for the music industry often and has had a major association with The Berklee College of Music in Boston for the past 18 years. In 2010, Gerry delivered the James G. Zafris lecture and is a frequent guest professor and lecturer at the school. In addition, Gerry is the Chairman of the Board of the recently formed Berklee Popular Music Institute where he plays an active role. Six years ago, Gerry personally funded an annual scholarship for Berklee students in need of financial assistance.

Bill Bratton

Executive Chairman
Prevent Advisors

William J. Bratton is one of the world’s most respected and trusted experts on risk and security issues. During a 46-year career in law enforcement, he instituted progressive change and dramatic drops in crime while leading six police departments, including seven years as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and two nonconsecutive terms as the Police Commissioner of the City of New York. He is the only person ever to lead the police agencies of America’s two largest cities. The recipient of many honors throughout his career, Mr. Bratton was named by Security magazine as one of 2010’s most influential people in the security industry based on his leadership qualities and the positive impact that his work has made on organizations, colleagues, and the general public. This was the second time in two years that he has appeared on the magazine's list of most influential security executives. In 2007 he received Governing Magazine’s “Public Official of the Year Award.” In January 1996 he appeared on the cover of Time Magazine and was featured in the article “Finally, We’re Winning the War Against Crime.” And in 2009, for his collaborative efforts in working with U.S. and British police forces, he was recognized by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the honorary title Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).


Scott Cutler


Scott Cutler leads StubHub, one of the world’s largest destinations for connecting fans with the artists, athletes, musicians and performers they love. Scott joined StubHub in May 2015 with a belief in the transforming power of technology to create innovative and exciting experiences. He and the entire StubHub team advocate for fan choice and open access to events and experiences. At StubHub, Scott is responsible for the overall operations and growth of the company, as well as its international expansion. He leads a team of more than 1,300 people around the world. Scott has leveraged his tremendous experience operating a technology-enabled marketplace at scale to drive significant change within the events industry by moving StubHub into new ticketing spaces and new markets, and by advancing innovative technologies to improve the customer experience. Under Scott’s leadership, StubHub has become the Official Ticketing Partner of the Philadelphia 76ers and has launched a first-of-its-kind marketplace that combines all ticket inventory together on StubHub in one seat map; become the Official Fan-to-Fan Ticket Resale Marketplace of the New York Yankees; expanded its presence into nearly 50 countries with the acquisition of Ticketbis; added virtual reality seat views into the StubHub mobile app; launched the first ticketing app for Apple TV; and more. Scott joined StubHub after nine years as an Executive Vice President at the New York Stock Exchange, one of the world's largest financial marketplaces. During his tenure, he helped transform the NYSE to become the number one global exchange, was responsible for more than $1 trillion in capital raised, and helped take public some of the world’s most iconic brands. Prior to his career at the NYSE, Scott spent several years in investment banking focused on the software and Internet industries. He started his career as a corporate securities lawyer. Scott has a BS degree in Economics from Brigham Young University and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. He believes in giving back to the community and serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including Madison Square Boys and Girls Club and the Mental Health Association of New York City, and is a trustee on the National Advisory Committee for his alma mater, BYU. His professional and personal lives collide in a love of sports and the outdoors - he runs, skis, climbs, cycles, and surfs. He has completed more than a dozen marathons, crossed the Alps on skis, and ridden several stages of the Tour de France. He is an avid SF Giants fan. He has been married to his wife Melissa for 20 years and they have four kids.


Neil Everett




Al Guido

San Francisco 49ers


Al Guido was named President of the San Francisco 49ers on February 15, 2016. Guido oversees all key business initiatives for the team.  Prior to being named President, Guido served as the team’s chief operating officer from 2014 to 2016. Under his direction, the construction and year-one operations of Levi’s Stadium exceeded all projections – finishing under budget on construction, with lower public debt than expected, delivering $2.8 million to the City of Santa Clara general fund from non-event revenue in just the first eight months of operations, and fully funding reserve cash balances for the Santa Clara Stadium Authority. Levi’s Stadium has proven itself as a 360 degree entertainment venue in its first two years under Guido’s leadership. The venue has hosted Super Bowl 50, Wrestlemania 31, Major League Soccer, multiple Pac-12 Championship Football games, International Soccer giants Manchester United and Barcelona, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Grateful Dead, and NHL Outdoor Classic. This summer the stadium will play host to the largest soccer tournament on U.S. soil since the World Cup with the Copa America Centenario and will host the prestigious College Football National Championship Game, in 2019. Guido led the sales team that made the stadium a reality, highlighted by the record-setting Stadium Builders License sales campaign for the stadium’s seats and suites that generated nearly half of the $1.2 billion construction cost of the stadium. The team has signed more than a dozen partners investing seven-figures annually for 10 years, including Levi’s Stadium naming rights at $220 million, with more than $650 million in corporate partnership investment. Creating a technologically enhanced game day experience that is influencing sports venues across North America and around the world, the strategy for Levi’s Stadium developed by Guido and the 49ers executive management team has already garnered international recognition, most notably the Sports Business Journal 2015 Sports Facility of the Year and Venue of the Year at the 2015 Stadium Business Awards in Barcelona, Spain. Prior to being elevated to his former role as chief operating officer in 2014, Guido worked on behalf of the 49ers and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority as the senior vice president of global sales for Legends beginning in 2010. In that capacity, he led a suite and SBL sales initiative for Levi’s Stadium that achieved record-setting results by totaling more than $530 million. Before joining Legends, Guido served as sales manager for the Dallas Cowboys. In that role, he managed the premium seat department for Cowboys Stadium (now AT&T Stadium) that broke industry records for PSL sales totaling over $600 million. Guido joined the Cowboys after having served as the senior director of ticket sales for the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League. During his term, the Coyotes achieved the first revenue increases in the 10-year history of the franchise and finished in the top five in the NHL for new business sales. A native of Washington Township, NJ, Guido began his career in the sports and entertainment industry with Comcast-Spectacor, owner and operator of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms, Comcast SportsNet and the Wachovia Complex. Guido later served as director of business development for the Lakewood Blueclaws (a minor-league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies). A Board Member of City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley, a contributor to the Navy Seal Foundation, Board Member of the Coach K/Fuqua School of Business, and serving on the Advisory Board at the San Jose State Institute for Study of Sport, Society & Social Change, and the Advisory Council at the Positive Coaching Alliance, Guido received his bachelor of business administration from the College of New Jersey, where he played wide receiver for the school’s football program. In 2016, Guido was named to the Forty Under 40 list by both the Sports Business Journal and the San Francisco Business Times, for demonstrating industry excellence and innovation early in his career. He and his wife, Thea, have three daughters, Estella, Sloane and Tatum.


David McCain

Director, Security Services
National Football League

David McCain retired as a detective from the Huntington Beach Police Department after 23-years of service. The last 12-years was as an investigator of high tech crimes and digital forensics. He was also deputized as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshall as a task force officer for both the FBI SAFE Team and U.S. Secret Service ECTF – Electronic Crimes Task Force. McCain worked for the U.S. State Department Anti-Terrorism Assistance program teaching foreign government personnel digital forensics and high tech investigations. He has taught law enforcement/government officials in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South America. He was also a part-time instructor for the California Department of Justice teaching computer forensics to state law enforcement officers. McCain holds numerous certificates for computer and mobile device forensics. He is a member of two different high tech associations and served as the President of the Southern California High Technology Crimes Investigators Assocation in 2008. He is a court certified expert as it relates to digital forensics in federal, state, and military courts. David is now the Director of Digital Forensic Investigations for the NFL.


Carl Mittleman

Aramark Sports & Entertainment

Carl Mittleman is president of Aramark’s Sports and Entertainment division. In this role he provides leadership for more than 150 premier stadiums, arenas, convention centers and cultural attraction venues across North America where Aramark provides award-winning food and beverage, retail service and facility service programs. He was promoted to president in February 2014. Mittleman has over 20 years of service with Aramark and most recently served as a Regional Vice President in Sports and Entertainment. Since joining Aramark as a management trainee, he has established himself as a versatile professional in numerous sales and operational roles across the enterprise, including the parks and destinations and international business units.  Throughout the course of his career, Mittleman has been honored for his work. In 2012, he was recognized with the company’s prestigious Most Valued Partner award for his efforts to expand client partnerships, enhance customer satisfaction and create loyal customers. He was named to Sports Business Journal’s 2013 list of “Forty Under 40,” awarded the 2011 Venues Today Generation Next Award; and twice named Aramark Manager of the Year, in 2004 and 2005. He serves on the board of directors for Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition, is a member of the Cornell Hotel Society and sits on the Executive Advisory Board for University of Denver, Knoebel School. Mittleman is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and earned his Executive MBA from the Daniels College of Business at University of Denver.


Bob Roux

President North American Concerts
Live Nation



Tobias Sherman

Head of Esports

Tobias Sherman is the Head of eSports for WME | IMG, the global leader in entertainment, sports and fashion. The SBJ 40 Under 40 winner serves as the foremost advocate for the incredible growth potential of the eSports industry. Throughout his career, Sherman has worked to increase the overall compensation for eSports teams and talent, helping to double salaries across the last five years. Sherman has also propelled the industry forward with groundbreaking initiatives like ELEAGUE, in partnership with Turner, and the eSports training integration at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, which allows eSports competitors to train in the same fashion as athletes from other sports.


Paul Ward

Esports Arena

Paul Ward is the founder and CEO of Esports Arena, North America's premier esports venue network. Esports Arena opened it's first venue in 2015 in Orange County California and has announced it's upcoming locations in Oakland CA, and at the Luxor in Las Vegas. 


Dan Berkowitz

CID Entertainment

Dan Berkowitz is a firm believer in the transformative power of music and is dedicated to creating experiences that are equally immersive, unforgettable and seamless for his fellow diehard music lovers. Dan started in the music business like many before him, handing out flyers for his favorite bands and venues. He worked his way up, becoming the tour manager for The Disco Biscuits in 2004, overseeing their day-to-day operations. After leaving the road in 2006, Dan worked for Electric Factory Concerts, while laying the groundwork for what would later become CID Entertainment, creating unique travel packages and VIP experiences for marquee events in Philadelphia. In 2007, Dan left Electric Factory Concerts to focus full-time on CID Entertainment. Under his leadership, the company has experienced tremendous growth while maintaining excellence in program offerings and guest service. The company has expanded from a one-man operation to a team of 70 + hardworking, passionate, caring individuals that make CID Entertainment what it is today. Headquartered in Philadelphia with offices in Denver and Nashville, CID Entertainment offers enhanced live music and travel experiences at a wide array of events, festivals and tours worldwide. CID partners include Coachella, Bonnaroo, Kenny Chesney, MUSE, Blake Shelton, Bassnectar, My Morning Jacket and Kendrick Lamar, among others. In 2015, the company launched CID Presents, a boutique end-to-end event production branch of the company that offers superfans once-in-a-lifetime music destination events, including Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa, Phish: Riviera Maya, Los Muertos con Queso and Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Riviera Maya.


Richard Browne

Sterling Properties



Michael Downing

EVP Security
Prevent Advisors

Michael P. Downing brings 35 years of experience to Prevent Advisors. Most recently he served as the Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department and Commanding Officer of the Counter-Terrorism & Criminal Intelligence Bureau where he lead two operational divisions: Major Crimes and Emergency Services Divisions. These divisions include the Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Section, Criminal Investigative Section, Organized Crime, Surveillance Section, Hazardous Devices Section, Operation Archangel, and the LAX Bomb K-9 Section. Deputy Chief Downing is also a member of the Executive Board of the Los Angeles Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC). Mike previously commanded the Hollywood Community Police Station, leading 300 sworn and 40 civilian personnel providing service to a diverse residential population that exceeded 300,000 citizens. Deputy Chief Downing later served as Assistant Commanding Officer, Operations-South Bureau, a command serving nearly 700,000 people, and leading 1,200 police officers in South Los Angeles. In this capacity he oversaw patrol operations, detectives, vice, and the administration of Bureau operations. Throughout his career, Mike worked with numerous international partners and departments. He supported the New Scotland Yard’s Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command SO 15 and testified before Congressional sub-committees relative to intelligence, homeland security, and information sharing. As a member of the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council, Mike advised on the development of a national strategy for countering violent extremism. Downing is recognized as a leading advocate for the inclusion of State and Local law enforcement agencies into a fully integrated National Intelligence Enterprise. In October 2009, Deputy Chief Downing served as the Interim Police Chief for the Los Angeles Police Department. In 2010, He was elected the President of the Leadership in Counter-Terrorism (LinCT) Alumni Association. This association works with alumni from the FBI’s LinCT Program to develop a global enterprise of networked counter-terrorism practitioners throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Throughout his career, Mike frequently worked with the Department of Justice, traveling to South America, Africa, Turkey, and Poland transitioning large national police organizations into democratic civilian policing models. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. Mike completed POST Command College in 1997, the FBI’s Leadership in Counter-Terrorism (LinCT) in 2008, and the Post Naval Graduate Executive Program in 2009. He was also a senior fellow at the George Washington University Homeland Security Institute.


Michael Ferris

Founder & CEO

Mr. Ferris has been a Founder, Chairman and CEO of several companies throughout his 20-year career. Michael began his entrepreneurial aspirations in 1992 after playing football at Missouri Southern State University. Soon thereafter, Mr. Ferris moved to Florida and started TBR Asset Management. After selling TBR, Michael founded Valet Living and spent 15 years creating a market-innovative company that changed the way property services and technology combined to provide best in class services to the multifamily real estate sector. In 2012 Mr. Ferris founded Cerca Trova Holdings. Cerca Trova .has two related firms. Occam Technology Group - Occam Technology Group is an award winning technology engineering firm that designs and develops secure, intelligent products and devices for companies throughout the world. OTG has special expertise in systems level design, embedded security, communications and the integration of IoT (Internet of Things). Abacode Cybersecurity – Abacode is a cybersecurity firm committed to addressing every aspect of the cyber-threat landscape. As a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) Abacode employs global thought leaders and industry experts in ethical hacking, cryptography and corporate governance which provides organizations with strategic solutions and guidance before attacks become disruptions and financial hardships. Mr. Ferris currently sits on the Deparment of Homeland Security (DHS) - Cybersecurity Task Force Committee in Washington D.C. and travels frequently throughout the US, LATAM, E.U. and U.K. Michael is involved in numerous business organizations and was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011. Michael has been a Judge for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards program from 2012 – 2017. Mr. Ferris is a proud contributor to the Occam STEM Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Marine Corps. Heritage Foundation in Quantico Virginia. Michael and his wife, Merbaliz, reside in the Tampa Bay area with their three small boys.


Adam Kornfeld

Artist Group International



Doc McGhee

McGhee Entertainment



Philip Mudd

CNN Correspondent/
Former CIA

Philip Mudd joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1985 as an analyst specializing in South Asia and then the Middle East. He began work in the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center in 1992 and then served on the National Intelligence Council as the Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia (1995-98). After a tour as an executive assistant in the front office of the Agency’s analytic arm, Mr. Mudd went on to manage Iraq analysis at the CIA (1999-2001). Mr. Mudd began a policy assignment at the White House in early 2001, detailed from CIA to serve as the Director for Gulf Affairs on the White House National Security Council. He left after the September 11 attacks for a short assignment as the CIA member of the small diplomatic team that helped piece together a new government for Afghanistan, and he returned to CIA in early 2002 to become second-in-charge of counterterrorism analysis in the Counterterrorist Center. He was promoted to the position of Deputy Director of the Center in 2003 and served there until 2005. At the establishment of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Security Branch in 2005, FBI Director Mueller appointed Mr. Mudd to serve as the Branch’s first-ever deputy director. He later became the FBI’s Senior Intelligence Adviser. Mr. Mudd resigned from government service in March 2010. Mr. Mudd is the recipient of numerous CIA awards and commendations, including the Director’s Award; the George H.W. Bush Award for excellence in counterterrorism; the CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal; the first-ever William Langer Award for excellence in analysis; and numerous Exceptional Performance Awards. During his assignments at CIA and the FBI, Mr. Mudd has commented about terrorism in open and closed Congressional testimony, and he has been featured by ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, BBC, MSNBC, al-Jazeera, NPR, the New York Times, and the Washington Post; he is now CNN’s counterterrorism analyst. Mr. Mudd has written in Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, and Sentinel, the journal of the US Military Academy’s Combatting Terrorism Center. He has written two books: Takedown: Inside the Hunt for al-Qa’ida; and The HEAD Game: High-Efficiency Analytic Decisionmaking. His next book, Black Site, will be published in January 2018. Mr. Mudd is the President of Mudd Management, a company specializing in security consulting; analytic training; and public speaking about security issues. He sits on the advisory board for the National Counterterrorism Center and is a member of the Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Group. Mr. Mudd graduated cum laude from Villanova University with a B.A. in English Literature (1983), and he earned an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Virginia (1984). He speaks French.


Ety Rybak

Co-Founder, COO
CAA Premium Experience

Ety Rybak is an Executive at CAA Premium Experience, a full-service hospitality, event management, and marketing practice, and division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). CAA Premium Experience combines the creativity, innovation, and state-of-the-art client service of the world’s most accomplished corporate hospitality executives and organizations with CAA’s unmatched resources and relationships within entertainment, sports, and pop culture to deliver full-service hospitality, event management, and world-class VIP experiences for customers globally. Prior to joining CAA, Rybak co-founded Inside Sports & Entertainment Group (Inside SEG) in 2004 which became the leading provider of VIP Tickets and Experiential Packages for the most sought after events throughout the world. CAA acquired Inside SEG in 2014. A Tulane grad, Rybak was born in Israel, grew up in the United States, and has helped to reshape the traditional ticket business by creating a unique selling proposition for CAA Premium Experience - building unique VIP experiences for clients. His resume includes several years at the NBA beginning as a member of the prestigious NBA Associates Program. Rybak is heavily involved in his community, and has coached high school wrestling for the past 15 years. Additionally, he has helped raise over $1 million for Sloan Kettering and Breast Cancer Research by producing a series of major fund raising concerts starring world class artists.


Jared Smith

Ticketmaster North America

Jared Smith was named president, Ticketmaster North America in December 2012.  In this role, Jared is responsible for Ticketmaster’s world-leading ticketing software platforms and consumer businesses. Previously, Jared served as chief operating officer at Ticketmaster.  Jared has been at Ticketmaster since 2003. Under his leadership, Ticketmaster has continued to revolutionize the company’s approach to technology and fan engagement, particularly around using mobile tools to extend and enhance the live event experience.  Always an instrumental part of innovative initiatives, Jared also led the transformation of the company's client-facing sales and support organization and its focus on data-driven products, services and technology-driven marketing tools. Prior to joining Ticketmaster, Jared held various roles in sports tourism and venue management. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa.


Eric Wooden

SVP Hospitality Solutions

Eric leads Centerplate’s facility design and equipment procurement team. The resident “master builder”, he conceptualizes and brings visions to life. With more than 25 years experience managing hospitality operations, facility design and capital projects on behalf of Centerplate’s clients, Eric oversees all venue enhancements in the company’s portfolio. He has been responsible for the foodservice design and construction management at numerous top 10 convention centers, NFL stadiums, major and minor league ballparks, NHL and NBA arenas including Seattle’s Safeco Field, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, design services for the new Atlético de Madrid stadium in Madrid, and most recently, design consulting and planning for European Football Club FC Barcelona. He advocates for local sourcing partnerships, the utilization of renewable resources and elevating food to the level that exceeds the expectations of today’s guests.