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February 12 - 16, 2023 (PST)

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Loews Hollywood Hotel

North Highland Avenue 1755
Los Angeles, California

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Jim Folk (Vice President, Ballpark Improvements at Cleveland Guardians)

Jim Folk

Vice President, Ballpark Improvements at Cleveland Guardians

Seminar Committee Chair

Lindsay Arell (Honeycomb Strategies)

Lindsay Arell

Honeycomb Strategies

"Lindsay Arell, LEED AP and TRUE Advisor, is a recognized leader in the area
of sustainability within the sport, hospitality, and events industry. Experience working
with major venues and event organizers provides a unique perspective of how to
overcome roadblocks. Ms. Arell led the ISO 20121 and LEED certification for the
Philadelphia Eagles and Lincoln Financial Field and SoFi Stadium. Additional
experience includes working within the following sustainability standards: ISO 20121,
ISO 14001, LEED EB:OM, TRUE, EIC APEX, and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). She
serves as the Past Chair of the Event Industry Council (EIC) Sustainability Committee,
past Chair of the ASTM E60.02 committee on Hospitality Sustainability."

Michael Beane (Director of Sales at Terraplas North America)

Michael Beane

Director of Sales at Terraplas North America

"Michael Beane and his related companies have been at the center of the turf protection sales and rental industry in the United States since 1994 with the first sale of Terraplas in the United States to Foxboro Stadium (now Gillette Stadium).

In 2008, Michael Beane and Robert Else, the Chairman of Terraplas Plc, purchased all the outstanding stock in Terraplas Rentals LLC and transformed the rental and sales divisions into a combined company under the corporate name Terraplas USA, Inc.

The rental side of the business was sold in 2018 and today, Michael Beane and Eric Deeks manage the sale of Terraplas product in North, Central and South America out of there offices in Kilgore, Texas."

Otto Benedict (SVP Facility & Campus Operations at Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District)

Otto Benedict

SVP Facility & Campus Operations at Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District

OTTO BENEDICT is the Senior Vice President of Facility and Campus Operations overseeing the day-to-day operations and management of the Stadium and YouTube Theater, as well as the entire District. Benedict most recently worked at the Los Angeles Football Club where, as the SVP and General Manager of Facilities, he helped to successfully open and oversee the daily management of the Banc of California Stadium and Los Angeles Football Club Performance Center. Benedict spent over nine years at AEG working at both STAPLES Center and Dignity Health Sports Park (formerly StubHub Center) within the Operations and Events teams.

David Broughton (Research Director of Sports Business Journal)

David Broughton

Research Director of Sports Business Journal

Covering the industry and personally helping to drive up stadium per-caps for 25 years. During that period, Boston's major league teams have won 12 World Championships.... coincidence? I think not.

Jeff Farrell (Operations Project Manager at Mercedes-Benz Stadium)

Jeff Farrell

Operations Project Manager at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

In my current role as Operations Project Manager at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, I help execute capital improvement and unique projects for internal and external stakeholders. Prior to stepping into my current role as Project Manager, I spent the previous 3+ years on the Fan Experience team working to address pain points along the fan journey to improve overall event day satisfaction. Before relocating to Atlanta, I fulfilled the role of Assistant Director of Facilities at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, supporting USC Trojan football, many concerts, community and cultural events, and the relocation of the NFL to the Los Angeles market. My undergraduate degree in Sport Administration is from the University of Connecticut (born and raised) where I worked within the athletic department for two years following graduation. I have had the great privilege of working alongside some of the best professionals in the sports and entertainment industry at some of the most iconic venues in the United States, developing an interest and experience in creative problem solving, the role of sustainability in sports, and having an overall positive impact on those that I encounter each day. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife Emily, and our new puppy Miss Hannigan.

Jason Frew (VP, Business Development at Signature Systems)

Jason Frew

VP, Business Development at Signature Systems

Jason has been at Signature since 2007 and started both the company's Stadium and Rental Divisions (Rental division sold to Sunbelt Rentals in 2015). He has been a leader in product innovation and design initiatives as well as global expansion efforts. Jason has been involved in many of the world's most prestigious events including multiple Olympic Games, World Cup's, Super Bowl's, PGA Golf Tournament's, NHL Winter Classic's, and hundred's of stadium concert's in countries around the globe.

Julie Giese (President at Phoenix Raceway)

Julie Giese

President at Phoenix Raceway

Julie Giese is President of the Chicago Street Course, spearheading a bold initiative to bring NASCAR racing to downtown Chicago in July 2023. Prior to her role in Chicago, Giese served as President of Phoenix Raceway, a role she held since 2018, overseeing the promotion and operation of the modernized facility that is a top motorsports and entertainment destination in the Phoenix market.

Paul Hanlon (Senior Director Ballpark Operations and Sustainability of Major League Baseball)

Paul Hanlon

Senior Director Ballpark Operations and Sustainability of Major League Baseball

In this role at MLB, Paul oversees the relationship between the thirty ballpark operators and the league office. This includes those personnel that oversee Security, Event Operations, Facility Management, Guest Services, Concessions and Environmental Operations at the thirty Clubs. Additionally, Paul plays a primary role in the planning and oversight of ballpark operations for all MLB's domestic and international events. Paul has been with the league since 2012 and prior to this role, was the Director of Planning and Development at the Boston Red Sox.

Jon Hegranes (CEO of Aloft)

Jon Hegranes

CEO of Aloft

Jon is the Founder & CEO of Aloft, the market leader in drone airspace systems & UTM technologies. Aloft’s patented technology is used in today’s leading recreational, enterprise, and government drone applications. Jon is a certified commercial drone pilot as part of FAA Part 107, serves on the Drone Safety Team’s steering committee, and is an active member of other industry groups, including GUTMA and the FAA’s Advanced Aviation Advisory Committee (AAAC) and working groups.

Anthony Holman (Managing Director, Championships and Alliances of NCAA)

Anthony Holman

Managing Director, Championships and Alliances of NCAA

In his current role as Managing Director of Championships and Alliances, Operations, Playing Rules, and Officiating at the NCAA. Anthony is responsible for setting the strategic direction for 30 NCAA Championships, and global oversight for playing rules and officiating of all 90 NCAA Championships.

Omar Jufko (Manager-Stadium Security at Cleveland Browns)

Omar Jufko

Manager-Stadium Security at Cleveland Browns

Mr. Jufko is responsible for providing leadership and administrative direction regarding the security policies, programs and personnel of the First Energy Stadium Security Team. Additionally, Mr. Jufko manages all technologies as it relates to First Energy Stadium security. These programs include, but are not limited to Milestone CCTV, 24/7 Software, Wicket facial verification and P2000 access control system.

Ian MacNabb (Director of Product and Client Operations at Riptide Partners)

Ian MacNabb

Director of Product and Client Operations at Riptide Partners

Ian MacNabb is the Director of Product and Client Operations for Riptide Partners, LLC, he currently resides and works in Phoenix, Arizona. Ian leads customer operations and manages a technical team to drive continuous product development and innovation for our signal capture tools and real-time dashboards. Ian graduated from Arizona State University with a master’s degree in Business Administration and has deep expertise in data and analytics and business intelligence. Prior to joining Riptide he held several diverse roles at customer centric companies including Sixt, Starbucks, and Hyatt. Most recently, he led guest experience initiatives at Hyatt by collecting and operationalizing customer data. When Ian is not in the office, he enjoys playing soccer on various leagues or exploring local eateries.

Dr. Lou Marciani (Director, Co-Founder of Innovation Institute for Fan Experience)

Dr. Lou Marciani

Director, Co-Founder of Innovation Institute for Fan Experience

Director of the Innovation Institute for Fan Experience. Formally, the Director of the National Center for Spectator Safety and Security at the University of Southern Mississippi


Chris McConnaughey

Vice President Hospitality/ KSE Accounts at Legends Hospitality

Sports and Entertainment Executive -

Kevin McDonald (Sr. Director, Business Development of Peerless-AV)

Kevin McDonald

Sr. Director, Business Development of Peerless-AV

As Senior Director of Business Development at Peerless-AV, Kevin McDonald manages key relationships with original equipment manufacturers (OEM), end-users, AV consultants, and architects. In this role, he has worked with leading global partners such as LG Business Solutions, Sharp-NEC Display, Panasonic, Christie Digital, Nanolumens, Daytona International Speedway, Panera Bread, Disney and more. McDonald has also managed projects with professional sports venues across the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL, including Mercedes Benz Stadium and Truist Park.

Mark Nicholls (Director of Turf Alliance)

Mark Nicholls

Director of Turf Alliance

Mark Nicholls is the CEO of Turf Alliance and has been directly involved in the sports surfacing industry for 40+ years. Mark and the management team at Turf Alliance have been responsible for 4 NFL Super Bowl fields, countless professional and collegiate stadium surfaces around the world. Mark is a leader not only in professional sports surfaces but also an expert in the conversion challenges faced by stadium professionals.

Mike Rock (Vice President-Ballpark Operations at Seattle Mariners)

Mike Rock

Vice President-Ballpark Operations at Seattle Mariners

Sports and Entertainment Venue Operations Professional. Event staffing for sports, concerts and other live performances. Owner's representative for venue design, layout and construction. Developing and administering operating and CAPEX budgets.

Todd Shuttleworth (Director of Sales at Max R)

Todd Shuttleworth

Director of Sales at Max R

Todd Shuttleworth has spent over 10 years assisting leading organizations on their path to Zero Waste. Max-R is the leading supplier of front of house waste and recycling solutions in the industry. Max-R is also proud to supply other products to enhance the guest experience, such as portable bars, bar height tables, and more.

Russ Simmons (Chief Listening Officer and Managing Partner at Venue Solutions Group)

Russ Simmons

Chief Listening Officer and Managing Partner at Venue Solutions Group

Russ Simons is The Chief Listening Officer and Managing Partner for Venue Solutions Group. He has been involved in nearly every facet of the sports and entertainment facility industry. He is a fine figure of a man and a good provider.

Rob Van Wart (North American Ground Protection at Sunbelt Rentals, Inc)

Rob Van Wart

North American Ground Protection at Sunbelt Rentals, Inc

Rob is one of the most respected thought leaders in the event ground protection space. With over a decade in the industry, he's helped partners in all four major US sports leagues, and recently led Sunbelt Rentals massive effort at the 2021 Ryder Cup.

Tim Witkowski (District Manager Kansas City San Antonio District at Aramark Sport and Entertainment)

Tim Witkowski

District Manager Kansas City San Antonio District at Aramark Sport and Entertainment

Senior leader for Aramark Sports + Entertaiment businesses in Kansas City & San Antonio. His district includes the homes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, San Antonio Spurs, SAFC as well as Kansas City and Overland Park Convention Centers.

Alicia Woznicki (VP of Marketing + Innovation at Aramark)

Alicia Woznicki

VP of Marketing + Innovation at Aramark

Alicia oversees Aramark sports and entertainment’s award-winning innovation and marketing platform, focusing on innovation, revenue generation, adult beverage programming, and business and concept development. In her time at Aramark, she has led key innovation projects, developing new food and beverage concepts, and supporting extensive renovation projects. She not only oversees internal resources, but she also carefully curates relationships with external brands, design firms, sponsors, and marketing partners. She leads experts in innovation in all venue segments - sports, convention centers, performance venues, cultural attractions, and more.

Gretchen Beaumarchais (Vice President of Culinary Innovation at Legends)

Gretchen Beaumarchais

Vice President of Culinary Innovation at Legends

Bill Hancock (Executive Director of College Football Playoff)

Bill Hancock

Executive Director of College Football Playoff

Zach Hensley (Vice President of Operations/General Manager at Seattle  Seahawks/Lumen Field)

Zach Hensley

Vice President of Operations/General Manager at Seattle Seahawks/Lumen Field

Mary Jreisat (Senior Project Manager at Shawmut Design & Construction)

Mary Jreisat

Senior Project Manager at Shawmut Design & Construction

Cathy L. Lanier (Senior Vice PresidentChief Security Officer at National Football League)

Cathy L. Lanier

Senior Vice PresidentChief Security Officer at National Football League

Peter O'Reilly (Executive Vice President, Club Business & League Events at National Football League)

Peter O'Reilly

Executive Vice President, Club Business & League Events at National Football League

Dale Scott (Retired Professional Umpire)

Dale Scott

Retired Professional Umpire

Kelsey Smith (Sr. Manager-Ballpark Operations at Seattle Mariners)

Kelsey Smith

Sr. Manager-Ballpark Operations at Seattle Mariners

Jeff Stonebreaker (VP Safety & Security at Major League Soccer)

Jeff Stonebreaker

VP Safety & Security at Major League Soccer

David L. Thomas (Vice PresidentSecurity and Ballpark OperationsOffice of the Commissioner at Major League Baseball)

David L. Thomas

Vice PresidentSecurity and Ballpark OperationsOffice of the Commissioner at Major League Baseball


Melanie Vaughn