Member Highlights

The ALSD is an association of sports and entertainment professionals from all levels of the venue marketplace, from premium seating to ticket sales, technology solutions to facility operations, and everything in between. We are decision makers, sales leaders, service pros, foodservice providers, architects, and builders of memorable experiences.

Through this collection of ALSD member highlights, presented by Spring USA, meet your peers in this community that serves to elevate your venue and career. It’s our people that makes the ALSD special and the leading organization for premium seating and venue development professionals to network, exchange best practices, and share values since 1990.

 


To explore our venues and find new, cool ways to repurpose space has been one of our industry’s greatest odysseys. Gregg Allen, CRO, Sporting Kansas City knows the mission well. And even if his clients don’t explicitly ask for exclusive spaces, his team understands its incumbent to provide them, while nurturing the VVIP networking opportunities and pushing the experiential envelope.

At our core, service professionals want to exceed their clients’ expectations. However, what gets lost in the equation for something greater is the notion that meeting needs must come before exceeding them. Rachel Reap, Director of Premium Services for the new Moody Center, explains how she makes this a priority, along with providing autonomy to her clients, who are onboarded with all the tools to seamlessly make their own experiences special.

Sports sits on a powerful pedestal, able to influence initiatives and create change. With sustainability an increasingly critical global crisis, our industry’s venues can be conduits to change, while also influencing the millions of fans who frequent them. The impact of initiative influence is explored with Kristen Fulmer, Senior Director of Sustainability, OVG360, Senior Sustainability Director, GOAL and Omar Mitchell, Vice President, Sustainable Infrastructure & Growth Initiatives, National Hockey League.

From the very beginning, these service and operations mavens made a pact that no matter what came to one, the other would know about it. The result is bump in the service experience for this new arena’s guests. They know their staffs can't be successful unless the departments are not only on the same page, but reading the same verses harmoniously. The sisters in service are Caroline Shipps, Vice President, Premium and Member Services and Eboni Wilson, Vice President, Guest Experience for UBS Arena.

That we will never succeed in this business if we are not ourselves was a lesson learned early on for Manny Jacobo. He’s amplified that message on his own social platforms to pave a positive path for those who come into this business after him. This Bronx to LA transplant couples with is his flair for fine style with foundational business acumen to provide unique premium hospitality at Crypto.com Arena. The ALSD was inspired by this story of roots and wings and how it will help future premium seating professionals also stand on a powerful platform.

For Katie Grubbs, the goal is to meet clients where they at, with what they want, when they want it. To this end, her premium team has created one of the most robust premium touch point programs in the industry. Grubbs also explains that while entertaining across the country tugs at the purse strings slightly, the loyalty potential for Titans fans tugs harder. The ALSD was delighted to interview a premium leader who understand that premium experience extends beyond your stadium suites.

He started as Employee #2 to make the dream of a professional Cincinnati soccer team a reality. He sold that which didn’t exist: a soccer club who was eventually crowned record-setters in attendance. His team weaves the heart of the city into every element of TQL Stadium, unearthing a rich history and a richer future. He’s Jeff Smith, Senior Vice President, Sales & Ticketing for FC Cincinnati.

He knows that our industry is increasingly looking to differentiate premium experience and spaces, and that available venue real estate often comes up. His team helped uncork the Boone County Bourbon Press Club at Great American Ball Park. Along with bar-setting surprise and delight amenities, he explained the bar-setting bourbon barrel entryway. He’s Chris Bausano, Director of Premium Sales & Service for the Cincinnati Reds.

A trainer with roots in luxury hotels and retail, this chief experience officer teaches us that service standards become our guiding light. He asks who we are, and how we do things to understand how to set the foundation for training. His mantra is more of a question, as he level sets organizations goals. He asks: what do we want people to say, think, and feel when they walk away? He’s Chris Bryant, Chief Experience Officer, BGX l Bryant Group Experience.