Dean Hassall CVE, VMS Chair
Principal, Dean Hassall Consulting
As Principal of Dean Hassall Consulting Pty Ltd (DHC), Dean applies over 25 years of industry experience by leading a boutique consultancy that provides advisory services in the areas of major public venue and events management and operations, facility development, and venue business improvement strategies. Government and corporate venue owners and developers, venue managers and operators, hirers, and service providers to the events and entertainment industry—all of DHC’s clients rely on strategic and operational input based on business management expertise honed within the venue management profession.
Prior to his 13 years of consultancy services both around Australia and internationally, Dean has previously held a number of senior management positions in the sport, major venue and event industry in Queensland, including:
• Chief Executive Officer, North Queensland Fury Football Club
• Assistant General Manager, Suncorp Stadium, AEG Ogden
• Manager – Business Development, Sport and Recreation Queensland
• Manager – Venues & Operations, 2001 Goodwill Games Brisbane
• Venue Manager, ANZ Stadium, (now Queensland Sports & Athletics Centre), Nathan, Brisbane
• Venue Manager, The Sleeman Sports Complex, Chandler, Brisbane
Numerous Board and Committee representations have been fulfilled by Dean, including former Vice Chairman of the Brisbane Racing Club, acting as the Queensland Government’s representative on the Board of the Major Sports Facility Authority (now Stadiums Queensland) and a past Director of Queensland Athletics.
Dean is a long-term member of the Venue Management Association’s Venue Management School Committee and is the current Chair of the school. Dean is a graduate of this school and in 1998 was awarded the Ogden IFC Scholarship as outstanding student. For over 18 years, Dean has been an Instructor at the Venue Management School and has lectured internationally on behalf of the Venue Management School as guest instructor at the IAVM Venue Management School when held in Oglebay, West Virginia. In 2020, Dean was selected as a resident instructor for the IAMV Venue Management School now held annually in Tampa Bay Florida, only the second Australian based industry professional to achieve this honour.
In 2010, Dean Hassall was elected to the Venue Management Association Council as the Allied Member Representative and served until May 2017. In May 2011, Dean was announced 2011 VMA Allied Venue Professional of the Year.
Educational qualifications include a Bachelor of Human Movement Studies from the University of Queensland, a Graduate Certificate in Management from Queensland University of Technology and a graduate of the VMS Graduate Institute Oglebay USA. Dean has been awarded the CVE, the elite credential of the International Association of Venue Managers; which designates recipient as an expert in venue management (all areas) and wholly dedicated to advancement of the venue industry.
Rebecca Barry AVM GAICD CPAHRI
Group Director, People and Culture (APAC), ASM Global (Asia Pacific)
Rebecca (Becc) Barry is the Group Director, People and Culture for ASM Global (APAC). Becc has held a number of senior positions across her career, including the establishment of the team to operate Stadium Australia ahead of the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
With VenuesLive for a number of years, Becc was most recently the General Manager, Organisational Development based in Sydney and prior to that relocated to Perth for two years and led the establishment of the permanent and casual teams for Optus Stadium as the General Manager, Human Resources.
Becc spent ten fabulous years at the RAS of NSW as the General Manager, Human Resources. In this role she also oversaw the successful development of the Sydney Royal Easter Show Event Volunteer Program consisting of over 400 event customer service volunteers.
Becc has also worked for the Rugby Football Union at Twickenham in London, as well as in the hospitality and publishing industries.
Her expertise spans recruitment, training, performance management, industrial relations, policy development and change management.
Becc has a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Human Resources and Industrial Relations and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is an Accredited Venue Manager and a Certified Professional with the Australian Human Resources Institute.
Adam Cook CVE (US Guest Instructor)
Director, Tacoma Venues & Events (TVE)
Adam Cook CVE serves as the Director of Tacoma Venues & Events (TVE) where he is responsible for leading the operations and management of the City’s public assembly facilities. TVE manages renowned venues, including the Tacoma Dome (5,000-23,000 capacity); the Greater Tacoma Convention Center (119,000 sq.ft.); Cheney Stadium, home of the Tacoma Rainiers; and the historic Pantages and Rialto Theaters, and Theatre on the Square.
Adam has led sports and entertainment venues across North America for more than 20 years. His experience includes serving as Deputy Director for TVE, Vice President of Business Operations for Seafair (Seattle, WA), Vice President and General Manager at the Rose Quarter (Portland, OR), Venue Director and General Manager at Edmonton Expo Centre and Rexall Place (Edmonton, AB, Canada), and Acting General Manager for Global Spectrum at Comcast Arena (Everett, WA).
Adam currently serves as 2nd Vice Chair for the International Association of Venue Managers’ (IAVM’s) Board of Directors, and on IAVM’s Venue Management School Board of Regents. He has served on IAVM’s Governance, Arenas, and Membership committees, as a member of its Board of Directors, and as a part of Region 4’s leadership. He was named a recipient of the Venues Today Generation Next Award in 2014, and has engaged in speaking opportunities and published articles throughout the industry.
Chief Operating Officer, Melbourne Convention
Helen Fairclough is the Chief Operating Officer of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), a role to which she was appointed in June 2021.
She originally returned to her hometown Melbourne, Australia from California, USA to join the award-winning MCEC six years ago as their Director of People and Culture and then her role broadened to include responsibility for Business Improvement and Innovation along with People and Culture.
At the end of 2019 Helen was appointed to Acting COO role (due to the existing COO’s long service leave) for five months and then, following the significant impact of COVID-19 on the events industry, Helen was asked to relaunch MCEC as they emerged from the global pandemic. In her role as Director of Business Relaunch, she explored and delivered innovative ideas to generate new opportunities and revenue streams whilst looking at ways to sustain MCEC’s traditional business. All of that was underpinned by the introduction of Agile and new ways of working into MCEC.
Prior to MCEC, Helen was the Manager, Global Human Resources Strategy and Talent Management for the Downstream and Chemicals division of Chevron Corporation in San Ramon, California.
She has worked in France, the UK, US and Australia and has thirty years of global business experience, ranging from start-up to Fortune 3, in industries as diverse as retail, advertising, government/public sector, creative arts, hospitality, tourism & events, insurance, law, consulting, manufacturing and energy (oil/gas).
Helen is a Non-Executive Director of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Executive Council Member of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and member of the Australian American Chamber Commerce Board (San Francisco, USA).
Her interests include live music, travelling, fashion (especially shoes) and sport. Helen also pursued a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Swinburne University of Technology.
Phil King AVM
Chief Commercial Officer, South Australian Cricket Association
Phil King is the current Chief Commercial Officer at the South Australian Cricket Association. Previously, Phil was the General Manager of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Coopers Stadium. His role encompasses the overall managerial responsibility for the operational and commercial aspects of both venues.
The Adelaide Entertainment Centre is Adelaide’s best concert and theatre venue. It is the most flexible venue of its type in Australia, boasting an Arena and a standalone Theatre, allowing the team to run concurrent events utilising both venues at the same time. This provides a flexibility of being able to offer appropriate spaces from 500 patrons up to 12,000.
Coopers Stadium is home to the Hyundai A-League’s Adelaide United Football Club and host to several 2023 Women’s World Cup football matches. The Stadium boasts an immaculate playing surface coupled with an intimate ambience and great viewing. Coopers Stadium is also a fantastic outdoor concert venue. With a capacity of up to 26,000 for concerts, the atmosphere within this boutique Stadium is electric and the sightlines superb for live music fans.
Sitting at an Executive Level, his role encompasses team leadership, business development, customer relations management, negotiation of hiring terms, guiding the financial performance of the business to maximise profits and cash flow, marketing of the venues and its services and ensuring a high quality theatre experience.
Phil is well recognised as a Senior Venue Management Professional with more than 20 years’ experience across Stadia and Arenas.
Prior to Adelaide, Phil was the Director of Live Entertainment at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICCS) from 2016 to 2018.
From 2011 to 2015 Phil managed Qudos Bank Arena’s (QBA) commercial revenue generating activities and sponsorship opportunities including corporate sales and memberships, ticketing, business events, merchandising and marketing, with a real emphasis on continually developing ideas to enhance existing revenue streams.
Preceding QBA, Phil was part of the senior management team at Suncorp Stadium with key responsibilities for contract and tenant management, event day procurement, corporate sales and event day client management, managing the stadium commercial team on membership sales, corporate hospitality, functions sales, marketing and tours. Suncorp Stadium is Australia’s premier rectangular sporting venue, home to The Brisbane Broncos, Queensland Reds, Brisbane Roar, Queensland State of Origin and Australian Rugby Union.
Phil commenced in the venue management industry at Etihad Stadium in 2001 (formerly Colonial Stadium).
Phil is an Accredited Venue Manager (AVM), a VMA Board Member since 2017, Chair of Professional Development for the VMA and an alumnus of the inaugural Venue Management School’s Graduate Institute Program.
General Manager, Operational Strategy, VenuesLive (NSW)
Sue Max is the General Manager, Operational Strategy, for VenuesLive (NSW) Management Services Pty Ltd. VenuesLive operates Accor Stadium and CommBank Stadium in Sydney and Optus Stadium in Perth. Sue is also the Licensee of Accor Stadium, one of the largest licensed premises in NSW.
Sue has been involved in the event and venue management industry for over 35 years, working with various sporting organisations, including the Sydney Olympic Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG). Just prior to the Olympic Games, Sue took up a permanent position with the Olympic Stadium (now Accor Stadium) and was part of the original team which opened the then, 110,000 seat venue in 1999. Between 2004 and 2020, Sue was the General Manager of Venue Management, overseeing Venue Operations, Event Operations and Staffing Operations & Services. The role included the operation of both Accor Stadium and CommBank Stadium, the delivery of all events and the management of the Company’s 2,500+ strong NSW in-house casual workforce. From an event perspective, Sue has been involved with the planning and delivery of some of the world’s largest sports and entertainment events held in Australia. In terms of her venue management experience, Sue played a lead role in the mobilisation and operational transition into CommBank Stadium and spent six months in Perth leading the initial delivery of the pre-operational phase of services at Optus Stadium. Over recent years, Sue’s position has evolved into a strategically focussed role, undertaking a company-wide approach to VenuesLive’s core operational systems across its core strategies and standards. Particularly as it relates to safety, security, emergency and incident management, risk management, training and education programs.
Sue has a strong background and interest in stakeholder engagement and integration, risk management, public safety and has a particular passion for the development of organisational culture, staff training and capability and delivering world-class events.
General Manager People and Culture, Carlton Football Club
Donna Price is a thought leader in People, Culture and the Customer Experience, having worked in leadership roles within sports and venues over many years.
Donna has held a range of senior line management and People & Culture roles with a range of leading companies, including Westpac Banking Group, ANZ Banking Group, FOXTEL, Victoria Racing Club, Melbourne Park, Marvel Stadium and the Melbourne Cricket Club.
Donna’s most recent role was the GM of People and Culture at the Melbourne Cricket Club, where she also led the CARE Customer Service program that has won numerous awards in Australia and internationally, including the coveted ‘Best of the Best’ award at the Australian Service Excellence Awards, alongside seeing the Melbourne Cricket Club being recognised globally for its customer service focus, culminating in winning the Best Medium Sized Organisation globally for its customer service in 2019.
Donna has been part of the Sports Advisory Group at Deakin University, been a member of a VFL Club Board, and has recently taken on a new challenge, moving to Carlton Football Club, as the GM People and Culture, commencing in February of this year. She has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences, including Victorian HR Summit, and a number of Customer Experience Summits, running MasterClass sessions. She also recently completed the Harvard Business School Program, Transforming the Customer Experience.
Donna’s qualifications include:
Bachelor of Arts (major in Psychology)
Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management
Masters in Counselling Psychology
Accredited Executive Coach
Accredited Targeted Selection Interviewer, Assessor and Facilitator
Accredited Facilitator and Trainer (AIM)
Registration Occupational Assessor (SHL)
Mark Zundans CVE
General Manager, The Gabba
As a professional in the venue industry for over 20 years, Mark has held senior positions at venues around Australia, overseeing a number of major international sporting and entertainment events including all codes of football, cricket, court sports, motor sport, concerts, and festivals. Through his career, Mark has worked with all manner of venues in both private and public sectors, including stadia, arenas, race tracks, and community leisure facilities. Mark has held senior, Executive, and consulting roles with some of Australia’s leading organisations. Mark is currently General Manager at The Gabba. Through a COVID ravaged year in 2020, Mark led The Gabba team to be amongst the first venues to welcome fans back in significant numbers as well as delivering the historic 2020 AFL Grand Final. His experience covers the full gamut of venue management including all operational and event delivery areas, contract management and venue design and development. He is an enthusiastic and dedicated venue professional and brings an interactive approach to his VMS sessions. Mark has been active in the development of the venue industry in local and international markets as a Board Member with VMA for five years as well as being a member of the IAVM Diversification Committee, and a member of the IAVM Certification Board for the past five years. Mark graduated the Venue Management School in 2003, was awarded his AVM in 2013, and achieved his CVE qualification in 2015.
Andrew Travis AVM GAICD, LI Dean
Chief Executive Officer, ASX Australia & New Zealand
Andrew is currently the Chief Executive Officer at ASX Australia & New Zealand. Previously, Andrew was the Chief Operating Officer at Australia’s home of live sports and entertainment, the Melbourne & Olympic Parks (M&OP) precinct.
The former Gold Coast Suns (AFL) Chief Executive Officer and experienced sports, events and venue management professional is responsible for the development and operation of a precinct which is notably acclaimed for hosting the Australian Open Tennis, one of only four Grand Slam events in the World and a key element of Victoria’s globally renowned Major Events reputation.
The precincts iconic venues, Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Park, John Cain Arena, Margaret Court Arena, CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park and Kia Arena also host the city’s most celebrated national and international live music, sports, entertainment, conference and gala events.
He has a strong background in venue development, having overseen the development of the $144 million Metricon Stadium at Carrara, led the client team in the construction of the iconic $268 million AAMI Park and is currently leading the $272 million Stage 3 Redevelopment at M&OP.
He is a graduate from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Senior Executive Symposium and was the recipient of the prestigious AFL Graeme Samuel Scholarship.
Andrew qualified as a Certified Practising Accountant, is an Accredited Venue Manager (AVM) and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).
Kim Bedier CVE
Senior Vice President and General Manager Honda Centre and ocV!BE
Kim is Senior Vice President and General Manager for Honda Center in Anaheim, California, USA, home of the National Hockey League Anaheim Ducks. She is also responsible for the development of ocVIBE venues including a 5700 seat concert hall, amphitheatre and urban park, located in a 95 acre mixed use district being built around Honda Center.
Kim was formerly Director of Venues and Events for the City of Tacoma, Washington, USA where she was responsible for the iconic 21000 seat Tacoma Dome, one of the largest wood domed structures in the world, the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, Cheney Stadium (AAA Baseball), and historic theatres. Kim also led the City’s Office of Arts and Cultural Vitality, and was seconded for a year to lead the Community and Economic Development Department in addition to her venue duties.
Kim joined the City of Tacoma from Comcast Arena (now Angel of the Winds Arena) in Everett, Washington where as General Manager she opened the facility in 2003. Comcast Arena was awarded the inaugural Venue Excellence Award for Arenas from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) in 2010. She previously held venue leadership positions at the Air Canada Centre (now Scotiabank Arena) in Toronto and at the Crystal Centre in Grande Prairie, Canada, with a stop at the Olympic Medals Plaza at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.
Kim received a degree in Recreation and Physical Education from Acadia University in Wolfville, Canada. Her first job after graduation took her to Igloolik in the Eastern Canadian Arctic where she managed the construction of a recreation complex under the midnight sun.
Kim holds the Certified Venue Executive (CVE) designation from IAVM. She served as Chair of the Board of Directors in 2015. During her tenure as an IAVM senior leader, she created the Legacy Program, fostered initiatives for women in leadership and diversity and inclusion, and championed the shift to effective board governance.
Kim is former Chair of the Board of Regents of the IAVM Venue Management School and currently Dean of the Graduate Institute. She was a guest instructor at the Asia-Pacific (Australia) Venue Management School in 2007 and joined the faculty of the inaugural Asia-Pacific Venue Management Association Graduate (Leadership) Institute in 2014.
Kim was named one of five inaugural “Women of Influence” in the venue management industry by trade publication Venues Today in 2007. She has received the Ray Ward Award for recognition of her contributions to education at IAVM’s Venue Management School. She has been declared one of “10 Women Buyers You Should Know”, one of “Ten Leading Women Venue Executives” and an “Entertainment Venue Executive Luminary”. In 2018 she was named Venue Executive of the Year by the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA).
Michael Cox AVM
Director of Operations, Qudos Bank Arena
Michael Cox is the Director of Operations at Qudos Bank Arena, having oversight of the total operation of the Arena including the delivery of the Arena’s Technical Operations, Ticketing, Assets (including Presentation Services), Events Services and Security Divisions.
Michael commenced his career in the Venue Management Industry in 1999 at Qudos Bank Arena (formerly the Sydney SuperDome) in Venue Operations. In 2005 Michael joined the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Corporation, focusing on logistics, site management, licensing and merchandising and sports presentation for the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Michael returned to Qudos Bank Arena in 2008 and has held a number of management positions before being promoted to his current role where he oversees the delivery of the Arena’s operations for the world’s largest events from Sir Paul McCartney, P!NK and Bruce Springsteen to Cirque du Soleil, Motocross, World Cups and National and International sporting fixtures.
A respected and dedicated venue professional, Michael was invited to be a part of the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), which was an initiative of the VMA and Australia’s biggest promoters of entertainment and sport to support the COVIDSafe reactivation of events and live audiences across Australia.
Michael has completed a Bachelor in Management from the University of Technology Sydney and has graduated from the VMS in 2009 and the LI in 2016, achieving his AVM accreditation in 2018.
Chief Operating Officer, Gema Group
Dwane joined the Gema Group as Chief Operating Officer in 2020, bringing with him 28 years’ experience in event delivery, catering and kitchen operation. Dwane is a graduate of the Venue Management School as well as holding a Diploma in Commercial Cookery. Dwane has worked in some of the world’s best hotels, stadiums and venues with stints in London, Indonesia and Thailand, as well as a major presence here in Australia. Working for chains like Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, Emirates, Intercontinental Hotels and the Savoy Group. Working his way up through the kitchen to become the Group Executive Chef before making the switch to food and beverage operations and management. Dwane is part of the executive management team and oversees Gema’s group day to day operations in all 3 functional areas of the groups venue management, major event delivery and aviation lounges. Managing a national workforce in excess of 5000 staff members across events like the Melbourne F1, Moto GP, V8 Supercars, APT cup tennis as well as venues like GIO stadium, Brookvale oval, Cbus Super stadium, Queensland County Bank stadium, Central Coast stadium and Pointsbets stadium, to name a few.
Dwane joined the Gema Group following 8 years at the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and Sydney Showground as the head of Catering & Customer Service. In his previous role Dwane managed the day to day operations of all event and non-event day catering and held the sites liquor licence. He has delivered 14 Sydney Royal Easter Shows, large scale music festivals and gala dinners for 2,500 people.
Group General Counsel, ASM Global (Asia Pacific)
Adam is the Group General Counsel for ASM Global (Asia Pacific) and head of the group’s legal function for all ASM Global’s venues, divisions, subsidiaries and investments within a region that covers Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, India and Asia. Starting his career in event management, Adam worked his way up to take on a number of senior roles in venues, based both in Australia and abroad and held positions in venues including Suncorp Stadium, the Beijing Olympic Basketball Arena and the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Adam then decided to leave the industry and obtain his Juris Doctorate in Law, majoring in Corporate Law and Banking & Finance. Once admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland Roll of Solicitors and the High Court of Australia Register of Practitioners, Adam took the role as a Judge’s Associate in the Federal Court of Australia. Working with a Judge presiding on both Federal Court and Full Federal Court matters around Australia, hearings covered areas of law from copyright, tax, workplace relations, native title, admiralty and corporations law. After his Federal Court placement, Adam practiced within the Mergers & Acquisitions and Major Project’s legal teams for a number of years at one of Australia’s largest and most prestigious law firms, Clayton Utz. Following a rewarding period in private practice, Adam took the role of Legal Counsel at the International Convention Centre, Sydney (ICC Sydney) which was then under construction in Darling Harbour as part of a billion dollar redevelopment until 2017, when Adam commenced his current position as ASM Global’s Group General Counsel and took on his group wide responsibilities. In his current role, Adam has negotiated and seen through to completion a range of matters both locally and internationally, from large-scale investment acquisitions, joint ventures, naming rights, venue management agreements or extensions, all the way through to venue specific hiring, sponsorship and supply agreements.
Wayne Middleton CVE
Global Vice President, Risk at Momentus Technologies
Wayne Middleton is the Global Vice President, Risk at Momentus Technologies. Previously, Wayne was a risk management consultant and Principal of Reliance Risk. Reliance Risk helps public venues, events, sports and companies in the entertainment industry to manage risk. He has over 30 years’ experience in management and operational roles in the venues and events industries and over 20 years as a risk management professional. He is also a VMS graduate (1996). Wayne holds a Master Degree in Risk Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Diploma in Security Risk Management. He also holds a Certified Venue Executive (CVE) designation awarded by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM).
Gavin Taylor AVM
Managing Director, Ticketmaster Australia
Gavin Taylor, Managing Director of Ticketmaster Australia, is a seasoned venue, business management, and sports administration professional with experience across commercial and government sectors. Gavin moved to Melbourne from Perth in January 2021 to take up the role with Ticketmaster, where he will be responsible for managing all aspects of the company’s client related businesses as it relates to the Australian market. Prior to this role, Gavin held the position of Chief Executive Officer at the West Australian Football Commission, the largest not for profit sporting governing body in the State, as well as General Manager at Perth Stadium Management, which operated the award-winning Subiaco Oval. Gavin has also had experience in the government sector and has owned successful small businesses across the health and hospitality industries. Gavin has deep industry knowledge in business strategy, government relations, organisational change management, events and facilities management. A demonstrated history in developing and fostering strong client and stakeholder relations, and building teams with a strong focus on service excellence, underpin some of leadership values which all are exhibited in his role as Managing Director. Gavin holds a Bachelor of Social Science with a specialisation in Leisure and Sports Management from Edith Cowan University, Diplomas in Management (Government & Venue Management) and is an Accredited Venue Manager (VMA). Gavin is a member of the VMA’s Venue Management School Committee and has been an Instructor since 2015.
Richard Andersen CVE ICD.D
Chief Iluminations Officer Venue Solution Group
Richard is passionate about maximising human potential. As CIO (Chief Illuminations Officer) of Venue Solutions Group Advantage Training, Richard is a sought after facilitator and speaker. He draws upon 35 plus years as a senior executive in professional sports, venues and hospitality management to design and deliver leading edge training and professional development programs that deliver those “aha moments”.
VSG Advantage Training was recently named one of HR Magazine’s top emerging international training and development companies. Richard’s clients include the National Football League Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers, the National Basketball League Cleveland Cavaliers, Major League Soccer Los Angeles Football Club, Fox Theatres, and many more.
In his professional career, Richard served as Executive Vice President of Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres and General Manager of PETCO Park, and as President and CEO of Joe Robbie Stadium (now Hard Rock Stadium) in Miami, Florida, current home to the Miami Dolphins and then home of the Florida (now Miami) Marlins. He has overseen Super Bowls, World Series, Olympic Games activities and a host of large sports and entertainment events – and wrestled an actual bear.
Richard was also President and CEO of Seafair, a premier festival management organisation, and President and CEO of Northlands, one of Canada’s largest multi-purpose entertainment and meeting complexes. While at Northlands he starred on an episode of the popular television show, “Undercover Boss.”
Richard has volunteered in a variety of leadership roles for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) including as Chair of the Board of Directors in 2012. He has instructed at the IAVM Venue Management School and Graduate Institute since 2006, and was Chair of its Board of Regents in 2015. He has served on the faculty of the Venue Management Association (VMA Australia Pacific) School and Leadership Institute since 2014.
Richard holds an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business and an ICD.C (corporate director certification) from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto. His many professional service honours and distinctions include Major League Baseball’s Lee McPhail Award for excellence in business operations, and the IAVM Venue Management School Ray Ward Award for his contributions to industry education.
When not shining the light on organisational effectiveness, Richard hangs out at School of Rock still learning to play his guitar.
Nelita Byrne AVM
Manager, Venues and Events, Tauranga City Council
Recently appointed Manager Venues and Events for Tauranga City Council, Nelita has a wealth of experience coming from the Venues team at New Plymouth District Council in Taranaki. Nelita lead the New Plymouth team overseeing the strategic, business development and operational delivery of Yarrow Stadium a 22,500 multi-code stadium, TSB Stadium three court indoor arena, TSB Bowl of Brooklands a picturesque 15,000 outdoor amphitheatre and TSB Showplace, three theatre and conference facility. With over 18 years’ experience in the industry Nelita has worked in various management roles including a senior management role with Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (TAFT). She is past President of Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand (EVANZ), winner of the 2018 EVANZ Venue Executive Award and past board member of Performing Arts Network of New Zealand. In her roles she has worked with team to deliver numerous international sporting and concert fixtures as well as being part of the national touring performing arts circuit. Nelita has to balance the commercial viability of the venues, ensuring quality content, attracting and securing major events while satisfying the community requirements and political expectations. Nelita is passionate about our industry, ensuring our venues and the events provide amazing experiences to our communities, being a platform (whether that be a field, stage or court) to showcase amazing talent, inspiring people to participate or spectate and ensuring their lives an enhanced by the joy entertainment provides.
Anthony Duffy AVM
Managing Director, Thinking Outside
Anthony is the current Managing Director of Thinking Outside. Previously, Anthony Duffy was the owner and Managing Director of VIPeople; a division of Venue Industry Professionals Pty Ltd. Anthony has been a part of the venue industry for over 30 years at some of Sydney’s iconic sports and entertainment facilities.
Prior to the establishment of VIPeople in 2001, Anthony was employed as part of the management team at venues such as Accor Stadium, Allianz Stadium, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Aquatic & Athletic Centres and Sydney International Tennis Centre.
During this time Anthony has held executive event and operational management positions, overseeing the delivery of major events across various sporting codes including: Rugby League, Rugby Union, AFL, Soccer, Tennis, Swimming, Athletics and Cricket, along with major outdoor concert productions. The highlight of these roles was assuming responsibility as Manager, Events for the delivery of Accor Stadium (then Stadium Australia) operations during its opening and the ensuing initial twelve months of event delivery.
Incorporated in Anthony’s extensive venue experience is the management of the event day workforce, with responsibilities including all aspects of staffing operations such as recruitment, training, event day management, rostering and employee relations for a workforce of up to 1,000 staff.
Prior to the 2000 Olympic Games, Anthony was seconded by SOCOG to manage front of house operations at the Beach Volleyball venue. This position was responsible for staffing, ticketing and customer service at one of the most successful Olympic venues… Bondi Beach.
As the owner and Managing Director of VIPeople (a division of Venue Industry Professionals Pty Ltd) Anthony oversees the multitude of significant staffing solutions contracts that VIPeople delivers across Australia. His focus is on guest services, business continuity and improvement strategy, assessing client needs, monitoring service standards, and maintaining and strengthening existing relationships, along with new business development.
Anthony has established a reputation as one of the industry’s leading trainers in the field of customer service, focusing on event day staff. In recent times, Anthony is currently establishing a new company, “Thinking Outside…” delivering signature programs such as “Service Excellence in Venues and Events”, working with a range of high-profile clients, including:
• Taronga Zoo
• Stadiums QLD
• Netball QLD
• West HQ
• Michael Cassel Group/Harry Potter & the Cursed Child
• Disney Theatrical
Anthony is a former lecturer with the University of Technology (holding a Master of Management Degree from that institution) and possesses a Certificate IV in Training and Assessing. In addition, Anthony is a graduate and instructor (21 years) of both the Venue Management School (VMS) and Leadership Institute (LI). Previously, Anthony has served as Chair of the VMS and currently, as the Dean of the LI.
In 2010, Anthony was awarded the inaugural “Allied Venue Professional of the Year” by the VMA Council and in 2013 was awarded “Accredited Venue Manager” status by the Venue Management Association.
In 2015, Anthony was one of only four Australians to be awarded the coveted IAVM’s “Chairman’s Citation”, recognising his commitment to development of education in the industry, primarily through the establishment of the Australian Leadership Institute.
In 2019, Anthony was awarded a “Fellowship” with the Customer Service Institute of Australia”.
In 2020, Anthony was re-elected to the VMA Board, having previously served as a Board Member for 12 years.
Chief Executive, Australian Cricketers’ Association
Todd Greenberg is regarded as one of the most accomplished sports administrators in Australia and is currently the Chief Executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association. Previously, Todd was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Rugby League (NRL), as well as a director of the Rugby League International Federation and a director of Touch Football Australia. In late 2017, Todd announced an NRL Holden Women’s Premiership would commence in 2018, consisting of four NRL Clubs in the inaugural year (the Broncos, Dragons, Roosters and Warriors.) Outside of domestic competitions, Todd was also responsible for the overall success of both national teams – the Australian Kangaroos (male) and the Harvey Norman Jillaroos (female), together with the success of annual Holden State of Origin men’s and women’s matches. Todd was promoted to CEO in March 2016, having been the NRL’s Head of Football for the previous three years. Prior to his time at the NRL, Todd held several distinguished roles, including six years as CEO of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and seven years as General Manager of Commercial Operations at ANZ Stadium – one of the premier stadiums in Australia and home of the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Among other achievements, Todd has been a passionate Australia Day ambassador since 2010 and is a New South Wales Sports Administrator of the Year recipient. Todd holds a Bachelor of Sports Science degree from the University of New South Wales, together with a Master’s Degree in Sports Management from the University of Technology, Sydney.
Chief Innovation Officer, Momentus Technologies
Steve has 38 years of experience within the Hospitality and Events industry, 29 years focused on the technology side of the business.
He has held leadership roles in event tech companies such as Oracle (formerly Micros-Fidelio), Ungerboeck Software, Aventri (formerly etouches) and is currently Executive Vice President at the recently announced merger between EventBooking and Ungerboeck, the world’s leading venue management software companies.
In 2022, Steve was awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Event Tech Live Awards, and inducted to their Hall of Fame.
He is also a Certified Venue Executive, achieving this accreditation through the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) in 2022.
Steve is very involved in giving back to the industry and currently holds the following volunteer roles:
• On the Board of Directors for International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM)
• Current Chair of the Venue Management School for IAVM
• North American Chapter Chair of the International Convention & Congress Association (ICCA)
• Chair of the Strategic Leadership & Resources Committee for IAVM Instructor at the Venue Management Association Asia Pacific (VMA) Venue Management School & Learning Institute
• Instructor at the International Convention Centre Association (AIPC)
Over the past 20+ years, Steve has spoken in over 25 countries on topics related to the industry, with a focus on technology.
Katherine Norman AVM
Senior Account Manager – Presenter Services, Arts Centre Melbourne
Katherine is the Senior Account Manager within Presenter Services at Arts Centre Melbourne (ACM), Victoria Australia. Having attended VMS Australia (2010 and 2011), she was the first student to receive both the Year 1 USI Bursary and Year 2 AEG Ogden Scholarship. She attended the 2013 IAVM GI at Oglebay, WV. In 2014, she commenced as an Instructor and committee member at VMS Australia. In 2019, she was the visiting guest Instructor at the IAVM Venue Management School, in their inaugural year at Saddlebrook, Florida.
Her venue career started in Front of House in 2000. She specialised in customer service both at the Arts Centre Melbourne and as Usher Manager at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
In 2007, she was appointed as Operations Manager, Sidney Myer Music Bowl – one of Melbourne’s most iconic outdoor performance venues. 2009 – 2015, she was an Event Manager at ACM, responsible for the relationship management, venue scheduling, contracting, coordination, and whole event overview of events across ACM – in most cases more than 30 performances/week. This iconic precinct manages 7 performance venues and is the Melbourne home of Opera, Ballet, Theatre, Symphony etc.
As of June 2015, Katherine leads the Account Management team at ACM, delivering all Performing Arts Events across the precinct, approximately 2500 performances/events in a normal year. The department is responsible for Relationship, Event and Venue Management (booking and scheduling, contracting, ticketing and marketing, event preparation and post event settlement/review). Relationship management continues to be a strong passion for Katherine, as her career progresses.
Alongside venue management, Katherine is a Biochemistry Graduate from the University of Melbourne. Katherine is an LGBT+ advocate and mentor. She is also passionate about Equality, with a particular focus on, LGBT+, Gender Diversity, First Nations and Refugees. She is the Secretary of the Board of Consort of Melbourne as well as the Principal Soprano. She’s also recorded several podcast for 3MBS and “She Inspires Me”.
She performs regularly with chamber/early music groups in Melbourne and around the world. Key performances including: Homophonic (Annual LGBT+ Festival) 2010 – Present, World Premiere of Deborah Cheetham’s ‘Eumeralla’ (Melbourne 2018) and all subsequent performances (2019 onwards), Port Fairy Spring Music Festival (Various), Taylor Mac’s 24 Hour Show (Melbourne Festival 2017), Notre Dame (Paris, 2016), Westminster Abbey (London, 2016 – for members of the Royal Family) and The Rolling Stones (Melbourne 2014). More details (including recordings) via www.katherinenorman.com.au.
When she is at home, Katherine and her wife enjoy: Artisanal home produce (e.g. homebrew, salami, prosciutto, cheese, curing and smoking bacon etc) planning trips in their VW Van and doting on their two Wheaten Terrier dogs.
VMA Board Member
Meg was the General Manager – Rod Laver Arena (RLA) for Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust (M&OPT) until February 2022 demonstrating end to end responsibility for the business and operational performance of the Arena. In addition to building strong relationships with key stakeholders, Meg’s main responsibilities included strategic negotiation, successful execution and financial management focusing on commercial outcomes, customer satisfaction & safety, planning and delivery of successful entertainment and sporting events and leading & coaching the RLA team.
Prior to that, Meg was the General Manager – Touring, responsible for booking, managing and contracting, events at RLA, AAMI Park, John Cain Arena and Margaret Court Arena, and overseeing all non-operational aspects of the hirings. She has had contractual involvement in international events such as the The Australian Open, FINA World Cup (Swimming), the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the start-up of Melbourne Victory at Olympic Park.
Meg is a current Board Member of the Venue Management Association (VMA) and sits on the VMA’s Professional Development Committee. In addition, Meg is a past member and Chair of the VMA’s Venue Management School (VMS) Committee, which she served on for 7 years. She has instructed at VMS since 2007 in Booking & Scheduling, Customer Service, Retailing & Merchandise and Negotiation. Meg also instructed on Negotiation at the VMS Leadership Institute for 5 years. She is very passionate about the development of the future leaders of the venue management industry.
Meg was a graduate of the VMS in 2004 and in 2011 completed the Graduate Institute program at the Venue Management School in Oglebay in Pittsburgh, USA. In June 2016, she was the guest international lecturer in Oglebay, instructing on Booking and Scheduling.