STAPLES Center Announces Promotions to Executive Level Management Team
Additional Management Promotions Also Announced
October 12, 2017
LOS ANGELES--Lee Zeidman, President of STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater and L.A. LIVE, announced today that five members on his longtime executive management team have been promoted to Senior Vice President and 13 additional employees have been promoted to other management roles. The continued growth and leadership within the venues’ departments has created the industry’s leading management teams, contributing to the success and establishment that STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater and L.A. LIVE are the premier venues and destination for sports and live entertainment.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to work with an amazing group of individuals who together make up the team that helps operate STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater and L.A. LIVE, and they have all been an integral part in the success we have achieved over the years”
Laura Geery-Larson was hired in August 1999 by STAPLES Center as the Telecommunications Manager and has grown through the ranks being promoted to Director in 2001, then to Senior Director in 2003, then to Vice President in 2008. In her new title as Senior Vice President of Telecommunications & IT, Geery-Larson will continue to manage all telecommunications and IT for STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater, L.A. LIVE and AEG’s Corporate offices including all phone, internet and Wi-Fi requests for all events at all venues.
Christy Castillo Butcher has been with STAPLES Center since September 1999. Her roles have included Event Manager, Director of Event Services and most recently Vice President of Booking and Events for both STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater. With her new title of Senior Vice President of Booking and Events, Castillo Butcher will oversee marketing, communications and event booking for both venues.
Wade Loewe begin his career at STAPLES Center before the arena opened its doors as well in September of 1999. He started out in the role of Manager, Facility Presentations and has steadily moved up the ranks from Manager to Director to Vice President and now Senior Vice President, Broadcast/Multimedia Productions. Loewe oversees all aspects of television, LED signage, and live video and post-production across the L.A. LIVE campus, which includes STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater, Microsoft Square, and Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center. Additionally, he also oversees all scoreboards and stats systems at STAPLES Center and manages all post-production video and animation projects with the many clients within and outside AEG.
Matt Rosenfeld started his career at STAPLES Center just after the venue opened in November 1999 as a Group Sales Account Executive for STAPLES Center and the Los Angeles Kings. Rosenfeld was promoted to Manager in 2002, Director in 2004, Senior Director in 2006 and to Vice President of Sales in 2009. Rosenfeld will now take on the new title of Senior Vice President of Sales for STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater and L.A. LIVE, where he will oversee Group, Event Suite and VIP Package Sales for sporting events, concerts, award shows, family shows and other special events. Additionally, Rosenfeld will run overall event management for L.A. LIVE special events such as All-Star Chef Classic and Nike 3ON3 Basketball Tournament, as well as the sales and operations for private events at venues throughout L.A. LIVE, like Microsoft Square, L.A. LIVE’s Event Deck and Target Terrace.
Michele Kajiwara has been with AEG for fourteen years and is currently serving as Vice President of Premium Seating overseeing all Sales, Service and Database Marketing. She got her start with AEG as a Premium Service Manager and has since evolved within the company by retaining, selling, and building relationships at STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater and also at the Stub Hub Center where she spent a year managing the Premium Seating Department. For the last four years her team has been able to hit and exceed $100 million in collective revenue. AEG has sponsored her to attend the WISE Executive Leadership Institute at Dartmouth this November and she has recently accepted the role of President for the Association of Luxury Suite Directors starting in 2019. Kajiwara will continue to oversee the Premium Seating Department with her promotion to Senior Vice President, Premium Sales and Services.
Additional Promotions Announced:
Jen Sandstrom has been with STAPLES Center since the downtown Los Angles arena opened in October 1999. She began her career with AEG with the Los Angeles Kings in 1997 and moved over to STAPLES Center as an Event Coordinator in 1999 and has worked her way up the ranks from Event Manager, to Sr. Event Manger, to Director of Event Services to Senior Director of Event Services to Vice President of Event Services and has now been promoted to Vice President of Booking and Events. The Events department is responsible for all event logistics associated with all 250 annual events that STAPLES Center hosts. They oversee all sporting events, concerts, family shows and all special events and corporate events. Additionally, Sandstrom supervises all of the event finances from the arena’s perspective and completes the final event financial settlements with each event promoter and will now play a significant role in the booking of one of the busiest arenas in the world adding booking to her title.
Cara Vanderhook started with AEG as intern in October 2003 and continued her career as a full time employee with the company in March 2005 as a Communications Manager for AEG Communications. In the fall of 2007 she moved over to the venue side as Manager of Marketing and Communications for STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater. She has steadily moved up the ranks in the company being named Senior Manager of Marketing & Communications in 2009, Director of Communications & Social Media in 2011, then Senior Director of Communications & Social Media in September 2014. Vanderhook will now take on the new title of Vice President, Marketing and Communications for STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater, where she will oversee all aspects of marketing, communications and social media for both venues.
Jeff Curtis began his career at STAPLES Center as a part-time Camera Operator in 2004 before being hired full-time as a Video Producer in 2007, then was promoted to Director of LED Programming in 2009 and then Senior Director of LED Programming. In his new role of Senior Director of Digital Media Production, Curtis will oversee all digital signage content management across the L.A. LIVE campus including Microsoft Square, JW Marriott Los Angeles, STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater and Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center. Additionally, Curtis directs, produces and edits video content for the Los Angeles Kings, Lakers, Clippers, Sparks and other L.A. LIVE clients and served as a Producer of the 2017 All-Star Chef Classic.
Jaysen Humes started at STAPLES Center in 1999 as a Freelance Event Production Crew Member and became a full time employee in 2004 when he was hired as a Video Editor. Humes has continued to rise up the ranks at STAPLES Center and his responsibilities have continued to grow. As the newly named Senior Director, Editing & Post-Production Broadcast/Multimedia Productions, Humes will continue to work collaboratively with the in-house team to produce and create original video content for the venues and outside clients by combining video, music and visual effects to match the project’s vision. Some of his most notable recent career accomplishments include creating the intro video of Kobe Bryant’s final game as a Los Angeles Laker and the official sizzle highlight reel for the LA 2024 Olympic Committee Bid at STAPLES Center in May 2017.
Nick Mann started at STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater as Director of Premium Sales in January 2015 and oversees the sales team responsible for Premium Seating products at STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater. In his new role as Senior Director, Premium Sales, Mann will continue to lead the sales and service team responsible for the 154 Suites, 2600 Premier Seats and the San Manuel Club Lounges & Tables at STAPLES Center and 12 Theater Boxes at Microsoft Theater.
Kathy Montoya started her career with AEG as an Intern for the Los Angeles Kings, was then hired in 1998 as a Premier Seat Coordinator, then became Manager of Premium Seating Services in 2000 and then made the move to the Events department in 2002 as an Event Manager and became a Senior Event Manager in 2004. In her new role as Director, Events, Montoya will take responsibility for the management of an event once it has been booked until competition as well as provide leadership and support to the event management team.
Matt Schuman began his career at STAPLES Center in October 2008 as the Event Suite Sales Coordinator and was promoted to Account Executive in 2010, Senior Account Executive in 2013, Manager of Business Development in 2013 and Manager of Sales in August 2014. Schuman has now been promoted to Director of Sales for STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater. In this new role he will oversee the sales staff and strategies for Event Suites at both venues, Award Show ticket and VIP Package sales, Hyde Lounge at STAPLES Center sales and LA Kings group sales.
Mike Becker began his career at STAPLES Center in 2010 as a Guest Services Supervisor and moved up to Guest Services Coordinator in March of 2013. In December 2014 he moved over to the Events department to become an Event Manager. Becker has now been promoted to Senior Manager, Events; in this new role he will oversee the day to day event logistics for the Los Angeles Lakers, and continue to manage all commercial and productions shoots for the arena.
David Brewster started at STAPLES Center in January 2014 as a Manager, Premium Sales and has now been promoted to Senior Manager, Premium Sales. Brewster is a part of the sales team which exceeded $100M in premium revenue for the first time in STAPLES Center history. He has also helped to create and execute a Sales Representative program for the STAPLES Center Premium Seating department.
Marina Paul began her career with STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater in January 2011 as a part time Marketing Coordinator and started as a full time employee in October 2011. She has continued to move up the ranks in the Marketing and Communications Department working in all aspects and areas and most recently moved over to Marketing & Promotions in March 2017. Paul will now take on the title of Senior Manager, Marketing & Promotions, overseeing all aspects of marketing for events at Microsoft Theater and working closely with the venue’s tenant teams and promoters at STAPLES Center to ensure they are reaching their ticket sales goals.
Evan Gole started in August 2013 as a part-time Marketing and Communications Coordinator and came on full time in the same role in June 2014. In August 2016, he was named Assistant Manager, Branding and Communications and now has most recently been named Manager, Branding and Communications. Gole manages the day to day operations of all STAPLES Center social media accounts, as well as all database and e-mail deployment for both venues and oversees the historical online photo gallery for both venues.
Demitrius Jones joined the STAPLES Center Security Department as a Supervisor in February 2012 and was then promoted to Assistant Manager, Security in February 2016. While working as an Assistant Manager, Jones quickly learned all of the aspects of Security for events and became a major asset to the department, assisting in training, hiring, and events. Jones has now been promoted to Manager, Security. In his new role he will continue to act as the Security Manager On Duty for the Los Angeles Clippers, as well as concerts and special events and assist with projects as needed.
Sabrina Wynter began her career at STAPLES Center in 2010 as a Guest Services Supervisor and acted as a great team player to the department. After that, she was promoted to Senior Supervisor for Guest Services in September 2014, and quickly following received a well-deserved promotion to Guest Services Coordinator in January 2015. Wynter has now been promoted to Assistant Manager, Guest Services, and will continue to act as the Guest Services Manager on Duty for the Los Angeles Clippers and Sparks, as well as concerts and special events.
Previously Announced Promotions
Jim Madsen After a 23-year management career at Universal Studios Hollywood and CityWalk, Jim joined the L.A. LIVE development team in April of 2007 as the Vice President of Operations. During the transition from construction to daily operations he was responsible for coordinating the L.A. LIVE tenant build outs and establishing the Engineering, Operations and Security departments and policies. In January 2015 he was promoted to Senior Vice President of L.A. LIVE Operations. During his tenure with AEG he has lead his teams to continuously improve and find ways to increase revenues through energy efficiency and event services.
Bill Pottorff was promoted to Senior Vice President, Operations and Engineering for STAPLES Center. Pottorff came aboard at STAPLES Center as Chief Engineer in July 1998, as the first employee hired by now President Lee Zeidman for STAPLES Center. He played a major role in the design and construction phase of STAPLES Center and during his time here he was promoted to Director of Engineering, Senior Director of Engineering and in August 2008, Vice President of Facility Engineering. Among his many accomplishments, Bill has implemented a high efficiency engineering system, which has made STAPLES Center a leader in terms of venue efficiency, added a fuel cell system, which has not only increased efficiency but improved STAPLES Center’s carbon footprint in the community, as well as decreased energy costs. In Pottorff’s new role, he will have complete oversight of Operations, Maintenance and Engineering for STAPLES Center.
Armen Dembekjian was promoted to Senior Director, Operations. Dembekjian joined STAPLES Center in 2005 as a Parking Coordinator, was promoted to Assistant Event Manager in December 2007 and promoted again in 2011 to an Event Manager. During his time as an Event Manager, Dembekjian became an expert in event support and built strong relationships with the other departments within STAPLES Center including Operations. When the position of Director of Operations became available, he was the obvious choice. In his new role, Dembekjian will continue to lead the operations team as well as support the many departments and the tenets of STAPLES Center.
Grant Higgins was promoted to the position of Senior Director, Engineering for STAPLES Center. Higgins started with STAPLES Center while working for Sempra Engineering Services and officially joined STAPLES Center Engineering team in August 2006 as Chief Engineer. Higgins has worked tirelessly with Pottorff and the Engineering team to keep the arena in great operating condition and that will continue to keep STAPLES Center at the forefront of world class arenas.
STAPLES Center & Microsoft Theater
Vice President, Marketing & Communications