Business Strategy & Analytics Manager, Chicago Bulls
Kevin Brilliant joined the Chicago Bulls in June 2015, in a role that combines many of his passions: sports, behavioral sciences, analytics, fan engagement and innovation. Through his work with the team, Brilliant aspires to help shape the next frontier in sports business by developing applied uses of behavioral sciences across key revenue-generating and fan engagement activities.
Prior to joining the Chicago Bulls, Brilliant completed his MBA at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University with a focus on behavioral economics. During his time at Duke, Brilliant joined Dan Ariely's Center for Advanced Hindsight where he worked with Ariely and his team of researchers to study applications of behavioral economics in sports. A passionate fan of sports analytics, Brilliant also led a joint venture between Duke Athletics and software giant SAP to build college-sports’ first-of-its-kind data visualization tool for Duke men's basketball.
In 2013, Brilliant co-founded The Fuqua Initiative for Veteran Employment to help veterans more successfully transition from the military to the private sector by leveraging the job search skills of MBA students. In 2014, Brilliant was named to the board of directors for Women Veterans Interactive, a Clinton Global Initiative organization.
SVP, Business Operations, Kansas City Chiefs
Bill Chapin, senior VP of business operations for the Kansas City Chiefs, is entering his sixth season with the team. His responsibilities include overseeing marketing strategy and implementation, branding, advertising, market research, fan development, digital and social media, community outreach, the Hunt Family Foundation, 65TPT productions, game experience and entertainment, the Arrowhead Art Collection, the Chiefs Cheerleaders, Red Coaters, Kansas City Ambassadors, Chiefs Women’s Organization, KC Wolf and the US Army Information Operations Liaison Officer Program.
Active in the Kansas City community, Chapin stewards the annual 101 Awards Banquet, Kansas City’s Salute to Professional Football, sits on the Starlight Theatre board of directors, the Visit KC board and serves as the board chair for Kansas City Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Chapin also holds positions with a number of NFL working groups, including the Club Digital Advisory board and Unified Media committee.
He holds a B.A from the University of California — Riverside and earned his executive MBA from Pepperdine University.
Hall of Fame Head Coach, Chicago Bears
A Pro Football Hall of Fame player and Super Bowl-winning coach, Mike Ditka joined ESPN as an NFL analyst in 2004. With a combined 26 years of playing and coaching experience, Ditka has been an analyst on Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown and makes regular appearances on ESPN Radio and SportsCenter.
Ditka has amassed a career that few can match. He is the second person to win the Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach and head coach. After earning All-America honors at the University of Pittsburgh, the tight end enjoyed a stellar 12-year NFL playing career. He was named NFL Rookie of the Year and selected All-Pro six times.
In addition to broadcasting, Ditka owns and operates Ditka’s restaurants and is passionate about giving back and helping those in need. He is president of the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund, which provides medical and financial assistance to retired NFL players in dire need who pioneered the game and made the NFL what it is today. Ditka also serves on the board of directors for After the Impact Fund which facilitates treatment to military veterans and professional athletes. Since 1989, Ditka has been very involved in raising funds for Misericordia, a residential facility for developmentally disabled children.
CCO & Head of Sports, Tickemaster
Greg Economou is the Chief Commercial Officer and head of sports for Ticketmaster. Previously, he served as EVP and chief revenue officer for Dick Clark Productions, where he was responsible for the overall revenue generation strategy and execution for all DCP’ shows and assets. Economou also helped other Guggenheim Media sister properties, Billboard Magazine and the Los Angeles Dodgers in their efforts to secure corporate partnership and advertising revenue as part of integrated and comprehensive partnership deals.
Prior to DCP, Economou served as EVP of revenue performance at The Madison Square Garden Company, where he managed MSG sports and entertainment’s marketing partnerships, suite sales and service, and digital sales/new media revenues.
Prior, he was the EVP and CMO at Bobcats Sports and Entertainment, where he managed all business operations for the NBA team and arena. Economou also served as SVP of marketing and communications for the NBA, on all league-related branding, marketing and communications efforts.
Before joining the NBA, Economou was the managing director and CEO of BRANDTHINK, where he worked across the sports landscape on a variety of high-level brand, digital and revenue performance initiatives.
Harry Edwards, Ph. D.
Sports Sociologist; Civil Rights Activist; Founder, Institute on Sport and Social Change
Harry Edwards’ combined experiences as an athlete and training in the discipline of sociology led him to the conclusion that, by the late 1960s, America had become complacent, even cynical about the issue of race in sports.
Years later, he was hired by the Commissioner of MLB in 1987 to help with efforts to increase front office representation of minorities and women in baseball. He also was with the Golden State Warriors of the NBA from 1987 through 1995, specializing in player personnel counseling and programs. The programs and methods he developed for dealing with issues and challenges facing professional football player personnel were adopted by the entire NFL in 1992. The NFL also adopted the Minority Coaches Internship and Outreach Program that he developed with Coach Bill Walsh at the San Francisco Forty Niners in 1986.
Edwards has been a consultant with producers of sports related programs for numerous television and film productions in the U.S. and abroad. He has received dozens of awards and honors, including several honorary doctorate degrees. He has written scores of articles and four books: “The Struggle That Must Be,” “Sociology of Sports,” “Black Students” and “The Revolt of the Black Athlete.”
Director of Innovation, Orlando Magic
As director of innovation for the Orlando Magic, Jack Elkins helps lead the team’s innovation initiatives and created one of the first innovation labs in professional sports.
He has been with the team for 12 years serving in business development as well as technology. He helped oversee the development of the award-winning Amway Center, which opened in downtown Orlando in October 2010.
Elkins supports several central Florida social enterprises and startups and has been an adjunct professor of social entrepreneurship and business innovation at Rollins College.
Senior Basketball Advisor, Toronto Raptors
Wayne Embry embodies and lives by preparation, perception, perseverance, persistence, pride and passion. Embry joined the Raptors in 2004 as senior basketball advisor. He took charge of operations as interim GM in 2006 and engineered two trades.
Embry’s career spans more than 45 years as an NBA player and front office executive. He enjoyed a successful 11-year player career and is the first African American to be GM and a president of an NBA club. Embry became general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1972 and also served as VP, GM and EVP of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 1994, he became the first African American NBA team president and COO. Embry twice earned The Sporting News Executive of the Year and was named Sports Illustrated’s Executive of the Year in 1998.
Embry began his NBA career with the Cincinnati Royals and helped the Boston Celtics capture the NBA championship in 1968. He was team captain and MVP at Miami University, where he earned a B.S. in education and a minor in business administration.
Embry is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s board of directors. He is enshrined in the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame and in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Peter Feaver, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, Duke University
Peter Feaver is a professor of political science and public policy at Duke University. He is director of the Triangle Institute for security studies and also director of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy.
From 2005 to 2007, Feaver was on leave to be special advisor for strategic planning and institutional reform on the National Security Council Staff at the White House, where his responsibilities included the national security strategy, regional strategy reviews, and other political and military issues.
Feaver is the author of “Armed Servants: Agency, Oversight, and Civil-Military Relations,” and “Guarding the Guardians: Civilian Control of Nuclear Weapons in the United States.” He is the co-author, with Christopher Gelpi and Jason Reifler, of “Paying the Human Costs of War;” co-author, with Susan Wasiolek and Anne Crossman, of “Getting the Most Out of College;” and co-author, with Christopher Gelpi, of “Choosing Your Battles: American Civil-Military Relations and the Use of Force.” He is the co-editor, with Richard H. Kohn, of “Soldiers and Civilians: The
Civil-Military Gap and American National Security.”
Feaver has published numerous other monographs, scholarly articles, book chapters and policy pieces on American foreign policy, public opinion, nuclear proliferation, civil-military relations, information warfare and U.S. national security.
COO, Orlando Magic
Charles Freeman has over two decades of tenure with the Orlando Magic and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2015. Freeman’s responsibilities include oversight and management of ticket sales, premium sales, client services, ticket operations, corporate partnership, marketing, arena operations, retail, philanthropy and multicultural insights as well as the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.
Freeman started with the Magic in 1996 as a market research analyst for corporate sponsorship and broadcast sales. He was responsible for all research and strategic planning for the department. In 1997, Freeman was promoted to business manager of sales and was in charge of developing and implementing new business strategies for the sales division. As business manager, Freeman worked with corporate sponsorship and broadcast sales, retail sales, ticket sales, and box office operations for the Orlando Magic, Orlando Solar Bears, and Orlando Miracle.
In the spring of 1999, as business development manager, Freeman began working with ownership on a variety of strategic projects. In the summer of 2001, he was promoted to director of business development and focused on the growth and expansion of RDV Sports, as well as new business ventures.
President, San Francisco 49ers
Al Guido was named president of the San Francisco 49ers in February 2016. Guido oversees all key business initiatives for the team. Prior to being named president, Guido served as the team’s COO from 2014—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 $2.8M to the city of Santa Clara general fund from nonevent 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, hosting Super Bowl 50, Wrestlemania 31, Major League Soccer, multiple Pac-12 Championship football games, international soccer, concerts and more.
Creating a technologically enhanced gameday 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.
President, Business Operations, Chicago Cubs
Crane Kenney has spent 23 seasons with the Cubs organization and as president of business operations oversees all aspects of the club’s business operation. As the principal executive in charge of Cubs’ operations from 2003—2010, he helped the Cubs welcome more than three million fans through Wrigley Field’s turnstiles each season since 2004.
Kenney has led numerous projects to expand Wrigley Field’s seating capacity and fan amenities, including the construction of the PNC Club, the Captain Morgan Club, the CBOE bullpen boxes, the Bud Light bleachers and the dugout boxes. He guided the team’s 2009—2011 effort to secure financing for a new state-of-the-art spring training facility in Mesa, Arizona. From 2003—2009, Kenney increased the payroll by more than 70 percent, with the team winning the N.L. Central Division three times in those seven years.
Kenney founded Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the Cubs’ cable partner, with Jerry Reinsdorf in 2003 and has served on the board of directors since its formation. He holds a law degree from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Vice President of Communications, San Francisco 49ers
A veteran of 18 NFL seasons, Bob Lange is in his eighth year with the 49ers and second as the team’s vice president of communications.
Lange is the 49ers day-to-day spokesman on all football, corporate and Levi’s Stadium matters, while acting as the team’s liaison with local, national and international media outlets.
Since Lange joined the team as director of communications in 2009, the 49ers have twice been named finalists for the coveted Pro Football Writers of America Pete Rozelle Award.
Prior to his move to the bay area, Lange was the Philadelphia Eagles’ assistant director of football media services. During his 10 seasons with the Eagles, he served as a point person for players and coaches with the media, while also promoting the team’s efforts in the community.
After beginning his professional career as a public relations intern with the Eagles in 1998, Lange remained with the team until joining Temple University as the assistant director of sports media relations in 1999. He assisted with the nationally ranked men’s basketball program that twice qualified for the NCAA Tournament and reached the Elite Eight, in 2001.
Lange graduated from Fairfield University with a B.A. in marketing.
NFL Hall of Fame Coach, Buffalo Bills
Marv Levy is a Hall of Fame former Buffalo Bills head coach. A motivational coach and well-known motivational speaker who has a master's degree from Harvard, he is best known as an intelligent and analytical football coach.
Levy was hired to be the head football coach of the Buffalo Bills in 1986. He went on to become the most successful coach in Buffalo Bills history, with a 112-70 record. It took Levy only two years to lead the Bills to the AFC Championship game in which they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bills won the eastern division six out of the following eight seasons and made the playoffs in eight out of the following nine years. During that run, Levy and the Bills would become the only team in NFL history to go to four straight Super Bowls (from 1991-94).
After 47 years of coaching, Levy retired in 1997. He will be remembered not only as the winningest coach in Buffalo Bills history and a Hall of Fame football coach, but also as one of the NFL's classiest individuals. Levy not only molded football players, but he also molded men’s character, class and pride.
Investor, San Francisco 49ers
Collin Meador is an investor with the San Francisco 49ers, Meador's role involves pursuing an MLS bid and stadium construction in Sacramento, a team which the 49ers have invested in. He also seeks new investment opportunities for the team with companies designed to increase player performance and fan experience.
Admiral Bill Moran
Vice Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy
Adm. Bill Moran assumed duties as the Navy’s 39th vice chief of naval operations in 2016. He is a senior naval advisor to the secretary of the Navy and the chief of naval operations.
Previously, as a flag officer, he served as the commander of the Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, the director of Air Warfare (N98) on the staff of the chief of naval operations and the 57th chief of naval personnel.
Moran’s operational tours spanned both coasts, commanding Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 and Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 2. He served as an instructor pilot in two tours with VP-30 and as a staff member for the commander, Carrier Group 6 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA 59).
Ashore, he served as executive assistant to the chief of naval operations; executive assistant to the commander, U.S. Pacific Command; deputy director, Navy staff; and assistant Washington placement officer and assistant flag officer detailer in the Bureau of Naval Personnel.
Moran is a native of New York and graduated with a bachelor of science from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master's degree from the National War College.
President & Owner, Los Angeles FC
Tom Penn is co-founder of the Sports Leadership Institute. He has been instrumental in creating and developing SLI’s private meetings and programs for sports team owners, sports executives, college ADs and retired athletes. Penn is president and co-owner of LAFC, an expansion MLS team that he helped acquire in 2014.
Penn is also an NBA analyst on ESPN, where he regularly appears on SportsCenter and other ESPN programs. Prior to joining ESPN, Penn spent four seasons as VP of basketball operations and assistant GM of the Portland Trail Blazers, and seven seasons as assistant GM/legal counsel of the Memphis Grizzlies. He is widely known as a top expert on the NBA salary cap and collective bargaining agreement. Prior to joining the Grizzlies, he helped broker the purchase of the Grizzlies franchise.
From 1993—1999, Penn worked as a criminal defense attorney and basketball player agent. Penn’s charitable passion targets pediatric cancer and catastrophic diseases affecting children. He is a longtime board member of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and the Children’s Cancer Association in Portland. Penn graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois College of Law.
Chief Revenue Officer, VenueNext
As VenueNext’s Chief Revenue Officer, Tim Prukop is responsible for driving sales and business development. He brings more than 20 years of experience in delivering pioneering technology into the sports and new media markets. Prior to VenueNext, Prukop was VP of sales, sports and new media for LiveU Inc., where he led the effort to deliver LiveU's patented bonded-cellular video uplink technology to the market.
Before joining LiveU, Prukop was VP of sales at Conviva and managed the North American sales team where they provided streaming video technology for customers such as ESPN, HBO, Turner Sports, MLBAM and NBC. Prukop held a similar position as for Demand Media where he led the effort to introduce the Pluck social media platform that many publishers use today to interact with their fans (including NFL.com, MLB.com and USA Today). Previously, Prukop was the VP of sales and marketing at XOS Technologies which provides the video editing systems used by NFL and College coaches to analyze film and prepare their teams for games.
Before entering his professional sales career, Prukop enjoyed a 14-year career as a professional football coach with stints at teams including Arizona State University, University of Southern California and Amsterdam Admirals. Prukop holds an M.A. in political science and international relations from Arizona State University at Tempe, Arizona and a B.A. in political science and international affairs from University of California at Davis.
Play-By-Play Announcer, Atlanta Hawks
Bob Rathbun is a 10-time Emmy award-winning sportscaster in his 21st season as the signature play-by-play voice of FOX Sports South and FOX Sports Southeast. One of FOX Sports’ most popular and decorated play-by-play announcers, Rathbun is the voice of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and WNBA’s Atlanta Dream. An eight-time Sportscaster of the Year in Virginia and Georgia, he has been inducted into the media wing of the Catawba College Sports Hall of Fame, Salisbury-Rowan Sports Hall of Fame and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame for his broadcasting excellence.
Rathbun’s basketball work with the NBA has earned him opportunities to call games for TNT and NBA-TV. His collegiate resume includes stints with CBS, ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports Net.
Since 2004, Rathbun has expanded his work into the realm of motivation, leadership and team-building as a host and speaker with John Maxwell's Maximum Impact Club and the Atlanta Hawks Speaker’s Bureau. His latest achievement, “The Fast Forward Winner,” is a 6-step program designed to help catapult dreamers into the winner’s circle.
John Roberson, CEO of Advent, has been with the company for over 15 years. Prior to purchasing Advent, Roberson worked as a brand manager for a 165-year-old fashion brand, was a co-founder of two consumer products companies and was the chief operating officer of a publicly-traded, television home-shopping network.
Roberson holds an MBA from Vanderbilt’s Owen School with a concentration in marketing and service quality and a political science degree with minors in art and English from Lipscomb University.
Former President, Los Angeles Clippers
Andy Roeser enjoyed a successful 30-year career with the Los Angeles Clippers, the last eight as president. He is known for the transformation of the Clippers franchise into an elite NBA team, providing best-in-class entertainment to sell-out audiences. In addition to his leadership role with the Clippers, Roeser served as the alternate governor of the NBA’s board of governors for more than 20 years.
Roeser is an active member of the Los Angeles community and served as president of the Los Angeles Clippers Charitable Foundation, which he helped create in 1994. He also served on the boards of the Los Angeles Sports Council and the Advisory Board for the Graduate Program in Sports Management at Cal State University, Long Beach, and is an active supporter of Special Olympics Southern California.
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Atlanta Hawks
Nzinga Shaw is currently the chief diversity and inclusion officer of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club. She is the first person to hold this position in the National Basketball Association and for all North American professional sports teams including the NFL, MLB, NHL and MLS.
Shaw serves as a member of the executive committee and provides guidance to the leadership team in an effort to engender inclusivity in every facet of the business. Shaw has developed a strategy to embed equity in all programmatic activities, governance and daily administration of the organization. She is focused on building a foundation that will advance this strategy as a core component of the Atlanta Hawks brand, and to drive the business. This initiative extends to fans, customers, community partners and to every employee within the workforce.
Previously, Shaw has been at the forefront of leading organizational change through diversity. She served as senior VP of diversity and inclusion at Edelman, the world’s largest and most profitable public relations agency. Shaw also worked as a human resources practitioner at ESSENCE Magazine, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network, and the NFL. Recently, Shaw was appointed to serve on the NBA’s Global Inclusion Council.
Executive Director, Coach K Leadership & Ethics Center, Duke University Fuqua School of Business
Sanyin Siang is founding executive director of the Coach K Leadership and Ethics Center at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. The center is a leadership laboratory with programming for all of Duke’s Daytime MBA students and convenes think tank gatherings across sectors to explore today’s complex leadership challenges.
She is a CEO, coach, an advisor for Google Ventures, speaker and author. A LinkedIn Influencer with more than 700,000 followers, her thought leadership has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and World Economic Forum. Sanyin has advised and served on boards of startups and nonprofits, including the Duke Corporate Education, Sports Innovation Lab, USA Taekwondo and The Emily Krzyzewski Center. She is a senior advisor with Dan Ariely’s Center for Advanced Hindsight and a faculty for Duke StoryLab.
A graduate of Duke with a BSE in engineering and an MBA, she is the author of “The Launch Book: Motivational Stories for Launching Your Idea, Business, or Next Career.”
Columnist & Host, ESPN
Sarah Spain is an espnW.com columnist, ESPN Radio host and SportsCenter reporter for ESPN. She hosts ESPN Radio’s “Izzy and Spain” and “esnpW Presents: The Trifecta with Spain, Jane & Kate” and the podcast, “That’s What She Said.” She is also a regular panelist on “Around The Horn” and a frequent fill-in host on ESPN properties, “His & Hers” and “The Dan le Batard Show with Stugotz.”
She earned a B.A. in English at Cornell University, where she was a heptathlete and captain of the track and field team.
Senior Advisor, Basketball Operations, Atlanta Hawks
With more than 37 years of NBA experience, longtime league executive Rick Sund is the Atlanta Hawks’ senior advisor, basketball operations, after having spent the prior four years as Atlanta’s EVP and general manager.
Formerly the general manager of the Seattle Sonics from 2001 to 2007, Sund and the Sonics were the inaugural champions of the Northwest Division from 2004 to 2005, and the team reached the postseason twice during his tenure.
One of the NBA’s most-respected front office executives, Sund presided over a Mavericks team that won a franchise-record 55 games and took home the Midwest Division title in 1986-87. Dallas matched or improved its record in each of the franchise’s first eight seasons, reaching the playoffs on six occasions and making it to the Western Conference Finals in 1988. He began his career in Milwaukee under the tutelage of Wayne Embry, spending five years with the Bucks after graduating with a master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University.
Sund is a charter member of the advisory board for the University of Michigan’s Division of Kinesiology Sport Management. He previously served on the board of directors for the Special Olympics for the state of Washington, and was an advisory board member of the University of Oregon’s business school’s Warsaw Sports Marketing and Management Division.
Managing Director, F.C. Barcelona
Arno Trabesinger, managing director of FC Barcelona in the Americas, oversees the FC Barcelona brand in Canada, the U.S. and Latin America. He works in these markets to support existing partners on mutually beneficial initiatives; cultivating new partnerships with key relevant brands, engaging the tens of millions of Barca fans living here — and importantly, establishing the FCBarcelona Foundation to give back to children in need across the Americas to fulfill its “mes que un club” or “more than a club” values and commitment.
FC Barcelona officially opened its Americas office in New York City in 2016. The club currently works with major leagues, teams and brands to continue building FC Barcelona’s presence worldwide including with existing global sponsors like Nike; Gillette, Procter & Gamble; Gatorade, PepsiCo and Audi among others.
Previously, Trabesinger was the founder and managing director of Weirather-Wenzel & Partner S.L., where he was responsible for strategic planning, budgeting and implementing of all company's business projects. He was also in charge of continuous acquisition of new clients and projects including 15 tier 1 clients such as Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona, UEFA, Dorna, Red Bull, Audi and BMW.
Jim Van Stone
President, Business Operations & CCO, Monumental Sports & Entertainment
In his role as president of business operations and chief commercial officer, Jim Van Stone will oversee ticket sales and service, corporate partnerships, executive suites, marketing and retail business. Van Stone joined Monumental, which merged with Lincoln Holdings and Washington Sports & Entertainment in 2010, after serving as the vice president of ticket sales and service at the Capitals since 2007.
Previously, Van Stone was MSE’s chief revenue officer, overseeing ticket sales and service, executive suites and corporate partnerships. He previously held senior positions with the Phoenix Coyotes and Comcast-Spectacor, working with both the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Van Stone holds a master's degree in sports and recreation administration from Temple University as well as a bachelor of arts in communications from William Paterson College.
Author & Thought Leader, Reality-Based Leadership
Cy Wakeman is a dynamic international keynote speaker, drama researcher, New York Times best-selling author and trainer who has spent more than 20 years cultivating a revolutionary approach to leadership. Her philosophy teaches people how to turn excuses into results and transform unhappy employees into accountable, successful members of the workforce. Through her prolific work with companies such as Bayer, New York Presbyterian, National Institutes of Health, Hallmark, Verizon Wireless, TD Ameritrade and Wells Fargo, Wakeman has helped eliminate tired, impersonal management techniques in favor of a reality-based revolution.
An expert blogger on FastCompany.com, Forbes.com and The Huffington Post, Wakeman’s ideas have been featured on the TODAY Show, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Insider, The Daily Muse, Success.com and SHRM.com. She’s written two books, “Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace & Turn Excuses into Results” and “The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace: Know What Boosts Your Value, Kills Your Chances & Will Make You Happier.”
Wakeman is a highly sought-after conference headliner and holds a Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speaker’s Association, placing her within the top 3 percent of speakers.
President & CEO, Olympia Entertainment, Detroit Red Wings
Tom Wilson has served as president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, Detroit’s premier marketer of sports and entertainment events, since 2010. Olympia Entertainment also handles business operations for the Detroit Red Wings, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League, and collaborates with the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise and other Ilitch companies.
As one of the most diverse and leading sports and entertainment organizations in the country, Olympia owns and operates Detroit’s Fox Theatre, the intimate City Theatre, and books and operates Joe Louis Arena, Little Caesars Arena and books Comerica Park. The new Little Caesars Arena will serve as home of the Detroit Red Wings NHL franchise and countless other sports, entertainment and community events.
As president and CEO, Wilson has identified opportunities for innovative ways to package and promote the substantial assets of the organization through multi-venue offerings and creative promotions.
Prior to joining Olympia, Wilson had an illustrious 32-year career with the Detroit Pistons, including the last 22 years as president and CEO of Palace Sports & Entertainment, Inc. Wilson oversaw the Detroit Pistons and the organization’s three venues: The Palace, DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Festival.