Tag Archives: Faces & Places

Swansons Switch Off

23 Nov

Cheryl Swanson

Cheryl Swanson began her new career as executive director of the Alerus Center, Grand Forks, N.D., for VenuWorks Nov. 15. When called Nov. 16, she and Roger Swanson, who has held that post, had just attended his last commission meeting there before moving on to be director of business development in North America again for VenuWorks, working out of his Minnesota home.

One of his oversights will be the new collaboration between VenuWorks and Global Entertainment, where Roger Swanson worked for three years prior to moving to VenuWorks. That collaboration may soon involve management of the newest of the Global Entertainment Corp. hockey arenas, Dodge City/Ford County Events Center, Dodge City, Kan. That 6,000-seat arena is set to open in February 2011.

Meanwhile, Cheryl Swanson is thrilled with the complex in Grand Forks, which she noted has an attached 12-story hotel and waterpark which enhance Alerus Center’s use as a conference center. That side of the business is very strong, she said. The center also hosts University of North Dakota football. With the hotel, waterpark, arena, football field and conference space, “it truly is a destination complex,” she said.

Prior to joining VenuWorks, Swanson was executive director of the Breslin Center at Michigan State University, East Lansing Mich. She began her facility management career at the Sioux City (Iowa) Convention Center, Auditorium and Tourism Bureau, and later opened the Convocation Center and Pease Auditorium at East Michigan University in Ypsilanti.

The Alerus Center opened on Feb. 10, 2001.  It has a full arena seating capacity of 21,000 and a half-set of 11,000. It seats 13,500 for University of North Dakota football games and 9,500 for basketball games. It also has a theater set of 3,600. Its Grand Ballroom is 26,000 square feet and can be separated into five individual rooms.  It also has 12 meeting rooms ranging in size from 620 to 1,330 square feet. There are 14 suites and one VIP Club suite.— Linda Deckard and Dave Brooks

Interviewed for this article: Cheryl Swanson, (701) 792-1200


Live Nation Reorganizes

22 Nov

Concert giant Live Nation Entertainment Inc. has disclosed the departure of global music chief executive Jason Garner, who will be succeeded by a trio of executives with regional responsibilities, company spokesperson Liz Morentin confirmed.

Veteran concert promoters Mark Campana and Bob Roux will divide the North American market — Roux will handle the South from his office in Houston and Campana with handle markets in the north from Chicago. Rick Franks will oversee strategy for concert tours from his Detroit office.

Additionally, Ron Bension, formerly president of Tickets Now, has been named CEO of Live Nation’s House of Blues and club division. He will be based in Los Angeles, reporting directly to Rapino. — Linda Deckard and Dave Brooks

Contact: Liz Morentin, (310) 975-6860

Brown Upped

20 Nov

Jim Brown has been named executive director of Wright State Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio. He replaces John Siehl, who took early retirement in September and has since gone to work for VenuWorks.

One of Brown’s first initiatives is to reposition the venue as Wright State Nutter Center, versus the Ervin J. Nutter Center at Wright State University, giving the university a more prominent recognition in everything about the arena. A new logo will be unveiled soon. “Wright State is a young university but a great university,” Brown said. There is considerable mutual benefit in more closely associating the arena with the 20,000-student campus, he said.

Brown said he’s going to stay in his current office, where he has been functioning as acting director since Siehl left. There are no plans to name a new associate director. Brown noted that there were a significant number of very qualified applicants for the job and he is thrilled to have been selected.

He has been at Wright State Nutter Center for 11 years. Prior to that, he worked at the Cumberland County/Crown Coliseum Complex in Fayettevile, N.C. He started in the business in minor league sports with the Columbus (Ohio) Horizon of the Continental Basketball Association after graduating from Bowling Green (Ohio) State University with a plan to get into professional sports management. The facility side soon drew him in.— Linda Deckard and Dave Brooks


Interviewed for this article: Jim Brown, (937) 775-664-6464


Guss Heads to Olympia

19 Nov

Kasey C. Guss has joined Olympia Entertainment as production manager at Fox Theatre, Detroit. He had been the associate director at Breslin Center, East Lansing, Mich., a venue he operated alone after Cheryl Swanson left.

Guss began his new job Nov. 9, replacing Lee Rifield, who was promoted to booking manager. “It’s an exciting time to be here and a great opportunity,” Guss said. He began his career seven years ago at Show Me Center, Cape Girardeau, Mo., as operations manager before moving to Michigan. The Fox is his first non-university job and first in private management. — Linda Deckard and Dave Brooks


Interviewed for this article: Kasey Guss, (313) 471-3200