Leadership / 03.16.21
INTIX Honors 2021 Awards Recipients
2021 INTIX Awards recipients
Each year, the INTIX Awards celebrate the live entertainment ticketing professional by honoring members who embody exemplary professionalism, leadership, service and special achievements.
This year’s ceremony was a bit different. Instead of celebrating at the annual conference in January, our community gathered to recognize honorees at a special stand-alone virtual event on March 11, 2021.
“After a year like we just experienced, it was important for us to keep some sense of normalcy within our ticketing community,” said Anthony Esposito, INTIX Board Chair in 2020 and VP of Ticket Operations for the Atlanta Braves. “Having successfully executed our avatar-filled digital conference in late January, we thought it was only appropriate to time the annual INTIX Awards ceremony to coincide with the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 making its initial impact on our live entertainment and ticketing world. Doing so gave us a way to continue to celebrate our great membership, and also subtly let the virus know that it can’t stop us.”
IMPACT Award – Albert Leffler
The IMPACT Award is given at the discretion of the INTIX Board Chair and in recognition of an individual, organization, vendor or partner who has provided continuous, consistent and extraordinary support that has a lasting impact for INTIX, its members, our conference and the live event ticketing industry. This year’s recipient is Albert Leffler, co-founder and employee No. 1 of Ticketmaster.
“I could read you the definition of what the IMPACT Award entails, then tell you that in 1974 Albert co-founded Ticketmaster, and stop right there, enough said. He started the company in a small duplex over a lasagna dinner and a few jugs of sangria, and came up with the name Ticketmaster on a car trip with his wife and 2-year-old daughter! He ticketed the company’s first concert — Electric Light Orchestra — in 1977 at the University of New Mexico,” Esposito said. “For many of us, he is the heart and soul of Ticketmaster and exemplifies the best of what Ticketmaster is, was and can be. Closing in on the 45th anniversary of the company, he is currently writing a book about the history of Ticketmaster.”
Esposito continued, “Albert and Ticketmaster have been a part of INTIX (BOMI) since our inception as an original vendor and sponsor. But his support of the association goes well beyond a financial contribution. He has been a constant at every conference — often with a camera in tow — and has welcomed and embraced all members and vendors of the INTIX community like they are a member of his family. Selfishly, as someone who spent almost five years in the Ticketmaster family at the beginning of my career, it is my honor to have chosen Albert for this Award.”
After learning he was the 2021 INTIX IMPACT Award recipient, Leffler said, “Thank you all very much. I cannot tell you what a great ride it has been professionally and personally. Throughout the fabric of ticketing has been INTIX, a great organization that Pat Spira created so long ago, and is now in the able, caring hands of Maureen Andersen. What a unique niche that we fulfill between performer and audience. It wouldn’t happen without all of us, so my accolades to all of you who are part of this beautiful industry. Thank you very much for this from my heart.”
INTIX Spirit Award – Ebony Hattix
The 2021 Spirit Award recipient is Ebony Hattix, Senior Manager of Box Office Operations for FedExForum in Memphis, the home arena of the Memphis Grizzlies NBA basketball team. Selected by the INTIX membership, the Spirit Award is given annually to an active member who represents enthusiasm, friendship, participation and cooperation to colleagues and to the industry.
During the nominations round, one of the questions asked is, “How has this person demonstrated enthusiasm for INTIX?” For Hattix, there are just so many ways. In addition to being an active participant on numerous INTIX committees, she is a wonderful ambassador, voice and a champion for human rights across our industry. Hattix always has a smile on her face; she continually strives to help educate her peers, never hesitates to share her knowledge and innovative ideas with others, and builds relationships to help others grow. If you ever need a virtual hug, at any hour of the day or night, Hattix is there as a beam of light to lift your spirits.
In support of her nomination, Hattix said, “The ticketing life isn’t easy, but it is easier when you are family. I believe in being a resource for others and a friend at all times. ‘People will always remember how you made them feel’ is a paraphrased quote from the late Maya Angelou — and I always want people to feel warm and welcome around me. INTIX allows that light to shine even on someone’s darkest day. I hope that I give a trusting smile and words of encouragement to those in need of that. I believe that INTIX is brings us together, and I hope that I am some of the glue.”
“As the one award that is voted on by our members, the Spirit Award always reflects the current feelings of the membership,” Esposito said. “In what was a life-changing year for all of us on many fronts, Ebony continued to be a constant bright light shining from Memphis. From her participation during the weekly Wednesday Wisdoms, to her involvement on our Diversity, Equality, Inclusion and Access townhall at the INTIX Live! Digital Conference, she never shied away from assisting members with reopening questions, or making her voice be heard on the topics of social injustice and racial inequality. She truly encompasses what the spirit of INTIX is about, and she always wears a smile!”
Last year, Hattix was a 2020 VenuesNow All-Star, and she was also profiled on INTIX Access in 2019.
FutureTix Young Ticketing Professional – Harmony McGivney
The recipient of the 2021 FutureTix Young Ticketing Professional Award is Harmony McGivney, Box Office Manager for the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College. Each year, the recipient of this award is an INTIX member under the age of 35 who exemplifies the future of INTIX and the live ticketing profession in terms of leadership, innovation, customer care and problem solving.
McGivney went to a performing arts high school where she learned and embraced the improvisational term “yes, and …” — it has since served her well, embodying her problem-solving skills and helping her grow into an efficient and dynamic ticket office manager known for service excellence. Working with the Kaye Playhouse since 2018, she has spent 12 years of her career in ticketing. As a first-year member of INTIX, she jumped right in to support our community by joining the Member Connection Committee, where she has taken on multiple volunteer roles and made an immediate difference. Her peers applaud her efforts, saying her participation and creative ideas are key to the committee’s recent success.
At the Kaye Playhouse, McGivney’s successes have included obtaining and implementing new ticketing software that proved to delight their patrons. Previously, she worked at the Actors Fund managing their house seat program. Her assignments included sole responsibility for managing the 2,000-person waitlist for “Hamilton” on Broadway, which provided seats for donors and guests of the actors. There were only four house seats per show and over 1,000 donors.
Of that experience, McGivney said, “The whole experience was a fantastic lesson in the importance of excellent customer service. I learned it is imperative to manage a patron’s expectations and that clear communication is vital. My integrity was even put to the test when a personal hero called for tickets and I had to add his name to the waitlist. I think fondly of my experience, remarking to colleagues that if I could manage ‘Hamilton Madness’ I could do anything.”
“Harmony has excellent customer service skills, as demonstrated by her handling of the ‘Hamilton’ waitlist situation while working with The Actors Fund,” Esposito said. “She has also demonstrated a keen enthusiasm for INTIX by being involved with many activities and committees in her short time as a member, including the mentor/mentee program. The future of ticketing is in good hands with professionals like Harmony leading the way!”
Outstanding Ticketing Professional and Outstanding Ticket Office – All of You!
For 2021, INTIX made the decision to put the Awards for Outstanding Ticket Office and Outstanding Ticketing Professional on pause.
“In this unusual and clearly abnormal year, the traditional processes for awarding Outstanding Box Office and Ticket Professional of the Year have both been put on pause and are experiencing an intermission for this year,” Esposito said. “The reality is that a vast number of our members and/or their ticket and box offices have been in suspended operations, and it was decided that going through an awards process would be a disservice to the collective community at large, many of whom are still not working or operating with proper staffing.”
Instead, INTIX issued proclamations recognizing every single ticket office and ticketing professional. Each eligible member of INTIX will be receiving signature tags that proclaim them as Ticket Office of the Year and/or Ticketing Professional of the Year.
Patricia G. Spira Lifetime Achievement Award – Robert Beatty
INTIX’s highest honor is The Patricia G. Spira Lifetime Achievement Award. The 2021 recipient is Robert (Bob) Beatty. Known as a titan in our industry, and currently a senior consultant for FutureTix, Beatty has held many roles over a 50-year-long career that spans all facets of ticketing. A member since the BOMI days, he has also attended 25 annual conferences, sat on numerous committees, participated as a frequent speaker and moderator, and gives back as a mentor and through regional ticketing group initiatives. Beatty has ticketing in his blood and comes from a ticketing family legacy that spans three generations.
Starting as a per-diem ticket seller at the Madison Square Garden arena in the days of hard tickets, he worked his way up to ultimately become Senior Vice President of Box Office Operations and Cash Control with almost 100 employees reporting to him. As the Senior Vice President, Beatty was responsible for all aspects of ticketing and the operation of five independent box offices at facilities owned by the Madison Square Garden Company: Madison Square Garden, the busiest arena in the world with an adjoining theater; Radio City Music Hall; The Beacon Theatre; The Chicago Theater; and the Forum in Inglewood California. Collectively, these venues presented over 1,000 ticketed, reserved-seat events annually. Additionally, his responsibilities included the operational oversight of season ticketing for three MSG professional teams: the NHL’s New York Rangers, the NBA’s New York Knicks and the WNBA’s New York Liberty. He also oversaw disability services in each of the facilities and the cash control operation in four venues.
“There are not many people more deserving of this award than Bob. As a third-generation industry professional — and former leader of one of the world’s most iconic buildings in Madison Square Garden — Bob’s 50 years in ticketing and his contributions to and support of INTIX since its inception demonstrates his commitment to his craft and to our industry,” Esposito said. “After his retirement from Madison Square Garden Company, he continues to remain present in our industry as a Senior Consultant with FutureTix and maintains a membership to be a full supporter of our association.”
After receiving the Patricia G. Spira Lifetime Achievement Award, Beatty said, “I wasn’t expecting this. Thank you, thank you so much. This is really amazing … there’s really no greater honor than to be recognized by your peers. We have all said that nobody grows up wanting to be in the ticketing business. I am the third generation of my family in the business, but even with that and growing up around ticketing, it was never my intention to have a career in ticketing … and then I was invited to attend an INTIX conference. It was over 35 years ago. It really was an eye-opener for me. I met so many wonderful people — some are on this call today and still my friends after all these years — and I was able to see the new technology, where the business was headed and all the excitement of the developments. That was a moment for me. I realized this was a legitimate industry; it wasn’t just about standing in a window selling tickets … I can honestly say in this regard that INTIX changed the direction of my life.”
Esposito also recognized those behind the scenes of our annual awards, saying, “I would like to give a shoutout and special thanks to our Awards Committee members. We thank them for their dedication to INTIX and work on the committee over the past year.”
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Tags: Leadership , INTIX 2021