Interviews with INTIX members
When it comes to life choices, you might say Mandi Grimm is the apple that didn’t fall far from the tree.
It is perhaps ironic that Geo Haynes had just finished a gig working with the Life is Beautiful festival in downtown Las Vegas when he was interviewed for this article because, as we found out, he truly believes that life is a beautiful thing.
Danielle Howard Varnado
INTIX member Danielle Howard Varnado is a born-and-raised Chicagoan who moved to Las Vegas in 2005 while working in the airline industry and with dreams of attending college. There, she found herself in a ticketing career and discovered the INTIX community.
If a movie were ever made about Josh Ziegenbusch’s life, it would almost certainly have that warm apple pie feel to it — the story of a young boy who grew up on his family’s farm in rural Ohio and, blessed with a traditional upbringing and strong work ethic, goes off to college and later finds himself rubbing shoulders with some of the greatest baseball players in America. Oh, and movie star Brad Pitt, too!
Like so many others in ticketing, Skypp Cabanas fell into it almost by accident. He started with dreams of spending life on the stage but ended up building a highly successful career in the ticket office.
In his position on the ‘front lines’ of entertainment, Jason Varnish, Founder of Box Office Management (BOM) Advisers, a North American ticketing operations and event staffing agency, says he likes to walk the talk.
It is a fairly good bet that someone who grew up immersed in arts and culture will themselves be creative, and perhaps even enjoy a remarkable career in the field. This is exactly what happened with Mara Hazzard-Wallingford.
It has been said that if you have a sense of humor, you can survive anything life throws at you. That pretty much sums up Business Development Director for Booking Protect Cat Spencer’s approach to life: a big smile and a few laughs go a long way.
Being from and of the Great Lakes region of North America, it is no surprise that Paul Froehle plays the accordion and dances the polka. In fact, he did both to help promote a beer stein giveaway in the summer of 2015. Here’s the proof. It is all in a day’s work for the Vice President of Ticket Operations for the Minnesota Twins.
According to an old familiar joke, there are three ways to get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice. But Matt Cooper, Vice President at Ticket Philadelphia, somehow found four ways of his own. He got to what is arguably one of the world’s most famous concert venues first as an employee, overseeing ticketing operations; then as an afficionado, in the audience for a “riveting” performance by the Berlin Philharmonic playing the Brahms Second Symphony and the Brahms Second Piano Concerto; and later as both a performer and consultant. None of this should come as a surprise given Matt’s lifelong love of music and the performing arts.
Ashley Voorhees is one of those people who is instantly likable. This is no surprise given the neighborly manner she developed as a child growing up in Utah and which she continues to exude today as the Associate Vice President of Administrative Services for Omaha Performing Arts in Nebraska, the very heart of the friendly American Midwest.
Golf is a courteous game — a gentleman’s sport with rules and etiquettes that keep things orderly. It therefore seems fitting that the game has been a lifelong passion for Brendan Bruss, Chief Operating Officer for PMI Entertainment Group, as well as a current Board member and Treasurer for INTIX.
Less than two hours east of Toronto, there is a small community called Grafton, Ontario. Once a bustling shipping port, today it has just a few hundred residents who call the quaint hamlet home. Among them are the descendants of many original settler families, as well as Jeff Koets, Chief Operating Officer of Red61, his wife Jody, and their two boys, Liam and Noah.
Dogs, biking and baking. These are three things that fill Daren Mitch’s spare time with joy. Add to that a hugely successful career in the town where he grew up, a kind heart full of service and gratitude, and an incredible ticketing team with which to share his days, and it’s easy to see why the Vice President of Ticketing for the Phoenix Suns and Talking Stick Resort Arena thinks each day is a blessing. Here, Mitch reflects on giving back, the people who inspire and mentor him, the valuable lesson he learned from his worst managers, and how INTIX has been there for him for several decades.
Amber Leigh Patton
To Amber Leigh Patton, family is everything. The relationships she has developed through entertainment ticketing and INTIX have also changed her life. Here, the Ticket and Box Office Manager for the Pullo Center at Penn State’s York Campus reflects on her greatest love, a special mentor, being inspired by a Second Lady and the camaraderie of our industry.
As Director of Client Education and Support for ShowClix, Amy Kline is committed to the organizations she serves. Her helpful, encouraging nature reaches far beyond her day-to-day work, too, as Amy raises a wonderful teenage daughter and continues giving back to INTIX in various ways, including recent service on the Board, work with various committees and as a mentor.
After working in a variety of other jobs, Peter I'anson fell into ticketing in 2005, starting out as a Box Office Sales Assistant. Today, after rising through the industry, he’s Head of Partnerships and New Business for JM Marketing Limited in Manchester, England, and an active INTIX committee member.
The Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales and Services for the San Francisco Giants is living his boyhood dream. Here, he reflects on his love of baseball and how he turned it into a successful career, thanks to the support of everyone from his parents to his INTIX colleagues.
Chautauqua Institution’s Director of Guest Experience and Sales and INTIX board member Alison Barry is a proud mom, music fan and craft beer enthusiast who wishes selflessly for a better world. Here, she reflects on the qualities she admires in people, women in ticketing who she looks up to, a place she’d love to retire and how INTIX has given her a second family.
Citi’s Senior Vice President and Global Manager of Client Entertainment and Ticket Services (CEATS) and our INTIX 2020 Co-Chair is a proud husband, devoted father, avid golfer and lifelong Washington Redskins fan. Here, Danny reflects on playing his favorite sport, the artist he’s loved since childhood, wearing a top hat and tails during a royal day at the races, and why you must be at INTIX 2020 in New York City.
FutureTix’s Vice President of Operations and our INTIX 2020 Co-Chair grew up going to Shea Stadium. Here, Kelly reflects on seeing the final artist perform at the legendary venue, INTIX’s role in her career and her dream of living in the woods with chickens.
The Pre-Sales Manager for Red61 has succeeded in many areas of ticketing throughout her career. She lives in a small Canadian town that boasts some incredible tourist attractions while working remotely for a company headquartered in Scotland. Here, Anja reflects on her love of music, traveling the world, her most memorable moments and how INTIX helped take her career to the next level.
The Senior Manager of Ticketing and Financial Operations for the Atlanta Braves is proud to be a minority woman succeeding in a male-dominated industry. Here, Jessica reflects on the importance of friends, a talent she’d love to have, the thing she loves most about her job, and how INTIX is helping her network and learn.
The Ticketing Operations Manager for Selladoor Worldwide is a proud performer turned ticketing professional. Here, Samuel reflects on the qualities he admires most in people, his most prized possession, the places he would love to live and how an INTIX professional development grant is changing his career and his life.
The Director, Enterprise Consulting for Tessitura Network — and our conference liaison for INTIX 2020 — is a proud arts marketing strategist, baker, yogi and football fan. Here, Jenifer reflects on the best live event she’s seen, her favorite venue, three wishes she’d make, what she loves most about our industry and the important role INTIX plays in her life.
The Vice President of Ticket Operations for the Atlanta Braves is a proud husband, dad and ticketing industry professional. He puts family first and lives life just like the lyrics from his favorite song. Here, Anthony reflects on the best live event he’s ever seen, the most memorable moment from his career and the important role INTIX plays in our industry.
The Vice President of National Ticketing at Caesars Entertainment is a proud wife and mom who loves sports, her hometown and our industry. She lives in the desert but prefers cold weather and cities that are lush and green. Here, Amy reflects on a collection she really treasures, her favorite venue, the INTIX community and a story from her very first week in the ticket office.
The museum services and operations manager at Meadows Museum — and our #INTIX2019 Conference Chair — finds serenity visiting a specific type of place, in the books she loves to read and working in her garden. Here, Jennifer reflects on the best concert she’s ever seen, her favorite venue, and how her first INTIX conference experience changed her life.
The director of marketing and ticketing/championships for the NCAA is a proud husband, father and industry professional. He collects something that INTIX members will relate to while dreaming of a better tee shot and life on a warm, sunny beach. Here, Josh reflects on things he loves to do in his spare time, and the ways INTIX has changed his life.
The ticket office manager at the Minnesota State Fair is an avid music fan who values giving back to her own community and to INTIX. Gail loves being in the business of fun and helping people forget their troubles as they pass through the gate. Here, Gail reflects on the joys of her job, two countries she would love to visit and the camaraderie of INTIX.
The founder and CEO at Event Protect is a seasoned entrepreneur who admires people for their kindness, integrity and passion. Raised by a single mother, James says family is the most important thing in his life. Here, he reflects on his favorite place to visit, a random song he loves and how INTIX is a community of great people and hugs.
The East Coast Outside Sales Manager at Vendini values authenticity in people and music. A musician herself, she is a big James Taylor fan and has seen him in concert dozens of times. She also loves to travel to a country that evokes memories of her childhood, parents and a simpler life. Here, she reflects on her greatest loves, the best live event she’s ever seen, her favorite venues and how INTIX has changed her life.
Stuart J. Levy
The WICKED Ticketing Manager at 321 Theatrical Management defines himself as an uncle and dog lover with a passion for theatre and tennis. Here, he reflects on sleeping in front of opening night seating charts, his favorite events of all time, and how INTIX has delighted and motivated him as a new member.
As Director of Ticketing System Administration for Opry Entertainment, Crystal Clinton has enjoyed some of the best that country music offers. It comes as no surprise that she wishes she could sing like her favorite artists. Here, Crystal talks about her greatest personal and professional achievements, the importance of helping others, her favorite vacation spot and a life-changing activity she does with her Opry colleagues.
The Senior Consultant at the Ticketing Institute enjoys laughing and making others laugh, fishing, and the Mojave Desert. Here, he reflects on his many interests, stories (he met David Beckham) and the wonderful way INTIX changed his life.
The Director of Ticketing for Blumenthal Performing Arts has played an active role in INTIX, which, he says, gives him a sense of pride in the industry and a feeling of family. Here, he reflects on his most treasured possession, his favorite venues and riding his Harley Davidson.
The Director of Ticketing at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas loves to be around water. Here, she reflects on her love for family, driving a really cool car and how INTIX has shaped her career.
Sara Chebishev, a Customer Success Manager for AudienceView, is proud to be supporting artists professionally and personally. When she isn’t helping entertainment organizations engage and attract audiences, she’s grabbing a seat for herself – at a rock concert, the Grand Ole Opry or the Metropolitan Opera House. Here, Sara reflects on many things that she loves, including people who are loyal and honest, being outdoors, her favorite venues and spending quality time with her daughter.
The Director of Ticket Sales & Customer Service at Blumenthal Performing Arts is a big fan of music and brewing his own beer. Here, he reflects on his favorite artists, a city he loves to visit for its mountain vibe, spreading happiness and the importance of INTIX in his life.
The Miami Marlins’ Director of Ticket Operations has just become a grandmother for the first time. Here, she reflects on living in the now, her favorite authors, what she gets from INTIX and Bob the Dog.
The General Manager at Ticketpro enjoys a certain song so much that the hairs on her neck stand up when she listens. Here, she reflects on her love for reading, her humorous nature, a treasured gift from her mother and the value she places on peer-to-peer networking at INTIX.
TicketsWest’s President puts family above all else. Here, he reflects on the importance of empathy, the value of relationships, growing up as a Broncos fan and his favorite waterside town.
The Director of Ticketing Technology and Operations at Playhouse Square enjoys being at home with the love of his life and four amazing dogs. Here, he reflects on his favorite performer, an extremely sentimental possession, making people smile and the feeling of accomplishment he gets from INTIX.
The Senior Director of Ticketing at Shorenstein Hays Nederlander is a Dharma practitioner who loves helping her communities. Here, she reflects on her first concert, dream vacation spots and her most memorable INTIX moment.