The Vice President of Ticket Operations for the Atlanta Braves — and our newest Chair-Elect — 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, his most treasured possession, the most memorable moment from his career and the important role INTIX plays in our industry.
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Whom do you admire most and why?
My wife, Kelly. We’ve been married for 15 years and have four gorgeous daughters ranging in age from two to 10. Kelly is a full-time mom who manages our house, our finances and the girls’ busy schedules on a daily basis. The few times when I have the day off on a weekday and I get to be Mr. Mom, I’m ready to go back to work the next day. It’s pretty intense and you never really get to sit down.
What is the quality you like most in a person?
First and foremost, I look for personality and a sense of humor.
What is the quality you most like in a colleague?
What qualities are important to you in a leader?
Communication, having a clear vision and appreciating the people who are working for you.
What do you value most in your friends?
Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
My family — all five of the ladies in my life. Kelly and my four girls.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Playing guitar. I can play a few songs here and there randomly. I’d like to be able to read music and really play, but my brain hasn’t quite clicked yet.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having my family healthy, beautiful and happy. Being able to produce four other human beings is a pretty great achievement in my mind.
Where would you most like to live?
In an RV traveling around North America. I’d stop off for a week or so in as many locations as possible.
What is your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring. I don’t have a trophy room or a man cave. I live pretty simply. Our wedding rings are engraved on the inside with a little message that we both came up with before we got before we got married. It also has our date and it never comes off.
Who are your favorite writers?
At the moment, Mike Robbins. He’s got a new book called “Bring Your Whole Self to Work.” He does a weekly podcast, which I enjoyed listening to, has a baseball background, played in college and got drafted by the Kansas City Royals. He’s been in the speaking world and has been an author going on 20 years now. He spoke to our organization in Atlanta a couple of years ago. I enjoy his perspective on being humble, being yourself and being real.
What’s the best live event you’ve ever seen and why?
Limp Bizkit. I saw them at the Charlotte Coliseum in December 2000. I was working the event and went in when my shift was over to watch the rest of the concert. For me at the time, I was young in my ticketing career at the time and there were 20,000-plus people there. At one point, Fred Durst had all 20,000 people jumping up and down and waving their hands in unison. You couldn’t see anybody who wasn’t doing it. To me that was amazing. To see that energy of a crowd feeding off one person was pretty cool. I also enjoy seeing Cold Play live. I always enjoy their concerts.
What is your favorite venue and why?
Locally, the Fox Theatre. It’s a historic venue in downtown Atlanta. It’s a great setting inside, the ambience is great, the acoustics are great and the sightlines to see a show are great too.
What is your favorite song of all time and why?
“Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I really like the lyrics throughout the entire song. I try to live my life simply and below my means. It’s a great song and the lyrics have some great meaning to living simply.
What is your favorite place to visit or place you’d love to visit and why?
I’d love to visit Italy. Ultimately, it’s the motherland for me, where my family came over from way back when. I’d like to go over there to taste the pizza, drink the wine and trace my roots.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
Appreciate the opportunity that I have when I have it and stop worrying about what’s next in my career. Live in the moment. I’m good at that now, but early in my career I was always antsy for the next opportunity.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I really don’t have spare time with four little ladies at home. When I’m home, I’m always with the girls, whether we’re outside playing in the yard or on the playset or inside playing some games. My wife and I are big reality TV fans. We enjoy “Big Brother” in the summer months and some shows on Bravo too.
If you were granted three wishes today, what would they be?
One, I’d like to have two more kids. I did run that by my wife and she’s good with it. I’d love to guarantee that the Braves are going to win the next five straight World Series from 2019 to 2023 so I can fill up one hand with World Series rings. My wife’s dad, who we call Grandpa Dave, passed away at 56 years old in 2006, which was two years before our first daughter was born. I’d love to bring him back to meet his grandkids. He flew twin-engine airplanes, so every time we’re in the yard and see a twin-engine airplane fly over, the girls say “There’s Grandpa Dave” almost in unison. He was a pretty special guy.
What brings you the most joy or greatest meaning in life?
My family. Every night when I get home from work, I open the door and hear footsteps, then the four girls are running to me to give me big hugs. It’s a great joy knowing I have a positive impact on them and that they are so excited to see me when I get home.
Why are you a member of INTIX?
INTIX is a great network and community of peers from all aspects of ticketing around the world. I really enjoy knowing that I can communicate with anybody in any aspect of ticketing, whether it’s in the United States, Canada or Europe. If I have questions, anybody is just a phone call or an email away. I like being a member to have that great network of people to reach out to.
What do you get from INTIX?
I really enjoy the relationships with like-minded individuals. It’s really important to me that we’re part of this association, that everybody does the same thing and has the same goal in mind. We’re all trying to make the guest experience the best that we can — from buying the tickets online initially during the on sale to entering venue with no issues and allowing them to have a great time at the event. I really appreciate having those relationships with people who have the same mindset. I also like to keep up with what other people are doing and what other people are implementing in the world of ticketing.
What does INTIX give you that is different from everything else you are doing?
INTIX is a constant source of information on all things related to ticket ops, which is my specific world. There’s really not another source out there that I can go to that hones in on our side of the ticketing world quite like INTIX can.
Do you look to INTIX to learn about trends or develop relationships?
Both. “Access Weekly” is delivered right into your inbox, which is a really great one-stop shop to read about a wide variety of ticketing topics and makes it easy to keep up with what’s going on. I’m also huge on the relationships that I get from the association.
Who is your mentor?
One of my really good friends in life, Jamie Hall. He was my first boss in ticketing when I started in minor league baseball back in 1997 and was a groomsman in my wedding a few years later. We worked together again in the NBA for a few years in the mid-2000s. He’s working for Ticketmaster now out of the Atlanta office and moved here last year, so we’ve been able to get together on a regular basis.
Who or what inspires you?
Knowing that we are playing a small role in helping someone create the memory of a lifetime, whether it’s their first or last Braves game or somewhere in between. Once in a while, a lot more often than you would think, we get stories like my mom, dad or grandparent is terminally ill and this is going to be the last time they go to a game. Just knowing you are able to play a small role in a giant life memory is pretty neat.
What do you love most about your job?
I’m a baseball guy — I played growing up and all through college — and the fact that I work at a Major League Baseball facility is pretty neat for me personally. But really, it’s the people I work with whom I love most. Many of my co-workers have been here for a very long time. I’m going on season number 14 next year with the Braves, but a lot of people have been here a lot longer than I have. The relationships make it a fun place to come and do your job.
What do you love about our industry?
With ticketing specifically, everyone checks their ego at the door. We all realize that we’re in the same league, we’re just playing for different teams. Whether we manage big sports facilities or smaller theaters, at the end of the day we’re all setting up events, printing tickets and getting people through the door seamlessly.
What is your most memorable career moment?
A few years ago, I got my 10-year anniversary award from the Braves. It comes with a picture with the team president. At the time, it was John Schuerholz, who was just inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017. The award also came with a congratulatory letter from Mr. Schuerholz. Coincidentally, back when I was searching for that next big thing, I had sent letters to baseball teams and I got a rejection letter from Mr. Schuerholz at the Braves. My most memorable moment was getting that letter, putting it next to the rejection letter from years past and knowing that I didn’t give up on working for a Major League Baseball team.