People News: Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, Sodexo Live!, Los Angeles Convention Center and More Promote Senior Level Staff, Make New Hires

January 17, 2022

The new year has kicked off with a bang as event-related organizations continue their hiring and promoting frenzy, filling new roles and rewarding top-performing staff with more senior titles. Take a look!

Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

As part of its recent leadership restructure, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp (NCVC) has made several senior level promotions and added a new marketing lead to its team.

Deana Ivey has been elevated to president of the organization, while Butch Spyridon retains the title of CEO. Ivey, who has been with the organization since 1997, previously served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer, while Spyridon has held the dual title of president and CEO since 1991. 

Together, Spyridon and Ivey were instrumental in leading Nashville’s global branding as Music City. They oversaw and coordinated the organization’s marketing and sales efforts, creating and producing successful large annual concert events, including Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th and New Year’s Eve in Nashville. They also played key roles in hosting and promoting the 2019 NFL Draft, creating the Good to Go health and safety program and bidding on the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The duo also co-produced and helped lead the creation of two award-winning Nashville documentaries: For the Love of Music: The Story of Nashville and It All Begins With a Song. 

Twenty-year CVB marketing veteran Scott Schult has assumed Ivey’s former role of CMO. He comes to the NCVC after spending 12 years as executive vice president of marketing for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and nine years with the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Additionally, four additional staff in senior positions have been promoted, including Andrea Arnold, from senior vice president, public affairs to chief public affairs officer; Adrienne Siemers, from senior vice president, sales to chief sales officer; Marie Sueing, from senior vice president, diversity and inclusion, to chief diversity officer; and Heather Middleton, from vice president, PR to senior vice president, marketing.

Sodexo Live! 

Sodexo Live! has hired industry veteran Colleen Brzozowski as its new director of venue sales. Bringing more than 25 years of hospitality industry experience to this newly created role, Brzozowski is responsible for driving event bookings for the hospitality company’s extensive venue portfolio. She most recently served as the director of national accounts with ACCESS Destination Services and previously served in high-performing sales functions with KSL Resorts, Krisam Group and the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. 

Los Angeles Convention Center

The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) has promoted Ben Zarhoud from vice president of finance to assistant general manager. Zarhoud joined the facility in 2018 with a background in accounting and finance management, and prior to joining the downtown Los Angeles facility, spent six years in senior management at AEG and AXS Group LLC and six years at Deloitte & Touche LLP.

Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB) has recently announced the appointment of a new board member and two staff promotions. 

Chris Marsella, president of Marsella Development Corporation, has been appointed to the PWCVB board of directors. He brings more than 20 years of experience in real estate investment and development and has long been active in the downtown community, serving on the boards of the Providence Foundation and the Providence Preservation Society for nearly two decades.

Additionally, 30-year hospitality industry veteran Anissa Ladd has been named director of sales after serving as director of national accounts since joining the PWCVB in 2018, while Jonathan Walker has been promoted to sports sales manager within the RI Sports Commission (RISC). He brings more than eight years of experience in the Rhode Island hospitality and sports markets and most recently served in a coordinator role since joining the RISC in 2019. 


Live and digital experience agency MSM Inc. has promoted Gary Collins to vice president of operational excellence. In addition to his previous responsibilities as director of operations, Gary now oversees quality management, as well as the agency’s procurement and project management departments.

Since beginning his career with MSM nearly 17 years ago in the warehouse, where he focused on shipping and receiving, including inventory control and barcode management, Collins has gained invaluable experience in multiple departments including procurement, production, project management and operations. 

Owensboro Convention Center 

Spectra, provider of venue management to the Owensboro Convention Center in Owensboro, Ky., recently made several staff promotions and welcomed new members to its team. They include:

  • Josh Gann as the new director of sales, who brings more than 20 years of sales experience, 10 of them in a sales leadership role, to the team. 
  • J.T. Pedley, returning to the facility as senior sales manager. He previously worked in the convention center’s sales department for four years before moving to Townsquare Media. 
  • Kaitlyn Alvey, as social sales manager, responsible for working with the facility’s party and weddings business. She recently graduated from Brescia University with a bachelor’s degree in business. 
  • Jerry Jeffries, tapped as the new operations manager. He comes to the convention center from Franklin, Tenn., where he was the director of facilities for a wedding venue and an amphitheater. 
  • Lexi Lundy, joining the team as event coordinator. She obtained her degree at Murray State University in nonprofit leadership management, specializing in special event planning. 
  • Rena Hamilton, promoted to banquet manager. She began working at the convention center as the team leader with a nonprofit organization and later as a part-time bartender.  

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