Lightning Ownership, Executive & Front Office Team
Chairman and Governor - Jeff Vinik
Jeff Vinik purchased the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 3, 2010, promising a comprehensive transformation of the franchise and aiming to secure its place as a leader in the Tampa Bay community. Vinik is the Chairman of the Lightning and the club's Governor on the NHL's Board of Governors, also serving on the Board's Executive Committee.
Upon purchasing the Lightning, Vinik, 53, pledged to make the Lightning organization "world-class," creating a first-rate fan experience while putting together a team of which Tampa Bay sports fans would be proud, on and off the ice. He promptly hired hockey Hall-of-Famer and four-time Stanley Cup Champion Steve Yzerman as Vice President and General Manager, and then named lauded sports business executive Tod Leiweke to be the Chief Executive Officer of the Lightning and the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The transformation of the franchise began to take shape shortly thereafter with a much-improved product on the ice and a series of announcements off the ice demonstrating Vinik's desires to create a world-class franchise. In January of 2011, Vinik detailed a vision that included a team inspired by championship values; an organization committed to Tampa Bay, giving back through leadership, mentoring and charitable contributions; and a state-of-the-art venue.
That vision began with a new logo and jersey system that debuted for the 2011-12 NHL season, and a $42 million privately-funded building renovation to the publicly-owned Tampa Bay Times Forum. The renovation continued during the summer of 2012 when the organization announced that it would install the largest center-hung, high-definition vision board in any arena in the United States and Canada, a $5 million investment, again privately-funded.
Vinik, along with his wife, Penny, made an impact in the Tampa Bay community in 2011 by pledging more than $10 million to be donated through the Lightning Foundation over five years to the Lightning Community Heroes program. The Heroes program honors a local hero and a representative charity with $50,000 at each of the team's 41 home games during the season. The organization also committed 4,000 hours of community service each season through its employee volunteer program, C.H.A.R.G.E. (Contributing Hours Across our Region through our Generous Employees).
Vinik and his family increased their commitment to Tampa Bay in 2012, moving to South Tampa from the Boston area. In addition, he moved the headquarters of his company, Vinik Asset Management, to Tampa's downtown. Jeff and Penny served as the chairs of the American Cancer Society's 2012 Cattle Baron's Ball, and the family extended its charitable giving in the Tampa Bay community beyond the heroes program, directly touching local non-profits, including the Florida Aquarium. Penny Vinik is the chair of a community arts initiative which is enabling Tampa Bay-based artists to display their works throughout the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
On the ice, Vinik's Lightning have experienced several short term successes while Steve Yzerman has implemented a plan for the organization, with the goal of being competitive at a high level in the NHL for years to come. During Vinik's first full year of ownership (2010-11) the Bolts tied the franchise record for wins in a season with 46 and posted the second-most points in team history with 103 before advancing to the NHL's Eastern Conference Finals and coming within one win of playing for the Stanley Cup.
In 2011-12, the Lightning tied a franchise record for home wins, registering 25 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The organization was also proud to have its minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, win the American Hockey League's Calder Cup while boasting the league's most valuable player, defensive player of the year and its coach of the year; surely good signs for the Lightning's future.
Vinik is the founder and chairman of Vinik Asset Management and a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox. He grew up in New Jersey, and attended high school at Riverdale Country School in New York City, before graduating from Duke University (1981) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and Economics with Summa Cum Laude honors. Jeff went on to earn his Masters of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School, graduating in 1985.
Jeff was awarded Duke University's Distinguished Young Alumni Award in 1994 and serves on the Duke University Board of Trustees. In May, 2012 the family made a $10 million donation to Duke to establish a faculty challenge fund that will be used to hire and retain professors who focus on complex societal challenges such as engineering and related areas in energy, global health, brain sciences and the environment.
Jeff and Penny reside in South Tampa and have four children: Danny (22), Jared (20), Kyra (18) and Joshua (11).
Chief Executive Officer and Alternate Governor - Tod Leiweke
Tod Leiweke (LIGH-wih-kee) was named chief executive officer of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, which includes the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Storm and the Tampa Bay Times Forum, on July 26, 2010. Now entering his third NHL season, he also serves as an Alternate Governor for the Lightning.
Leiweke, who is in his 30th season in professional sports, has led the team's transformation off the ice which has resulted in the more than doubling of the team's season ticket base while vastly increasing its footprint in the community. Under Lieweke's guidance, the Lightning have seen a nearly 20 percent increase in overall attendance from 2009-10 through 2011-12.
Instrumental in kick starting the transformation of the franchise, Lieweke helped to develop the Bolts' new jersey system and logo, with all Season Ticket Members receiving their own revolutionary jersey with a chip implanted in the sleeve that grants them access to a variety of discounts and benefits. The Times Forum itself underwent a $42 million, privately-funded renovation during the summer of 2011 and received a new $5 million high-definition center-hung scoreboard, the largest in the United States and Canada, during the summer of 2012. The newly renovated arena was lauded by fans, media and partners alike during the 2011-12 season. The project, spearheaded by Leiweke, included Coors Light Between the Pipes, a signature stage with pipe organ; new seats throughout the arena; reconstructed executive suites; the Bud Light Party Deck, a paradise deck overlooking downtown; and a grand entry with an improved, guest-friendly McDonald's Ticket Office and merchandise store, Tampa Bay Sports. Under Leiweke the team continues to grow as a member of the community, exceeding the 4,000 hours of community service committed through its employees this past season through the C.H.A.R.G.E. program and the distribution of $10 million over five years to community heroes through the Lightning Foundation and the Vinik family.
Leiweke was previously CEO of the Seattle Seahawks and Vulcan Sports & Entertainment for seven years, also overseeing all aspects of the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Sounders FC. He was also president of First & Goal Inc., which operates Qwest Field and Qwest Field Event Center for the state of Washington. Leiweke was recognized for his efforts in 2009 being named a finalist by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal as the 2009 Sports Executive of Year. Along with that nomination, he was named CEO of the Year by the Puget Sound Business Journal and also CEO of the Year by the Seattle Sports Commission.
In 2005, Qwest Field was named by The Sporting News as the finest venue in the NFL. That year the team won the NFC Championship and advanced to their first Super Bowl. The on-field success also helped spur an unprecedented string of sellouts. His leadership also helped Sounders FC set a MLS record for season ticket sales more than six months before the first home game. Leiweke chaired a 2008-09 United Way campaign that raised more than $100 million to help fight family homelessness, capped with a climb of Mt. Rainier (14,410 ft) alongside Roger Goodell. Leiweke was instrumental in forming the "Spirit of 12" Partnerships which raised more than $1.5 million under him.
Before joining the Seahawks, Leiweke served as president of the Minnesota Wild and chief operating officer of Minnesota Sports & Entertainment. Under Leiweke's leadership the Sports Fans of America Association, Inc. awarded its 2003 NHL Sports Fan's Quality Award to the Wild as the league's "Fan Friendliest" team. In an ESPN survey conducted in 2003, the team was ranked number one for stadium experience and number two for fan relationships among 123 sports franchises. Leiweke has also held executive positions with the PGA Tour, the NHL's Vancouver Canucks and the NBA's Golden State Warriors.
Leiweke, 52, is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and is married to Tara. The couple has two children, Tyler and Tori, and the family resides on Davis Islands in Tampa.
Chief Operating Officer- Steve Griggs
Steve Griggs was named chief operating officer of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Storm and Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 31, 2010. As chief operating officer, Griggs oversees the organization's broadcast and community relations, game presentation, and marketing departments; ticket sales and service, suite sales and service, and the sponsorship department, which includes corporate partnerships, service, and activation. He also oversees all concerts and events held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
During Griggs' first year on the job, the Lightning saw a significant increase in attendance from the previous season, jumping nearly 12 percent from 15,497 per game in 2009-10 to 17,269 in 2010-11. Under Griggs' leadership the team has seen nearly a 20 percent increase overall in average attendance from 2009-10 to 2011-12. That can be attributed to increases in brand management, increased value, enhanced customer service as well as overall fan experience. Under Griggs' guidance, the Bolts also have seen a significant boost in corporate partnerships as well as higher renewal and activation rates. The Lightning have also posted season ticket renewal rates of more than 90 percent and nearly doubled the base between the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons with the addition of new sales.
Griggs was instrumental in generating the Bolts' "ALL IN" campaign that galvanized the fan base and served as a rallying cry during the 2010-11 season and the team's subsequent trip to within one game of the Stanley Cup Final. He then followed that up with the unifying "Be the Thunder" campaign, now entering its second consecutive season, which pays tribute to Lightning passionate fan base and makes them part of the team. Griggs played an integral role in the Times Forum's $42 million transformation which has enhanced the experience of fans, season ticket members, and corporate partners. During the summer of 2012, the building transformation continued with the installation of a $5 million, center-hung scoreboard that is the largest in the United States and Canada. In 2011 ESPN the Magazine named Tampa Bay the No. 2 team of 123 major sports franchises in their "Ultimate Standings", marking the second consecutive year a team with Griggs as an executive had ranked second, after he helped the NBA's Orlando Magic earn the distinction the previous year.
Before coming to Tampa Bay, he spent nearly three years serving as executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Magic. During his time in Orlando, Griggs oversaw the Magic's corporate partnerships, premium sales and services, season ticket services and operations, brand management, event presentation and ticket sales departments. Griggs also directed strategic sales and marketing efforts for the new Amway Center, which opened in October 2010.
Griggs was extremely influential in growing the Orlando season ticket base to more than 14,000, sporting 75 consecutive sellouts and ranking second overall in the ESPN Ultimate Standings. Griggs also established the Champions of the Community partnership program for the team's founding partners of the new Amway Center. He led all digital signage platforms that made the Amway Center one of the most technologically advanced buildings in North America. Griggs re-engineered the Magic brand while introducing a new primary logo, new third jersey and establishing the BeMagic and EnterLegend campaigns.
Prior to joining the Magic, Griggs served for eight years as the vice president of sales and service for the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League and its parent company, Minnesota Sports & Entertainment (MSE). In Minnesota, Griggs' responsibilities included overseeing all Minnesota Wild and MSE ticket sales and service, corporate sales and service, suite sales and service, retail operations as well as group and event suite sales. Under his leadership, the club entered its seventh NHL season having sold out every home game in franchise history, posting 284 consecutive sellouts.
Prior to joining the Wild, Griggs served as the vice president of corporate sales and service for Sportsco International, LP and SkyDome. The Aurora, Ontario native also worked for both the NBA's Toronto Raptors (1994-99) and the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs (1998-99) as the director of ticket sales and service, where he led the sales and relocation efforts from historic Maple Leaf Gardens into Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Griggs, and his wife, Janell, have a daughter, Madeline, and a son, Jack.
|Executive Vice President of Finance and Strategic Planning||Robert Canton||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Executive Vice President of Marketing & Communications||Bill Wickett||Email LinkedIn|
|Executive Vice President of Sales||Jamie Spencer|
|Executive Vice President and General Counsel||Jim Shimberg||Email Twitter|
|Sr. Vice President of Partnership Development & Activation||Bill Abercrombie||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Sr. Vice President of Marketing||Lynn Wittenburg||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Vice President of Corporate Relations||Phil Esposito|
|Vice President of Corporate Partnerships||Kyle Draper||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Vice President of Human Resources||Keith Harris|
|Vice President of Corporate & Community Affairs||Dave Andreychuk||Email Twitter|
|Vice President of Guest Experience||Mary Milne|
|Vice President of Event Booking||Elmer Straub|
|Vice President of Ticket Operations||Jim Mannino||Email LinkedIn|
|Vice President of Game Presentation||John Franzone|
|Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Initiatives||Elizabeth Frazier|
|Vice President of Finance||Doug Riefler|
|Executive Assistant to Owner and CEO/EVP Finance||Sharon Love Lewis|
|Executive Assistant to COO and General Counsel||Sabrina Odria|
|General Manager - Tampa Bay Times Forum||Darryl Benge|
|General Manager – SportService||Bruce Ground|
|Director of Security||Maurizio Manetti||Email LinkedIn|
|Director of Facility and Event Services||Rhett Blewett|
|Building Operations Manager||Steven Butler|
|Assistant Building Operations Manager||Bill Weldon|
|Guest Services Manager||Tripp Turbiville||Email Twitter|
|Platinum Services Manager||Susan Danielik|
|Ice Operations Manager||Tom Miracle||Email LinkedIn|
|Assistant Manager of Security||Kevin Alexander|
|Manager of Facility Services||Ken Ramella|
|Facility Services Manager (Days)||Amy Ford|
|Facility Services Manager (Nights)||Stevan Simms|
|Hospitality Coordinator||Samantha Nemeroff|
|Event Operations Coordinator||Scott Wilson|
|Operations Analyst||Sam Carr|
|Audio / Visual Manager||JC Kent|
|Director of Production Systems||Jorge Rosell|
|Senior Video Coordinator||Brian Fink|
|Video Coordinator||Zach Peterson|
|Motion Graphics Coordinator||Josh Boyd|
|Motion Graphics Coordinator||Ryan Bushey|
|A/V Coordinator||Jim Wilson|
|Television Play-by-Play Announcer||Rick Peckham|
|Television Color Analyst||Bobby "The Chief" Taylor|
|Television Rinkside Reporter||Paul Kennedy||Email Twitter|
|Radio Play-by-Play Announcer||David Mishkin||Email Twitter|
|Radio Analyst||Phil Esposito|
|Director of Radio Programming||Matt Sammon||Email Twitter|
COMMUNITY RELATIONS AND LIGHTNING FOUNDATION
|Senior Director of Community Relations||Kasey Smith|
|Director of Youth Hockey||Brian Bradley|
|Community Hockey Coordinator||Tom Garavaglia||Email LinkedIn|
|Lightning Foundation Coordinator||Heidi Hamlin|
|Community Relations Coordinator||Kelley Cureton|
CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP AND ACTIVATION
|Sr. Director of Partnership Development & Activation||Mike Harrison||Email LinkedIn|
|Director of Partnership Activation||Julia Wyman|
|Manager of Partnership Development||Suzy O’Malley|
|Corporate Partnerships Sales Manager||Bob Rossi|
|Corporate Partnerships Manager||Tim Post|
|Sr. Partnership Activation Manager||Erik Langer|
|Sr. Partnership Activation Manager||Bree Maddocks|
|Partnership Activation Manager||Nicole Pincus|
|Partnership Activation Manager||Amy Bigelow|
|Sales Assistant / Coordinator||Betsy Shirah|
EXECUTIVE SUITE SALES
|Director of Suite Sales||Matt Hill||Email LinkedIn|
|Director of Executive Suite Services||Amanda Straub|
|Sr. Executive Suite Sales Manager||Adam Laws|
|Sr. Executive Suite Sales Manager||Katie Valone|
|Executive Suite Specialist||Toni Angeli|
|Executive Suite Specialist||Danielle Lail|
|Director of Business Strategy & Analytics||Chris Kamke||Email Twitter|
|Finance Manager||Michelle Davidson|
|Accounts Payable Manager||Donna Clark|
|Accounts Receivable Manager||Angela Edwards|
|Senior Accountant||Tim Ennis|
|Business Analyst||Matthew Samost|
HUMAN RESOURCES & LEGAL
|Human Resources Manager||Nicole Parente|
|Payroll Coordinator||Lori Davis|
|Associate General Counsel||Danna Haydar|
|Front Desk Administrator||Audrey Flowers|
|Director of IT||Ian Steele|
|IT Help Desk||Bryan Ririe|
|Director of Marketing||Kelsey Carlson|
|Director of Digital Media||James Royer||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Event Marketing Manager||Jennifer Renspie|
|Entertainment Manager||Kelli Yeloushan||Email LinkedIn|
|Sports Marketing Manager||Erin Allison|
|Manager of Digital Media||Julie Dolak||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Social Media Marketing Manager||Caity Kauffman||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Creative Services Manager||Brittany Austin||Email Twitter|
|Graphic Designer||Tucker Brooks||Email LinkedIn|
|Graphic Designer||Carolina Bermudez||Email Twitter|
|Mobile Marketing Coordinator||Justin Savoie||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Mascot Coordinator||Patrick Gardenier|
|Web Video Coordinator||Bryan Babcock|
|Hockey Reporter||Michelle Gingras||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Database Marketing Coordinator||Patrick Abts|
|Media Relations Manager||Brian Breseman|
|Public Relations Coordinator||Trevor van Knotsenburg|
|Beat Reporter/Media Relations Assistant||Missy Zielinski|
Season Ticket Membership
|Director of Season Ticket Membership||Travis Pelleymounter||Email LinkedIn|
|Manager of Member Services||Lakisha Sharpe|
|Assistant Manager of Season Ticket Membership||Thomas Gregory|
|Account Membership Executive||Shannon Dixie|
|Account Membership Executive||Dan Schlindwein|
|Account Membership Executive||Joe Russano|
|Account Membership Executive||Vince Massi|
|Account Membership Executive||Alyson Bradley|
|Account Membership Executive||Justin Versaggi|
|Member Services Coordinator||Erin Bailey||Email LinkedIn|
|Sport Ticket Supervisor||Helen Junker|
|Event Ticket Supervisor||Bobby Loman|
|Premium & Staffing Supervisor||Missy Davis|
|Sport Ticket Coordinator||Alayn Hornick|
|Sport Ticket Coordinator||Chris Sprunger|
|Event Ticket Coordinator||Justin Andrews|
|Sr. Director of New Business Development||Ryan Bringger|
|Director of Inside Sales||Ryan Cook|
|Director of Group Sales||Ryan Niemeyer|
|Sr. Corporate Sales Manager||Trent Gerhart|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Gary Napert|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Madelyn Anthony||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Mike Lopez|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Mike Sarage|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Ryan Wellman|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Adam Lawson||Email Twitter|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Brian Specia|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Rich Sadowsky|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Jim Van Dam|
|Sr. Group Event Coordinator||Alison Goodman||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Group Event Coordinator||Brian Boksen|
|Group Event Coordinator||Oisin Crean||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Group Event Coordinator||Chris Duffy|
|Group Event Coordinator||Kate Kasunic||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Concert and Event Group Coordinator||Stephen Gerhard||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Concert and Event Group Coordinator||Tyler Thompson|
|Account Representative||TJ Abone|
|Account Representative||Emily Williams|
|Account Representative||Tony Econ|
|Account Representative||Grant Smith|
|Account Representative||Tommy Curtis|
|Account Representative||Daniel Lozada|
|Account Representative||Caroline Wright|
|Database Coordinator||TJ Aufiero||Email LinkedIn|
|Ticket Service Coordinator||Charlene Beverly||Email LinkedIn|