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 pledging to make a significant positive impact in the Tampa Bay community. Upon acquiring the Lightning, Vinik, now 55, 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.
Vinik 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 as the Chief Executive Officer of the Lightning. 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 privately-funded building renovation to the publicly-owned Tampa Bay Times Forum (now named Amalie Arena) that totaled more than $60 million. The renovation concluded during the summer of 2012 when the organization installed the largest center-hung, high-definition vision board in any arena in the United States and Canada, a $5 million investment.
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 all of the team’s 41 home games each season. To date, more than $6 million has been donated to more than 200 local non-profits in honor of 125 community heroes.
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). Since the program’s inception, Lightning staff members have surpassed their goal each year and volunteered more than 5,000 hours annually at various charitable outings around the Bay area.
Vinik and his family increased their commitment to Tampa Bay in 2012, moving to South Tampa from the Boston area. 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, Tampa Museum of Art, the United Way of Suncoast, Metropolitan Ministries, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay and Tampa Preparatory School. Penny Vinik is the chair of a community arts initiative which is enabling Tampa Bay-based artists to display their works throughout Amalie Arena and she is a board member of Tampa Museum of Art and Tampa Preparatory School.
On the ice, Vinik’s Lightning have experienced several short-term successes while Yzerman has implemented a plan for the organization, with the long-term goal of competing at a high level and being an annual Stanley Cup contender. The Lightning organization’s depth has been greatly improved since Vinik bought the team, winning the AHL’s Calder Cup championship in 2012 and reaching the Calder Cup Final in 2013. Yzerman and the hockey operations department continue to stress drafting and development while the players that have had success as the AHL level have now become part of the core in Tampa Bay.
Away from Amalie Arena, Vinik’s Strategic Property Partners, LLC (SPP) has purchased numerous parcels of land around the arena in recent years, including Channelside Bay Plaza, a retail complex to the east, in July of 2014. Also in 2014, SPP announced plans for a hotel, retail and residential complex on a parking lot to the immediate west of Amalie Arena. Vinik’s hope is to revitalize Tampa’s Channel District and create synergy between attractions in the area with the arena acting as the centerpiece.
Vinik 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. Jeff went on to earn his Masters of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School, graduating in 1985.
He was awarded Duke University’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award in 1994 and he later served 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 is being 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, Jared, Kyra, and Joshua.
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 Amalie Arena , 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 Leiweke'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, Leiweke 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. Amalie Arena 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 and reside in South Tampa.
President - Steve Griggs
Steve Griggs was named president of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Amalie Arena on April 7, 2014, less than four years after joining the organization as its chief operating officer. Griggs was promoted to the position of president by chairman and governor Jeff Vinik, who lauded him for his leadership in helping transform the business units and brands of the Lightning, Amalie Arena and the Tampa Bay Storm. He is now directly responsible for all of the day-to-day business and operations of a franchise recognized as one of the leaders in professional sports today.
Griggs first joined the company on August 31, 2010, reuniting him chief executive officer Tod Leiweke, with whom he worked while at the National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild. During his four seasons with the Lightning and Amalie Arena , Griggs has managed a leadership team that has rebranded the organization and substantially grown revenues, while helping create a guest experience in Tampa Bay that is recognized nationally. Highlights include a full arena renovation of Amalie Arena at an expense of more than $60 million, the team's appearance in the 2011 Eastern Conference Final and the subsequent doubling of season ticket sales and an ultimate standings ranking of #2 among 123 major sports franchises by ESPN the Magazine in 2011.
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 and General Counsel||Jim Shimberg||Email Twitter|
|Sr. Vice President of Partnership Development & Activation||Bill Abercrombie||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Vice President of Corporate Relations||Phil Esposito|
|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 Marketing||Eric Blankenship|
|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|
|Executive Assistant to President and General Counsel||Sabrina Odria|
|General Manager - Amalie Arena||Darryl Benge|
|General Manager – SportService||Bruce Ground|
|Sr. Facilities Project Manager||Michael O'Donnell|
|Director of Facility and Event Services||Rhett Blewett|
|Director of Security||Daryl Niles|
|Building Operations Manager||Steven Butler|
|Guest Services Manager||Tripp Turbiville||Email Twitter|
|Platinum Services Manager||Susan Danielik|
|Ice Operations Manager||Tom Miracle||Email LinkedIn|
|Event Manager||Kimberly Seeley|
|Assistant Manager of Security||Kevin Alexander|
|Security Supervisor||Russell Snyder|
|Manager of Facility Services||Ken Ramella|
|Facility Services Manager (Days)||Amy Ford|
|Facility Services Manager (Nights)||Stevan Simms|
|Facility Services Shift Manager||Brendon Hite|
|Facility Services Shift Manager||Michael Silva|
|Ice Operations Technician||Patrick Jesso|
|Event Coordinator||Samantha Nemeroff|
|Event Coordinator||Alayn Hornick|
|Event Operations Coordinator||Justin Bechtold|
|Operations Analyst||Sam Carr|
|Audio / Visual Manager||JC Kent|
|Director of Production Systems||Jorge Rosell|
|Director of Production Operations||Jason Pippi|
|Senior Video Coordinator||Brian Fink|
|Video Coordinator||Zach Peterson|
|Motion Graphics Coordinator||Josh Boyd|
|Motion Graphics Coordinator||Kristen Cullina|
|A/V Coordinator||Jim Wilson|
|Production Systems Coordinator||Tyler Brewer|
|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|
|Executive Director of Community Hockey Development||Jay Feaster|
|Community Representative||Brian Bradley|
|Community Hockey Coordinator||Tom Garavaglia||Email LinkedIn|
|Lightning Foundation Manager||Heidi Hamlin|
|Community Relations Coordinator||Kelley Cureton|
|Lightning Foundation Coordinator||Amanda Puccinelli|
CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP AND ACTIVATION
|Sr. Director of Partnership Development & Activation||Mike Harrison||Email LinkedIn|
|Director of Partnership Activation||Julia Wyman|
|Sr. Manager of Partnership Development||Casey Cole|
|Director of Partnership Development||Chris Potenza|
|Manager of Partnership Development||Suzy O’Malley|
|Partnership Development Executive||Justin Versaggi|
|Partnership Activation Manager||Shannon Burrows|
|Partnership Activation Manager||Michael Wozney|
|Partnership Activation Manager||Amy Bigelow|
|Account Representative||Emily Williams||EmailTwitterLinkedIn|
|Partnership Development Coordinator||Joshua Korlin|
|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||Erin Bailey||Email LinkedIn|
|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|
|Staff Accountant||Scott Peterson|
|Business Analyst||Matthew Samost|
HUMAN RESOURCES & LEGAL
|Human Resources Manager||Nicole Parente|
|Associate General Counsel||Danna Haydar|
|HR Generalist||Charlea Jackson|
|HR Coordinator||Caitlyn Schultz|
|Front Desk Administrator||Audrey Flowers|
|Director of IT||Michael Davidson|
|IT Help Desk||Bryan Ririe|
|Director of Digital & Social Media||James Royer||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Entertainment Manager||Kelli Yeloushan||Email LinkedIn|
|Manager of Social Media and Digital Marketing||Caity Kauffman||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Digital Media Manager||Andrew DeWitt|
|Creative Services Manager||Brittany Austin||Email Twitter|
|Sr. Event Marketing Coordinator||Angela Parone|
|Graphic Designer||Carolina Bermudez||Email Twitter|
|Graphic Designer||Nick Meader|
|Mobile Marketing Coordinator||Justin Savoie||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Mascot Coordinator||Patrick Gardenier|
|Hockey Reporter||Michelle Gingras||Email Twitter LinkedIn|
|Digital Video Coordinator||Gabriel Marte|
|Database Marketing Coordinator||Patrick Abts|
|Media Relations Director||Brian Breseman|
|Public Relations Coordinator||Trevor van Knotsenburg|
|Beat Writer||Bryan Burns|
|Team Photographer||Scott Audette|
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||Madelyn Anthony||Email LinkedIn|
|Account Membership Executive||Daniel Lozada|
|Account Membership Executive||Jason Hill|
|Member Services Coordinator||Rachel Kilman|
|Sport Ticket Supervisor||Helen Junker|
|Event Ticket Supervisor||Bobby Loman|
|Premium & Staffing Supervisor||Missy Davis|
|Sport Ticket Coordinator||Hayden Buttner|
|Sport Ticket Coordinator||Krisjan Mackus|
|Event Ticket Coordinator||Christina Guarneri|
|Sr. Director of New Business Development||Ryan Bringger|
|Director of Inside Sales||Ryan Cook|
|Director of Group Sales||Ryan Niemeyer|
|Corporate Sales Manager||TJ Abone|
|Corporate Sales Manager||David Boettinger|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Tommy Curtis|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Tony Econ|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Gary Napert|
|Corporate Sales Manager||Mike Sarage|
|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 Martin||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||Curtis Walker|
|Account Representative||John Curry|
|Account Representative||Nicky Gordon|
|Account Representative||Meghan Iacofano|
|Account Representative||Mark Guckenberger|
|Account Representative||Kyle Laga|
|Account Representative||Mario Sgroi|
|Account Representative||Danny Rowan|
|Account Representative||Danielle Ratner|
|Database Coordinator||TJ Aufiero||Email LinkedIn|
|Ticket Service Coordinator||Charlene Beverly||Email LinkedIn|