Executives Spotlight stories appeared on this website starting in 2001. Some of the executive's professional experience may have changed since they were published.
Spotlight - January 19, 2002
General Manager and Senior Vice President of Sprint Center/AEG Kansas City
I was counseling an unappreciated young worker in an NBA team's ticket operations department the other day and heard myself blurt out, "Be the change you want to see in this world." It's one of my favorite phrases from Ghandi. So, I suggested she say "thank you" and "well done" particularly to the people who don't seem to appreciate her, particularly to the sales reps who drop off ticket orders - names and addresses scribbled so you can't read them - and say, "Congratulations on the sale; that's great!" She looked at me, paused and nodded. I knew she understood.
She IS the change we want to see in this world. No, not the unappreciated young worker I met...not yet...but rather, Brenda Tinnen, one of the country's finest in guest relations and arena management. Behind some of the greatest teams and events is AEG's Senior Vice President Events and Guest Services, Brenda Tinnen.
Listening to her reminisce about childhood, you'd think Brenda and her mom, a pair of heartland Americans, were characters in a country western song, going from box office to box office, dishin' out the tickets, fingerin' the coin, workin' the events. I gather she was underage most of the time, reading seating charts, doling out dollars - probably learned her math by making change. She's been married for years to Greg, raised their three grown children and kept on travelin'.
Brenda has been part of some of the most successful teams and arenas in today's sports world. The highly successful STAPLES Center is just one of her "babies". Her mentor of many years, Tim Leiweke, personally appealed to her shortly before STAPLES Center's grand opening to join the team and open the building. They hosted the 2000 Democratic National Convention, the last two Grammy's, the just-concluded 2002 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, two Laker NBA Championship seasons and concerts including U2, Eagles, Barbra Streisand, Britney Spears and thousands of other fabulous performances. Before moving to Los Angeles, she helped launch a hockey club in the desert - the Phoenix Coyotes - which became the community's favorite team and was a huge part of the successful launching of the Target Center in the late 80's, again with Tim Leiweke. In between, she revamped the ticket office at the Houston Rockets so they could accommodate the sell-outs on their streak to winning two NBA Championships.
Because of Brenda's vast experience in all facets in putting on an event, she's the one who deals directly with everyone from concert promoters, artists and their managers to Presidents of the franchises who play in her building plus the athletes who play for them, the President of the Grammy's and yes, even high ranking Secret Service officials when the President comes to town.
In the early years, Brenda mastered and headed every facet of the arena management's ticket operations. Those in ticket operations set the ticket scheme; scale the house; process the ticket sale orders whether it's cash, credit card or checks; print the tickets; manage the box office; drop off cash to the bank and service customer issues when they need to sit their best friend next to them in a sold out arena. Ticket Operations finds those choice seats for the celebrities courtside. They are the ones you MUST know when there's a sell-out. They devise fabulous computer systems and database profiles of every customer, flip through appropriate boxes and find you that hard to get seat, right where you want it. Brenda Tinnen has done every facet of each of these jobs and so much more.
Brenda's an aw-shucks, kind of gal. Never one to put herself out front. No, the only time I've seen Brenda put herself out-front is when she's out-front of every arena she manages and in the frigid cold she's handing out hot chocolate to people waiting in line for tickets at one of her box offices. Yes, Brenda's the change we want to be in this world! Thanks for everything you've done!
- Buffy Filippell
"Brenda has been able to seamlessly blend the past and the future service and technologies of our business together. She's reminded us all that the fans come first."
--Shawn Hunter, President, Phoenix Coyotes
What I do...
Brenda serves as Anschutz Entertainment Group's Sr. Vice President of Event & Guest Services. Under Tinnen's direct supervision, AEG's Facilities Division oversees the development and operation of venues that include STAPLES Center, The Forum, The Kodak Theatre, the HealthSouth Training Center, Caesars Collesseum and stadium projects planned for Carson, California, Berlin and London. Her day-to-day responsibilities include overseeing much of each of the venues event operations including guest services, booking, box office, event security, event staffing, premium seat services, premium seat ticket operations, guest relations, public relations and other related activities.
HOW I GOT HERE...
AEG; Kansas City, KS; 2006-Present
General Manager and Senior Vice President
Sprint Center/AEG Kansas City
AEG; Los Angeles, CA; 1999-2006
Senior Vice President
Vice President of Events and Guest Services, Staples Center
PHOENIX COYOTES HOCKEY CLUB; Phoenix, AZ; 1995-1999
Senior Vice President of Sales and Service
Vice President of Sales and Service
HOUSTON ROCKETS; Houston, TX; 1994-1995
Vice President of Customer Services
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES; Minneapolis, MN; 1988-1994
Director of Ticket Operations
KANSAS CITY COMETS; Kansas City, MO; 1982-1988