Executive Bios

Bruno Event Team - Sports Marketing and Event Management - Ronnie Bruno

Ronald G. Bruno, Chairman

Mr. Bruno graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. He was involved in various management positions at Bruno's Supermarkets, Inc., from 1974 through 1995, including Chairman and CEO from 1991 until the company was sold in 1995. At the time the company was sold, it operated 250 stores in 6 southeastern states with a sales volume of nearly $3 billion. In 1995, he founded Bruno Event Team with partner Gene Hallman. During his business career, Mr. Bruno has served on the board of directors of the following public corporations: Bruno's Inc. (18 years), Books-A-Million (23 years), Russell Corporation (14 years) and South Trust Bank (18 years). Mr. Bruno actively served his community during his career and has been a Board Member of The Metropolitan Development Board, The Club, United Way and ST. Vincent's Hospital Foundation. He currently serves on the President's Cabinet at the University of Alabama and is also the former Chairman of the Board of Visitors at the College of Commerce and Business.

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Gene Hallman, President and CEO

Mr. Hallman received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the College of Charleston (SC) and his MBA from the University of South Carolina. He serves as President and CEO of Bruno Event Team. He also holds the title of Executive Director of the Alabama Sports Council, the sports lobby for the city of Birmingham and the state of Alabama. He is CEO of ZOOM Motorsports, LLC, the exclusive event promoter for the Barber Motorsports Park. He is also the co-owner of Five Star Event Catering and a board member of March of Dimes and Magic Moments at Children's Hospital.

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John Bochnak, Executive Vice President, Finance

Mr. Bochnak received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, as well as a Masters of Accountancy from the University of Alabama. He currently serves as Executive Vice President of Business Affairs for Bruno Event Team, overseeing all financial, administrative and human resource functions for the company and all of its divisions.  He also manages the Gameday Operations projects for Bruno Event Team, which entails handling all aspects of parking, traffic and tailgating for the University of Alabama home football, basketball and gymnastics events.

Bruno Event Team - Sports Marketing and Event Management - Sean Sovacool

Sean Sovacool, President, Golf

Mr. Sovacool holds a Masters in Kinesiology from Georgia State and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management/Engineering from Georgia Tech. He currently serves as President of Golf for Bruno Event Team, overseeing all aspects of professional golf events for PGA TOUR Champions, PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour and USGA events managed by Bruno Event Team. Prior to joining the company he spent ten years working on professional golf events as Tournament Director.

Bruno Event Team - Sports Marketing and Event Management George Dennis, President, ZOOM Motorsports

Mr. Dennis comes to Bruno Event Team with a wide range of experience in sales and marketing. He     currently serves as the President of ZOOM Motorsports and oversees all races and events at Barber Motorsports Park, along with Five Star Event Catering, the catering division of ZOOM Motorsports.  Prior to joining Bruno Event Team, Dennis served as the General Manager for the Blazer IMG Sports Network and area sales for the Auburn IMG Sports Network.  Additionally, he spent 10 years at Talladega Superspeedway,  home to two annual races on the NASCAR circuit, as the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing.

Douglas Habgood - Vice President - Golf Douglas Habgood, Executive Vice President, Golf

Mr. Habgood earned a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising Management from the University of South Carolina.  He currently serves as Executive Vice President of Golf focusing on the events managed by Bruno Event Team in the Western half of the country.  Habgood's duties include the strategic development, implementation and reporting of the sales and marketing plans for these events, as well as management of the on-site event staffs. Habgood has led the team to four remarkably successful Championships including the 2005 US Women’s Open at Cherry Hills, the 2008 US Senior Open at the Broadmoor, the 2011 US Women’s Open at the Broadmoor, and the 2014 BMW Championship at Cherry Hills. Doug’s leadership, creativity and strong work ethic have ensured that each of these events exceeded our expectations and will go down as some of the best events in BET history. Prior to joining the company, Habgood worked on numerous golf events on the LPGA, PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions and Web.com Tour with Executive Sports, Inc.

DeeDee Mathis, Senior Vice President, Marketing

DeeDee Mathis serves as Senior Vice President of Marketing. Mathis oversees Bruno Event Team’s Marketing Division and Ticketing Division. Prior to joining Bruno Event Team, Mathis was Vice President of Digital Sales for Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., one of the top publishers of local news and information in the United States. Mathis also spent eleven years with AL.com leading a statewide team of digital marketing executives, managers and directors. Mathis received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Alabama.

Sandy Dodd, Vice President, Legal & Administration/Human Resources

Mrs. Dodd received a Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law, a Masters of Business Administration from Samford University, and a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. She serves as Vice President of Legal and Administration for the company. In this role, she oversees contract negotiations and provides legal advice to several divisions of the company, as well as managing many of the human resource and administrative functions of the company. Prior to joining Bruno Event Team, Mrs. Dodd worked with Medical Properties Trust as Assistant General Counsel, with Colonial Properties Trust as Vice President Legal Retail, and with Baker Donelson law firm.

 

George Shaw, Senior Vice President, Operations

Mr. Shaw received a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Alabama. He currently serves as Vice President of the Golf Division and its operational efforts. His duties include overseeing the individual operations staff at each Bruno Event Team office and event, the development and implementation of logistical planning as well as selecting and negotiating with company vendors throughout North America. George has been extremely influential in the strategic analyzation of operations at Bruno Event Team.

Carrie Coleman, Assistant Vice President, Collegiate & Amateur Sports

Mrs. Coleman received a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration from the     University of Alabama.  She currently serves as Assistant Vice President for the Bruno Event Team overseeing the collegiate and amateur sports division.  Coleman has been with the Bruno Event Team since 2008 where she began in the golf division and then was promoted to the Director of Ticketing, running all ticketing operations for the Bruno Event Team events.

Liz Leckemby, Assistant Vice President, Golf

Mrs. Leckemby currently serves as Assistant Vice President of Golf and also as the Tournament Director for the Regions Tradition, a major on the PGA TOUR Champions. Leckemby has been with Bruno Event Team since 2003 where she has served as Championship Director for the 2013 US Senior Open at Omaha Country Club and the 2010 US Women's Open at Oakmont Country Club. She was involved in the sales and operational efforts for the 2008 US Senior Open at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and the 2005 US Women's Open at Cherry Hills. She currently oversees Bruno Event Team's merchandise efforts for USGA championships and PGA TOUR events. Prior to joining Bruno Event Team, Leckemby was on the US Open staff at Olympia Fields. Leckemby spent 10 years working in ice hockey and coaching at the collegiate level at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002. Leckemby has her undergraduate history degree from Boston College and also received a Masters in Sport Management and an MBA from Barry University in Miami, FL.

 

Sean Van Kesteren, Assistant Vice President, Golf

 

Sean Van Kesteren joined Bruno Event Team in March 2013 as Executive Director of the Shaw Charity Classic.  With 25 years of experience in the golf and sport marketing business, he is responsible for the overall success of the award winning PGA TOUR Champion’s Shaw Charity Classic, which has raised $13.7 million to date for children’s charities across Alberta in just four years. Before joining the Shaw Charity Classic, Sean held a number of senior leadership posts at Golf Canada, including Managing Director of Professional Championships, Tournament Director Canadian Women’s Open and Canadian Women’s Tour, and Director of Rules & Amateur Competitions.  He was a member of the LPGA’s Tournament Owners Association Board and has officiated, attended and conducted more than 150 professional and amateur golf championships.

Jay Kasten, Assistant Vice President, Gameday

Mr. Kasten serves as Assistant Vice President, Gameday division. Jay works closely with the UAB Athletic Dept. and the City of Birmingham to create a top-notch Gameday experience for Blazer fans. Jay started his career with the St. Louis Cardinals and in 2008 moved to Birmingham to join the Bruno Event Team. Over six years, he held leadership roles in golf, motorsports and University of Alabama Gameday operations. Kasten later served as Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports Commission's Director of Sports, recruiting national and international sporting events. He was designated a Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) by the National Association of Sports Commissions. Kasten is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a BS in Sports Management and the University of Alabama Birmingham with a MBA.