Sports ETA Wraps Up Successful Symposium

 Posted on: October 28 2021
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Sports ETA Wraps Up Successful Symposium

700+ Sports Events and Tourism Leaders Gather in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA (October 28, 2021) – Sports ETA, the only trade association for the sports events and tourism industry, held its annual Symposium here from October 25-28, 2021 with more than 700 sports events and tourism industry leaders in attendance. Keynote presentations were made by Civil Rights Activists Dr. Martha Bouyer and Lisa McNair, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey and Erik Moses, President of Nashville Superspeedway.

“Sports events and tourism industry leaders convened from around the country in Birmingham for the Symposium designed to connect destinations to event rights holders for new business opportunities,” said Al Kidd, President and CEO of Sports ETA. “Birmingham was the perfect host for our largest annual event for our membership.”

Numerous education programs were offered including the Sports ETA Women’s Summit and the Sports ETA Facilities Summit along with programs focusing on innovation, diversity and inclusion, new revenue models, and new event development.

“Sports ETA always does a fantastic job presenting relevant and dynamic education sessions,” said Suzanne Cecil, HBC Event Services. “This week’s program was no different and I’m leaving Symposium with more resources to help my partners in the future!”

"Education is always one of my top highlights at Symposium. It was rejuvenating to spend the week sharing best practices and learning with and from my industry colleges," said Jerrine Lee, Sports Richmond, VA. "This piece is truly what makes the sports events and tourism industry so strong."

Future Host Cities Announced for the Sports ETA Symposium

Officials from Sports ETA also announced future host cities for its annual Symposium. They include: 2022 Symposium will be hosted in Fort Worth, Texas; 2023 Symposium in Kansas City, Missouri; 2024 Symposium in Portland, Oregon; and 2025 Symposium in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“When it comes to the advancement of education in the industry, Sports ETA always provides value that drives innovation and meaningful conversations,” said Mathew Ratner, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Industry Awards Presented to Eight Members

The eight award honorees included:

  • Ariana Tyler, STS, Senior Business Development Manager, Greater Columbus Sports Commission, was honored as Young Professional of the Year.
  • Luchie Javelosa, STS, Director of Tucson Sports, Visit Tucson, was honored as Young Professional of the Year.
  • Frank Lett, STS, Senior Associate Executive Director, Director of Sports Marketing, Visit Kingsport, was honored as the Trailblazer of the Year.
  • Bonny Bernat, STS, Senior Sports and Events Sales Manager, Visit Winston-Salem, was honored as Woman of the Year.
  • Adam Andrasko, CEO of USA Artistic Swimming, was honored as Rights Holder of the Year.
  • John David, STS, CEO of USA BMX, was honored as Rights Holder of the Year.

Denny Gann and Mike Millay Inducted into the Sports ETA Hall of Fame

Denny Gann, the longtime executive director of the Sioux City Convention Center, Tourism Bureau and Siouxland Sports Authority, and Mike Millay, the retired executive from ESPN’s Wide World of Sports, were inducted into the Sports ETA Hall of Fame.


About Sports ETA:

As the only trade association for the sports events and tourism industry, Sports ETA is the most trusted resource for sports commissions, destination marketing organizations (DMOs), and sports event owners. Sports ETA is committed to the success of more than 560 member organizations and 2,400 sports event professionals. We promise to deliver quality education, ample networking opportunities and exceptional event management and marketing know-how to our members - sports destinations, sports event owners, and suppliers to the industry - and to protect the integrity of the sports events and tourism industry.  For more information, visit


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