Drawing on the expertise showcased during the transformation of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Amalie Arena under Jeff Vinik, Vinik Sports Group (VSG) delivers world class experiences and events for its partners and those that they serve. VSG features a leadership team with decades of experience in the sports and entertainment industries; leaders who focus on each client’s unique needs before developing strategies and delivering successful solutions in the multimedia sales, event management, facility operations, and guest services verticals. VSG maintains a preference for long-term win-win partnerships, but it remains nimble enough to manage individual events and short-term opportunities for its customers.

VINIK SPORTS GROUP VALUES

TEAM | Empowering Team Members

BRAND | Building an Authentic Brand

SERVICE | Providing World-Class Plus Service

EXCELLENCE | Striving for Excellence

COMMUNITY | Giving Back to Our Community

Our Team

 

VSG Leadership

Jeff Vinik

Owner/Chairman

Jeff Vinik purchased the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 3, 2010, promising a comprehensive transformation of the franchise while pledging to make a significant positive impact in the Tampa Bay community, and he has delivered. Upon acquiring the Lightning, Vinik vowed to make the organization “world-class,” creating an unrivaled fan experience while putting together a team of which Tampa Bay sports fans would be proud, on and off the ice.

As Vinik enters his 10th year of ownership, the Lightning are recognized nationally as one of the top organizations in North American sports, having appeared in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference Final four times (2011, 2015, 2016, 2018), advancing to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015.

Steve Griggs

Steve Griggs

Chief Executive Officer

Steve Griggs has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Tampa Bay Lightning and AMALIE Arena for the past four years. Griggs, who joined the organization as Chief Operating Officer in 2010, is responsible for all the organization’s business operations, including all concerts and events at AMALIE Arena and the Yuengling Center on the campus of the University of South Florida.

A 29-year veteran of the sports and entertainment industry, Griggs has also worked for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the Minnesota Wild and the Orlando Magic, playing an instrumental role in the opening of new venues in all three locations. While in Tampa, Griggs has led the organization to unprecedented heights in the industry; highlights including more than 200 consecutive sellouts for the Lightning and the number one ranking in ESPN’s annual Ultimate Sports Rankings for 2016.

Jarrod Dillon

Jarrod Dillon

Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer

Jarrod Dillon serves as Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer, joining the company in 2015. In his leadership role Dillon oversees Ticket Sales, Service and Operations; Suite and Premium Sales and Service; Corporate Partnership Development and Activation; Marketing, and Consumer Marketing, along with the Analytics and Strategy groups. He also manages VSG Commercial Sales, inclusive of Corporate Partnership Development and Activation for the University of South Florida Athletics Department and the Yuengling Center.

An accomplished sales and marketing executive with a successful track record and vast experience in corporate partnerships, marketing and all aspects of ticket sales and service, Dillon joined the Lightning from the San Diego Padres where he served as vice president of ticket sales and service, starting in 2009. During that time, the Padres ticket sales department twice scored the best performance rating in MLB by a Sports Business Journal secret shopper study.

Casey Rodgers

Chief Financial Officer

Casey Rodgers serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Vinik Sports Group, which operates the Tampa Bay Lightning, Amalie Arena, and the Yuengling Center. He joined the company in 2017 after working for Feld Entertainment. Rodgers is a senior executive with diverse international and domestic industry experience who provides corporate strategy that helps drive companies to record success. He is adept at forcasting trends and working with operational executives to improve cash flow and profitability while improving customer relations.

Rodgers has held key roles in avaiation, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, consumer products, entertainment, and sports. In addition, his experience includes the restructuring of several finance, people operations, and legal departments, the implementation of advanced software systems, and improvement in cash flow and profitability through strong forecasting and accountability processes.

Darryl Benge

Executive Vice President and Arena General Manager

Darryl Benge manages the day-to-day operations of all facilities for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Amalie Arena and the Yuengling Center at the University of South Florida. In his current role as Executive Vice President and Arena General Manager, Darryl leads a diverse team of operational and event professionals for one of the busiest arenas in North America. He also provides leadership, support and advisory services at other Jeff Vinik interests such as JV Concessions, which is a joint venture operation at Tampa International Airport.

Darryl is a founding board member of the Green Sports Alliance which began in 2010, currently serving as secretary. The Alliance inspires and supports over 500 professional sports leagues, college conferences, sports governing bodies, colleges, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace environmentally preferable practices.

Derrick Brooks

Derrick Brooks

Executive Vice President of Corporate & Community Affairs

Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks has been with the organization since 2011 when he was named President of the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm. Brooks currently serves as Executive Vice President for Corporate and Community Affairs for VSG while also serving as co-chairman of the local organizing committee for Super Bowl LV.

Brooks earned his bachelor’s and masters degrees from Florida State University where he was a three-time first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection. He is recognized often for his work in the community, was named a recipient of the 2000 Walter Payton/NFL Man of the Year Award, and has been honored with several local community awards for his work in the Tampa Bay area.

Kevin Preast

Kevin Preast

Executive Vice President of Event Management

Kevin Preast serves as the Executive Vice President of Event Managment for Vinik Sports Group, a position he has held since joining the company in 2015. Preast is an experienced booking and marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He graduated from University of South Florida before joining Tampa’s “Ice Palace” team in 1996 as Executive Services and Sales Manager. Preast also worked for the arena and the Lightning as Group Sales and Service Manager before joining the Tampa Bay Rays in 1999 and Phillips Arena later that same year where he worked in a variety of roles with the arena and its professional sports teams including the Atlanta Thrashers (NHL), the Atlanta Hawks (NBA) and the Atlanta Dream (WNBA).

Bill Wickett

Bill Wickett

Executive Vice President of Communications

Bill Wickett serves as the Executive Vice President of Communications and has been with the Lightning and Vinik Sports Group since 1999. Prior to joining the Lightning, Wickett worked in Detroit, Michigan, where he served as Director of Media Relations for the Detroit Pistons of the NBA for six seasons. In his current role, Wickett oversees all communications and community relations efforts and strategies for the Lightning and VSG, also consulting on public relations and communications strategies for Vinik Family Office and the Vinik Family Foundation.

The 1989 University of Michigan graduate serves as a member of the board of directors for various local non-profit agencies, including the Florida Sports Foundation, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation, the Positive Coaching Alliance and the Lightning High School Hockey League.

Elizabeth Frazier

Elizabeth Frazier

Senior Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Initiatives and Executive Director of the Lightning Foundation

Elizabeth Frazier is in her ninth season with the Tampa Bay Lightning as Senior Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Initiatives and Executive Director of the Lightning Foundation. She has led a transformation of the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Relations departments, including the development of the Lightning Community Heroes program to recognize inspirational individuals throughout the community while donating over $20M over a ten year period to eligible non-profits, the creation and launch of an organization-wide employee volunteer program called C.H.A.R.G.E, the launch of the Community Heroes of Tomorrow program, and the creation and execution of dozens of impactful arts, literacy, and community outreach programs throughout the greater Tampa Bay community.

Prior to working with the Lightning, Elizabeth lived in the Washington D.C. area, where she held Director positions in Operations, Communications and Senior Board Governance and Philanthropy with the SEED Foundation, a national non-profit that provides innovative educational opportunities to at-risk youth.

Lorisse Garcia

Lorisse Garcia

Senior Vice President of People Operations

Lorisse Garcia started with the Tampa Bay Lightning as a consultant and now serves as the organization’s Senior Vice President of People Operations. Since Lorisse joined the Lightning full time, the People Operations department developed an employee experience and environment at both AMALIE Arena and the Yuengling Center that emulates the world class guest experience for which the company has become so well known.

Before working as a consultant, Garcia spent 16 years in the financial sector and 20 years in sports and entertainment, 18 of those with the Orlando Magic. While with the Magic, the Rollins College graduate worked in a variety of executive and leadership roles in the areas of talent development, leadership development, and executive recruting, also serving nine seasons as Vice President of Human Resources and Administrative Services.

Mary Milne

Andrew McIntyre

Senior Vice President of Technology and Innovation

Andrew McIntyre serves as the Senior Vice President of Technology & Innovation for Vinik Sports Group, a position he has held since joining the company in May of 2019. McIntyre is an experienced technology professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1999. Before joining the Vinik Sports Group, Andrew worked as the Vice President of Technology for the Chicago Cubs. During his time at the Cubs, Andrew led the design and implementation of the technology infrastructure for the Dominican Republic Training Academy, launched in April 2013, and the spring training facility, launched in Nov 2013, and the 1060 Project. The 1060 Project included a 5 year restoration effort of Wrigley Field while also developing a mixed use office & commercial building, a 50,000 sq ft open-air plaza, and a 175 room boutique hotel. Andrew led the vendor & platform selection and implementation of the wired and wireless network (cellular and WiFi), data center technologies, audio visual, communications platforms, and broadcast cabling infrastructure.

Mary Milne

Mary Milne

Senior Vice President of Guest Experience

Mary Milne is currently in her 21st year with the Tampa Bay Lightning and AMALIE Arena. As Senior Vice President of Guest Experience, Milne is responsible for the overall service that is provided to all guests and visitors for every event that takes place at AMALIE Arena and the Yuengling Center. Milne has also overseen the development and execution of the organization’s revolutionary “Blue Ribbon Service” initiative, which has led to record sales and renewal rates.

Milne graduated from Longwood University with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and then went on to earn her master’s degree in sports administration from Eastern Kentucky University.

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401 Channelside Drive
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