October 24, 2016 – Executive search firm Prodigy Sports has placed Robert J. Sullivan as president and chief executive officer of The Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA).
In his new role, Mr. Sullivan will be responsible for the planning, direction, management and overseeing of all activities and operations of the organization, the venue and associated activities. He will also coordinate assigned activities with outside agencies, providing administrative support to the board. According to Bill Robinson, chairman of the SANCA board, more than 60 resumes were submitted and the board voted unanimously on Mr. Sullivan.
Track Record of Success
With more than 35 years of experience, Mr. Sullivan comes to SANCA from Wichita Falls, TX, where he managed the Multi-Purpose Events Center (MPEC) consisting of an arena, convention center, horse exhibition center, and memorial auditorium for the past eleven years. In addition to managing MPEC, he was responsible for the management of the Convention & Visitors Bureau. Prior to that, he had been in senior management roles in a variety of communities and venues, including the Cow Palace in San Francisco; Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England; Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA; and the MetroCentre in Rockford, IL.
Throughout his career, Mr. Sullivan has managed venues that have staged amateur and professional hockey programs, arena football and indoor soccer, as well as high school, college and professional basketball and hockey programs. Over the years, he has been involved in numerous regional and international sporting activities including the Hotter n’ Hell Hundred Bicycle Race in Wichita Falls, the World Student Games in Sheffield, and the USA vs. Russia volleyball exhibition in San Francisco, to name just a few.
Furthermore, his experience also includes the concert industry, presenting events from Seinfeld to Lollapalooza on stages seating 500 people to festivals exceeding 300,000 attendees.
“Bob’s mindset that public venues are designed to provide a variety of events and activities that enhance the quality of life and economic opportunities for the citizens and businesses in the community mirrors our philosophy,” said Mr. Robinson. “We are confident he is the right person to lead Nathan Benderson Park and the great team we currently have in place.”
“Nathan Benderson Park has established itself as a premier rowing center and versatile county park hosting a multitude of community sponsored events,” said Mr. Sullivan. “I am excited to begin working with the SANCA board, the staff and Sarasota County Government, taking NBP to the next level of excellence locally and on a world stage.”
The Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates is a not-for-profit business created to manage Sarasota County’s Nathan Benderson Park, a community/public asset and world class, multi-use sports venue. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for the community it is in and to be an economic generator for the region.
Sports & Entertainment Recruiting
With over 60 years of experience in the sports & entertainment business, Prodigy Sports has established itself as one of the industry’s leading specialist boutique executive search firms. The firm has placed hundreds of candidates in a variety of business functions and roles within organizations, representing all disciplines, including senior management, sales, marketing, operations, and administration. Prodigy Sports is led by founder and CEO Scott Carmichael.
The firm’s client roster reads like a Who’s Who in the sports world, and includes these world class organizations: The Dallas Cowboys; New York Yankees; PGA TOUR; Boston Bruins; San Antonio Spurs; Miami Dolphins; City Football Group; Miami Heat; Churchill Downs; Nitro Circus; AEG; Los Angeles Kings; UFC; Roc Nation; San Francisco 49ers; Los Angeles Clippers; Los Angeles Dodgers; and the United States Olympic Committee.
The sports & entertainment field is one of the most active and expanding sectors for executive search businesses. Many C-suite focused recruiting firms are now active in it and some specialize only in the sports field itself, but all are dedicated to providing sports-related executive search and leadership advisory services. Aside from Prodigy, they are: Nolan Partners, Marquee Search, DHR International, Hartmann Mason, Egon Zehnder, Heidrick & Struggles, Ascension Sports Partners, Russell Reynolds Associates, Diversified Search, Odgers Berndtson, Eastman & Beaudine, Alden Associates, Turnkey Search, Parker Executive Search, Sports Recruitment International (SRi), Neinas Sports Services, and Collegiate Sports Associates.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media