Global Leadership

You have a story to tell, and we can help you tell it. Encore offers a commitment to excellence that is second to none. Our highly-trained professionals are passionate about delivering exceptional experiences. We are focused on every aspect of your event, from planning to execution, to help bring your vision to life.

Leadership - Encore

Ben Erwin

President and CEO

Ben Erwin was named CEO of Encore in August 2020. This leadership role follows him becoming President in October 2018. He is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the Company and overseeing the execution of its business plan.  

Erwin was hired as Encore’s Chief Financial Officer in February 2015 and was responsible for global accounting, treasury, financial planning and analysistax and product managementHe has a proven track record of developing global corporate strategies, leading finance organizations, and building high-performance teams.

Prior to joining Encore, Erwin served as Chief Financial Officer for TestAmerica Laboratories, where he led all accounting, finance, treasury, information technology and legal functions. Prior to 2011, he served as SVP Corporate Development for Cornell Companies, where he managed corporate strategy, financial planning and analysis, public market capital transactions, and investor relations. He has also held various positions at Enron Corporation and Trilogy Software. 

Erwin earned his bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science from Wake Forest University. He is an active member of MPI and is a board member for both PCMA and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) 

Outside of work, he dedicates his energy to charter schools in underserved parts of the United States. He enjoys running, traveling, and following the Boston Red Sox. He lives in Chicago’s North Shore area with his wife and two daughters. 

Leadership - Encore

Becky Sheehan

Chief Financial Officer

Becky Sheehan joined Encore as Chief Financial Officer in January 2020. Sheehan is responsible for all global financial aspects of Encore. She oversees all aspects of financial operations, including planning, investor relations, accounting and controls, treasury and tax strategy.  

Before joining Encore, Sheehan spent the last three years as Chief Financial Officer at Cars.com. Prior to that, she spent 10 years with FTD Companies, Inc., as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. FTD grew from $400M to $1.2B in her time with the company. She also spent four years with Deloitte & Touche and five years with Arthur Andersen as an Audit Partner. 

Sheehan earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Illinois State University and is a Certified Public Accountant. In her personal time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, particularly in Hilton Head, S.C.

Leadership - Encore

Whit Markowitz

Chief Legal Officer

Whit Markowitz joined PSAV in July 2000 as its Chief Legal Officer. He is responsible for the legal, compliance and risk management departments. His areas of emphasis include corporate governance, commercial transactions, corporate finance, labor and employment law.

Markowitz has worked in the hospitality and audiovisual industries since the mid-1990s, including serving as Assistant General Counsel for KSL Resorts before joining PSAV. Prior to KSL Resorts, he worked in both the public and private sectors where he practiced general corporate law, real estate, and land use planning.

Markowitz earned his bachelor’s degree in business and finance from the University of Southern California and his J.D. from the University of Denver. He is a member of the California and Colorado State Bar Associations.

In his personal time, he is a commercial pilot, avid downhill skier and scuba diver.

Leadership - Encore

Charlie Young

Chief Human Resources Officer

Charlie Young joined Encore in June 2016 as its Chief Human Resources Officer. He is responsible for all areas of Human Resources, including recruiting, compensation, benefitspayroll, learning, talent, organizational development, and HR operations. 

Young brings a wealth of operational and HR experience to the Encore family. He has more than 20 years of progressive human resources experience, and for the eight years prior to joining Encore, served as CHRO for hhgregg. Prior to hhgregg, he held various operational and leadership roles in his 21 years at Sears, working as a District Manager and Store General Manager before entering the HR discipline as a Senior Labor Relations Manager. He served as Vice President of HR for Sears Retail, and ultimately became the number two HR leader serving in the capacity of Vice President of HR Retail Store Operations and Supply Chain. 

Young was born in Philadelphia and earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialty in accounting from Gettysburg College. 

Outside the office, he has volunteered time with the Salvation Army, the United Way, and supported a team outing to benefit Feed My Starving Children. In his spare time, he enjoys exercising, travelingrenovating his home, and attending the athletic events of his kids, Charlie and GracieA car enthusiast, he also enjoys reading about the latest automotive innovations and has attended the Indianapolis 500 more than 15 times.  

Leadership - Encore

Cathy Schlosberg

Senior Vice President, Marketing

Cathy Schlosberg was named SVP, Marketing, of Encore in June 2019. She is responsible for global marketing, brand, customer experience, insights, communications and industry relations. 

Prior to joining Encore, Schlosberg spent 16 years with Aramark Corporation, most recently serving as VP of Global Insights and Innovation. She also held numerous executive-level marketing positions throughout her time with Aramark. Previously, Schlosberg held marketing leadership positions at Campbell Soup and Kraft General Foods. 

Nick Chakiris

Chief Accounting Officer

Nick Chakiris joined Encore in April 2015 as Corporate Controller and was promoted to Chief Accounting Officer in October 2018.  In this role, he manages the corporate accounting, tax, internal audit, treasury and shared services functions. Chakiris brings over 20 years of experience in variety of accounting and finance roles, including significant experience in leading external reporting functions at public companies, managing timely and effective external audits and streamlining accounting close processes.

Prior to joining Encore, Chakiris had held various progressive roles in the Media and Hospitality industries. Most recently, he was the Corporate Assistant Controller at Tribune Media Company where he helped lead Tribune’s reintroduction to the public markets as well as the accounting and finance integration for its $2.7B acquisition of Local TV. Chakiris began his career in public accounting in the audit division of Arthur Andersen in Chicago.

He is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and earned his BBA in Accounting from Loyola University Chicago.

Chakiris resides in Gurnee with his wife and two children and enjoys golfing, travelling and attending Cubs games as a long-time season ticket holder.

Phil Cooper

Chief Executive Officer, Encore Productions

As chief executive officer at Encore Productions for over 30 years, Phil brings strength, vision and years of experience to the Encore line up. His major in cinematography and theater arts at Ohio State University initially led him into feature film and commercial production; however, after he moved to Las Vegas, he shifted his focus to convention and trade show production.

Phil has since overseen Encore’s rapid growth, as well as producing hundreds of shows for a wide range of clients including IBM, Sony, and General Motors. Phil’s technical and production expertise are widely recognized and highly regarded throughout the industry. He is often asked to speak at conventions and gatherings related to event and presentation technology.

Bill Dayton

President, Casino Division

As Encore’s president of the Casino division for over 30 years, Bill couples innovation with sound management skills to provide Encore with an energetic and effective management style.

Bill graduated with honors from the University of California at Berkeley in the field of finance and marketing. Since then, he has held senior management positions with the Trump Organization, Knotts Berry Farm, Aztar Gaming Corporation, and with the Tropicana and Harrah’s Hotel properties.

Leadership - Encore

Tara Higgins

Senior Vice President, Commercial & President, Hargrove

Tara Higgins is a global business leader and 25-year event industry veteran. Having started her career on the corporate side at DaimlerChrysler, she moved to the agency side after four years, then onto business consulting and a co-founder of a start-up. Tara joined Encore in October 2019 as President of Hargrove, and SVP Commercial.

As SVP Commercial, she is leading the strategy and commercial vision as Encore continues to evolve into the most engaged and effective event company for its customers across all event types.

Tara has managed and led multiple successful event businesses that offered results-driven events, experiences and campaigns across all event mediums (in-person, virtual and hybrid) for many of the world’s most recognizable brands. This included tech startups and companies in hypergrowth mode such as Alibaba, Salesforce, Rodan+Fields and Tesla to long-standing Fortune 500 global organizations such as Cisco, Oracle, Nissan, Chrysler and Gartner.

With much time spent within corporate organizations covering portfolio planning, contract negotiations, value-based selling, event pricing strategies and ROI modeling, Tara understands how direct customers look at overall event budgets. This has allowed for more innovation and larger returns across complete event portfolios.

Before joining Encore, Tara co-founded Rival Nation, a first in mass-market sports fan platform start-ups. Prior to that, she spent 18 years in international general management and leadership at George P. Johnson, with her last four years as Executive Vice President, Global Operations.

Tara also has her Global Executive MBA in International Business from Georgetown.

Craig Hill

Senior Vice President, US Venue Operations

Craig Hill was named as Senior VP, US Venue Operations for Encore in September 2020. Prior to this role, Hill served as SVP, Venues (East Coast), from 2018-2020, and SVP, Venues (Northeast Division), from 2012-2017. He is responsible for leading all aspects related to Event Technology Operations, resulting in successful meetings and events throughout the US.

Hill began his career in Event Technology in 1999 with Swank Audio Visuals, starting as Regional Manager for the Washington D.C. area. He was promoted to Divisional VP for the Eastern Division in 2006. Prior to joining Swank, he worked for the ServiceMaster Company, LLP, and Pitney Bowes in various leadership roles.

Hill earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C.

Outside of work, Hill and his family support an endowment for lung cancer research created in honor of his sister through the University of Pittsburgh. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Tracy, son Bailey, and two basset hounds. He enjoys working outside, continually trying to perfect his backyard. Hill also has a strong allegiance to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins.

Nick Mahmood

Senior Vice President, Information Technology

Nick Mahmood joined Encore in September of 2018. In his role as SVP, Information Technology, he is responsible for driving innovation and help lead our digitization efforts across the company.

Mahmood oversees IT infrastructure, applications, Customer Relationship Management, Analytics, Oracle and IT Support structure.  He is responsible for all functions in US, EMEA and Mexico.

Mahmood joined Encore from TestAmerica. As their CIO, he led strategic efforts to modernize the business as it expanded its global presence. He has held lead Information Technology positions at Sercel Inc. and Cornell Companies. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in Computer Science from University of Houston and an Executive MBA from the Bauer College of Business at University of Houston.

Annette Moody

Senior Vice President, Product Management

Annette Moody serves as Senior Vice President, Product Management for PSAV. She joined PSAV in 2002 as Regional Vice President of Operations, and was later named to Vice President of Product Management before taking on her current role. She is responsible for PSAV’s product portfolio, supply chain, specialty services, and workforce management teams. She is committed to providing the best PSAV has to offer through these customer delivery arms.

Empowering PSAV teams across the world to take advantage of new technologies and services, Moody directs the company’s overall core technology, rigging, power distribution, and internet services direction. She also leads our workforce excellence, facilities and logistics, lifecycle management, use optimization, and repair teams.

Moody came to PSAV with 11 years of experience in managing supply and operations, including six years for a $350M division of Panasonic. In her career, she has led product management and procurement, and supported a client base consisting of large technology companies.

Moody earned her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication with an emphasis in Business Management from The Ohio State University.

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and attending concerts and events. She is a die-hard sports fan, especially for the Chicago Cubs, Blackhawks, Bears and Ohio State Buckeyes.

Andy Nichols

Senior Vice President, Strategic Accounts

Andy Nichols has served as chief operating officer for Encore since 2008. His primary responsibilities are oversight and leadership of Encore’s hotel event technologies sales and service operations.

Andy is very active in leading Encore’s hotel contract sales and strategic account management teams. Andy maintains extensive key customer relationships at the property level, hotel chain, hotel management company and hotel ownership levels. He has extensive experience overseeing major national hotel accounts, national sales  and marketing initiatives, and the management of operations at all organizational levels.

Andy has been instrumental in the growth of the industry of hotel outsourced audiovisual and technology services since 1981. As one of the original employees with Atlanta-based Total Audio Visual Services, Inc. (TAVS), he remained with the company in various executive level sales and operational roles through mergers and acquisitions with GE Capital/Technology Management Services, Carabiner Communications and Audio Visual Services Corporation (PSAV).

Andy’s long-term support and ongoing involvement in the hospitality industry’s national trade associations allow him to regularly monitor the trends and needs of meeting planners and hotel partners, to ensure the services and technology the organization provides are cutting edge and targeted to maximize productivity and to help clients meet their goals.

John Rissi

Senior Vice President, Customer, and Industry Relations

John is the Senior Vice President, Customer, and Industry Relations.  John’s focus is to create a persistent focus on the customer in the actions the company takes and to drive the organization to work together for optimum customer experience delivery.  In addition, John works with event industry organizations to further the purpose, mission, and values of Encore.  Prior to taking on this role in August of 2020, John was Senior Vice President, Sales, with responsibility for our global sales organization and all venue sales activities.

John has over 38 years of experience in the event technology industry and has held numerous positions within Encore in sales, operations, and executive management.  John is a member of the Encore executive team and resides in the Pacific Northwest.  John graduated with a BS in business from Grand Canyon University.  John has been involved with numerous industry organizations and has served on the MPI Foundation Board, the Event Industry Council’s APEX (Accepted Practices Exchange) Standards Committee (Chair in 2016-17) and most recently is on the boards of the US Travel Association and the Meetings Mean Business coalition.

John’s passions are wine, traveling, outdoor activities and especially exploring the Great Pacific Northwest.

Ken Russell

Senior Vice President, Production Group

Ken Russell serves as Encore’s Senior Vice President, Production Group. He came to Encore with more than 20 years of international operations leadership experience, focused on quality assurance, customer-oriented operations and logistics management.

Russell began his career in various operations roles and worked his way to divisional SVP and GM positions. He has also served as a consultant with various companies helping them apply disciplined data analysis to drive continuous improvement, leading to world-class, lean operations.

Russell earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration, summa cum laude, from Saint Leo University where he also won the prestigious Manley H. Dale award. He has published numerous articles focused on empowering performance.

On the personal side, he has the good fortune of living two doors from his daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren. Beyond spending time with them, he enjoys reading, and road cycling.

Mike Stengel

Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Venue Relations

Mike Stengel was named Encore’s Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Venue Relations in September 2020. He leads Encore’s focus on developing relationships with hotel chains, hospitality ownership groups and management companies. This team also concentrates on business development with individual event venues, such as hotels, conference and convention centers, and stadiums.

Stengel joined Swank Audio Visuals in 1995 as Manager of Hotel Services in St. Louis, and served as its Regional Manager, Divisional Manager and Vice President of Operations before the integration of Swank and Encore. He was appointed Senior Vice President at Encore in 2013 and led Encore’s revenue management and process improvement groups, which included enhancement of the brand through the development of the Encore Customer Experience (CX) and Service Excellence (SX) departments.

Beginning in 2015, Stengel led the global Specialty Services group, which is comprised of specialized technical solution departments supported by industry expert groups inside Encore. These include rigging solutions, power distribution, digital services, internet services, creative services and simultaneous interpretation teams. He also began leading Encore’s businesses in Canada, Mexico and South America in 2017. Since 2018, Stengel has also led the venue services team in the Central United States. Throughout his tenure, he has led and participated in the post-acquisition integration efforts of the organization to ensure adoption and development of best practices through the enterprise.

Stengel has served on the Live Events Council Steering Team and has chaired the Membership Committee of InfoComm (now AVIXA). He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Management Companies Institute (AMCI).

Stengel earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism with an emphasis in advertising and a minor in business management.

Outside of work, he serves on various local boards, including Marygrove to help with their mission of providing residence, hope and health to children in need. In his free time, Stengel enjoys scuba diving, snow skiing, traveling and attending his kids’ sporting events. He lives in St. Louis with his wife, daughter and son.

Darius Vaskelis

Chief Digital Officer

Darius leads Encore’s global IT organizations and is responsible for expansion and development of Encore's digital products organizations. He has built teams to tackle the challenges of transitioning from legacy processes and creating new digital products alongside Encore's business leaders and customers. His mission is more than designing and developing world-class digital solutions; it is to transform Encore and its industry.

Darius has extensive experience as a leader and innovator in a number of tech, digital, sales, and consultancy roles.  Prior to Encore, Darius was a partner with OneWindow, a sales consultancy focused on improving sales strategy, alignment, application and sales operations where his clients were largely technology firms.

Prior to OneWindow, Darius was senior vice president and managing director of CRM at Tectonic, a leading technology and business services company that acquired Sakonent, a CRM consulting firm where Darius was co-founder and CEO. Sakonent was recognized by industry analysts as a top firm in its field, particularly for work with the latest technology platforms like Salesforce.com. Under his leadership, the firm grew to delivering solutions for commercial and nonprofit clients in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.

Prior to Sakonent, Darius was CEO of Safepole, an innovative durable medical equipment firm. In this role, he was responsible for bringing a new patient care device successfully to market.  In addition, his background at Cognizant, Hambra Consulting and Inforte has included managing leadership, delivery and sales of strategy and technology consulting business units, and as part of Inforte's executive leadership team, integrating a major acquisition after helping drive a successful IPO.

Darius previously served as Director of Information Systems at Hospitality Resources Incorporated (HRI)/Presentation Services Audiovisual (PSAV), where he was responsible for strategic planning and operations management technology implementations.

Darius is frequently cited as an expert in technology and business strategy and has been published and quoted in various business and trade publications. He is also a frequent speaker at industry and nonprofit conferences and trade shows.  Darius holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Illinois.

Leadership - Encore

Dustin Worley

Senior Vice President of International

With more than 16 years of experience across consulting, investment banking, private equity investing and operational leadership, Dustin Worley serves as Senior Vice President of International for Encore. In this capacity, Worley oversees Encore’s operations in Latin America, Canada, EMEA and ANZPAC.

Worley joined Encore in 2016 to lead the FP&A organization before transitioning into operations to lead the organization’s Center of Excellence Performance Improvement team in October 2017. He has been in his current role since September 2020. Before joining Encore, Worley served as Vice President at Peak Rock Capital, a private equity firm in Austin, Texas.

Prior to Peak Rock, Worley was a consultant with Bain and Company for three years, working across numerous industries out of the firm’s Chicago and Mumbai offices. Before Bain, Worley worked in several professional service and principal investing organizations, including Stephens Inc., American Capital and GTCR.

Worley earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Outside the office, he enjoys running, traveling with his family and spending time with his wife, Lindsey; son, Brady; and their dog, Henry.

Regional Leadership

Our leadership team of seasoned hospitality-focused experts define industry standards around the world.

Tony Chamberlain

Managing Director, Asia Pacific

As Managing Director of Encore in the Asia Pacific Region, I am responsible for leading high-performing leadership teams and implementation of growth strategies across all business units.

I move at a rapid pace, am effective in delivering business strategy, skilled at maximising resources and leading our teams to achieve great outcomes. I have provided vision and focus through periods of evolution and great change.

I am privileged to work with such talented people across the entire business who work seamlessly with our partners to deliver outstanding events. Even after a decade with the business, I am still inspired and motivated to come to work every day thanks to the people I am surrounded by.

I love a challenge; my drive and determination has led me to complete some physical endurance tests, all for worthy causes. I most recently completed the Endure for a Cure – a 12-hour cycle challenge in support of Children’s Cancer Institute.

Tony joined Encore (formerly Staging Connections) in 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Business – University of Technology, Sydney and was an Advisory Board Member for St Vincent de Paul CEO Sleepout and has cycled Sydney Brisbane, Brisbane Sydney, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro as well as walking the Kokoda track.

David Campbell

Managing Director, Canada

David Campbell is Encore Canada’s most senior executive responsible for developing strategies, driving growth, maintaining operational excellence and ensuring customer and employee satisfaction. 

Campbell has 30 years of experience working in the hospitality industry and in strategic leadership roles, including nearly a decade as the vice president and general manager of a large audiovisual firm. 

With Encore since 2015, he sets the company’s short- and long-range goals related to sales, operations, financial performance, quality. Campbell is a candid, entrepreneurial leader, empowering his staff and harnessing their energy to focus on a common goal. 

An active advisor for the RIC Centre, Campbell is also a member of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). Creating long-term working relationships is the key to his continued success, which he achieves by providing unparalleled service to each client. 

Neal Tritton

Managing Director - Mexico

Neal Tritton was appointed Encore Mexico’s Managing Director in February 2020. His extensive experience and ability as a leader in various sectors played a key role into his appointment as the ideal executive to lead the company on the right path even in the most unstable moments like the COVID-19 crisis. 

  

Neal has more than 20 years of experience in the media sector.  Worked for Editorial Televisa holding various positions including General Manager of Peru, Neal also served as Principal of Kandeo and prior to joining PSAV served as CEO of Robb Report magazine for Mexico.   

 

Neal has a Bachelor´s degree in international relations from the Universidad Iberoamericana and his MBA, from a joint program between the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the Adolfo Ibáñez Santiago de Chile Business School.  

 

As a leader motivated by the strength that all the members of the company demonstrate on a daily basis;  Neal praises the name of encore as a strategic guide in Mexico with great vision for expansion in Latin America.

Leadership - Encore

Nicholas Rudge

Managing Director - International

Nik Rudge joined Encore in November 2018 as Managing Director – International, to lead and further develop Encore’s EMEA based business and to identify new opportunities across the region. He brings with him over 25 years international commercial leadership experience.

Prior to joining Encore, Rudge held a number of senior B2B leadership roles from sales to general management. Specializing in the events and media sector with companies, including UBM and ITE Group plc. He has experience leading international operations across a number of countries and continents, as well as leading international sales groups. Rudge has a proven track record of leading strategic development and mergers and acquisitions, driving operational improvements and delivering strong underlying growth.

Rudge is committed to building highly collaborative, international teams and fosters a customer focused, creative and innovative culture, creating value for both internal and external stakeholders.

Born and raised in the U.K., Rudge has spent the last 12 years living in the Netherlands with his wife and three daughters. Outside of work, he is a keen sports fan who enjoys cycling and tennis, as well as reading about history and watching live music.