Sean Gillis, SVP Finance, joined Encore in 2017 and is now responsible for leading the organizations FP&A, Pricing Strategy, and Workforce Excellence functions.
Before joining Encore, Gillis served as Vice President at Pritzker Private Capital, a middle market private equity firm in Chicago where he focused on the origination, evaluation, and execution of platform and add-on acquisitions in the manufactured products and services sectors. Prior to Pritzker Private Capital, Gillis worked at New York-based investment bank Credit Suisse in the firms Retail & Consumer Investment Banking Group.
Gillis earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Amanda Armstrong was named in the top five Women of Influence by Meetings Net Magazine and one of the 50 Most Influential Meeting Professionals by Meeting Professionals International.
She is the Senior Vice President of Brand and Community Engagement, and she supports the stellar team members of Industry Relations, Communications, Social Media and Brand. Amanda is responsible for the strategic development and management of Encore’s brand story and increasing our presence and impact in the events industry.
Staying active in the industry is a top priority. She currently serves on the Event Industry Council’s APEX Critical Response Task Force and chairs the Event Leaders 100 think tank. Amanda served as the 2018 Chair of the International Board of Directors for Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and was the Vice Chair of Finance in 2016. She started her volunteer leadership path on the St. Louis Board of Directors and co-chaired MPI’s WEC in St Louis in 2011. Passionate about improving the industry, she was an advisory board member for Hyatt Hotels, the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, and Elite Meetings. She graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and received her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 2007.
Outside the office, she heads off into nature to ski, hike, camp or surf. She enjoys traveling and sailing with her husband, Jon, who loves to plan adventures in the great outdoors.
If you ask her where she cut her teeth, it was at the tech table calling the show on comms with audio visual professionals who make it all happen.
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.
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.
Annette Moody serves as Senior Vice President, Production Group for Encore. She joined Encore in 2002 as Regional Vice President of Operations, and was later named to Vice President of Product Management, followed by Senior Vice President of Product Management, Workforce, Specialty Services & Supply Chain. She is currently responsible for Encore’s U.S. Production team, Las Vegas, Hargrove Operations, and Supply Chain.
She is energized by Encore’s unique ability to support end-to-end visions for customers and in thousands of locations around the globe. The mission is to continue to build upon the current foundation to create incredible customer experiences.
Moody came to Encore with 11 years of experience in managing supply and operations, including six years for a division of Panasonic. In her career, she has led operations, product management and supply chain teams, and supported a customer 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 events. She is a die-hard sports fan, especially for the Chicago Cubs, Blackhawks, Bears and Ohio State Buckeyes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.