Centerplate, hospitality partner to North America’s premier sports stadiums, convention centers and entertainment venues, has promoted Diana Evans and Kay Towner to senior executive roles at the company. The realignment follows the integration of Centerplate with the Sodexo North America Sports & Leisure segment, which was cemented in December 2017, and positions the companies to be a joint force in the North American market.
Evans is now senior vice president of marketing, with responsibility for client and consumer-facing marketing initiatives, branding and communications for the combined Centerplate and Sodexo North America Sports & Leisure portfolio. Evans has held various marketing and communications roles for the company as well as its restaurant group since 2008, most recently as vice president of marketing and communications.
“We are extremely fortunate to have Diana’s talent, enthusiasm and strategic approach to lead our combined marketing team in North America,” says Centerplate and Sodexo North America Sports & Leisure CEO Chris Verros. “During her time here, she has demonstrated an insightful and nuanced understanding of the dynamics of our business, regularly introduces creative and innovative new programs, and has been instrumental in driving new business growth.”
Prior to joining Centerplate, Evans led efforts in external communications, digital services, marketing, and events for institutions in higher education, including Princeton University and Bryn Mawr College. She also spent five years as a founding member of an entrepreneurial incubator and accelerator for innovative food brands preparing for investment. Evans holds a B.A. from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and will receive an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University this fall. She also serves as a trustee for the Westtown School in West Chester, Penn., and is a member of the executive council of the Ellevate Network Chapter of Fairfield and Westchester counties.
Towner, an 11-year veteran of Centerplate’s sales and marketing team, will assume the role of senior vice president, sales and new business development, overseeing sales initiatives for the combined Centerplate and Sodexo North American Sports & Leisure segment. A respected industry professional, Towner drives growth across diverse business segments for the company, including success with Nashville’s Music City Center, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the National World War II Museum.
“Quite simply, Kay brings an unparalleled depth of knowledge of our clients’ needs, an ability to realize positive future growth potential, and an infectious energy to everything she does, says Verros. “From team building to strategic planning, Kay is an exceptional leader in this industry who will continue to drive results for us.”
Towner is a frequent speaker for hospitality industry events, including the International Association of Venue Managers. Prior to joining Centerplate, Towner built a successful career in the hospitality industry at Sheraton Hotels, Aramark, and the Pennsylvania Convention Center, as well as a 13 year tenure with Marriott International, where she led multi-million dollar catering sales operations in San Antonio and Philadelphia.
Towner holds a B.A. in Art History from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. Additional studies include St. Andrews University in Scotland and the University of Florence in Italy.
Centerplate is a global leader in live event hospitality, “Making It Better To Be There” for more than 116 million guests each year at more than 300 prominent entertainment, sports and convention venues across North America, Europe and the United Kingdom. Strategically acquired in December 2017 by world leader in quality of life services Sodexo, Centerplate has provided event hospitality services to more than 30 official U.S. Presidential inaugural balls, 14 Super Bowls and 22 World Series. For more info, visit www.Centerplate.com.