Dennis is the founder and Chief Executive of Major Events International (MEI). His role is to ensure MEI continues to extend it geographic and customer reach and quality control of all deliverables. His experience includes: assessing and leading must-win bids, setting requirements for complex procurement, running prime contracting business and preparations and delivery of major events.
Prior to forming MEI he has worked for Thales where he formed and ran the Land Systems business achieving rapid growth in new markets prior to establishing the Security Systems business in UK with responsibility for major events. His last appointment was the London 2012 Account Director for Atos Origin, the International Olympic Committee World-Wide IT partner having completed training in Beijing in the build up to the 2008 Olympic Games.
His formative working years were in the UK Army where he retired in the rank of Colonel with a Command and Control and Security background. He lead requirements and major bid assessment teams, commanded at Regimental level and served in numerous multi-national organizations and on operations.
Dennis is well connected internationally, having lived for eleven years outside UK, with an extensive network across many countries and industry. He is a regular contributor to journals and conferences. With MEI he has assembled a leadership team of unrivalled breadth and depth of skills and experience and used the principles of prime contracting to build a supplier community which MEI helps to win new business.
Dan Burton joins the London team from Auckland, New Zealand bringing with him 10 years of commercial experience in the Sports Management and Media sectors. He previously held the role of Head of Membership at Vodafone Warriors, the only professional National Rugby League team in New Zealand and more recently Business Development Manager at MediaWorks NZ.
His role at MEI will be to drive, build and promote the MEI brand heading up the membership programme and related commercial activities for the company. MEI’s Chief Executive Dennis Mills welcomed Burton’s appointment commenting, “Dan’s addition to the team brings strong sports industry knowledge and commercial experience to MEI, and his proven ability to grow membership programmes and foster key relationships will be invaluable to us in the next stage of the MEI journey
Chris Juett is a Graphic and Website Designer with a Degree in Media. Chris runs his own business called christinct designs and has provided graphic, print and web design services to numerous businesses.
Chris heads up the media, design and technical support for MEI. Specifically he manages and creates the advertising accounts, banners and images featured on the website.
Chris also produces all the print material for MEI, everything from the fliers to the advertising displays. He also provides staff and customer support for the website and all other technical and computer aspects of the day-to-day business administration of MEI.
Antonio is the Brazil Country Director and leads the growth of MEI in this high priority market. Based in Rio, he has an extensive network of contacts and significant experience of growing key accounts in the export market. He will be supported by 3 other members of the MEI team, and will assist international clients with their growth plans in Brazil. This includes customer contact planning, in-country training, and use of all MEI services to include shared use of office space and translation services during meetings. He will also support Brazilian companies meet new international partners and winning business outside Brazil. He will maintain close contact with all Major Events key customers and support MEI support services to this community.
Antonio é o Diretor no Brasil e responsável pelo desenvolvimento da MEI neste mercado de alta prioridade. Baseado no Rio de Janeiro, tem uma extensa rede de contatos e experiência significativa no gerenciamento de contas importantes no ramo da exportação. Antonio terá o apoio de três membros da equipe da MEI e vai dar suporte aos clientes internacionais na realização de seus projetos de instalação e crescimento no Brasil. Isto inclui um esquema de contatos com clientes, treinamento in-loco, e uso de todos os serviços da MEI, incluindo o uso compartilhado de escritórios e serviços de tradução durante as reuniões. Vai igualmente assessorar firmas brasileiras, para que encontrem novos parceiros internacionais e transações proveitosas fora do Brasil. Antonio estará em contato permanente com os clientes mais importantes da MEI , e irá dar todo o apoio aos serviços de assessoria da MEI neste país.
Michael is the principle point of contact for MEI to assist clients with funding major projects such as Stadiums or other venues. He has the access of a network of funding agencies and will make introductions, write business plans, support presentations and help justify joint funding ventures in support of major events.
Michael has a strong background in finance, senior management in large organisations and start-ups and experience in restructuring businesses. With a degree in economics from the University Hamburg, Germany, he has more than 20 years experience having been a Managing director and CEO in several companies in a stockmarket-listed private equity plc and Restaurant and Hotel group. Until 2009 Michael was MD in the financial holding of Dr. Peters group which financed major shipping and aircraft projects including the Airbus A380. In addition to CFO MEI, he supports an airline company in a growth and stabilizing process.
Michael is convinced that everything is about the people. “A motivated team with straight and clear objectives can have outstanding success. However be aware, everybody likes to earn money and therefore a well balanced P&L account with sustainable Cash flow and a debt/equity ratio in balance-sheets showing strength and power to the market is evident as background in all industries. Put these together and it works fine.”
Additionally Michael is called as honourable judge at the Hamburg Court for Trade Affairs and the Financial Court for customs for more than 10 years.
Michael is a highly experienced former CEO and CFO with significant experience in the Sports and Venue markets. As the CEO of Wembley National Stadium he was responsible for the transitioin to the new National Stadium and which was widely recognised as an outstanding success. A more detailed overview of his experience is summarised below.
He is an experienced General Manager with a financial background, who leads by creating clarity through clear planning and control. Core management abilities are leadership, strategy, commercial development and stakeholder management, which were mainly acquired in well managed blue chip FMCG organisations such as Unilever, Diageo (Guinness) and Coca-cola Schweppes. These skills have, more recently, been used to improve less well managed organisations in the sports and leisure sector and to lead the successful redevelopment of the new Wembley National Stadium. They are now being used to good effect across a number of, mainly non-executive, roles.
Previous Events and Venue experience includes:
Chief Operating Officer - Aston Villa Football Club. Created detailed commercial plans for AVFC that mapped out how to achieve a 40% increase in turnover and 100% increase in the number of Premium seats within the existing stadium at minimal capital cost. Also highlighted fundamental operating issues and initiated a programme of remedial work which should ensure that all events, in the future are properly and safely managed.
Chief Executive Officer – Wembley National Stadium Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of The FA). Responsible for guiding Wembley National Stadium Ltd (WNSL) from a perilous financial position, with a very uncertain future, to become a commercial success with much public acclaim for the new National Stadium itself.
Rob brings to clients reach within and out from Australia and New Zealand a legal entity which will ensure MEI clients get the best possible support in domestic and international markets. He will leverage his strong background in senior management generally and his experience in operational delivery of services in Major Events & Venues applying lessons learned. He is well connected with Sports Federations and organisations and has a well established network through his experience over many years in senior management experience with sporting bodies and venues alike, as well as his role as Managing Director of Turnkey Management Group (TMG) which has provided commercial, strategic and management advice to sporting, entertainment and other organisations for their event and venue related business activities. Clients have included: The Football Federation of Australia; The Sydney Football Stadium & Sydney Cricket Ground; the Western Bulldogs; Moshtix; Manuka Oval; the CA Brumbies; the Canberra Raiders and the Gold Coast Suns.
He has a Masters Degree in Management attained from the University of Technology in Sydney, and has held General Manager and Operations Director roles with the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Melbourne Stadiums Ltd (Etihad Stadium); the CA Brumbies, the Australian Rugby Union, and Assistant Operations Manager for SOCOG at the Olympic Stadium during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Geoff represents MEI in Japan where he has lived for the last 12 years and has developed an extensive network of business contacts.
His role is to advise and support MEI clients in both inbound and outbound projects. He is a Chartered Accountant and has spent most of his career advising Western companies on business developments and transactions in the Far East, and particularly Japan.
Geoff has been working independently for the last 5 years with small and medium sized clients. Prior to that he spent 25 years working for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Credit Suisse in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
James is currently based in South Korea , he majored in English and Spanish and Convention management. He has extensive experience of the convention industry and has managed over 100 conventions and exhibitions, including Sports events in South Korea and East Asia.
Previously James has undertaken the following roles:
- CEO, SJSKP Co., Ltd. (Global Marketing, Convention, Exhibitions). 2002
- CEO, Golden Speakers Bureau in Korea (The first professional Speaker Bureau in Korea) ~ 2005
- Chief Executive Director, International Affairs, The 4th Busan TAFISA Games (patrons by IOC, UNESCO) : 2008
- Former Chief Managing Director, The London Speaker Bureau Hong Kong / Asia (has managed over hundreds of world renowned vips/speakers including Former President of USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, Dr. Jacques Attali, Dr. Guy Sorman)
His current roles encompass:
- CEO, COMPASS Co., Ltd Global Consulting Group (Business Management/Consulting/Marketings, Global Negotiations, Conventions, Exhibitions, MICE Industry)
- Chief Executive/Advisor for overseas business, U-Engine Co., Ltd (IT Company producing open-source BPM Software)
Marina joined MEI in the Event department back in 2012 supporting MEI to run the Business Summit on behalf of the Economic Business Development Office of Bahrain. She came back after exploring rural Turkey to drive the new membership scheme in August 2014, installed herself in the new MEI HQ based in Bank, London.
She has also gained international fundraising experience within the ngo sector priding herself to pull togeher different international organisations to deliver a developing project in Lebanon.
She speaks her Italian mother tongue, French, and a fair good deal of Spanish. The time she spents abroad made her understand the complexity of international relations and the issues of globalisation.
Marina enjoyes meeting members and partners of MEI, her curiosity makes her a pleasant communicator always providing a variety of resources to MEI members, friends and partners.
Barbara provides procurement opportunities research and wider marketplace news for MEI. Barbara has been based in Rio to mobilise this work and will continue to lead this vital area for the Business Digest Brazil. Barbara is responsible for strengthening MEI’s research effort around the opportunities in the Brazilian marketplace and offering in-depth analysis. She also gives business support on Rio’s market, being present at events and conferences and meeting key clients.
Rio is clearly the hub for major events and Barbara is assessing the manning needs for MEI to support clients, especially after London 2012 is over.
Barbara has extensive experience working in different areas of the tourism market. She previously worked on the development of guidelines and structures for the tourism of Casimiro de Abreu (Brazil). Barbara also worked in different companies within the tourism industry and developed projects, strategic planning and business plans for several structures. She can also offer support to mission planning in addition to her other roles.
She is currently studying for a Masters in Sports Management : Tourism and Sports Events. Barbara also has an Executive MBA by Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV-RJ) and is post graduated in Sustainable Tourism Management.
Robert Gogel brings his considerable senior executive experience to support the growth plans for Major Events international as the founding member of the Advisory Board. As a former Chief Executive of companies going through transition, and working across international markets, he also supports key client meetings to ensure business alignment and maximum value is gained. His particular strengths are in business development, restructuring and turnarounds, managing growth and creating shareholder value. He has a wider range of current and previous experience will deliver value to MEI and this includes:
Chief Learning Officer for the European Executive Council, a group of European business leaders from major multinationals
Adjunct Professor of Consulting and Strategy at the MBA Program at the Institute d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris
Guest lecturer at Cass Business School, London, England
Active member of Prince’s Trust, London, UK, working with disadvantaged youth
Former member of Board of Directors of Framfab, a publicly traded digital consultancy
Former member of Board of Directors, Tescom, a publicly traded software testing company
Former member of Advisory Board of Kogod School of Business, American University, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Richard Skaife has 23 years experience in the UK Military before embarking upon his second career in the commercial sector, where he has 18 years experience as a business executive, with extensive experience in operational aspects of high tech start up businesses gained initially in the telecommunications sector.
Richard has successfully delivered multimillion telecommunications systems in international environments. He brings significant intellectual and business skills together with significant operational and organisational capability. He is an innovative and creative thinker who is competent at both Board and detailed engineering level. He is an experienced people manager, team leader and innovative team player (invented several patents and in 1999, initiated the business idea for public wireless broadband hotspot broadband operations in Europe). He has led several technical initiatives in the terrestrial and satellite mobile communications industry with experience gained in ORANGE, Asia Cellular Satellite, ICO Global Communications, NORTEL, Inmarsat as well as an independent consultant.
He is a Chartered Engineer, member of the UK Energy Institute and has a PhD in Telecommunications Security.
Having a 30-year sales and marketing portfolio with a client roster that includes The Rolling Stones, Phil Collins & Genesis and The Los Angeles Lakers, Jeff has been consistently successful in conceptualizing, developing, and spearheading innovative marketing and promotional strategies that expand brand awareness and sponsors profitability.
For The 16th Asian Games, Jeff has personally sold and manages a rostrum of corporate clients that has generated substantial revenue for the Games organizers. Based in Guangzhou, China, Jeff is considered one of the most effective managers in media relations and communications support at the global elite event level. Not only is he the sole foreigner in the Games organizers marketing department, he currently supervises the global media outreach of the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, directing team of more than 15.
He is adept at applying his vast experience to help event organizations - particularly Bid and Host nations - understand and navigate the complexities of managing iconic events. Jeff is well suited to creating and executing win-win corporate sponsorship and international communications programs for suppliers and sponsors aiming to gain business in this prestigious environment.
Prior to joining The 16th Asian Games, Jeff served as Senior Expert to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. For two years, as the sole American on the Chinese senior management staff, Jeff was part of the marketing and sponsorship team as well as spokesman for the Olympics to international TV outlets ... and managed the global press relations during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games.
He was named a “Model Worker” by the Chinese Government for his management training of BOCOG’s senior staff.
Jeff is a three-time Summer Olympic Games Sportscaster for Westwood One, America’s largest radio network and was America’s “voice” of Olympic Volleyball and Beach Volleyball, Track and Field, Tennis and Boxing at the 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games. He has also served on the White House Advance Staff for U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
Alf is a highly experienced consultant specialising in commercial and technological strategic development and implementation. With a background in ICT systems and business integration, and infrastructure implementation, his current focus is on providing consultancy services in networks and telecommunications, portfolio project management and commercial strategic development. This combination of well-rounded multi-vertical and business experience together with executive communication, presentation, negotiation, analytic and conflict management skills and a high commitment to customer satisfaction, has led to work in complex environments and challenges, not just focusing on the project/programme, but also the wider picture from a strategic viewpoint of business solutions to achieve the knowledge worker value proposition and understand Corporate Social Responsibility. He has an impressive record of delivery of enterprise projects and technical sales support in national and global accounts, with Mentoring and coaching responsibilities.
Formerly responsible for developing a Programme Management Architecture for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and has recently led the L.B. Newham Network Telecommunications Convergence Project and incorporating Legacy Technology from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games in London. Delivery of a £20m IT infrastructure project, including a future proof Voice and Data capability utilising VoIP and Gigabit Ethernet for Excel (Docklands). Alf is also a registered consultant with SOCITM and The CMA
Lucas is based in Recife in the North East of Brazil where MEI believes there are considerable opportunities for international as well as domestic companies. He has undertaken considerable analysis of the market and can help provide support to companies who want support in better understanding the marketplace. He can provide briefings and conducted visits to include all administrative needs as well as assisting Brazilian firms in their internationalisation process. In addition to working with MEI he runs his own International Relations Consultancy LIRNEO.
Recife, capital of the state of Pernambuco, is seen as the focal point of the North-eastern region not only because of its strategic position but also because of the diversity of its economy and the attractiveness for foreign investments. The Northeast – the size of UK, France, Germany and Spain put together – is currently experiencing a fast economic growth (5-6% GDP) in the most diverse sectors. Sportwise, the region will comprise four hosting cities for the 2014 World Cup (and three for the 2013 Confederation Cup): Recife, Salvador, Fortaleza and Natal.
Lucas graduated from Msc in European Public Policy and International Relations and worked in several organisations – UE, UN, Chamber of Commerce – as well as in private consultancies all over Europe. He arrived in Brazil in 2009 to work as the Press Officer of the French General Consulate in Recife, this allowed him to have a good knowledge of the Brazilian culture as well as developing a strong understanding of the economic activity in the Northeast and growing his local network.
Ellie joined MEI as Client Relationships Manager in May 2014. Ellie supports the management of current and prospective clients. She is also the current point of contact for the Major Events International professional membership scheme.
Since graduating from Warwick University with a degree in History and French, she has worked in a variety of roles within the events industry, providing her with highly useful overview of the sector. She has also gained experience within an international membership scheme while working at the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain.
Ellie speaks Spanish, French and Portuguese and after living abroad in both South America and France, prides herself on her strong intercultural skills. Outside of work, Ellie enjoys Salsa dancing (and even teaching the occasional class).
Eduardo Canastra is a business professional with progressive, hands on experience in diverse organizations ranging from start-ups to industry leading companies throughout the multi-states of Brazil and across global locations.
Eduardo is a high performing, strategic thinking professional with more than 15 years experience in global business.
A resourceful, organized team player renowned for forging strong business partnerships, Eduardo is recognized for being both ethical and approachable with a clear focus on the big picture. His strong, hands-on approach allows him to manage diverse projects simultaneously and with excellent communication skills.
He worked for the Brazilian Olympic Committee during the master planning of The Rio 2007 Pan-American Games.
Academic background: Bachelors in IT and Business Administration.
He is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish.
João Frigerio is based in Lausanne, Switzerland (the Olympic Capital and home of most of the International Federations). Lausanne is currently a hive of activity with London 2012 fast approaching after many years of preparation. Undoubtedly there will then be a period of reflection as lessons learned from the 2012 Games are analysed before the big focus shifts to Brazil for 2016. This will present new opportunities for suppliers who seek to offer support.
Joao is one of the key Brazilian experts within the MEI Team able to support both international companies that wish to do business in the Brazilian sports marketplace, as well as Brazilian companies that wish to expand in Europe. He is a sports and business consultant with over seven years’ experience in the industry. At MEI he plays a key role in assisting and linking international corporations to the world of sports. He has already undertaken a project to introduce new potential clients and sponsors to these sporting bodies and will work on MEI strategy workshops as part of the core team.
A Brazilian / Italian national, he has a Master’s degree in Management, Law and Humanities of Sports and an Executive MBA in Investor Relations, Finance and Communications. He graduated as a journalist in 1999, having worked as editor of several major internet portals prior to starting a career in the sports business. After that, he has been a senior editor for FIFA.com in Portuguese and acted as the General Manager at the European office of Sportcal, the sports market intelligence website.
João is the author of a specialized business reports and also a consultant for Brazil’s most prominent think tank and business school, Fundação Getúlio Vargas.
Ricardo Demarchi is based in Recife (PE, Brazil) where he joined LIRNEO, an International Relations and Business Consultancy, as a partner in August 2012. He also acts as a local representative for MEI in the North-eastern region of Brazil. His task is to support foreign companies or investors willing to do businessin the Northeast and to assist Brazilian Companies with their internationalization process.
Recife, capital of the state of Pernambuco, is seen as the focal point of the North-eastern region not only because of its strategic position but also because of the diversity of its economy and the attractiveness for foreign investments. The Northeast – the size of UK, France, Germany and Spain put together – is currently experiencing a fast economic growth (5-6% GDP) in the most diverse sectors. Sportwise, the region will host four 2014 World Cup and three 2013 Confederation Cup Stadiums, i.e. Recife, Salvador, Fortaleza and Natal.
Ricardo graduated from LLB – International and European Law –at the University of the West of England and Business Studies at the University of Plymouth, both in England. He worked for several organisations, i.e. University of the West of England, Brazilian Government (ProcuradoriaGeral da Republica), British Government (Foreign Commonwealth Service), as well as in private companies in Europe and Brazil. Due to his recent experiencewith the British Consulate in Recife, he is awareof the economic activity and built a local network in the Northeast.
IBM-trained, multi-lingual general manager with proven successes in high-value sales of defence and IT systems for over 40 years:
- Established start-ups in East Africa, South America and Europe
- Working resident in Kenya and Brazil
- Appointed and managed distributor networks
- Managed direct sales teams
- Closed new business as EMEA agent for US high-tech providers
- Managed defence RFI, PQQ and ITT bids & proposals
- Built strong relationships with UK MoD
Born in Madagascar and raised in Uruguay and Brazil, Bill is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and French.
Bill is an experienced international IT business leader, having started up new companies, led SME organisations as General Manager, built international distributor sales networks, developed new regional markets and directed sales, marketing and PR teams.
After graduating at the IBM residential sales college, Bill then worked in East Africa, South America, Europe and the UK developing new business for major IT systems suppliers such as IBM, DEC, Itel, Codar/DRS and EADS/Cassidian. He has spent over 20 years in the defence industry securing new contracts for US suppliers in Europe and the Middle East as their international agent.
During a career spanning more than three decades, Joe Donohue has created, managed, presented and publicized award-winning events for some of the biggest companies and sporting organizations in the world – including senior management roles at 12 Olympic Games.
In 2012 Donohue held five positions at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. He was Media Liaison and Escort at “The Orbit,” a 300-plus-foot icon tower next to the Olympic Stadium. He also reprised his role as Floor Manager for the International Olympic Committee and London Organizing Committee official daily media briefings in the Main Press Center. Donohue was tasked as Senior Troubleshooter in Mixed Zones (athlete-media press lines) at multiple Venues. During the Paralympics he served as Broadcast Information Manager at the Judo and Sitting Volleyball competition Venues.
Following a worldwide search the Qatar Local Organizing Committee (QLOC) named Donohue as Department Head, Communications, Media & PR for the AFC Asian Cup held in January 2011.
Donohue, a newcomer to Middle Eastern cultures and business climate, reorganized the Communications department at the QLOC, established a vision and tactical program and timetable, and established contacts with local, regional and global media spanning Asia. He recruited and trained more than 35 local and international media relations professionals in the art of media servicing, including writing for news media, crisis communications, contingency management, editorial analysis, event planning and staging, facility design, mixed zone supervision and television production.
Donohue also identified and mentored more than 260 volunteers, the majority local Qataris, to handle a variety of roles at the Asian Cup Main Media Center and five Venue (stadium) media centers around Doha. The AFC Asian Cup was staged successfully in January, 2011.
In 2010, the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games found Donohue handling multiple tasks. He was Liaison Producer for the Olympic News Channel and Stage Manager for the IOC’s daily media briefings. He was also Venue Manager/Information at the Paralympic Games - Nordic Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon competitions in Whistler, B.C.
Donohue worked in the political arena in 2008, serving as a Deputy Field Organizer in the USA presidential campaign. He conducted door-to-door canvassing and telephone outreach, making contact with thousands of eligible voters throughout Adams, County, PA. He also helped train, mentor and motivate more than 200 volunteers over a six-week period.
Over the years Donohue has been called upon by event organizers, host broadcasters, sponsors and print and electronic media. Additional assignments have included: Beijing 2008 Olympic Games – Coordinating Producer, Olympic News Channel; Logistics Deputy/Launch, 2008 NCAA football coaches goodwill tour to the Middle East; Information Officer, Rio 2007 Pan Am Games; Broadcast Information Director, Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Here Donohue was responsible for writing and distributing hundreds of time-critical News Alerts & Schedules to thousands of Rightsholding Broadcasters in the respective International Broadcast Centers.
In 2005 Donohue was called to provide logistical and technical support in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (USA). For two months he helped manage technical components in five “tent cities” housing thousands of utility workers restoring power, water and communications in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Donohue and these task teams helped millions of people and thousands of businesses over an area spanning 90,000 square miles.
In 2004 he was retained by Athens Olympic Broadcasting, host broadcaster for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, to manage two pivotal areas – Broadcaster Information and Aquatics Venue - Athlete Media Interviews. Donohue coordinated the development and distribution of logistical and scheduling information to more than 14,000 Broadcasters working in the Athens International Broadcast Center in July-August 2004. At the Athens Aquatics Venue he served as Chief Liaison Officer, managing the Broadcast Mixed Zone – an area where athletes met TV crews from around the world for brief live and taped interviews.
In 2002 Donohue served as Chief Liaison Officer – Figure Skating & Short Track Speed Skating - at the Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games. Over the span of the Games Donohue accommodated more than 3,000 reporters and production personnel at the Salt Lake Ice Center.
From 1998 to 2001 Donohue served as Director, Marketing Communications & Events for Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer. He was responsible for creating and implementing publicity and event strategies supporting A-B’s leading brands including Budweiser and Bud Light, the USA’s best-selling light beer. Brand support programs included “Bud Bowl,” the company’s annual presence at the Super Bowl, in the host cities of San Diego, Miami, Atlanta and Tampa. Donohue also created Anheuser-Busch’s sponsorship execution plan around the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. He produced presentations of the Budweiser Cup to record-setting hot-air balloon pilots Bertrand Picard and Alan Jones in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC, and designed annual media sneak previews to publicize Budweiser’s Super Bowl TV commercials, which were voted #1 by USA Today four consecutive years.
Prior to being retained by Anheuser-Busch InBev, Donohue was Vice President, Special Projects for Cohn & Wolfe, one of the country’s leading event-marketing firms. His roles included developing event and public relations strategies capitalizing on the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Donohue served as Executive Producer for the Sara Lee/Hanes Olympic T-shirt Auction, a 500-day campaign that raised more than $1 million for local charities. He also trained field staff supporting the BMW “Signature Car” cross-country ceremonies in advance of the ’96 Olympic Torch.
He served as Senior Liaison to the Istanbul, Turkey, 2004 Olympic Games bid, producing the city’s presence strategy in Atlanta during the ’96 Games and managing preparations for a site visit by the International Olympic Committee in October 1996. He created the tactical plan for Coca-Cola’ sponsorship of the Cup of Nations, a soccer tournament held in Burkina Faso, Africa. Donohue also produced the national rollout and mobile exhibit and event tour for UtiliCorp United’s “EnergyOne” brand.
Donohue served as Vice President-Events for Whittle Communications, the country’s leading placed-based advertising company, from 1992 to 1995. He managed Coca-Cola’s “Big TV,” - four days of original programming broadcast live from downtown Atlanta - and “Block & Tackle” – Coke’s free-to-the-public interactive fan festival -during Super Bowl XXVIII; created a 50-city mobile exhibit tour for Kodak’s Kodalux brand; and conducted site surveys in 65 cities and towns in Spain, France and Italy for a potential professional baseball league.
In the early 1990s Donohue helped expand the NCAA Corporate Partners program for Host
Communications, where he also built and sold a sponsorship and public relations campaign around the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Football Championship Game, the first Division 1-A title game in the country.
From 1985 to 1990 Donohue was Vice President-Consumer Accounts at Cohn & Wolfe in Atlanta, where he supervised the Coca-Cola and Turner Broadcasting (TBS) Goodwill Games accounts. In this capacity he was responsible for promoting and publicizing all of Coca-Cola’s brand marketing campaigns, including presence at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Canada. There he managed Coca-Cola’s International Pin Trading Center and the Coca-Cola “World Chorus,” 50 young singers flown in to perform at the Games’ Opening Ceremonies. He also managed Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of “Hands Across America,” a one-day, 2.4 million human chain formed between New York and Los Angeles to raise awareness about hunger and homelessness in America. Donohue hired and managed a communications team tasked with promoting Ted Turner’s 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle. He delivered presentations and staged events around the world, including a seven-country teleconference; represented The Games at an international sportswriters’ conference in the Congo Republic (formerly Zaire); and participated in international sports meetings in Japan, South Korea, England and Canada. Donohue also created and staged the Kodak/Goodwill Games “World’s Largest Photo Album” competition and presentation to the Governor of Washington.
Additional management roles at Cohn & Wolfe included: Publicity Liaison to the 1988 Democratic National Convention; Senior Communications Director of the “San Diego Arts Festival: Treasurers of the Soviet Union” exhibition; Co-producer of Amoco Corporation’s Centennial Celebration; Field Producer of Ford’s “Quality Celebration,” featuring the world debut of the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable cars; and Associate Producer of the Federal Express “Celebration of Medal Winners” nightly ceremony at the Calgary Olympic Games.
In 1983-84 Donohue served as Field Advance-Media Director for the Los Angeles Olympic Torch Relay. He drove the 10,000km cross-country route, securing preparatory interviews and events in more than 65 cities and accredited more than 3,000 print and broadcast news media.
From 1980-82 Donohue served as Director of Promotions for the New York Mets professional baseball club. He was responsible for the design and delivery of the iconic “Mets Homerun Big Apple,” creating live entertainment components on the field before and after games, and sold more than 75 fan item giveaway days to sponsors.
Donohue began his event public relations career with Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s largest p.r. firms. In 1979 he was Field Director for Burger King’s “Pitch Hit & Run” youth program for Major League Baseball, featuring a 20-city tour with the late Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson. He also managed and publicized Gillette’s sponsorship of MLB’s All-Star Balloting. He served as associate director for Burger King’s “VIP Night on Broadway,” one of the country’s first cause-marketing events which raised funds for the New York City Police Department’s bulletproof vest campaign.
Before entering the event/p.r. field Donohue served as Public Information Officer at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. He was also a newspaper reporter in northern New Jersey.
Donohue is a graduate of the University of Florida, Gainesville, where he received a B.S. in Broadcasting. He also attended St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York, where he studied journalism and authored the first comprehensive history of radio at the institution.
Profile coming soon
Richa joined MEI in July 2013 as Partnerships Manager, based in the UK Headquarters. She leads on communications and event organisation for MEI and is responsible for developing relationships with external organisations. After graduating with a BA Honours in Law with French from the University of Nottingham in 2010, Richa worked in UK government at UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the Department of Energy & Climate Change before joining MEI. At UKTI she worked on the Brazil and Russia desks, organising high profile events and ministerial trade delegations including the accompanying delegation to the Prime Minister’s visit to Brazil in September 2012.
Born and raised in Kenya, Richa is interested in international relations and speaks fluent Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and French. She enjoys Latin American culture and in her spare time volunteers for the LATA Foundation, fundraising for charitable projects across Latin America.