Delaware North Companies has announced a number of changes in its management team, effective January 1, 2013.
• Rick Abramson, president of DNC's Sportservice unit, will become president of the Parks & Resorts division and will also lead the company’s extensive sports venue, travel hospitality and luxury resort business in Australia and New Zealand. He will also continue to pursue opportunities for growth in Asia and India in a new role of executive chairman of DNC Australia and Asia.
• John Wentzell, currently president of DNC Boston and DNC International, will succeed Abramson as president of Sportservice and its portfolio of more than 50 venues throughout North America. He will also spearhead the company’s diverse sports and travel hospitality businesses in the United Kingdom, which includes high-profile accounts like Wembley Stadium, Emirates Stadium and Heathrow Airport.
• Current DNC Parks & Resorts President Kevin Kelly will move into a newly created role as vice president of shared services for DNC’s global operations. He will oversee enterprise-wide services, including retail, the Culinary and Hospitality Council, supply management services, facilities, corporate security and the GreenPath environmental management program.
• Jim Houser, currently vice president of administration for the company, will become COO of DNC Parks & Resorts.
Under Abramson, who taken over leadership of the unit in 2004, Sportservice has grown into a $750 million+ food service and retail business by adding major professional sports clients such as MetLife Stadium, Lambeau Field, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Target Field and Bank of America Stadium. During his more than 40-year career with DNC, Abramson has also held leadership positions in the company’s Parks & Resorts division, including president of its Kennedy Space Center operations, and in the company’s Australian operations.
As president of DNC Boston, Wentzell has had leadership responsibilities spanning the company-owned TD Garden, adjacent commercial real estate holdings and certain key sales and business functions of the NHL's Boston Bruins, which is owned by DNC Chairman/CEO Jeremy Jacobs. That role, assumed in 2006, was expanded in 2011 to also include oversight of DNC's diverse international business portfolio across the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Wentzell joined DNC Boston in 1996 as vice president of operations, continuing a diverse career in sports and entertainment that had included roles with arenas, major league sports franchises and mixed-use developments.
Under Kelly’s leadership since 2005, the Parks & Resorts division has secured important contract extensions at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and Yosemite National Park, as well as recent National Park Service contracts at Olympic and Shenandoah national parks. In addition, Kelly led the successful acquisition of three hotels in West Yellowstone, MT, as well as the company’s newest additions to its hotel portfolio: Lizard Island, Heron Island, Wilson Island, El Questro and Kings Canyon in Australia. Kelly joined DNC Parks & Resorts in 1996 as director of retail operations at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex before going on to serve as a regional vice president for the division and president of the company’s Yosemite National Park operations.
Houser's recent roles at DNC have included overseeing key enterprise-level areas such as construction, supply management, retail and food and beverage, as well as serving as COO of the Sportservice unit.
“These management changes and our ability to share talent throughout our global enterprise are vitally important to our growth and long-term success,” says DNC President/COO Charles Moran. “Each of these individuals has an outstanding reputation as a key leader both within Delaware North and in our industry. I am confident that they will excel in these new roles.”
Moran added that the company’s ability to look well into the future is a significant benefit of being privately held and family-owned: “Publicly-traded companies must focus on the short term, whereas Delaware North has the ability to think longer term, especially related to its imperatives for growth. This is important because we expect our growth to continue to accelerate as we explore a growing spectrum of new and exciting opportunities, both organically and through acquisition around the world.”
The company also announced that it is actively searching for a new COO for the Gaming & Entertainment unit and also a new general counsel. Current General Counsel Bryan Keller is taking on a new role as senior counsel-vice president within DNC’s Law Department.