President & CEO
Sallie Sargent has enjoyed a diverse and exciting career over the past 28 years. Her special event management background with sporting events includes five Super Bowls; 14 years managing sponsor relations and special events for the Fiesta Bowl and the first Bowl Championship Series (BCS); producing the Charles Barkley Roast for the NBA All Star Game; and overseeing corporate hospitality for the PGA’s Phoenix Open. The 2004 Democratic National Convention, the 100th anniversary of Ford Motor Company and the 2012 Centennial Celebration of the State of Arizona round out her experience with event management on a grand scale.
Beyond her special event expertise, Ms. Sargent began to develop her destination marketing experience in 2006 when the City of Minneapolis hired her to write the bids for both the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. After several months of proposals and site selection visits, Minneapolis was awarded the Republican Convention that was held Labor Day 2008.
As Senior Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications for GES Exposition Services (the largest subsidiary of Viad Corp) from 1999-2005, Ms. Sargent spearheaded the company’s marketing communications division, oversaw the company’s re-branding effort, and was a key contributor to the company’s long-range strategic planning. Additionally, her responsibilities included staging numerous special events associated with some of the largest and most recognizable conventions in the world including Consumer Electronics Show, MineExpo, Electronic Entertainment Expo and National Restaurant Association.
Ms. Sargent was hired by the Arizona Host Committee to stage myriad events associated with the 2008 Super Bowl. The signature event “The Big Ticket Gala” that raised over $500K for the local organizing committee, featured Jay Leno and 25 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame attracting some 1,200 guests and community leaders. Additionally, Ms. Sargent created and produced the highly successful Super Bowl Business Development Program at the request of Governor Janet Napolitano and the Arizona Department of Commerce as an economic development strategy for the state.
Ms. Sargent continued her work with the Arizona Host Committee post Super Bowl XLII, by compiling and presenting the bid for Super Bowl 2012 to the NFL owners in May 2008. The City of Phoenix acknowledged her expertise and hired her again to create the presentation for the bid for NCAA’s Final Four Basketball Tournament.
In 2010, Ms. Sargent was retained to conceive and implement a global communications program for Viad Corp, parent company of GES, to support a year-long culture shift that occurred as a result of significant mergers and acquisitions. This effort included creating and producing quarterly Town Hall meetings simulcast to over 3,000 employees, developing and organizing round table discussions between front-line employees and senior executives and creating interactive web-based communication.
Her communication skills have also been utilized by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to produce Town Hall meetings and video magazines to improve communications and negotiations between Convention Center management and union employees.
Sargent’s knowledge and experience with the NFL’s premiere event resulted in her appointment in 2013 as the Executive Director for Houston’s efforts to secure Super Bowl in 2017. Since that time, she has been retained in the same position to develop the strategic plan for the Houston Host Committee to stage Super Bowl LI.
Prior to the tradeshow and convention industry, Ms. Sargent served as Director of Marketing and Promotions for America West Airlines (now US Airways) after her successful negotiation on behalf of America West with the NFL for the official airline sponsorship of Super Bowl XXX. Her talent also extends to video production and has won several Telly Awards for direction and production in the corporate video category.