Big Events



What Kind of Name
is Au?


Creative Work

Social Work

Big Events



How many people get to present Bruce Springsteen in concert? Count me among them. It happened when I was a student at Ohio University, and I've been hooked on special events ever since. Here are some others that I've had a hand in producing…

Kraft Gospel Talent Search – A group of us at The Guild Group came up with this national gospel talent competition to help Kraft Foods forge a meaningful connection with the African-American community. Aspiring gospel singers from all over sent in their videotapes and the winner was selected in a rousing, star-studded, live sing-off at the House of Blues in New Orleans. It was a real thrill to be creative director, writer, and a key member of the production team. The Kraft Gospel Talent Search became an annual event and went on to win a Reggie, one of the most coveted awards given by the promotion industry, two years in a row. Can I get an Amen?  

Lipton Dinner Games – From the moment I first heard the words, “Johnny Olson, tell her what she's won!” I've had this burning desire to write, produce and direct a game show like the ones on TV. When Lipton decided to run a sampling program for their Side Dish line, I got my chance. Dinner Games was a wacky, high-energy, live entertainment – part Chuck Barris, part Wide World of Sports. It traveled to state fairs across the country and was the sideshow that got people to check out Lipton's Side Dishes. But it was much more. Our smooth-talking emcee invited moms in the audience to come on stage and race through an obstacle course not unlike what she faces every day getting her family to the dinner table. Naturally, the secret to winning was choosing Lipton Side Dishes. It was the brand's marketing platform brought to life through fun and interaction. Moms with the fastest times won a trip to New York City and competed in the Dinner Games Final Event at Madison Square Garden for the grand prize: a $35,000 dream kitchen makeover!

Basketball Hall of Fame 3-on-3 It was a big year for the Basketball Hall of Fame; Dr. J and Bill Walton were among the legends being enshrined up in Springfield, Mass. Adding to the festivities, the Hall decided to stage a Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a weekend-long basketball festival on the streets of downtown Springfield. They gave me the ball and told me to make it happen. After selling over $100,000 in sponsorships and promoting the event throughout New England, I worked closely with city agencies to turn ordinarily busy streets into a fast lane of basketball courts where 400 players – men, women, boys and girls – got their game on. It was all to raise money for the Springfield YMCA, the very place where basketball was born.

Toyota Comedy Festival One summer I had the privilege of working as an assistant to John Schreiber, producer of the annual Toyota Comedy Festival in New York City. I got to wear many hats: transportation coordinator, talent liaison, marketing agent, and cold-beverage retriever for Mr. Henny Youngman. How 'bout that! What an education working backstage at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall on a show called Friars Frolics. There I was, looking after some of my comic idols that I grew up watching on The Ed Sullivan Show. Guys like Alan King, Bill Dana, Professor Irwin Corey and yes, the legendary Henny Youngman. They just don't make 'em like that anymore.