Amy Palcic, Houston Texans, Sr. Director of Communications
Amy Palcic brings a nearly 20-year proven track record in public relations, communications, non-profit development, marketing and event management. Palcic serves as the chief spokesperson and leads public relations, football communications and corporate communications efforts for the 14th-most valuable sports franchise in the world. In 2015, she spearheaded the team’s involvement in HBO’s hit series, Hard Knocks, which won two Emmy’s, including one for best serialized sports documentary, and received record viewership and ratings. Palcic also handles all relationship management with the NFL’s billion dollar network TV partners and also directs all publicity for three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt.
Palcic joined the Houston Texans in 2013 after spending time as the Vice President of Public Affairs for George Faine Enterprises (GFE), where she founded and developed a partnership between the NFL and University of Notre Dame to make Notre Dame the fifth school to educate athletes as part of the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial program focusing on Social Entrepreneurship. She also oversaw fundraising for The Faine House, a residential home for young adults who age out of the foster care system in Florida. Prior to GFE, Palcic spent three years as the Director of Marketing & Public Relations at Premier Sports & Entertainment, an entertainment agency in Los Angeles, where she managed talent, pitched new business, produced large-scale charity events, negotiated marketing and sponsorship deals for celebrity clients, and served as an outside publicist to corporate partners. Prior to joining Premier, Palcic spent 10 years in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, as Director of Communications. She has vast experience in public relations, marketing, event management, sponsorship and charitable development, both on the individual talent level and on the corporate side. This experience has allowed Palcic to cultivate a diverse background of expertise, including developing and delivering branding campaigns, facilitating media relations, television and radio production, and crisis management. Moreover, Palcic maintains senior level contacts at all of the national media outlets, as well as at many local outlets across the country, and is well-respected throughout the industry. Her impressive array of corporate relationships has resulted in endorsement opportunities and partnerships that have touched every business sector.
Publicity is essential to any organization and Palcic has developed strategic public relations campaigns that create buzz and support business growth. Her clients have appeared regularly in both traditional and non-traditional media including People Magazine, GQ Magazine, US Weekly, The New York Times, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and Entertainment Tonight to name a few.
Palcic earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Auburn University, and attended the Stanford University Executive Education Graduate School of Business Program in 2006, when she was selected as one of the “up-and-coming NFL Executives.” Palcic received a certificate in Fundraising and Development/Leadership Practice from Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business in 2013. She currently resides in Houston.
Anita Sehgal, Houston Astros, Sr. Vice President of Marketing & Communications
Anita Sehgal joined the Astros as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications in January 2015 and is in her third season with the ballclub. In her current role, Anita provides strategic leadership for the ballclub’s marketing, communications, and media, including support for a broad variety of sponsorship, ticket, special event and community initiatives.
Prior to joining the Houston organization, Anita spent over 20 years in various strategic marketing functions with organizations including FGL Sports, Best Buy and most recently Academy Sports + Outdoors. She joined Academy Sports + Outdoors in Feb. 2009 and served as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Advertising until July 2014. Prior to holding that post, Anita spent four and a half years with Best Buy Canada as Director, Customer Experience. She also spent four years with Canada’s largest sporting goods retailer, The Forzani Group, Ltd. as their Director of Marketing.
Hailing from Canada’s Regina, Saskatchewan, Anita received a bachelor’s of business administration degree, with a focus in marketing and human resources, from the University of Regina. Anita works hard to make a lasting impact on her local community through volunteer and leadership efforts. She plays an active role in several Houston-based organizations, including her position as an Executive Committee Board Member of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston and as an Advisory Board member of TDECU. She is also a member of the Sports, Sponsorship and Sales Advisory Board for Baylor University and a Brand 50 member of World 50.
In addition to being an avid sports fan, Anita loves to travel and embraces the local culture, climate and cuisine wherever the road takes her.
Kelley Wohlenberg, Live Nation/Revention Music Center, Director of Sales
Kelley Wohlenberg started her career in Restaurant Management working for Applebee’s and Marriott Hotels after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1992. After 6 years in the Restaurant industry, she started working for Aramark at Heinz Field (Home of the Pittsburgh Steelers) in 2002 where she planned the food, beverage and decor elements for over 150 events per year. This is where she gained invaluable knowledge of events such as Galas, Proms, Weddings, Festivals, Concerts, Games & much more. In 2011, she transferred with Aramark to Houston, TX where she became the Director of Sales at the George R Brown Convention Center planning food and beverage for events ranging from 1,000 to 15,000 people.
In 2015, after 13 years with Aramark, she took a position with Live Nation selling Revention Music Center for Special Events. Taking this step has helped her to learn about different elements of the Events Industry such as Production, Entertainment, Facility Management and Ticketing.
Kelley lives with her husband, Thorsten, and their 2 dog-children, Stanley and Sable.
Leah Mastaglio, NRG Park, Assistant General Manager
Leah Mastaglio is currently the Assistant General Manager at NRG Park. Mastaglio’s day-to-day responsibilities included overseeing the Event and Guest Services, Operations, Maintenance, Engineering, Technical Services, Parking and Security departments.
Mastaglio has been with NRG Park since the property opened in 2002. She has worked in the Event Services and Sports Marketing and Sponsorship departments before being promoted to Assistant General Manager in 2014. Mastaglio has over 15+ years of trade show and facility management experience.
Leah Mastaglio has served as the Tournament Manager for the 2008, 2010, 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. For the 2011 and 2016 NCAA Men’s Final Four Leah was the chairperson of the Stadium Operations Committee for the event. In 2010 – 2013, Leah assisted the NCAA Staff with managing the Men’s Final Four Championship by being a member of their Facility Management Group. Leah has assisted in the management of Super Bowl XXXVIII, held at Reliant Park, Super Bowl XLVIII held at MetLife Stadium, Super Bowl XLIX held at University of Phoenix Stadium and Super Bowl 50 held at Levi’s Stadium. Leah is the NFL contact or Stadium operations for Houston’s 2017 Super Bowl LI. Other events Leah has managed include two Big XII Football Championships, international soccer matches, several large-scale stadium concerts, Offshore Technology Conference, the largest offshore drilling conference in the world, four years of the Grand Prix of Houston and many other events.
Leah has assisted other properties with projects such as opening the American Bank Center in Corpus Christie, US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, assisting with facility management for Oakland Coliseum, Solider Field and Louisiana Superdome.
Leah Mastaglio has served on the Houston Mayor’s Office Commission for People with Disabilities for four years. She has also completed a two-year study of the International Association of Venue Managers’, Venue Management School.
Yvette Casares Willis, Houston Dynamo, Senior Account Executive of Corporate Partnerships
I am a native of the Rio Grande Valley (Edinburg, Texas). I am Mexican-American and proud to be a woman in the Professional Sports Industry.
I have been in Houston since 1995, after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. Over the last fifteen years, I have worked in the professional sports and entertainment industry. I’ve been in a sales/marketing & promotions role with the following organizations including the Houston Rockets, Houston Astros, Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, Live Nation Entertainment (Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Revention Theater and House of Blues Houston/New Orleans) and Buffalo Specialties, Merchandise and Promotional Agency. Currently I am a Senior Sales Executive in the Corporate Partnerships division for the Houston Dynamo, Major League Soccer Club. My favorite part of working in sports is the passion I see on and off the field. It also allows me to be a part of a team. Sports is very exciting – especially when your team is winning!
I have an Associates Degree from Kilgore College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (Theater, Music and Dance) from The University of Texas at Austin. When I’m not working, I like to volunteer, exercise and dance. I serve on boards for the Houston Texas Exes and the Emergency Aid Coalition. I have been recently selected as a Director for the Texas Lyceum – Class of 2017. I am a proud member of WISE and currently serve on the membership committee. I’ve run six marathons (Houston -3; New York 1; Chicago 1; San Diego 1), two half marathons (Houston) and completed one triathlon (Galveston).
The things I love most in life is spending time with my family. I have two kids, Zach (8) and Livi (5) – they are so much fun. My husband is Dr. Marc Willis and we live in Boulevard Oaks. We enjoy living in the amazing city of Houston.
Dawn Keen, Houston Rockets, Senior Director of Corporate Partnership Activation
Dawn Keen is Senior Director of Corporate Partnership Activation for the Houston Rockets & Toyota Center. Dawn oversees a team of account managers with the responsibility for relationship building, activation, fulfillment, budgeting and renewal for all corporate clients. Dawn recently celebrated her 10-year anniversary as a Rockets team member!
Since joining the Rockets, Dawn has been fortunate to travel with the team hosting clients in all major market NBA cities, as well as internationally in the Philippines, Taiwan and China. She most recently led the planning team for the Rockets NBA Global Games trip to Shanghai & Beijing, which included hosting an exclusive reception recognizing Yao Ming’s 2016 NBA Hall of Fame induction, honoring him in his hometown of Shanghai. Dawn has also been recognized as a leader in the NBA, being selected as an inaugural member of the NBA’s Strategic Advisory Council for Team Marketing & Business Operations and presenting at NBA League meetings on multiple occasions.
Prior to the Rockets, Dawn began her career in the Athletic Marketing Department for Washington State University. She moved cross-country to enter the NBA in Client Services & Game Operations with the San Antonio Spurs, who won the 2004-2005 NBA Championship in her rookie year with the team.
Dawn graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington State University with a degree in Communications-Public Relations and a minor in Sports Management. Dawn was born in British Columbia, Canada, and a love for the NHL drove her to a career in sports. After a move to the States at an early age, Dawn was raised in Kent, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, and travels frequently to the great Northwest to visit her family.
Diane Crossey, Rice University Department of Sport Management, Professor in the Practice
Diane Crossey is entering her second year in the Department of Sport Management. She teaches SMGT 260 (Introduction to Sport Management), SMGT 266 (Leading with Service), and SMGT 366 (Event Management and Customer Service).
Prior to joining the faculty at Rice University, Crossey was the Senior Director of Event Operations and Guest Services for the National Football League’s Houston Texans. She joined the expansion franchise in June 2002 just prior to their launch and worked 14 seasons, during which the team sold out 143 consecutive home games. In her position, she oversaw all aspects of customer service and event services for the Texans, including the hiring and training of all event staff, the facilitation of market research programs and the implementation of customer service initiatives for all Texans fans. She also managed the Video Production department, who produce the creative content for the in-stadium video boards as well as highlight videos and sponsor elements and the Events department, who execute year-round fan events such as Draft Day, Training Camp and community events. In her role, Crossey served as the team’s liaison to SMG, the management company for NRG Stadium, Contemporary Services Corporation, who provides crowd management services and Aramark, the exclusive food and beverage provider and facility services provider. During her tenure, the Texans were recognized for outstanding customer service by organizations such as J. D. Power and Associates, Peggy Morrow & Associates and the Sports Business Journal.
Crossey continues to work in the events industry and most recently served as the Venue Event Manager for the Copa America Centenario tournament games in Houston. Second in size to only the World Cup, soccer’s Copa America tournament hosts CONCACAF and CONMEBOL teams as well as invited teams. In her role, she oversaw multiple operational areas including accommodations, transportation, medical/doping, protocol, security, accreditation, logistics and special events. Crossey worked with the National Teams of Argentina, the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Colombia. The three tournament dates in Houston hosted over 175,000 attendees at NRG Stadium.
Prior to coming to Houston, Crossey was the Director of the Premium Club and Guest Services for the TD Garden in Boston. Home of the NHL’s Boston Bruins and the NBA’s Boston Celtics, the 20,000-seat TD Garden hosts over 200 major events per year. During her seven years in Boston, Crossey worked with the NHL All-Star Game, the U.S. Gymnastic Olympic Trials, the NCAA men’s Frozen Four tournament, the NCAA men’s basketball regionals, as well as numerous concerts, family shows and other sporting events. Crossey was responsible for implementing the Premium Club concept for all club and suite holders as well as the management of all customer service initiatives and all guest services staff.
Crossey completed her Master of Science degree in Sport Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from UMass and competed as a nationally-ranked athlete and captain of the women’s track and field team.
Crossey is involved with various professional and community organizations and is the co-chair of the Wise Within committee for the Houston branch of WISE – Women in Sports and Events. WISE Within provides multiple mentoring and networking opportunities for women working or seeking to work in the Sports industry. She is also a member of the International Association of Venue Managers and serves on the Universities Committee.