PRESIDENT AND CEO, PALACE SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT AND DETROIT PISTONS
Dennis Mannion is President and CEO of Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons.
Mannion holds the rare distinction of having experience in all four major league sports where he has led operations during 14 postseason runs and been part of two World Series, a Major League All-Star Game, a NHL Conference Championship, a Super Bowl and two National League Championship Series.
Mannion came to PS&E from the Los Angeles Dodgers front office where he served as president and COO. Under his guidance, the 2009 Dodgers lead Major League Baseball in paid attendance for the first time since 1986. Mannion introduced and created the Dodgers Sports Lab, an innovative production facility that integrated marketing, merchandising and media while creating a new telemarketing center and a new fan hospitality program.
In 2008 he helped initiate the team’s season-long celebration of its 50th anniversary in Los Angeles, hosted baseball’s all-time most attended game at the LA Coliseum (115,300 vs. Red Sox) and transitioned the organization from its Vero Beach Spring Training home to a new facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.
Prior to joining the Dodgers, Mannion spent eight seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, where he served as the club’s senior vice president of Business Ventures. He pioneered the Ravens’ efforts to converge its external programming assets (Rave-TV, Ravens Radio, baltimoreravens.com, Ravens Mobile-In-Zone, Ravens Podcast and Video On Demand) and represented the team during the sale of its stadium naming rights to M&T Bank.
He also served on the NFL Business Ventures Committee, the board of Vehicles for Change, the Baltimore Classic Fund, the steering committee for Camden Yards Sports and Entertainment Commission, Medstar Hospital System Foundation, Salisbury University Foundation and was the founder of the Ravens All-Community Team.
Mannion returned to the NBA in 1997, where he spent two years managing business operations for Ascent Sports, owners of the Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and Pepsi Center. He oversaw business operations for both teams and transitioned the franchises to the newly-built Pepsi Center.
Right out of college, Mannion joined the Philadelphia Phillies, spending 16 years with the ball club. In those last eight of those years as vice president of Marketing and Sales, he was recognized for enhancing the fan experience at Veterans Stadium and was instrumental in both the acquisition and the staging of the 1996 MLB All-Star Game in Philadelphia. He was named a “40 Under 40” award winner by the Philadelphia Business Journal in 1996 and the Phillies won two MLB Marketing Excellence awards during his tenure with the team.
Since joining the organization in 2011, Mannion has methodically worked to reengineer the PS&E organizational structure,increasing communication, collaboration and innovation within the Creative and Communications, Revenue, Operations and Administrative departments.
Mannion is overseeing The Palace’s largest capital improvement project since 2006. It is a multi-million dollar, multi-year capital improvement project, including the completion of large-scale renovations of the main concourse level, suite areas, club areas, technical upgrades and the construction of a new open-air lounge, Club 300, located on the arena’s 300-level.
The Pistons also launched: a state-wide community relations program, tabbed “Come Together;” the “Pistons Academy” youth basketball development program; and its own Pistons Programming Network on www.pistons.com that includes inside access media content from over 24 video channels. Game night entertainment was elevated to include halftime concerts by national recording artists.
Mannion earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, where he was named a “Distinguished Alumnus Award” in 1998.
Mario Etemad has worked at Palace Sports & Entertainment for nearly 20 years and is currently executive vice president of Operations. He is responsible for ensuring the highest quality of the fan experience throughout The Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theater and Meadow Brook Music Festival.
Etemad oversees the guest services, restaurant and concession operations at all three PS&E venues, in addition to the security, parking, physical plant, conversions and housekeeping departments. He has directed various capital improvement projects across the organization’s properties, including current renovation projects at The Palace.
Etemad joined the organization in 1994 as its corporate executive chef. Prior to joining PS&E, he was proprietor of several restaurants and has served as executive chef and operations director for various hospitality groups.
Etemad, certified by the American Culinary Federation, led the Michigan Culinary Olympic Team to an array of medals including the Gold at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 World Culinary Arts Salon in Berlin, Frankfurt and Erfurt, Germany. In 1990 and 1996, he was named “Chef of the Year” by the Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association.
EVP, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
Charlie Metzger is Palace Sports & Entertainment executive vice president and chief Marketing and Communications officer. He oversees PS&E marketing, advertising, communications, fan experience, social media, and community relations.
Metzger joined PS&E after serving as executive vice president and managing director for McCann Worldgroup in Birmingham, Mich. He was chief marketing officer of McCann’s U .S . Army account and a member of the company’s management board and led award-winning campaigns for General Motors and Michigan Tourism.
Prior to McCann, Metzger worked with Allied Domecq Spirits, USA in Southfield, Mich. and began his career at Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee, WI.
He was among Crain’s Detroit Business magazine’s “40 under 40” in 2002, and has served on the board of the American Association of Advertising Agencies Michigan Chapter and on the board The Cranbrook Institute of Science.
Metzger earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
EVP, Chief Financial Officer
Bob Feller, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Palace Sports & Entertainment, directs all financial and business planning, analysis, accounting, financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, risk management, information technology, and National Basketball Association reporting and compliance.
Feller came to Palace Sports & Entertainment after working as CFO for Scientific Learning in Oakland, Calif. Before that he served as vice president for Finance and Administration for Adbrite, Inc. in San Francisco; and as senior director and later vice president of Finance for Salesforce.com also in San Francisco.
A Michigan native, Feller moved to northern California in 1996, serving as finance manager and senior finance analyst at Tandem Computers in Cupertino; as group cost manager and corporate EP&A manager with Clorox in Oakland; as corporate controller and director of finance at North Systems and as corporate controller and director of dinance for Soma Network, both in San Francisco.
Feller began his career in 1990 as a senior audit consultant and licensed CPA with Arthur Anderson, LLP in Detroit, Mich. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and earned his master’s in business administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
EVP, Business Operations & Strategy
Jim Ross is Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons Executive Vice President of Business Operations & Strategy. He oversees Corporate Partnerships, Premium Sales, Business Development and the Data & Analytics departments.
Prior to joining PS&E in November 2013, Ross served with the Cleveland Browns as Senior Vice President of Business Development. He also has an extensive career leading sales, marketing, business development and operations with the New York Yankees, the Miami Dolphins, and the Florida Marlins. Most prominently, he was a part of senior leadership in a new stadium opening (Yankee Stadium), stadium renovations (Sun Life Stadium), and in world-class event experience, including the Olympics, the World Series, the Super Bowl, and the MLB All-Star Game.
Ross earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Public Relations/Image Management from the University of Colorado at Boulder and attended the Sports Management Institute’s Executive Program at the University of North Carolina, University of Notre Dame and University of Southern California.