Executives Spotlight stories appeared on this website starting in 2001. Some of the executive's professional experience may have changed since they were published.
Spotlight - October 9, 2002
Executive Vice President/CMO, Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Pete Times Forum
It's over a year since America was attacked. Where is hope? Every news show starts with debates over when, where and why we will be attacking Iraq. The thought of war causes me uneasiness. Will they be calling up my son this time...to fight...to die? How many others will die? The next story I see CEOs and research analysts of world-renown companies and brokerage firms being handcuffed and shoved into cars by policemen. Is everyone this crooked? Where is hope?
Webster's defines "hope" as "desire accompanied by expectation of fulfillment." We derive hope not from wishful thinking, but from hard work, sound judgment, and people pulling together toward a single goal that they honestly feel they can obtain.
In Tampa, there is a lot of hope. There are no new players, no new coach, but a lot of hope. The "Pack the Palace" campaign this summer devised by Executive Vice President, Michael Yormark, urges citizens of Tampa to buy tickets, support the Tampa Bay Lightning, and not only will the players and employees work their hardest, the organization will continue to give back to the local community through contributions to a wide variety of charities.
The St. Petersburg Times stepped up and is sponsoring the Palace to be renamed the "St. Pete Times Forum." Other sponsors have stepped up their involvement. Every employee of the facility and team has been part of this program, promoting it, encouraging it, believing in it. And citizens of Tampa have joined in to "Pack the Palace" with over $2 million in new ticket revenue. Can this be?
Good leaders create that hope, not only in themselves but in others around them. Michael Yormark, the team's Executive Vice President, gets to the office earlier than others, stays later than others, and has always expected a lot from himself. He's a twin to Brett Yormark, another pacesetter in the sports industry. Michael is constantly raising the bar in generating new revenue whether it was for Katz television advertising sales, with founding partnerships in Columbus and now naming rights and ticket sales in Tampa. Michael answers emails and telephone calls promptly. He gets to the point quickly. He encourages his staff, supports their strengths and privately critiques their weaknesses. He's excited and enthused. He embraces relationships with sponsors and co-workers; he's a good listener and commander in equal measures. Like other successful leaders, he's moved from keying on his own success and making his own goals, to being fulfilled by his team's successes, his staff's success. In fact, good leaders are those who effectively juggle their personal and corporate achievements while planning their personal and corporate legacies.
Sports competition provides us hope. Sports business organizes communities of hope. We employ a number of workers at a very good wage. We assemble our best...our best group of athletes and best group of executives, coach them, train them, and encourage them. We engage the community to join with us. And just sometimes, the energy of the players, the faith from the front office and the cheer of the capacity crowd becomes the perfect ingredients to create hope. YEAH!
- Buffy Filippell
"Michael is one the hardest working, most creative executives in our League. He has done an outstanding job in Tampa raising the bar to unprecedented heights under difficult economic circumstances."
--Scott Carmichael, Vice President, Club Marketing, NHL
What I do...
Michael oversees all sales, marketing, branding, game operations, broadcasting and community relations for the St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Storm.
HOW I GOT HERE...
PALACE SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT; Tampa Bay, FL; 1999-present
Executive Vice President/CMO
Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS; Columbus, OH; 1998-1999
Vice President Integrated Sales & Broadcasting
FRONT ROW COMMUNICATIONS; Miami, FL; 1996-1998
Vice President Sales
KATZ MEDIA; 1992-1996
Director of Sports Sales