Photo Flash: The Broadway League Announces 2018 League Award Winners

By: May. 16, 2018
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The annual Broadway League Awards, honoring excellence and achievement for Touring Broadway, were announced today during the Broadway League's 2018 Spring Road Conference. First presented in 1992, the Broadway League Awards recognize the contributions of those who have displayed exemplary service to the Broadway industry and are considered innovators of their craft.


John Ballard is the President of MagicSpace Entertainment. After graduating from Harvard with an MBA, John decided to try the presenting business. Beginning with his early work as the co-owner of The Edgewood Agency in the late 1970's to his last 40 years with The Space Agency, which grew over the years into his current company MagicSpace Entertainment, John has produced and presented hundreds of shows. These have included concerts and comedy tours of the Red Army Chorus and Van Cliburn and the Moscow Philharmonic. He brought Victor Borge to Broadway, and, over the past two decades as a member of the Broadway League and a Tony Voter, developed Broadway series in 25+ markets across the United States and Canada. He also led the charge in 2016 to get the new Eccles Theatre built in Salt Lake City, UT. John currently lives in Utah with his wife Dr. Karen Miller, and two children Cameron and Nels.

"Innovative, creative and pioneering, John Ballard's devotion as a presenter and producer has brought Broadway to communities across the country and beyond. Not only did he launch series for classics like Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, and A Chorus Line, introducing Broadway to areas that never had access before, but he created new business structures to make it all possible. To this day, he continues to grow audiences through his company MagicSpace Entertainment expanding the reach of Broadway in North America. More recently, he was instrumental in the development and build of the Eccles Theater in Utah ensuring that the public continues to have the opportunity to experience the magic of live theatre," said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. "We are thrilled to present the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement award to someone who continues to excel in commercial theatre and to be a mentor, a teacher and inspiration to all who work with him."


"Broadway is a vital national industry. League members worked tirelessly this season to bring Broadway shows to over 200 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Touring Broadway contributes $3.2 billion to local economies across the U.S. Coupled with the $12.6 billion dollar economic impact for New York City, it is clear that Broadway and Touring Broadway Series create real value to our country's economy," said Charlotte St. Martin,President of the Broadway League. "We couldn't do it without the enormous support that our awardees, the donors and volunteers - both corporate and private - give to promote and enrich the Broadway Series in their hometowns."


Samuel J. L'Hommedieu Award

JOHN EKEBERG is the Executive Director for the Broadway and Cabaret divisions at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA), the largest non-profit theatre organization in the nation. John oversees all programmatic decisions and operational execution for Broadway touring productions and Cabaret shows in the Garner Galleria Theatre. During his tenure with the organization, the DCPA has hosted national blockbuster engagements including the tour launches of 12 shows such as If/Then starring Idina Menzel, Pippin and The Book of Mormon along with the pre-Broadway engagements of Disney's Frozen and The Little Mermaid. John also has managed such long-running Cabaret hits as An Act of God; I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change; Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women and Forbidden Broadway. He is a board member for the Denver School of the Arts Friends Foundation and a member of the Independent Presenters Network.


ROSALEE ROBERTS is the Public Relations Director at Omaha Performing Arts in Omaha, NE. Her career covers more than 30 years in public relations, marketing and advertising. She opened her own public relations firm in 1998 where she specialized in issues management, crisis communications, new product launches, media relations and media training for emerging, mid-sized and large corporations and organizations around the country. She has served as a PR consultant for Omaha Performing Arts since its inception in 2002 and was named Public Relations Director in 2015. During her tenure, she was directly responsible for all public relations for touring Broadway shows in Omaha and has been responsible for countless publicity plans that have resulted in growing ticket sales for the Broadway series, including 30-minute television specials for Kinky Boots and Something Rotten airing during prime time on the local NBC affiliate. A native of Omaha, Roberts holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, with distinction, in English and Drama from Duchesne College of Sacred Heart.


TRACY BUTLER is the Director of Education at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, FL. Under Butler's leadership, the Kravis Center's education programs have received a total of 6 national and Engagement grants from the Broadway League. She has also led a number of successful Kids' Night on Broadway events at the Kravis Center, and coordinated at least four student's participation in the League/ATPAM Diversity Initiative. She has served on the Education/Audience Engagement Committee at The Broadway League since 2010. She holds a BFA degree in Theater Arts Management with a minor in Marketing and Public Relations from Ithaca College.


KATHLEEN MAKI, national Director of Corporate & Group Sales for Broadway Across America, is a ten year theatrical Group Sales veteran. BAA is the foremost leader and presenter for live touring Broadway, with a presence in over 40 regional markets across the United States and Canada. She oversees and advises BAA's Group Sales force on strategic planning for business development and annual revenue growth. Kathleen is the Co-Chair for The Broadway League's Group Sales Committee. In this role, she champions and implements national discussion platforms and speaks on the behalf of touring Broadway Group Sales at conferences and forums. Originally from Wisconsin, Kathleen graduated from Illinois State University with a M.F.A. in Theatre Directing and earned her bachelor's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


NANCY MCDANIEL began her theatre career in 1981 as a receptionist at the Royal Poinciana Playhouse in Palm Beach, FL. She then went on to become theatre manager of the Royal Poinciana Playhouse. In this position, she began doing show settlements. She continued this in 2004 when she began working for PACE Theatrical Group in their Ft. Lauderdale office. She currently serves as Senior Operations Manager at Broadway Across America, the nation's leading presenter of touring Broadway, in their Southeast region. In this capacity, she oversees all union negotiations for the South Florida markets, liaises all ADA needs and handles multiple settlements for Touring Broadway shows across the nation.


The Star of Touring Broadway Awards were created to honor board members, government officials, donors and volunteers who have given support to promote and enrich the Broadway Series in their hometowns.

ALEX HAUNTY paints original works using acrylic on canvas that are then printed as giclee' prints, posters and cards. With the proceeds from his art sales and public speaking, Alex donates a significant portion to his nonprofit Alex Haunty's Theater and Arts Fund, Inc., to buy tickets for people with disabilities to see Broadway shows. Alex Haunty's Theater and Arts Fund, Inc. (AHTAFI), founded in 2014, is a non-profit organization that promotes access to the arts for people with disabilities through an integrated arts community model. AHTAFI provides special experiences of premier Broadway shows, and is moving to develop workshops and performance opportunities in art, music and theater where individuals with disabilities are able to shine.

DELTA DENTAL OF MICHIGAN: Delta Dental of Michigan and its affiliates in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee make up one of the largest dental plan administrators in the nation. Delta Dental of Michigan has a long history of corporate philanthropy and has supported Wharton Center for the Performing Arts' Broadway season since 1986. Delta Dental of Michigan is one of the center's largest annual sponsors, and was the lead in funding the center's sensory-friendly performances (SFP). These sensory-friendly performances are designed to create a performing arts experience that is welcoming to all families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or with other disabilities that create sensory sensitivities.

DON RODMAN is the founder and President of Rodman for Kids, an umbrella matching gift charity that raises funds for youth-focused social service organizations that support at-risk youth in Massachusetts. In 2001, he created the Marilyn Rodman Theatre for Kids program to "broaden the horizons of at-risk youth and foster a lifelong appreciation of performing arts by exposing kids to live, professional theatre. Through his organization, Mr. Roadman has brought more than 65,000 kids to downtown Boston to see touring Broadway Productions since the organization began. Mr. Rodman's passion for his work is undeniable and infectious, as he is a man on a quest to change loves for kids in communities that have the least and need the most.

WINTERFEST, INC. is a non-profit organization with a base of 300+ volunteers, supporters and sponsors. Broadway in Fort Lauderdale's multi-year relationship with Winterfest has helped raise the profile of Broadway in Fort Lauderdale and has built excitement locally for upcoming engagements of hit Broadway shows. The Winterfest Black Tie Ball, an annual fundraiser and the highlight of the Fort Lauderdale social season, themes an entire evening around an upcoming show on the current Broadway in Fort Lauderdale season. Décor, table names, entertainment and even fashion are inspired by the Broadway show selected. In 2017, The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade ("Greatest Show on H2O") was BROADWAY ON PARADE. Private boats and mega yachts with decorations inspired by Broadway shows made their way along the 12 mile parade route where more than 1 million live viewers lined the waterways to watch, while the Winterfest TV special garnered over 9 million viewers. Winterfest won the 2017 USA Today 10 Best Readers' Choice Travel Award Contest for Best Holiday Parade.

Photo Flash: The Broadway League Announces 2018 League Award Winners
John Ballard Accepts 2018 Distinguished Lifetime Service Award

Photo Flash: The Broadway League Announces 2018 League Award Winners
John Ekeberg Accepting 2018 League Award

Photo Flash: The Broadway League Announces 2018 League Award Winners
Kathleen Maki Accepting 2018 League Award

Photo Flash: The Broadway League Announces 2018 League Award Winners
Nancy McDaniel Accepting 2018 League Award

Photo Flash: The Broadway League Announces 2018 League Award Winners
RosaLee Roberts Accepting 2018 League Awards

Photo Flash: The Broadway League Announces 2018 League Award Winners
Tracy Butler Accepting 2018 League Award