Father Jenkins appoints director of game-day operations

Author: Dennis Brown

Notre Dame football stadium

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, responded positively today to the final report of the university’s ad hoc Committee on Safety, Security and Hospitality and announced the immediate implementation of several of its recommendations, including the appointment of a director for game-day operations.

The committee was convened in October to review protocols and practices and consider concerns or suggestions that people have raised in regard to on-campus activities during home football game weekends. It met collectively four times, and on numerous occasions the members of three sub-committees also met to discuss specific issues related to safety and security, hospitality and communications. The group’s report was submitted to Father Jenkins in March.

“I was very pleased with the way the committee’s experience and insight informed their recommendations,” Father Jenkins said. “I am confident that we will be able to put in place measures that help us achieve our overall objectives of improving the game-day experience.

“I have said in the past, and I want to emphasize again, many dedicated staff members work extremely hard to make Notre Dame football weekends one of the great experiences in all of collegiate sports. The committee’s recommendations will help us all make our game days even better.”

The committee’s first recommendation, for the appointment of a member of the University’s administration to oversee all game-day operations, has been accepted and acted upon by Father Jenkins.

Michael Seamon, assistant vice president for university events and protocol, will add director of game-day operations to his responsibilities. He will be charged with coordinating the football game-day safety, security and hospitality operations that are shared among various University units, including athletics, the Notre Dame Security Police Department, and the Office of Student Affairs.

Seamon was promoted to assistant vice president last year after previously serving as executive assistant to the executive vice president, executive assistant to the vice president for finance, and assistant to the vice president for business operations.

A Notre Dame alumnus with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, Seamon worked from 1995 to 1997 as the first director of sales and marketing – and one of the first three employees – for the Tampa Bay Rays baseball franchise. He was involved in activities related to stadium renovation, the sale of private suites and season tickets, design and marketing of team merchandise and other responsibilities.

While earning his master of business administration degree, Seamon served as an intern to the University’s associate athletic director and business manager and later became the department’s retail manager. He was head football manager during his senior year at Notre Dame.

Father Jenkins has assigned to Seamon the responsibility of immediately implementing several of the ad hoc committee’s recommendations and beginning work on the implementation of other recommendations over time. Seamon will report to the president for this set of responsibilities.

Other recommendations for immediate action include making modifications, as possible, to the university’s no trespass orders; developing a strategy to inform fans and visitors to campus on football weekends of the process for making or resolving complaints about law enforcement, ushers or other game-day personnel; and enhancing all communication with fans and visitors.

Other committee recommendations will be announced as they are put into effect.

Committee members examined the policies and procedures used at Notre Dame – including several hours of observation prior to, during and after the last home game of the 2008 season – and on other university campuses, in the National Football League, and for non-athletics events. They reviewed game-day reports and data from recent seasons and read comments sent to a dedicated Web site by more than 200 alumni, parents, students, friends and University employees who shared positive and negative observations and experiences related to game day, and who offered a variety of helpful suggestions.

Father Jenkins emphasized that the committee’s report and recommendations were just the beginning of a process.

“Football weekends at Notre Dame are a wonderful tradition, and we are committed to making them an even better experience than they have been in the past,” he said.

The committee was composed of:

  • Stephanie Gallo(committee chair) – Chair of the Student Affairs Committee of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees, Gallo is a 1994 alumna of the University, a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and the senior director of marketing for the E. & J. Gallo Winery of Modesto, Calif.
  • Bob Agnew – The senior consultant on stadium security for the NFL since 1991, Agnew earned his bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University and master’s degree from George Washington University.
  • Jill Bodensteiner – A member of the University’s general counsel’s office since 1997, Bodensteiner is now associate vice president and senior counsel. She earned her bachelor’s and master of business administration degrees from Notre Dame and her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Missy Conboy – Currently deputy athletics director, Conboy has been a member of the athletic department staff for 20 years. A 1982 graduate of Notre Dame and member and captain of the Irish women’s basketball team, she is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law.
  • Ann Firth– A member of the student affairs senior staff since 1992, Firth is now associate vice president for student affairs with responsibilities for strategic planning for the division, residential life master planning, and various initiatives designed to better integrate academic and student life at the University. She earned her bachelor’s and law degrees from Notre Dame.
  • Rev. Peter Jarret, C.S.C. – Father Jarret has served as religious superior of the Holy Cross priests and brothers at Notre Dame since 2006 after serving for the previous five years as rector of Keough Hall. An alumnus of the University with bachelor’s and master of divinity degrees, he chairs the board of the Life Treatment Center.
  • Tim McOsker – A Notre Dame parent and 1984 alumnus, McOsker is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law and a partner in the Los Angeles law firm Mayer Brown, specializing in legal issues related to public safety and governmental, regulatory and administrative law. He previously served as chief of staff to the mayor of Los Angeles and chief deputy city attorney for the city of Los Angeles.
  • Richard Nussbaum – A partner in the South Bend law firm Sopko, Nussbaum, Inabnit & Kaczmarek, Nussbaum is an alumnus with bachelor’s and law degrees. He is a former student-athlete and past president of the Notre Dame Alumni Association. His past work includes service as special counsel to the governor of Indiana, deputy prosecuting attorney for St. Joseph County and city attorney for the city of South Bend.
  • Bob Reish – A senior from Exton, Pa., Reish was the 2008-09 student body president. He served for three years as a Class of 2009 officer, including president during his junior year.
  • Frank Supovitz – The senior vice president for events for the NFL, Supovitz previously served as the NHL’s vice president for events and entertainment, vice president for marketing and a coordinating producer for Eventures, and manager and director for marketing, events and operations for Radio City Music Hall.

Frances Shavers, chief of staff to Father Jenkins, served as the staff liaison for the committee and assisted in its work.