Pollstar has revealed the second annual “Impact 50,” its list of the 50 top executives having the most influence on today’s live business. The honorees (see full list below) are spotlighted in the new issue of the magazine, which also features a cover interview with Dayna Frank, head of the National Independent Venues Assn. and president/CEO of Minneapolis’ legendary First Avenue & 7th St Entry, along with many others. Frank also will be featured in a Monday (July 20) livestream Q&A with Pollstar executive editor Andy Gensler (click www.facebook.com/pollstar for more information).

According to the announcement, the “Impact 50,” which is sponsored by Live Nation, recognizes the live entertainment professionals currently having the most impact on the touring industry, as determined by Pollstar’s editorial team. The list considers criteria including creativity, innovation, strategic management, financial success, leadership, artist development/career longevity, vision, fan engagement, consistency and commitment to excellence. The list was informed by, but not tethered to, Pollstar’s coverage of the live entertainment industry and its touring industry data.

“As we all are keenly aware, 2020 is a year like no other for the live entertainment business, with not only a dearth of live events, but also an environment of urgent social issues and economic stress,” said Ray Waddell, president of Media & Conferences for Pollstar parent Oak View Group. “As such, we relied on few of our traditional industry metrics and instead looked for those live executives having an impact in such areas as the creation of new revenue opportunities, streaming of live performances, the strategic return of safe live events, forward-looking task forces and coalitions, social and political activism, innovative artist/fan engagement tactics, technology, philanthropy, and overall leadership as we navigate this extremely challenging landscape. Such a list is highly debatable, but few could argue that the 50 individuals represented here are having an impact and will play key roles in helping us bring back the industry we love.”

2020 “Impact 50” Honorees

Dayna Frank              First Avenue Productions, NIVA


The Influencers
Executives making moves that change the way others operate and challenge the status quo.

Michael Rapino          Live Nation

Robin Shaw                Upstaging, Inc.

Kevin Shivers              WME

Michael Strickland     Bandit Lites

David Zedeck              UTA


The Visionaries
Executives who see things before others do and can transition vision into action.

Dennis Arfa                 Artist Group International

Irving Azoff                 The Azoff Company

Ali Harnell                   Women Nation

Heather Lowery         Femme It Forward

Judi Marmel               Levity Live

David Stromberg       Cactus Jack


The Deciders
Executives making significant decisions that impact markets, artists, shows, culture and the industry.

Jovita Carranza          U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Amy Corbin                C3 Presents

Paul Tollett                 Goldenvoice

Jared Smith                 Ticketmaster


The Builders
Executives playing critical roles in building sustainable careers, companies and best practices.

Sara Bollwinkel          Paradigm

Coran Capshaw          Red Light Management

Ethan Diamond          BandCamp

Robert Gibbs              ICM Partners

Rebeca Leon               Lionfish Entertainment

Eric Yuan                     Zoom



The Disruptors
Executives behind the ideas that disrupt the industry in positive, meaningful ways.

Mike Brown                TempleLive

Joe Hadley                  CAA

Brooke Michael Kain AEG Presents

Michael Olson            Twitch

Matt Zingler               Rolling Loud Festival


The Caretakers
Executives making the right moves to keep careers, companies, and the business, rolling.

Ben Baruch                 11E1even Group, Live From Out There

Maria Brunner           Insight Management, Musically Fed

Debbie Carroll            MusiCares

Jim Digby                    Event Safety Alliance, Show Makers

Kathy Willard             Live Nation

Lilian Williams            O’Neil Hagaman


The Engagers
Executives who are doing exciting things in fan engagement and connecting artists with audiences. People whose work makes for memorable events.

Fadia Kader                 Instagram

Sophie Lobl                C3 Presents

Bill Reeves                   Roadies of Color United International

Kelly Strickland          Live Nation

Richard Weitz             WME


The Negotiators
Executives whose expertise, influence, track record and success command respect and make profound things happen.

Berkeley Reinhold      Business and Law Office of Berkeley Reinhold

Jay Marciano              AEG

Robert Norman          CAA

Nadia Prescher           Madison House

Rob Prinz                    ICM


The Maestros
Executives who have a concept and vision and turn it into a brilliant event.

James “Disco Donnie” Estopinal, Jr. Disco Donnie Presents

Kamilah Forbes          Apollo Theater

Shawn Gee                 Live Nation Urban, Maverick

Stacie George             Live Nation

Dermot McCormack  LiveXLive

Pasquale Rotella        Insomniac

Brad Serling                nugs.net