Rick Fuson promoted to CEO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, plus other role changes for 2022
Owner Herb Simon had also served as CEO. That changes on Jan. 1, 2022.
Rick Fuson has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, the company announced Tuesday. The Indy native has been with the franchise since 1984, first heading up the operations side of Indy hosting the 1985 NBA All-Star Game.
This is a notable change because owner Herb Simon also served as the “Chairman” and “CEO” until now.
I’m surprised Simon did not mention this last week when he hosted a few reporters, including myself, to a conference room for a thorough conversation on the state of the franchise. (Click here to read that story.)
Fuson’s promotion is one of several announced by PS&E. Todd Taylor, who leads the organization’s sales and marketing efforts, received a new title and will continue to manage the brand. Meanwhile, Mel Raines replaces Fuson as the president & COO — a title he held since 2014.
Also of note, longtime Chief Financial Officer Kevin Bower will transition into a senior financial advisor role after 2022.
These changes take effect on the first of the year. See the full announcement from PS&E below.
Rick Fuson becomes Chief Executive Officer. Fuson has served as PS&E President & Chief Operating Officer since September 2014. He joined the company in 1984, managing operations for the 1985 NBA All Star Game in Indianapolis, and is in his 38th season.
Todd Taylor becomes President & Chief Commercial Officer. Taylor has served as Executive Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer since March 2020, first joining the company in 2011. In his new role, he will manage the business functions of PS&E sports properties, including his current portfolio atop the organization’s marketing and sales functions.
Mel Raines becomes President & Chief Operations Officer. Raines has served as Executive Vice President for Corporate Communications, Community Engagement, and Facility Operations since March 2020 and first joined the company in 2015. In her new expanded role, she will oversee human resources and IT functions in addition to her current portfolio of the organization’s operational functions.
Kevin Bower, PS&E Chief Financial Officer, will continue to lead PS&E Finance through the pivotal year of 2022 before transitioning to senior financial advisor at that time.
Donna Wilkinson becomes PS&E Chief People Officer. Wilkinson has served as Senior Vice President for Human Resources since 2016, first joining the company in 2002.
Andy Arnold becomes Senior Vice President for Facilities Operations. Arnold has previously served as Vice President for Event Production & Facility Operations since 2019, first joining the company in 2016.
“One of the remarkable characteristics of our organization is the caliber of people we are fortunate to have, and the transitions we announce today strengthen the leadership of the company and position PS&E for continued success into the future,” said PS&E Owner Herb Simon.
Last week, the organization announced Tracy Ellis-Ward as PS&E’s first Senior Vice President for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. In that role, Ellis-Ward will lead the development and execution of the company’s DEI strategy and will report directly to Fuson.