Haslam Sports Group elevates Greg Rush to Chief Financial Officer, names Michele Powell Vice President of Event Development (4.16.21)


April 16, 2021


Powell to lead Haslam Sports Group’s efforts to bring major events to Cleveland and Columbus  


BEREA, Ohio – Haslam Sports Group (HSG) today announced that it has elevated Greg Rush to Chief Financial Officer and hired Michele Powell as Vice President of Event Development  Rush is in his 15th year with the Browns and HSG, while Powell joins the organization from Monumental Sports and Entertainment.


Haslam Sports Group quotes

David Jenkins, HSG Chief Operating Officer

“Haslam Sports Group is dedicated to acquiring and developing top talent in all areas, and we are confident Michele and Greg will provide incredible leadership in these positions.


“Michele is an important addition to HSG in this recently created role, which will significantly enhance our opportunities to attract marquee events to Northeast Ohio and Columbus. During our thorough research process, she clearly displayed an expertise in booking major events, as well as an extensive network of relationships with key stakeholders across the sports and entertainment industry.


“Throughout his time with the Browns and HSG, Greg has always been extremely reliable and a consummate team player. He has and will continue to excel as his role expanded in recent years, including his efforts overseeing FirstEnergy Stadium operations last season and our comprehensive plan to responsibly host games and fans in 2020.


Michele Powell, HSG Vice President of Event Development

“Haslam Sports Group has been dedicated to showcasing Northeast Ohio and Columbus by hosting many major events, in addition to Browns and Crew SC games, and I am excited to help expand upon those efforts. We have an exceptional opportunity to highlight both cities and our incredible sports and entertainment venues, as well as welcome even more international events and fans to Ohio.”


Greg Rush, HSG Chief Financial Officer

“During my 15 years with the Browns and HSG, I have been fortunate to work with many great leaders, including the Haslam and Johnson families and Dave Jenkins, as well as to call Northeast Ohio my family’s home. I greatly appreciate this opportunity to continue to advance our organization’s goals across Ohio, including making a significant impact in our community efforts.”


Michele Powell, Haslam Sports Group Vice President of Event Development

Powell will be charged with identifying opportunities to attract and host events at all HSG venues, including FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns; the Browns training facility in Berea; New Crew Stadium, set to open in July; and Crew SC’s OhioHealth Performance Center, located at site of Historic Crew Stadium and slated to open in June. She will also focus on developing events of various scales that are inclusive to the diverse communities throughout Northeast Ohio and Columbus, including sports, concerts and more.


Powell most recently served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Capital One Arena with Monumental Sports and Entertainment. In her role, she led booking, guest relations, security, event production, operations and box office services for the venue. Under her leadership, the arena regularly hosted 225 events per year and was home to the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics, Washington Valor and the Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball program.


After joining Monumental Sports and Entertainment in 2011 as a booking director, she was promoted to Vice President of Events and Assistant General Manager of Capital One Arena in 2014. Prior to her time at MSE, she spent eight years with Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney On Ice, Monster Jam and Supercross. She also spent time as the Director of Marketing for the Washington Wizards, heading the team’s branding, marketing and promotional campaigns.


Additionally, Powell is currently an adjunct faculty member at The George Washington University, where she has taught graduate-level curriculum related to sports and events facility management.


Greg Rush, Haslam Sports Group Chief Financial Officer

Rush is entering his 15th season with the Browns and first as Chief Financial Officer after serving as Vice President of Finance for the past three years.


Rush has shown great leadership while overseeing the team’s finance and accounting departments, focusing on all elements related to budget, treasury management, league reporting and tax and risk management functions for several years. Last season, he also became the team’s primary contact for all operations, security and maintenance of FirstEnergy Stadium, including high-level involvement in creating and implementing the FirstEnergy Stadium Restart Plan for teams, staff and players to successfully return to the venue amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


In 2018, Rush acquired additional responsibilities to oversee the day-to-day management of the Browns ticket operations, business analytics group and information technology staff.


After Haslam Sports Group’s acquisition of operator rights of Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew SC in 2019, Rush also began overseeing all of these primary areas for the 2020 MLS Cup Champions.


Following 10 years with the Browns, Rush was elevated to Vice President of Finance after initially joining the team as Director of Finance in 2007.


Rush was a key contributor during the renovation of the Browns’ facility in Berea in 2016, when Dee and Jimmy Haslam and the City of Berea agreed to invest nearly $15 million in the training and administrative complex. The development resulted in first-class amenities throughout the building, to create a best-in-class environment not only for the team’s coaches and players but for every member of the organization. Additionally, he was instrumental to the team’s investment in FirstEnergy Stadium throughout its two-phase, $125 million modernization following the 2014 and 2015 seasons.


Rush serves as the team’s primary liaison with FirstEnergy Stadium’s hospitality partner and concessionaire Aramark, as well as Pro Shop retail partner Legends. This responsibility extends to HSG’s partnership with Levy Restaurants for dining and hospitality and Rank and Rally for retail and merchandise at New Crew Stadium and Historic Crew Stadium.


Rush is the Board Chair and Executive Committee Chair of Providence House, Ohio’s first crisis nursery that helps provide emergency shelter and care for children, newborn through age 12, who are at risk of abuse or neglect while offering family support services to strengthen and stabilize families long term.


About Haslam Sports Group

Haslam Sports Group embraces the positive impact of sports and its unique opportunity to unify communities. Through the Haslam and Johnson families’ network of industry experience and relationships, their mission is to create world class organizations that achieve sustainable success, provide a best in class fan experience and give back to their region. They see themselves as stewards of true community assets. HSG looks to invest in strategic sports and entertainment opportunities. Haslam Sports Group’s current portfolio includes the Cleveland Browns, operating rights to Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew SC and an investment in Misfits Gaming Group, a global esports and entertainment company.


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