BOK Center

BOK Center’s top management officials — general manager Casey Sparks and assistant general manager Joe Giordano — have been nominated for industry awards. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World file

BOK Center general manager Casey Sparks and assistant general manager Joe Giordano have been nominated for venue executive of the year and young professional of the year, respectively, by the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA).

Winners will be announced Oct. 29 at the Honors & Awards Ceremony of IEBA’s 49th Annual Conference.

This is Sparks’ first time being nominated since taking over the BOK Center reins six months ago. The award recognizes the top venue professionals in the industry, and BOK Center has a long history of general managers who have earned nominations in the 11 years the building has been open. John Bolton, the venue’s first general manager, was nominated twice and won in 2011. Jeff Nickler, the venue’s second general manager, was nominated twice.

“As cliché as it may sound, it truly is an honor to be nominated, especially when you look back at the legacy both GMs before me have set with their multiple nominations,” Sparks said in a news release. “I also know that while my name may be the one that is officially on the ballot, this nomination is only possible because of the incredible team we have in Tulsa.”

Sparks previously served as assistant general manager for five years, overseeing all arena business operations. She was instrumental in BOK Center’s grand opening in 2008, when she was the director of marketing.

This is Giordano’s third consecutive year to be nominated for the young professional award, but it’s his first time since becoming assistant general manager in March. Giordano previously served as the director of booking.

“I’m truly humbled and grateful to be nominated again by my industry peers for Young Professional of the Year at IEBA in Nashville,” Giordano said. “It has been a special year for all of us at BOK Center and I’m truly excited to continue to tell the Tulsa story and represent our amazing community at one of the biggest Music Industry Conferences of the year this October.”

IEBA is one of the leading nonprofit trade organizations for live entertainment industry professionals.

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Jimmie is a pop culture and feature writer at the Tulsa World. A former Oklahoma sports writer of the year, he has written books about former Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer and former Oklahoma State football coach Pat Jones. Phone: 918-581-8389