Global Head of Event Solutions | SVP, Strategy
Prior founding HeadSail as a platform for value creation, Tony’s most recent four year journey, as CEO of PRA (PRA), based in Chicago, IL, transformed the business, and drove significant change in the overall sector PRA
continues to lead on a global basis.
PRA is a market-leading services firm in the Business Events industry, with
28 locations throughout North America and a portfolio of global partnerships. Tony began his chapter as CEO in January, 2016 under prior private equity
owners, Core Capital, based in London. He then led an 18-month process of strengthening the business through strategic plan development,
transformation of the service model, a substantial out of network acquisition, and internal and client-facing technology changes made for further growth.
Tony led the sale process with JEGI, at which point PRA was purchased by CI Capital Partners, delivering a strong return to prior ownership. As a capital partner and CEO of PRA, Tony then led a transformation of the management team, which together with the team drove a move of the HQ to Chicago, a full technology platform buildout, brand refresh, global strategic partnerships, global sales expansion, and other strategies to drive client satisfaction and significant profitable growth, putting PRA on track to more than double corporate revenue over the previous 28 months given double digit sustainable organic growth, and several core sector acquisitions in Nashville, Miami, New York, the Rockies, and adjacent sectors of the business. PRA is now well positioned to extend its clear leadership position in the marketplace, and tee up Tony’s next purposeful chapter of value creation.
Prior to PRA, Tony was a Founder and/or CEO of three successful service businesses, and a award-winning online platform, BOB.tv – Best of Business, later acquired by Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) for the technology, content and other resources in PCMA’s global online strategy.
Previously, Tony founded, and then in 2007 sold his successful business event marketing firm, ProActive, to Freeman. Over four years post sale, Tony led strategy and creative at this global industry leader, building a foundation for what is now a strong creative services team at Freeman.
In 2001, Tony was a founding principal of rEvolution, now one of the largest independent sports marketing firms in North America, with John Rowady serving as founder and CEO today.
In addition, Tony holds a deep financial background and extensive experience in service transformations, acquisitions and integration to drive aggressive and profitable growth. Tony was recently recognized as one of the 25 most influential people in the global meetings industry. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School – Owner/President Management program, holds a BS in Accounting from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University, and has been an active Board member across several leading industry and civic organizations throughout his career.
"The need for fresh, progressive and scalable education on virtual events is significant as the business events industry moves to omni-channel delivery in an expansive next chapter.
VEI is stepping in with a solid toolkit to help fill that need."