Jason Varnish, a 2003 Slippery Rock University sport management master's degree graduate, now serving as box office manager at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center, has received the Venues Today 2014 Box Office Stars Award.
The award was announced in the magazine's January 2014 issue.
Varnish had led box office operations for such acts as Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Michael Buble, Eric Clapton and James Taylor as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He began his career in the field as an intern with the Pittsburgh Penguins and with the operations team at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field. He later joined the Mellon Arena Box Office and worked his way up by mastering the logistics of the Ticketmaster computer system for fulfilling ticket orders.
The Venues Today story chronicles his work with the Penguins and the 2010 opening of the Consol Energy Center, including its change in ownership from SMG to AEG.
The story credits his sense of humor in building a staff and ease in handing a wide variety of acts and sporting events. "Varnish breaks down silos, invigorates this staff and infuses a sense of purpose into ticketing," wrote its author Dave Brooks. "I take a lot of pride in working on events for our city. I grew up going to concerts here and now it's my responsibility to make sure that people coming to our arena are having a good time," Varnish said. He earned his undergraduate degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.