June 6, 2022 Julia Rambeau Smith

Justin Hay, General Manager, Live and Experience

Ryan Kruger, Director, Head of Business Operations & Development

Marco Rodrigues, Director, Head of People & Culture

 

Toronto, ON (June 6, 2022) – The MRG Group is pleased to announce the hiring of three influential executives to the leadership team in the Live & Experience Division, Business Operations & Development and People & Culture. For MRG, this expansion comes alongside the well-awaited “return to live”. After the overwhelming response of people returning to shows, venues and hospitality properties, The MRG Group has thoughtfully added these individuals to the team as they demonstrate a vast knowledge of talent development and industry experience with MRG entering a new stage of growth in live events, ticketing, hospitality.

“I am excited to join forces with passionate people that have amazing subject-matter expertise and champion experience. Justin, Ryan & Marco have all participated in the development of amazing company cultures. I look forward to growing MRG together,” Matt Gibbons, President, comments on the new additions to the group.

 

Justin Hay, General Manager, Live & Experience

Justin Hay joins The MRG Group as General Manager, Live & Experience overseeing, large scale events, ticketing, MRG Live & BeatRoute Media. Justin will lead the ongoing growth and development of the division with a focus on people training and development, as well as integrating our experiences and products with new clients, venues and partners.

“I am thrilled to be joining The MRG Group as the General Manager of Live and Experience. I can truly say this organization is special.” Justin continues, “The ability to create Positive Shareable Experience across all divisions of the business from concerts and venues to hospitality and more is second to none. As an executive with experience at the MLB, along with stadium and arena live shows I hope to share my knowledge and learn every day from the group I’m working with. I can’t wait to help grow and enhance the business even more in Canada and the US.”

Justin has over 25 years of experience in the event industry. Prior to The MRG Group, he held the position of Vice President, Ticket Sales, Service and Operations for the Toronto Blue Jays. He was accountable for department management through people, culture, structure and technology. Justin was responsible for transforming the organization through new product launches of CRM, service initiatives, loyalty platforms and data reporting.

 

Ryan Kruger, Director, Head of Business Operations & Development

The MRG Group has welcomed Ryan Kruger, to The MRG Group as Director, Head of Business Operations & Development. Ryan will be responsible for improving day-today- operations along with supporting the group’s long-term growth strategy. Ryan comes to MRG from a private consulting firm where he served as Managing Director of Entertainment & Events for AREA15 in Las Vegas, created and launched the Vujaday Music Festival in Barbados, and oversaw the Further Future Music Festival Series in the Mojave Desert.

Prior to forming his agency, Ryan ran the dance music division of Live Nation Canada, Electronic Nation, and helped create the IleSoniq Music Festival in Montreal. Before joining Live Nation, Ryan founded Destiny Events in Toronto and served as president for the largest student-focused event travel company, Breakaway Tours.

“After moving back to Toronto from Las Vegas and creating experiences within Ontario’s covid restrictions guidelines the past year, I’m extremely excited to join The MRG Group and drive the business of Positive Shareable Experiences across North America. There is nothing that compares to in-person entertainment, and I can feel the energy in the team and the population at large for a return to getting out and having fun again. I look forward to helping build the businesses for many years to come!”

Jacob Smid, Managing Director of The MRG Group says, “It is fantastic that Justin and Ryan have joined the MRG team. They have proven over the years that they are great contributors and team leaders. I’m sure they will continue to do both as we evolve MRG as a leading independent experience company with deep roots in live events and venues. Justin’s track record with Ticketmaster and the Toronto Blue Jays will be a huge advantage as we develop our AdmitONE ticketing business and find opportunities across our Experience portfolio both in the development of our business and our people. I am also excited to see how Ryan Kruger’s recent work with Fisher Brothers at Area15 in Las Vegas and his 20+ years of work in the event business will turbo charge our business development opportunities.”

 

Marco Rodrigues, Director, Head of People & Culture

The MRG Group’s People & Culture services has a new leader with Marco Rodrigues. Previously working at Walmart Canada and the Ministry of the Attorney General, Marco entered the group with enthusiasm, “I am thrilled and honoured to lead the People & Culture department at The MRG Group. The energy and the culture at MRG are nothing like I have experienced before. Full of talented individuals striving daily to surpass their yesterday’s best. The open environment at the office allows for strong collaboration to ensure our customers get the best experience possible and that our employees have an energetic, open and inclusive work environment. Every day, I am humbled by our people and what they accomplish! I am excited for the next chapter of my career, and I couldn’t have made a better choice than The MRG Group.”

During his time at Walmart, Marco led some of the company’s largest transformation including Organizational redesign of 85,000 roles, standardization and process efficiencies. At both Walmart & the Attorney General’s office, he was responsible for the Talent strategy team with a focus on organizational effectiveness.

The MRG Group is poised to pursue its long-term growth goals while continuing its mission to create more Positive, Shareable Experiences for artists, fans, guests, agents, managers, venue-owners, partners and colleagues with the above people in key roles.

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