Donna Julian

Donna Julian
Executive Vice President & Spectrum Center General Manager
Hornets Sports & Entertainment

Donna Julian is an award-winning, highly respected entertainment executive with an impressive track record of success. Ms. Julian directs all aspects of major venue operations and administration; including event booking, public safety, arena marketing and guest experience. She is recognized for her outstanding leadership directing and overseeing the preparation, production, and execution of all arena events from performances by prominent entertainers and high-profile political conventions to major league sports and athletic competitions.

Ms. Julian, who joined Hornets Sports & Entertainment on February 1, 2005, has directed the management of Spectrum Center since its inception, hosting over 150 sporting events, concerts, and family entertainment shows annually. Showcase acts which have performed at Spectrum Center, include the Rolling Stones, U2, Paul McCartney, Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder, Marc Anthony, and Andrea Bocelli. Spectrum Center has established its industry reputation as a prime site to host an impressive catalog of collegiate basketball championship tournaments on behalf of the NCAA, ACC, and CIAA. In the last decade, two signature events set a new standard of excellence for Spectrum Center. With Ms. Julian’s leadership of all arena operational logistics, Charlotte proudly served as host for both the 2012 Democratic National Convention and the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend.

In 2019, Governor Roy Cooper appointed Ms. Julian as a Commissioner to the North Carolina Emergency Response Commission representing North Carolina’s public assembly venue sector. With the onset of Covid-19, Ms. Julian served as the lead of the Governor’s COVID-19 Large Gatherings Task Force Subgroup, participated in the WELL Advisory on Sports and Entertainment Venues and is part of the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Live Coalition.

Ms. Julian was honored as one of Sports Business Journal’s 2020 Game Changers, which recognizes women in the sports business who contribute to the success of the industry in multiple ways. Additionally, Julian was named one of VenuesNow’s 2019 Inaugural All-Stars, which recognizes top executives in sports, live entertainment and venues who have made their mark in the industry and will continue to shape it in the coming years. Ms. Julian was also nominated for IEBA’s (International Entertainment Buyers Association) 2018 Venue Executive of the Year.

Ms. Julian has placed a high priority on maximizing the customer and client experience by promoting and instilling a team-wide commitment to creating a service-driven culture for the benefit of all guests, promoters and artists who visit our venue. In September 2020, Spectrum Center received the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s (GBAC) STAR Facility Accreditation. This industry benchmark recognizes Spectrum Center’s commitment to the implementation of a comprehensive system of cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. Additional recent facility-related acknowledgements include, Spectrum Center’s selection by VenuesNow as #2 in ‘Top Stop’ rankings (venues with capacity of 15,000+), Facilities & Event Magazine’s Prime Site Award winner (annually since 2013), Creative Loafing’s 2010 Best of Charlotte Awards - Concerts, Charlotte Business Journals’ 2012 & 2013 Top Area’s Tourist Attractions and Mecklenburg County’s 2018 Wipe Out Waste (WOW) Ambassador Award Recipient for waste reduction and recycling measures.

In 2020, Ms. Julian was honored to assume the role of Board Chair for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas. With the commitment, she has become a Big Sister. She is also a Foundation Board Member for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), an Executive Committee Member of the N.C. Sports Leadership Council and a member of the Women Executives of Charlotte serving on the selection committee. She was recently appointed to the Leadership Committee of IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers). Ms. Julian has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. Additional honors and recognition include being named one of Venues Today’s Women of Influence (2017), Career Masters Women in History Leadership in Action Awards (2017), Charlotte Business Journal’s Women in Business (2016), Charlotte Mecklenburg Times’ 50 Most Influential Women (2016) and selected as one of BizWomen’s Women to Watch (2016). Prior to coming to Charlotte, Ms. Julian spent 15 years as General Manager of 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore. She was elevated to General Manager after serving in a number of roles in sales, marketing and event administration for Centre Management, the operating company for the Capital Centre (later USAir Arena), home of the Washington Bullets and Washington Capitals. In 2002, she was named to the Baltimore Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 list.

Ms. Julian received her bachelor’s degree in athletics administration from Ohio University, was a four-
year letter winner and co-captain of the tennis team as a senior, as well as a member of Delta SigmA Theta Sorority. She and her husband, David, live in Matthews, North Carolina, with their two sons, Griffin and Donovan.