- Executive Vice President & General Manager, AmericanAirlines Arena
The HEAT Group
A veteran of the dynamic South Florida sports market for almost two decades, Kim Stone's experience spans almost every functional area of a professional sports team and she has been an integral part of building the HEATs success by developing and implementing sound business strategies and management practices. In the summer of 2009, she was honored by the South Florida Business Journal in its inaugural class of Influential Business Women.
Promoted to her current position of Executive Vice President & General Manager of AmericanAirlines Arena in 2006, Stone is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Arena and the HEATs season ticket holder base. In April 2003, the 10-year old facility became was the first existing Arena in the United States to earn the prestigious LEED certification from the US Green Building Council. LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings and recognizes AA Arenas approach to sustainability in the key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
Additionally, the facility has hosted world-renown, sold-out events including recent shows such as Hannah Montana, Britney Spears, Marc Anthony just to name a few. It has been home to the MTV Video Music Awards, Latin award show Premio Lo Nuestro, the 2006 NBA Finals, Madonna, U2, Disney on Ice and RBB & B Circus. Stone is also responsible for delivering exceptional customer service and retaining the HEATs multi-million dollar season ticket holder base. Since taking over this area, the department has set team records for most seats and revenue renewed and consistently ranks among the best in the NBA in retention with innovative and customer-eccentric programs that are often cited as a best practice among league teams. This spring, the HEAT achieved its highest Season Ticket renewal rate since 2000.
Stone has risen through the ranks of the HEAT organization during her 15 years. Hired initially into the Sports Media Relations department in 1996, she worked directly with players such as HEAT All Stars Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning as well as Coach Pat Riley and his staff on a daily basis. She coordinated the media operations during the HEATs playoff runs from 1996-1999. She worked several NBA All-Star Weekends, including the leagues star-studded 50th Anniversary celebration in 1997. In 1996, she handled the media relations duties for the mens and womens basketball competitions at the Atlanta Olympic Games.
On July 16, 1999, she was tabbed by the HEAT to lead the companys efforts to start a WNBA team and was named the Senior Director of Operations. She played a key role in all facets of the startup of the expansion franchise from building awareness and developing the brand to basketball issues such as hiring of the coaching staff. Later, she was charged with overseeing every area from marketing and promotions to the basketball operations.
Stone's responsibilities changed in 2003 when she became Chief of Staff to HEAT President, Business Operations, and Eric Woolworth. She helped develop and implement sound business strategies and management practices that remain among the best in the league. She helped develop the current version of the service department that is based on an innovative approach to providing superior customer service through a balance of technology and personal touch.
Prior to joining the HEAT, Stone was the Sports Publicity Director for the University of Texas womens athletics department from 1992-94. She came to South Florida in 1990 as an assistant in the University of Miamis sports information office, where she worked with many sports including the 1991 National Champion football squad. Stone's publicity efforts for the womens basketball team helped Miami claim National Coach of the Year and Sports Illustrated Player of the Year honors in 1992.
Stone's career began at the University of North Carolina, where she assisted in the sports information office while completing her degree in journalism and public relations. In December of 2003, she graduated with honors from the University of Miami with a masters degree in international business administration. She is formerly an adjunct professor in the St. Thomas University masters of sports administration program and serves as a board member of UMs Alumni Association, the Beacon Councils Executive Committee, Save Dade, Miami Recognition Dinner and is the secretary/treasurer of the Florida Facility Managers Association.