Expertise: Venue Management & Operations
After a successful 20 years serving in the US Navy, John Sparks retired honorably and began his career in sports and entertainment facility management. In 1997, Sparks was hired to be the Operations & Maintenance Manager for a CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The following year he was made the Director of Operations for the Phillips Arena, where he oversaw the construction and development of the building prior to opening and operating until 2001. Sparks was selected to be the Assistant General Manager for the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, where he once again was involved in the construction and development until opening in 2002. In 2004 Sparks was promoted to Vice President/General Manager of AT&T Center, where he oversaw operations of the building through three NBA Championships over the next 10 years. In 2011, he worked briefly on the construction and development of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York until opening his own consulting business “Sage in Sight” in August of 2012.
Sparks consulted with numerous groups and organizations throughout all areas of sports management, technical systems, staffing, operations and finance. In 2014 he joined the Orlando Venues Team (a division of the City of Orlando) as the Stadium Operations Assistant Division Manager of the Citrus Bowl, where he was in charge of numerous high-level, high-attendance events including: NCAA college bowl game, NFL Pro Bowl, MLS soccer, International Soccer Copa America, and numerous concerts and festivals.
Sparks is married to his wife, Gail, going on 37 years, and the happy couple have four children, William (36), Daniel (30), Katherine (28), and Jonathan (25).
Assistant General Manager
Expertise: Sponsorship Sales & Marketing
Gary joined the Hoover Met Complex team in January 2018. He brings over 25 years of experience in sales, sales management, and marketing. He has held such positions as Division Manager at BellSouth, Area Marketing Manager with AT&T, and Area Sales Manager with Coca-Cola.
Gary earned a Master’s Degree in Industrial Management and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Georgia Southern University in Economics.
While born and raised in Blackshear, Georgia, Gary has had the opportunity to live in almost every state in the Southeast. In his spare time, Gary enjoys all types of fishing and playing golf with friends.
Director of Events
Expertise: Sports Program Development & Implementation
Jamie joins the HMC team as an experienced sports and fitness manager. He brings 12 years of experience in the sports industry and established relationships with the Birmingham sports community. He has served as a Sports and Wellness Director for both the Atlanta and Birmingham YMCA associations. Jamie has also held positions of high school basketball coach and personal trainer while living in Atlanta, GA. His passion is helping young athletes discover how to develop their skills and reach their potential as leaders in the community.
Jamie earned a Master’s Degree in Sport Administration from Georgia State University and a B.A. in History from Samford University.
Born and raised in Georgia, Jamie is loyal to Atlanta sports teams, but since relocating to Birmingham in 2012 he has developed an appreciation for the local sports scene. When he is not cheering on his Atlanta teams, he enjoys spending time at the gym and playing golf with friends.
Facility Business Manager
Expertise: Accounting & Finance
Amanda has been in the business accounting field for 12 years including management for six years. She has worked in many areas of finance, business, and customer service as well as event planning, promotions, and marketing. With a servant’s heart and positive attitude, Amanda strives to be an asset to her peers, company and community by demonstrating leadership at the office and at home. She wishes to add value to her team by using her creative and analytical skills to innovate reporting, financial strategies, and communication. “What you focus on Expands!” Is her favorite quote about growth and leadership.
Amanda graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with her B.S. in Accounting. She is a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers and is a Certified Bookkeeper. She also plans to test for the Certified Management Accounting (CMA) Exam in 2018.
Amanda has lived in Hoover and the surrounding areas her entire life and has enjoyed watching her city grow. Besides being a mother, Amanda enjoys spending time with friends and family, attending young professional and social events, watching SEC football (she’s an Auburn fan), and has a passion for painting.
Parking & Security Manager
Expertise: Security & Parking
Guy joins the Hoover Met Complex Team with a combined 30 years of experience in the Law Enforcement/Investigations/Security Field. He served 12 years as a Military Police Officer and Criminal Investigator in the United States Marine Corps. During his enlistment, Guy traveled to many different locations around the world including Japan for approximately six years. After completing his enlistment, he returned home to the Birmingham area.
Subsequent to returning to Birmingham, Guy spent 18 years with the Birmingham-Southern College Campus Police Dept., where he worked as an Investigator as well as Shift Supervisor. Throughout his career, Guy has helped plan, organize, oversee, and carry out a plethora of security details for all types of events. His passion is providing the service aspect of the “Protect and Serve” motto, and lives his daily life by treating people the way he wants to be treated.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Guy’s family moved to Birmingham, Alabama when he was a small child. Guy grew up in the Hoover area and is glad to be able to assist his community by returning to work in the area where he grew up. When not working, Guy can be found spending time with his wife of 31 years and their three sons. Additionally, he enjoys spending his spare time cheering on his favorite college sports team, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Expertise: Guest Services & Sales
Lisa brings an extensive amount of experience in sports, administration, and marketing to the Hoover Met Complex team. Lisa spent nine years with the NBA’s Orlando Magic in a variety of positions including Assistant Director of Sponsorship Sales and Assistant Director of the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.
Lisa earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Troy University double majoring in Public Relations/Advertising and Broadcast Journalism.
Born and raised in Florida, Lisa relocated to Birmingham in 2016. Lisa is a mother of two daughters; one at Hoover High School and one at the University of Alabama. Lisa is often found cheering on the Hoover Bucs and Crimson Tide at sporting events. An avid tennis player, Lisa is active in area leagues and tournaments.
Expertise: Guest Services & HR
Erin joined the Hoover Met Complex team in June 2018. Before coming aboard, she had extensive involvement in customer service as well as 10+ years of diverse management experience. Erin works on a variety of projects with the Hoover Met Complex management staff and manages ‘Hoover Climbing & Adventure’, too.
Erin graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Since then she has worked with numerous community outreach programs, charity organizations, and event planning projects such as the YMCA, Birmingham Museum of Art, and the Cahaba River Society; to name a few.
Born and raised in Birmingham, Al, Erin remains active in her community and continues to teach at Alabama Dance Academy located in Hoover. She has a passion for music which she shares with her husband who is a local and regional artist. In her free time, you can usually catch her at one of his shows!
Expertise: Event Operations &
Harry brings 30 years of experience in the sports and hospitality industry with established relationships in the sports and tourism industries. His background in sports was developed by serving as Manager, Corporate Marketing and Consumer Products for USA Hockey, Regional Event Director for Triple Crown Sports, Hockey Operations Manager for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics Organizing Committee, Special Events Sales Manager for Hidden Valley Resort, and Event Coordinator for Resort Sports.
Harry has also held the following positions within the tourism and hospitality industry: Director of Sports & Athletic Sales for BookMyGroup, and Sports Sales Manager for various Hilton and Radisson properties. His passion is helping develop young business professionals in the sports business industry. Harry serves on the Advisory board for the Sport Management Program at Robert Morris University.
Harry earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Sport Management from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.
Born and raised in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Harry is loyal to his Pittsburgh sports teams. Since relocating to Birmingham in 2013, Harry is involved in the local community by serving on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Amateur Hockey Association and Eucharist Minister at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church. Harry is happily married and enjoys spending time with his son and daughter.
Expertise: Event Management
Michael Pepper was born and raised in rural Mississippi and graduated from Mississippi State University. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Fitness Management and a Master’s degree in Sports Administration. Michael’s journey in the sports business has taken him from various positions in minor league baseball to his current role with the Hoover Met Complex.
Michael has been with the City of Hoover for five years and enjoys overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Hoover Met as well as planning and coordinating all the events that are booked at the Finley Center.
Michael and his wife, Hailey, have two daughters and live in nearby Vestavia. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, hunting, and being outdoors.
Expertise: Event Management
James has been with the City of Hoover for five years. His role with the City is overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Hoover Met Stadium. Prior to joining the City of Hoover, he was on staff with the Birmingham Barons for 13 seasons. During his time with the Barons, he served in multiple roles that included stadium and baseball event operations.
James is a graduate of Ohio University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management and Communications. He and his wife, Julia, live in Birmingham with their daughter. When he is not at the Met, he can be found on softball fields coaching and cheering on his daughter’s team.
HOOVER MET COMPLEX SUPPORT STAFF
The Hoover Met Complex would be impossible to run without the help of our outstanding staff members. From the people who greet you as you enter to the facility staff who keep the fields and courts in excellent condition, our management and support staff work together as a dream team. Hoover Met Complex staff is comprised of a family of dedicated, passionate people who work together to make Hoover Met Complex the most outstanding sports facility in central Alabama.