Staff Directory

Kevin Ullestad
Associate Director of Athletics, State Farm Center Director

Kevin has been the Director of the University of Illinois State Farm Center since 1997 and was named Associate Athletic Director in 2008 when the facility became co-managed with DIA and Student Affairs. Kevin oversees the total operation of the State Farm Center with direct responsibilities in booking, scheduling, contracting and budgeting for the arena. The arena hosts over 100 events annually, from athletics to national touring concerts, Broadway series shows and family shows. Kevin received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1982 and is a graduate from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) school, and has achieved the Certified Facilities Executive (CFE) certification from IAVM.

Prior to coming to the University of Illinois, Kevin was the director of the Dow Events Center in Saginaw, Mich., and the West Plains Civic Center in Missouri. In addition, he has served on the management teams at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa, and Iowa State Center in Ames, Iowa. He has served on the International Association of Venue Managers Board of Directors and served on the IAVM Arenas committee, Universities committee, and CFE Certifications committees. He has a wife named Lynn and three children.

Phone: 217-333-2923
Email: [email protected]

Sue Walker
Associate Director

Sue Walker was hired as Event Manager for Assembly Hall in August of 1990.  She began her career as a graduate assistant for Braden Auditorium on the campus of Illinois State University.  She currently serves as Associate Director at State Farm Center.

Walker earned her CFE (Certified Facilities Executive) designation in 2011.  She is a 1994 graduate of the International Association of Venue Manager’s (IAVM) Venue Management School.  She served on the IAVM Region 3 Board for four years as Treasurer and Secretary.  She Is currently on the IAVM membership committee and serves as a mentor with the organization.

A native of Rantoul, IL, Walker earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Illinois State University in 1989 and her master’s degree in communications from Illinois State University in 1992.  She has two children (Ellie & Nick) and resides in Savoy.

Phone: 217-333-2923
Email: [email protected]

John Marquardt
Assistant Director for Event Management

John Marquardt was named Assistant Director for Event Management for State Farm Center in 2015. Marquardt joined State Farm Center and Division of Intercollegiate Athletics as an Event Management intern in 2005 and served as Event and Safety Coordinator for State Farm Center beginning in 2007.

Marquardt’s primary role is to facilitate the management of State Farm Center concerts, sporting events, and other shows and events, as well as oversee State Farm Center event staff and guest services initiatives. He also oversees facility safety, security and emergency preparedness initiatives for State Farm Center. Within Illinois Athletics Development, Marquardt serves as a liaison between State Farm Center and Athletics Development, helping to connect and integrate the two entities as they pertain to the new Illinois Premium Seating amenities and initiatives that were introduced as part of the recent renovation of State Farm Center.

Marquardt is an active member of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), where he serves on several committees and holds positions as both IAVM Illinois State Representative and Vice Chair for the Young Professionals Committee. He has previously served as the Vice Chair for the VenueConnect Committee for IAVM. He is also a member of the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD).

A native of Urbana, Illinois, Marquardt earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in 2006. He completed his master’s degree in Sports Management from the University of Illinois in 2010. He is also a graduate of IAVM Venue Management School (2013).

Phone: 217-244-8145
Email: [email protected] 

Brad Swanson
Assistant Director, Marketing & Sales

Brad Swanson was named Assistant Director, Marketing & Sales at the State Farm Center in March of 2016. In his role, he oversees the marketing and promotions of all non-athletics events held at State Farm Center.

Prior to his current role, he served as the Director of Marketing for Fighting Illini Athletics for two years. He oversaw marketing for men’s basketball and was the DIA liaison to the Illini Pride student spirit group.

After graduating from Valparaiso University in 2008 with a degree in sports management and marketing, Brad began his career as a marketing assistant in the athletics department at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. Following his stint there, he earned his MBA at UMass – Amherst before heading back to Valpo as assistant director of marketing in 2010.

In December 2011 Brad moved to Akron, Ohio to serve as Director of Marketing and Promotions at The University of Akron. While with the Zips, Brad served as the marketing contact for Football and Men’s Basketball. He also managed a marketing unit that set sales and attendance records while earning three recognitions from the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators in the categories of Interactive/Social Media Program, Single-Day Attendance Promotion, and Static Display Advertisement.

Brad is a native of Lansing, Ill., a south suburb of Chicago, and resides in Champaign.

Phone: 217-300-1406‚Äč
Email: [email protected]

Megan Laz
Marketing Coordinator

Phone: 217-300-7889
Email: [email protected]

Janet Snyder
Graphic Designer

Phone: 217-300-6914
Email: [email protected]

Rebecca Fuhrer
Ticket Office

Phone: 217-333-5000
Email: [email protected]

Dave Roesch

Phone: 217-333-2923
Email: [email protected]

Tom Divan

Tom Divan was named the Director of Facilities Management and Operations for the University of Illinois State Farm Center in December of 2008. Divan began his career in athletics as a student assistant at the University of Illinois in Event Management and Compliance. In 2003, Divan was named Assistant Director of Facilities, Operations & Events at the University of Maryland. In 2006, Divan was promoted to the position of Associate Director of Facilities, Operations & Events for the Terrapins. In 2007, Divan took the position of Director of Operations at Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation and aided in opening the $55 million Monon Center in Carmel, Ind.

Divan participated in basketball and track & field at Danville Area Community College, before transferring to Blackburn College where he continued his basketball career. Divan earned his bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Blackburn in 1998. He was an assistant basketball coach at Lindenwood University during the 1999-2000 season. Divan earned his master’s degree in Sports Administration from the University of Illinois in 2002. Originally from Danville, Ill., Divan and his wife, Darcee, currently reside in St. Joseph, Ill., with their two children, Rachel and Trey.

Phone: 217-333-2923
Email: http://[email protected]

Ryan French
Video Services

Phone: TBD
Email: rfrenc[email protected]

John Rinkenberger
Concessions / Merchandise / Catering

John Rinkenberger joined the Assembly Hall in 1998 as an Event Administrator-Concession Operations. In 2008, he was promoted to Assistant Director for Hospitality Management which includes responsibilities in concessions, catering, alcohol sales, and merchandise operations.

Rinkenberger earned his Concession Manager Certification (CCM) through the National Association of Concessionaires (NAC) in 1999. He is active in the NAC Annual Conference and often moderates educational sessions. Rinkenberger is also a member of the National Association of Collegiate Concessionaires. He has over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, including serving 12 years as a Multi-State Manager for Canteen Corporation and six years as a co-owner of a Restaurant and Sports Complex.

A native of the Bloomington, Ill., area, John, and his wife, Donna, have two grown children (John Jr. and Christine), who all reside in Urbana, Ill.

Phone: 217-333-2923
Email: [email protected]

Amy Johnson
Administrative Clerk

Phone: 217-265-0372
Email: [email protected]