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Oak View Group Names Four New Execs For New Arena at Seattle Center

(Left-to-right) Hewan Teshome, Kevin Melsby, Denise Russell, and Jessica Sloate

(Left-to-right) Hewan Teshome, Kevin Melsby, Denise Russell, and Jessica Sloate

Oak View Group (OVG), the global venue development, advisory, and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries, and Seattle Hockey Partners (NHL Seattle), today announced the appointment of Hewan Teshome as Senior Vice President and General Counsel to OVG’s team at the New Arena at Seattle Center. 

Also joining OVG is Kevin Melsby as Director of Arena Operations, Denise Russell as Director of Finance, and Jessica Sloate as Office Manager, Executive Assistant. All will assume their new roles immediately. 

Despite the economic uncertainty and unprecedented layoffs across the globe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including within the live event industry, these appointments come at a period of growth and momentum for Oak View Group.

“During these unparalleled and trying times, we are fortunate to be able to continue to hire and grow our company and are pleased we can contribute, in a small part, towards economic recovery,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group. “Hewan has a proven track record of leading legal teams and will bring considerable experience to our world-class team as we look ahead and plan for the future.” 

Steve Mattson, Executive Vice President of Oak View Group and General Manager of the New Arena at Seattle Center added, “Hewan is highly experienced and will be an integral member of our executive management and legal team. We are pleased to welcome her, Denise, Kevin, and Jessica to our team in Seattle.” 

“OVG is a highly-respected global market leader and it’s an honor to help bring a world-class level of music and entertainment to Seattle,” said Teshome. “I look forward to working closely with the team and am thrilled to help launch the new arena in my hometown of Seattle.”

Teshome comes to OVG after three years as vice president and general counsel of VICIS, a Seattle-based sports technology company that engineers protective headgear. Prior to VICIS, she served as vice president of business & legal affairs at SouthWest Holdings, an Ethiopia-based company with operations in hotels, real estate, and beverages. Before SouthWest Holdings, she served as associate of corporate, finance, and tax at Hogan Lovells. 

Teshome earned her Juris Doctorate from Stanford University Law School and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from New York University. 

Both Melsby and Russell come to OVG from Olympia Entertainment where they served as director of event operations and director of finance, respectively, at Little Caesars Arena (Red Wings) in Detroit, Michigan. 

Prior to Olympia Entertainment, Melsby was the director of operations with Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, and spent nearly ten years in the operations department at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Russell previously served as director of finance at venue management group SMG. 

NHL Seattle’s inaugural season at the New Arena at Seattle Center begins in 2021. The latest updates can be found at

About Oak View Group (OVG)

Oak View Group (OVG) is a global sports and entertainment company founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015. OVG is focused on being a positive disruption to business as usual in the sports and live entertainment industry and currently has 8 divisions across 4 global offices (Los Angeles, New York, London, and Philadelphia). OVG is leading the redevelopment and operations of the New Arena at Seattle Center as well as leading arena development projects in Belmont, NY, Austin, TX, and Milan, Italy. OVG Global Partnerships, a division of OVG, is the sales and marketing arm responsible for selling across all OVG Arena Development projects.

About Seattle Hockey Partners 

Seattle Hockey Partners (NHL Seattle) is responsible for leading the development activities of the newly awarded Seattle National Hockey League franchise, which is set to play its inaugural season in 2021-22 at the New Arena at Seattle Center, developed by Oak View Group. Visit for the latest news and information from the team including press releases, multimedia content, and the latest hires. Follow NHL Seattle on social media to find out the latest news via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Or search using the hashtag #NHLSeattle.

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