LRA Worldwide Adds Long-Time Venue Management Executive Martin Thorson to its Account Team


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HORSHAM, Pennsylvania; June 24, 2009 – LRA Worldwide, Inc., a leader in the consulting discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM), announced Martin Thorson has joined the firm as Managing Director – Sports, Entertainment and Conventions. Thorson brings more than 20 years of venue management, food service and hospitality experience to LRA’s growing client base in the sports and entertainment industries.

Most recently, Thorson was a Senior Vice President at SMG, the leading global arena management company. Among other responsibilities, Thorson developed and operated SAVOR, SMG’s entry into the food service marketplace. He helped build SAVOR into a $200 million dollar division, with a focus on quality assurance and guest service practices and procedures. Thorson contracted, operated and managed a diverse set of accounts, spanning the full range of public assembly venues – convention centers, arenas, stadiums, cultural attractions, universities – and worked with high-profile teams and events including the Miami Dolphins, Rolling Stones World Tour, Toyota Grand Prix and multiple Presidential visits.

Prior to his tenure at SMG, Thorson worked in various food service and management positions with Wood Company, Finehost and Sheraton Hotels.

“Our work in sports, entertainment, food service and venue management has grown substantially over the past few years,” said Rob Rush, LRA’s Chief Executive Officer. “This trend will only continue as teams, venues, leagues, events and all of their partners focus on ‘customer experience’ as a sustainable competitive advantage. Martin brings a great combination of industry know-how and a hospitality sensibility to the LRA team.”

At LRA, Thorson will be charged with helping to extend the firm’s reach into the sports, venue management and food service industries. In addition, his years of operational and management experience will benefit existing accounts in those industries, where LRA has worked with clients such as Madison Square Garden, the PGA TOUR, the National Basketball Association, ARAMARK and the Delaware North Companies. Thorson will lead the LRA delegation at the 84th Annual International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) Conference & Trade Show in Boston next month, where the company will introduce a variety of assessment, performance measurement and improvement tools designed specifically for arena managers.

“I was very impressed by the work that LRA has done in the industry, their impressive client roster and the range of tools they have developed to assist operators,” Thorson explained. “The industry is thirsting for ways to measure and improve performance beyond the typical financial metrics. The new measures of success are how well you service customers and build lasting relationships with clients, and LRA has a defined point of view and methodology to help clients accomplish both.”

About LRA Worldwide:
LRA Worldwide is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability.

In LRA’s 25-year history, we have grown from a provider of customized quality assurance evaluation programs for the hospitality industry, to a leading CEM consulting company offering a variety of client solutions. The evolution has been driven by our clients asking us one question – “How do we get better?” In response, we have built a range of performance measurement, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so. Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, helping clients such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the National Basketball Association, the PGA TOUR, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Ritz-Carlton Clubs deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit us at

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