Steven L. Peters, founder and CEO of VenuWorks, began his career managing municipal and university venues before being named National Director of Operations for Ogden Entertainment, a Fortune 500 company, in 1990. He was the opening GM of the Target Center in Minneapolis before being named an Ogden Vice President in 1995.

Steve left Ogden in 1996 to create VenuWorks. Starting from a desk in his family’s basement, VenuWorks has become an industry leader in entertainment, sports and destination management, serving dozens of venues in dozens of markets from coast to coast across the US, with over 3200 employees. In 2008 he assembled a group of investors and purchased the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre in suburban Minneapolis, the largest and longest running dinner theatre complex in the US.

He launched VenuWorks Theatricals in 2014, co-producing the Broadway revival of You Can’t Take It With You, starring James Earl Jones, which garnered a Tony nomination and won the Outer Critics Circle award for Best Revival of a play in 2015. In 2019, with Theatricals partner Michael Londra, he expanded to create the VenuWorks Agency, a boutique agency booking North American tours for Celtic and American artists and shows. VW Theatricals continues to produce original new works for the stage and original new video programming.

In 2018 Steve worked with concept pioneer John Hughes to create VenuBlue, creating beach lifestyle destination attractions at the intersection of design, technology, and business. VenuBlue works with developers, municipalities and other ownership groups to ensure each lagoon and surf attraction is a valuable success from the ground up.

Steve holds an MFA from the University of Iowa. He lives in Ames, IA with his wife of nearly 50 years, Randi, who oversees local community relations for the company. A past president of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), Steve is the recipient of two of IAVM’s top awards: The McElravy Award for lifetime achievement in 2015, and IAVM Foundation’s Legacy Award in 2018.

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