Lee A. Esckilsen

Department Chair & Associate Professor

JWU Faculty Since 2002

Professor Lee Esckilsen

Contact Info


Lee Esckilsen began his teaching career at Johnson & Wales University in the department of Sports, Entertainment, Event — Management in 2001.

Esckilsen has been instrumental in the development of courses and course content in the areas of venue management, ticketing and access management. He teaches both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses.

Prior to beginning his academic career, Esckilsen was involved in the development and management of international and national public assembly venues and events. He continues his involvement in the sports and entertainment, venue and event, development, and management business as the Principal of ESVenues.

Esckilsen has co-authored three textbooks for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) during his 20 years at Johnson & Wales University. These textbooks were developed and written for students and entry-level professionals in the sports and entertainment venue management business. The textbooks are used at more than 100 colleges and universities in North America and as a professional resource internationally. Esckilsen and his co-authors completed the next edition of the IAVM textbook in August 2020.


  • M.S., Sports Management, Indiana University
  • B.S., Recreational Sports Administration, Bowling Green State University
  • A.S., Recreational Leadership, Dean College

My goal is to assist students with [their] continued development ... including the communication and negotiation skills necessary to become and sustain a successful career as a manager in the sports, entertainment and event management business.

Teaching Interests

Facilities Management
Public Assembly
Ticket Operations
Venue Management
Venue Safety and Security


Professional Affiliations

  • International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM)
  • International Ticketing Association (INTIX)


Certified Venue Executive



  • Co-authored • Public Assembly Facility Management: Principles and Practices, 2nd edition. IAVM Publishing. 2009.
  • Co-authored • Public Assembly Venue Management: Sports, Entertainment, Meeting, and Convention Venues. Brown Publishing. 2015.
  • Co-authored • Public Assembly Venue Management: Sports, Entertainment, Meeting, and Convention Venues. 2nd edition. Kendall Hunt Publishing. 2020.

Q&A with Lee

At JWU, education is not confined to the four walls of the classroom. You’re not going to spend four years with your nose buried in a book, learning theories you may never get a chance to apply — you’re going to get out there and apply them, be it through internships, group projects, leadership opportunities, competitions and more.

What Advice Do You Have For Incoming Freshmen?

My best advice for Freshmen is ...

Go to all of your classes every day they meet. You may learn additional information that is not in the textbook.

Also, be on time or preferably early to class and have a conversation with the professor. You can continue the communication over the next four years that will make it easier for them to write more meaningful letters of recommendation for internships and employment your senior year.

Find a club or organization that you like and get involved. The experience and friendships you make will help you during your educational process and possibly for the rest of your personal and professional life.

Four years will go by fast!