By Alfred Branch, Jr.

The National Association of Ticket Brokers, coming off its annual meeting of brokers in Las Vegas, announced the election this week of Tom Patania as president, succeeding former president Russ Lindmark. Patania, former secretary of the 13-year-old broker advocacy group, is the owner of New Jersey-based Select-A-Ticket.

Patania, a broker since 1978, begins his term during a watershed moment for the industry as state upon state drops their anti-scalping laws. The NATB and TicketNetwork were two of the entities leading the charge of lobbying state legislatures to overturn their prior restrictive laws. . .
“Tom Patania’s experience as a NATB officer and his vast knowledge of state legislation and other issues impacting the secondary market ticket broker industry makes him the perfect choice as NATB’s new president,” Lindmark, owner of Ticket Solutions, said in a prepared statement. “I am proud to have served as NATB President for the past year, during which time several states, including New York, enacted legislation to create a free, secondary market for ticket re-sales. As a board member for 2007-2008, I look forward to working with Tom Patania to ensure that any remaining states prohibiting or limiting the re-sale of tickets will enact similar, deregulating legislation.”

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The NATB’s mission, according to past president Jason Berger, is to set high standards for the industry and recognize “those brokers that are continually exceeding consumer expectations.” The NATB was instrumental in establishing the industry-wide practice of guaranteeing a 200 percent refund in the event a broker fails to deliver tickets they promised to a customer. Its 19-point code of ethics is considered the defining pledge of all legitimate brokers.

In addition to serving as an officer in the past, Patania is also a founding member of the NATB and is also a former president of the East Coast Ticket Brokers Association. Other elected NATB officers for 2007-2008 include Ken Solky, Vice President; Joel Schwartz, Vice President, Membership; Gerry Levenberg, Secretary; Ray Cooke, Treasurer; and Berger, Past President.
“The secondary market ticket broker industry is facing its toughest challenges and greatest opportunities,” said Patania in a prepared statement. “As NATB’s president, I will ensure that the association continues its proud tradition fighting for the interests of secondary market ticket brokers and that the membership is properly prepared to face the industry’s future.”