Allison Melangton plans to step down as president of the Indiana Sports Corp. to become senior vice president of events at Hulman & Co., parent of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Ryan Vaughn, chief of staff to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, is set to succeed Melangton at ISC.
Melangton was CEO of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee and headed the city’s unsuccessful bid for the 2018 Super Bowl. In that role, she worked closely with host committee chairman Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., which owns and operates the speedway and the IndyCar Series.
In an email to Indiana Sports Corp. supporters Friday afternoon, Melangton wrote that her new position will "utilize my years of experience in centralized event planning. I look forward to the opportunity to join Mark Miles and their talented team in executing events in the sport of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and for IndyCar, working toward the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016."
In her email, Melangton described Vaughn as "a proven leader, visionary, and he is committed to the success of the city and state. I know he will be fantastic in this role. He is a superstar and I could not be more pleased with his appointment."
Before joining the Ballard administration in 2012, Vaughn was an attorney at Barnes & Thornburg, where his practice focused on government finance and government relations. He served on the City-County Council from 2007 to 2012, and was council president from 2009 to 2011.
A source told IBJ that Miles has been talking to Melangton about joining Hulman & Co. for at least six months. In her new role, Miles wants her to focus on developing and producing attractions and events that will draw people to the massive facility at 16th Street and Georgetown Road.
Melangton has been with the Sports Corp. since 1994. She succeeded Susan Williams as president in Sepember 2012.
Melangton’s ascension to local prominence began in 2008 when she was named CEO of Indianapolis’ 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee. She was only the second woman named head of a Super Bowl host committee in the 46-year history of the event.
Miles has long been acquainted with Melangton, but became even more aware of her skills during the 2012 Super Bowl. As the chairman of 2012 host committee, Miles hired Melangton as CEO of that organization. The duo also worked together on the 2018 Super Bowl bid. Indianapolis was a finalist for the game, but was beat out by Minneapolis.
If Melangton’s track record is any indication, her commitment to IMS and IndyCar will be for a significant amount of time.
“I’m not a job hopper,” Melangton, 53, told IBJ after the 2012 Super Bowl. “I’ve only had three jobs in my whole life.”
In 20 years at the ISC, Melangton served in a number of roles, overseeing events such as as the men’s and women’s Big Ten basketball championships, NCAA Final Fours, and U.S. Olympic swimming, diving and wrestling trials.
Before coming to ISC, Melangton spent 11 years climbing the ladder at USA Gymnastics, eventually landing as director of national and international events.
Melangton wowed NFL officials at the 2012 Super Bowl, producing the very first Super Bowl Village that included a zip line—a feature Melangton imported from her experience at the Olympics—and pioneered the first Super Bowl social media control center.
Melangton has worked at eight Olympic Games—including the 2012 Olympic Games in London—five as an associate producer of the gymnastics competition for NBC. She won four Emmy Awards for her Olympics coverage.
Despite the awards, TV production is not among her greatest strengths, said those who know her.
"Her biggest strength is in relationship-building and in matching an event to the things that are important to the community that hosts it,” Williams told IBJ after the 2012 Super Bowl. “She has a unique ability to draw the community into an event, and there are any number of organizations, in sports or otherwise, that could utilize a person like that.”