Sports-focused ticketing firm Mike Burton Group has named ex-Emirates Old Trafford and Lancashire Cricket executive Justin Hopwood as its new chief commercial officer.

Hopwood (pictured) also joins the board as a director alongside chairman and founder Mike Burton and chief executive Ian Edwards. He rejoins Mike Burton Group having previously worked for the company from 2005 to 2015 as head of sales and marketing.

Hopwood will work alongside Edwards to lead on the day-to-day and long-term commercial and new business strategy for the company.

Head to our sister site TheTicketingBusiness.com for full details on Hopwood’s appointment.

Venue specialist Forward Associates has recruited Neil Fox as a culinary director.

Forward Associates helped shape the guest experience at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium and has also worked with the Wimbledon Championships, FC Porto and The O2 in London. Fox most recently spent two years as head chef at Helsinki-based French brasserie Rivoli.

He will continue to be based in Finland and offer direct support to Forward Associates’ business in the region. Fox’s arrival forms part of Forward Associates’ plans for a permanent office in the Nordic region.

Doug Lyons has joined event technology solutions firm Patron Technology as senior vice-president of marketing.

Lyons has previously held senior management roles with ticketing companies such as Paciolan, Tickets.com, AXS and SeatGeek. He is also the co-founder of entertainment consulting business Neon Palm Tree.

Lyons has over 20 years of experience in the event technology sector. Before joining Paciolan, he managed in-house ticketing, marketing and CRM/fundraising applications for presenters and venues such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Ian Flanagan has taken on a director role at Thomond Park Stadium, alongside his existing job as Munster Rugby chief executive.

Flanagan has spent four months as Munster chief executive after previously serving as global head of football at Treble Group and commercial director at Premier League football club Leicester City.

Insurtech company Protecht has appointed Patrick Zhang to the newly-created position of chief technology officer.

He will report to Protecht chief executive Bryan Derbyshire and will be responsible for establishing the company as a “developer-friendly environment”. Zhang previously served as senior vice-president of engineering at Protecht and has been with the company for three years.

Christa Carone has been named president of the CSM Sport & Entertainment agency’s North American division.

Carone most recently worked as president of Group Nine Media and joins CSM as it looks to expand its client portfolio and capabilities. She previously served as chief marketing officer of Xerox, creating partnerships with the US Open, Cirque due Soleil and Live Nation.

Tom Bettles has started a new position as partner success manager at Low6, a UK-based gambling and entertainment business.

Bettles joins Low6 having most recently working as an app channel marketing manager for The Jockey Club. He previously worked for Arena Racing Company as marketing manager for the Bath and Hereford Racecourses.

Do you have news of an appointment that we should know about? Get in touch by emailing news.editor@thestadiumbusiness.com and we’ll include it in our next round-up.