Monday, May 27, 2024 May 27, 2024
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Dallas 500

Meet the Dallas 500: Mike Tomon, Co-President and COO of Legends Hospitality

The exec talks about Legends' long term partnership with Real Madrid, his leadership strategies, and the pet alligator he had in college.

Legends manages food, beverage, merchandise, retail, and stadium operations for venues around the world. It was formed in 2008 as a concessions company by Jerry Jones, Gerry Cardinale, and George Steinbrenner. In 2021, private equity firm Sixth Street acquired a majority stake in the enterprise. Mike Tomon joined Legends in 2014 and is responsible for global operations.

In his extended 2024 Dallas 500 Q&A, Tomon talks about Legends’ long term partnership with Real Madrid, his leadership strategies, and the pet alligator he had in college.

First Job: “I had a paid internship at IMG where I learned the real meaning of ‘it’s who you know’ and the importance of relationships in professional success.”

Best Advice: “It was something very simple. My mom told me to find something I really enjoy doing. The rest will come.”

Dinner Party: “If I could have dinner with any two local leaders one would be Jennifer Sampson of United Way Dallas because of the foundational role and impact that United Way serves in our community. I would also choose the Jones family because they are incredible leaders and it would be poor form not to want to eat with our owners!”

Destination of Choice: “Any of the soccer fields my kids play on in North Texas. And Cleveland, Ohio, to visit family.”

Hobby/Passion: “I enjoy painting and grilling; both are mental outlets that give me a sense of calm.”

Industry Change: “Sports and entertainment content is so powerful and positive, the more people that can consume it the better.”

Local Fare: “A go-to spot for me is Duff’s Famous Wings in Southlake. I like all flats, extra crispy with the lemon pepper dry rub, or if I want spicy, I get the death sauce.”

Guilty Pleasure: “A bowl (not a cup) of chorizo queso dip.”

Fun Fact: “In college, I had a pet alligator with my roommates. His name was also Mike. Also, I have three plates in my face from an accident during a lunchtime pickup basketball game with work colleagues.”

Go-to Adviser: “I embody the thought ‘it takes a village,’ and I’ve been extremely fortunate on that side to have some of the best people in the business influence me along the way.”

Toughest Challenge: “I would say figuring out how to keep the company spirit and culture while building a global business to scale for delivery has been incredibly challenging, while also being rewarding.”

First Car: “My first car was a Honda Civic.”

Proud Moment: “The long-term partnership we forged with Real Madrid alongside our owners at Sixth Street was a milestone moment for our company. The partnership combined Legends’ operational and sales acumen and experience with Sixth Street’s flexible capital deployment is a new and innovative approach to modernizing the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, home to Real Madrid. It further validated Legends’ 360-degree services platform we have spent the last 15 years building and reinforced our commitment to global growth.”

A Better DFW: “I wish they would evolve the food offerings in the Admiral Club at DFW.”

Pivotal Moment: “I had a quarter life crisis at 22. I was working for the Cleveland Cavaliers and going to law school. I didn’t have a very defined use for a law degree outside of it being an added credential, and ultimately this made me really, really think about what I wanted to with my career and most importantly ’why’ I wanted to do it. I have used that exercise as a basis to guide all career decisions from that point on. It was painful in the moment, but necessary and hugely helpful.”

Alternate Reality: “If I wasn’t in my current job I would be an Uber driver for my kids…well, I may already be that actually…”

Bucket List: “I was fortunate to be able to take my family to Italy recently and we went truffle hunting together, which was an incredible experience and something we will remember forever.”

Key Leadership Strategy: “Lead through inspiration and action.”

Future Forecast: “Our people is what excites me most about the future. We are incredibly fortunate to have a company filled with driven leaders who are passionate about their work and love what they do. I can’t wait to see what next level of growth our team can lead Legends and our partners too in the future.”


Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

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Ben Swanger is the managing editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500, monthly…