By James Dornbrook – Staff Writer, Kansas City Business Journal
Overland Park-based Tickets For Less hired 22-year technology veteran Brian Leftwich as chief technology officer and now is building a team around him.
Leftwich spent the last four years working at Cox Automotive, most recently as senior director of operations. Before that, he spent two years as director of engineering for VinSolutions in Mission. He also has 10 years of experience in technology roles at H&R Block and another seven at Sprint Corp.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from the University of Central Missouri in 2000.
“We’re really excited to have him join the team, specifically the executive team,” said director of marketing and e-commerce at Tickets For Less, Mary Strickler. “The focus for us is to really put more effort around our tech team so we can really build up our company’s technology, and he’s going to play a big part in that.”
Leftwich’s job will be to feel the pulse of the Ticket For Less customer base and make sure the company maintains a user friendly experience as it grows nationally. He’ll also be responsible for increasing automation and creating efficiency.
Tickets For Less aims to hire software engineers and senior software engineers to build teams around Leftwich. But the company also has openings in accounting, marketing and operations.
Most of the new jobs will be in the company’s headquarters at 7311 W. 130th Street, Suite 100, in Overland Park. In May, Tickets For Less doubled its space in the building from 10,000 to 20,000 square feet, giving it room for about 100 employees. The company employs about 80 people.
The growth spurt comes after Tickets For Less weathered difficult times during the Covid-19 pandemic. Canceled concerts and sports events without fans meant fewer ticket sales.
Tickets For Less cut expenses, downsized its staff and looked for other revenue opportunities to survive the downturn. Once events started coming back, the company was ready to take advantage of a market full of weakened competitors.
Tickets For Less acquired San Fransisco-based Just Tix in March and Omaha-based Ticket Express in April. The company continues to look for new partnerships, particularly in the Midwest, that can bring more inventory and growth. It’s also building out its tech team to create more efficiency and give it an edge on competitors.
“We’re not sitting here gouging our clients, adding per ticket service fees at checkout,” Strickler said. “The price you see is the price you get. We really pride ourselves in our customer service as well, which is why we’re continuing to expand those teams. It’s a differentiator that people can call us and get a human voice to ask questions about venue, prices or the best available seats.”