The idea for Seven Hills Global started on a beautiful summer day in Lisbon. Jay and Joanna sat in a little cafe soaking in the sun while talking about work and life. Over an incredible meal and a nice glass of wine an idea began to take shape. Joanna wanted to combine her passion for travel with Jay’s passion for sports and create a hospitality agency focused on providing client’s with the best possible event experience. Their 30 years combined experience in the sports hospitality and travel business gave them the connections, expertise and confidence to chase their dream. It only seemed appropriate for them to name the company Seven Hills Global after the Seven Hills of Lisbon, a truly inspiring place.
Joanna Stark Palmer
Starting at a young age Joanna found travel and every new experience it created fascinating. She fell in love with meeting new people, immersing herself in different cultures, exploring unknown cities and beaches, and tasting what the world had to offer. Studying research and communication in college and having a 12 year career in Sports Marketing introduced Joanna to the world of hospitality and travel. She was lucky enough to take on projects that allowed her to see the world. As she traveled she shared her research and findings with friends and family. Joanna spent a lot of free time assisting them in building international travel plans and eventually helping friends of friends. With that an idea for a business started to grow.
Starting her career at TSE Sports & Entertainment in 2003, Joanna managed corporate hospitality events at the Olympics, World Cup in Germany, multiple Super Bowl and Final Four events, corporate golf and travel programs as well as athlete/celebrity appearances nationwide. At 24 she managed the sponsorship agreement between the New York Jets and TSE Sports & Entertainment, which included creating a targeted marketing campaign, branding and website design for “Fantasy Jetaways, The Official Travel Provider For The New York Jets.”
In 2007 Joanna joined Octagon as an Account Manager in the corporate hospitality division. She was tasked with providing a strategic marketing plan to help grow her key account. With her strong work ethic and passion for flawless execution Joanna doubled the business in just over one year. She was quickly promoted to Account Director. In her new role Joanna managed multi-million dollar accounts and projects. She was the lead on several major hospitality initiatives to include Bank of America’s Sponsorship at The Chicago Marathon, events surrounding the Ryder Cup, Masters, PGA Championship and built out corporate golf tournaments at some of the best golf courses in the world. Additionally Joanna handled sponsorship agreements and managed events with the New York Yankees, Madison Square Garden and the NFL.
Joanna left for ISEG and acted as a hospitality consultatnt in 2013. In February 2014, Seven Hills Global became Joanna’s full time focus.
Jay Palmer brings 16 years of experience to Seven Hills Global after successful stints at TSE, Premiere Global Sports, Octagon and CAA. A former college soccer player, college soccer coach and USL 1 professional soccer player, Jay brings the same dedication to Seven Hills Global that he displayed on the field with commitment to excellence, teamwork and the drive to improve daily.
In 2000, Jay was the 4th employee hired at start up and industry trailblazer TSE Sports and Entertainment. Jay was witness to and participated in the growth of the sports corporate hospitality industry. During his time there, the company grew from $2M to $60M in revenue after being acquired by a private equity firm. Over his 11+ years at the company, Jay was regularly the top revenue producer working on national marketing campaigns and corporate hospitality initiatives with notable brands such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Mount Gay Rum, Famous Grouse Scotch and Knob Creek Bourbon.
In 2011. Jay joined leading sports marketing agency Octagon tasked with building the outbound sales process for their hospitality division. Together with Joanna, they built the outbound sales effort from $0 to over $1M in revenue in the 1st year. Their joint experience of building the business at Octagon would lay the groundwork for the formation of Seven Hills Global several years later.
Hired out of Octagon in 2013, ISEG tasked Jay and Joanna with bringing their successful sales and execution process to life within a new company. ISEG was acquired by CAA Sports and over the course of 2.5 years, Jay and Joanna tag teamed to provide successful hospitality services for their clients, with Joanna working as a consultant from Seven Hills Global. In June of 2015, Jay decided to join Joanna full time at Seven Hills Global and realize their dream.
Jay is an avid sports fan following the NFL, NBA, MLS, EPL and US Soccer. He’s run 12 marathons and is a member of New York Road Runners. Jay also stays busy playing soccer with the Irish Shamrocks FC. From 2006-2013 Jay coached for Downtown United Soccer Club which is a non profit organization that invests money back into the community by providing scholarships to underprivileged kids. Residing on the Upper West Side, Jay has lived in Manhattan for the last 16 years.