NATO Elects B&B Theatres CEO Bob Bagby As New Chairman; Takes Over For Outgoing Rolando B. Rodriguez

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) Executive Board of Directors has elected B&B Theatres President & CEO Bob Bagby as the new NATO Executive Board Chair. He’ll be taking over for previous chair, Rolando B. Rodriguez, who is exiting; his retirement as the top executive at Marcus Theatres announced last year.

In addition, Harkins Theaters President & CEO Mike Bowers was elected as the new NATO Vice-Chair.

Santikos Entertainment CEO Tim Handren was elected Chair of The Cinema Foundation, while Salt Lake Film Society’s Tori A. Baker was re-elected Vice Chair.  

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All of this became official at NATO’s current annual General Membership & Board Meetings at the Beverly Hilton.

The Executive Board of Directors is the governing body of NATO, comprised of 20 leaders in the domestic exhibition industry. The four volunteer officers of the association are elected from and by the members of the Executive Board.

Bagby, oversees the largest family owned and operated theater chain in the U.S, headquartered in Kansas City (Liberty), MO. The circuit will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year. 

“I grew up in the movie theater business,” says Bagby. “When I was starting out, our family had only 17 screens, and now we’re the largest family-run cinema chain with more than 500 screens, so I have a unique perspective on all sides of the business. It’s an honor for me to represent the dedicated and hard-working people of cinemas across the globe and I look forward to serving the interests of our industry as we continue to bring the magic of the movies to the world.” 

The new NATO Vice Chair Bowers, oversees the Scottsdale-based Harkins Theatres circuit and its related businesses. His 35 years in the motion picture industry, specifically exhibition, began with Los Angeles-based Mann Theatres. He joined Harkins Theatres in 1993, and is responsible for every aspect of the company.

“Bob Bagby is one of those people whose optimistic vision and positivity are contagious, and Mike Bowers’ passion for the industry and strategic insights are well-known,” says NATO President & CEO Michael O’Leary. “It’s a pleasure to work with these innovative leaders with decades of experience between them, and I am confident they will help steer our great industry to even greater heights.”

Handren leads the San Antonio-based Santikos during a time of significant growth for the cinema, entertainment center and real estate company, operating 27 venues in the Southeastern US, in addition to a real estate portfolio of 1.2 million square feet.  Handren has helped expand and grow several companies and was the COO at USAA, a Fortune 100 financial services company.  He will continue to serve on the Executive Board of NATO.

Baker is the President and CEO of the Salt Lake Film Society (SLFS) and cofounded the National Arthouse PSA Project, the technology platform @homeArts, and MAST (Media Accelerator Studio). 

“Both Tim and Tori have a unique understanding of the cultural and economic impact of movie theaters and their importance to the communities at large,” says The Cinema Foundation Executive Director Bryan Braunlich. “Along with the other Board members, Tim and Tori will help lead The Cinema Foundation in its mission to advance the future of the moviegoing experience.”

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