President/CEO Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises (2009 - Current)
President/Executive Producer Veras Communications Inc (1994 - Current)
Adjunct Professor Case Western Reserve University (2011 - Current)
Veras Communications, Inc. (VCI) was founded in 1994 by President George Veras, after 19 years at ABC Sports and CBS Sports, as a television senior producer, event and studio producer. VCI packages television productions, as well as producing and directing live events, documentaries, music shows and network sports. VCI has captured 13 National Sports Emmy Awards since 1981, the latest for the 2004 Summer Olympics for NBC Sports. Veras was the Senior Producer for Universal Sports TV coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games from Vancouver and Producer for the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, "The Legend of Jimmy the Greek", that was nominated as a Documentary Finalist for the 2010 Sports Emmys.
In spring 2010, George Veras was appointed to the faculty of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland to teach a SAGES writing course, "The Business of Sports", in the Fall of 2011 and was re appointed to teach the course in the Fall 2012.
In January 2009, VCI was hired by the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame to represent all of the Pro Football Hall of Famers™ for television, sponsorship, merchandise and events as President/CEO for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises, a for-profit organization established in 2006 to represent the Pro Football Hall of Fame and its members in the creation of commercial ventures, featuring Hall of Famers™ and the marks and logos of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, for television shows, new media, merchandise, sponsorships and events. Enterprise thus serves the mission of the PFHOF to enable football fans and the general public to have greater access and interactions with Hall of Famers™ and the Hall of Fame.
Veras created national programs such as "The Fan Vote" and the "Hometown Hall of Famers" to sign six national sponsors for Enterprise - Phillips Van Heusen, US Army, Diamond Foods, Budweiser, Guinness and Allstate, for a total of over $7.5 million, developing two national television shows and programs to help pay over $2 million in appearance fees for the Pro Football Hall of Famers™ since 2009 Veras is also in charge of the 50th Anniversary programs for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012-13, including coordinating all NFL activities in celebration of the Pro Football Hall of Fame December 4-17, 2012.
From 2004-2007 Veras was the Vice President, Production and Broadcasting for the Cleveland Browns, responsible for strategic initiatives, business management, resource planning and implementation for state-of-the-art technology. He was accountable for all broadcast media, marketing campaigns, internet production, in-stadium video scoreboards and sound system with a budget of $3 million.
- Managed daily staff of five, game day staff of forty and TV show staff of sixty
- Produced the video boards and sound system for all Browns home games
- Acted as Executive Producer for two Emmy shows - The 40th reunion of the 1964 Championship and 60 years of the Cleveland Browns; production received local Emmy award for TV special and format has been used by other NFL clubs
- Created WebTV and WebRadio on ClevelandBrowns.com, increasing web traffic by 40%
From 1981-1994 Veras was a Producer at CBS Sports, producing over 500 events, including Producer of THE NFL TODAY, Coordinating Producer of CBS Sports Saturday/Sunday and Senior Producer for the 1992 Winter Olympics. He continued his sports television production with Veras Communications producing cross country and biathlon for NBC Sports at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake, capturing his eleventh Emmy award, and was the Supervising Producer for a record 400 hours of NBC's High Definition telecasts for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, for which he received his 12th National Sports Emmy. He was the Senior Producer for Universal Sports TV for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. He was the lead director for 19 games of the inaugural season of college football for CSTV in 2003, directed two seasons of BET College Football 2001-2002, and directed Philadelphia Eagles pre-season football games from 1999-2003, winning several local Emmys for direction. VCI also directed Ivy League football and basketball on DIRECT TV from 1999-2001.
When Veras left CBS Sports in 1994 to open Veras Communications Inc., he expanded his television production into directing and producing music, documentary and entertainment programming. He produced Yanni Live at the Acropolis, one of the most successful fund raising shows in the history of PBS. From that success, VCI produced and directed every Yanni television show from 1993-2004, including Yanni Live at the Acropolis, Yanni Live at the Taj Mahal, Yanni Live at the Forbidden City, Yanni Live at the Tojo Temple, Yanni Live at Royal Albert Hall and Yanni Live in Las Vegas. He also sold Yanni's New York Times bestseller, "Yanni in Words" (2003). VCI was an integral part of the Yanni Management team as his Executive Producer, in event touring, public relations and marketing. VCI secured Yanni on CBS Sunday Morning and his performance of the national anthem at the 2005 World Series Game 5, New York Yankees vs the Florida Marlins, nationally televised by FOX.
VCI has also produced and directed numerous other television music specials, including Doo Wop 50, 60's Pop Rock Reunion, Ray Charles Live (his final performance), Bach Choral Mass in B Minor, Swing Alive, Ballroom Fever, Ft Lauderdale Christmas Pageant, Black Music Vocal Extravaganza, Pavlo Live, Sebastian Sidi, Marina at West Point, Chanukah: Celebration of Lights, 12 Girls Band Live from Shanghai, and Live Earth Shanghai. For six years he directed the classical music competition, Sphinx and the Ft Lauderdale Christmas Pageant. In 2003-2004 VCI was the national pledge producer for select PBS shows, including The American Tenors, Sissel, The Cantors, Mariachi, Body, Rhythm and Soul, Carole King and Chicago. VCI produced and directed the Ellis Island Award Show from 1999-2006. In 2007, for the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, VCI produced and directed the music performance/talk series The Craft, starring Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann, Paul Westerberg, Ben Gibbard and Patty Griffin.
For marketing, Veras created the marketing program for the successful launch of 2003 film My Big Fat Greek Wedding in fifteen cities, with a campaign throughout the Greek-American community to invite other first generation ethnicities to the film's premiere. In 2007, Veras introduced cheerleading to India and cricket by bringing the Washington Redskin cheerleaders to India as the Royal Bangalore Cheerleaders. Since then, he has brought over two more groups for the IPL 20/20 championships in South Africa and the recent 2009 League of Champions tournament, in conjunction with his longtime partner, DNA Networks.
VCI has also written, produced and directed 20 full length documentaries in many areas and, in 2001, VCI received the Golden Cine Award and the National Headliner Award for its PBS documentary, Tight on the Spiral, the behind the scenes story of NFL Films. Other documentaries include... For the HISTORY CHANNEL: Sports Owners, Who's the Boss, Basketball's Greatest Dynasties and Sportscasters Behind the Mike. For A&E: executive producer for Fire and Ice and History of Women's Figure Skating. For PBS: Greek-Americans Coming to America's Shores, Greek-Americans Passing the Torch, Ellis Island Award Show, Greek Americans Return to Homeland, Yanni's Visions of Greece, and the Horatio Alger Awards Show. For ESPN Classic, VCI also produced three Sports Century and Beyond programs; Lou Gehrig, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman. VCI is the Coordinating Producer/Director for PBS documentary on Cyprus, which aired in 2010, Cyprus Still Divided: A US Foreign Policy Failure.
Veras has a unique history of using orchestras in entertainment shows. On Christmas Day 2007 Veras produced and directed a two-hour NBC special, Hot Ice Cool Sounds with Peter Cetera and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra Live in Concert with Olympic and World Champion figure skaters, the first time an orchestra performed in this ten year Disson Skating Sports series. In 2004 VCI produced and directed two orchestral events for two major sports events, A Houston Salute, the first ever Opening Ceremonies at a Super Bowl, and the Brownstown 1964 Championship Show, a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Cleveland Browns 1964 NFL Championship. Both events were full orchestra and stage shows for live television. A Houston Salute, executive producers Jim Nantz and George W. Bush, was held on the Monday night of Super Bowl XXXVIII, presenting 38 of Houston's greatest athletes with Yanni and his orchestra performing live, later televised by NFL Network. In September 2004, at Severance Hall in Cleveland, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra performed the music of NFL Films, in honor of the 1964 NFL Champions Cleveland Browns, hosted by Steve Sabol and Roy Firestone and live on CBS. Veras wrote, produced and directed both shows. Veras also produced in-screen videos for the Cleveland Orchestra, the Duluth, Buffalo and Winnipeg orchestras and has produced all concert videos for the Cleveland Pops Orchestra since 2005.
Veras joined the Cleveland Browns as Vice President of Production and Broadcasting in September 2004, responsible for producing and selling all television shows, including preseason football games, internet television and radio, Stadium Scoreboard presentations and produced the historical two-hour special 60 Years of the Cleveland Browns.
Veras received the Ellis Island Medal in 2011, which celebrates the richness and diversity of American life, honoring not only individuals, but the pluralism and democracy that have enabled our ancestry groups to maintain their identities while becoming integral parts of the American Way of life for his success. He has been honored three times as Man of the Year by the Greek-American community, in 1994 by the Hellenic Spirit Foundation, in 1999 by the Elios Society and in 2005 by the American Hellenic Institute. He is a member of the Shaker Heights Hall of Fame. He is an Archon of the Greek Orthodox Church, and is on the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and was a past Board Member of Anatolia College, Trinity Foundation and Hoff-Barthleson Music School.