‘I have nothing to show for it’: Some celebrity golf employees remain unpaid

Ashleigh Goodwin /

STATELINE, Nev. — More than six weeks has passed since Tony Romo won the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament but several workers have still not been paid.

A record 67,000 spectators swarmed Edgewood Tahoe over four days July 6 – 10. The record setting attendance was handled by multiple cooperating agencies that put on the event. Spectrum Events, catering and concession company, contracted to provide hospitality services through MVP Event Staffing and other agencies. 

“Tuesday, July 5, I was approached at the farmers market in Minden by a person who said they were from MVP Event Staffing,” local stay at home father Sean Lyman said. The individual approached him and his wife asking if they knew anyone who would be interested in working the ACC. 

“Being a big golf fan, and sports in general, I said that I would,” Lyman said. “The husband of one of my wife’s coworkers also said he would like to work the event. I worked the event away from family because my wife knows I love golf.”

Lyman said his wife stayed home from her job to be with their son so he could work the event.  

“And now I have nothing to show for it other than the tips I made,” he said. “Not the $20 an hour I was promised for the 38 hours I worked.” 

Another temporary employee of the ACC, Daphne Hillyer, said her husband and daughter were also recruited at the farmers market while with Sean.

“We worked three days and 10-12.5 hours per day. We had fun and would love to help again but not if it’s going to take this long to be paid,” Hillyer said. “They took my comment off of Facebook, ‘We worked so hard for this company the weekend of the golf tournament and we are still not getting any response about our paychecks. We just want our paychecks.'”

Hillyer said she has received text messages from an MVP Event Staffing employee stating they didn’t know what’s going on but they are working hard to get it done.

“They said, ‘I can’t tell you when you’re getting paid but I can tell you what you’re getting paid.’ I haven’t received a response since then, three weeks,” Hillyer said.

In the weeks following the tournament Lyman reached out to his contact at MVP Event Staffing, who he said is the only person responding to his inquiries. While he initially received responses, he, and many others, have yet to receive payment. 

Missie Martinez, a representative of Spectrum events said, “We would like to go on record that this is not an Edgewood issue; they have paid in full and are great partners and put on a great event benefitting so many in the Tahoe region.

“Further, this is not a Spectrum issue,” Martinez added, “but we feel responsible to the people this has affected and are trying to do all we can.”

Greg Fielding of MVP responded to the Tribune and assumed all responsibility of paying the employees when contacted for comment. Three weeks has passed and Fielding has still not responded to Lynman’s multiple emails.

“This has nothing to do with Spectrum. They are a fantastic and professional company that trusted us to handle our employees,” Fielding told the Tribune. 

So far two of the people hired by MVP have been paid for the event but not by the company responsible. Martinez reported approximately 55-65 staff members were hired by MVP for this event.

“As individuals contacted us, we offered to pay them what they were owed, and then figure it out later,” said Martinez. Two have accepted Spectrum’s offer and one declined according to Martinez. 

According to Lyman eight employees remain unpaid.

When asked why this has happened Fielding declined to provide detail, “I can’t get into details of what happened other than to generally say our cash flow is dependent upon collecting from our clients.”

The estimated time of completion for payment has been a moving target. On Aug. 12, Martinez said, “We have worked on keeping the pressure on the agency in default and they have indicated that they believe they will be 100% by the end of the coming week.”

Nearly a week later the timeline was pushed back another week for those still awaiting payment. Fielding said, “Some of them have been paid already and the rest will all be paid in full by the end of next week.” That deadline came and went without payment or further comment.

Lynman said in an update to the Tribune Aug. 28 that he has not had any communication from MVP.

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