Joe Sautter is the General Manager of Sports Logistics & Event Management at ESPN Wide World of Sports and runDisney at the Walt Disney World® Resort.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports opened in 1997 as a new venture targeting the Youth Sports travel market. The 250-acre sports complex currently provides amazing facilities to hundreds of thousands of athletes a year. runDisney launched its first WDW marathon in 1994 and has grown into one of the largest running organizations in the U.S.
Joe joined the Walt Disney Company in 1997 as the Director of Convention Services and Catering Operations where he led teams at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, and Disney’s Boardwalk Resort for the next 14 years. He then led Food and Beverage Operations at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Joe joined the Sports and runDisney team in 2018 in his current position where he leads the teams that execute over 60 different types of sporting events at the Sports complex with 16 baseball/softball diamonds, 18 multi-purpose fields, a track and field complex and two field houses and an arena. He and his team contributed to a Disney-wide effort to ensure the MLS tournaments and NBA Bubble happened seamlessly during the pandemic. He also leads the team that coordinates 27 races over 10 runDisney race weekends throughout the year in WDW, Disneyland Paris and Castaway Cay with Disney Cruise Line.
Prior to joining Disney, Joe held leadership positions at The Fairmont Hotel, The Drake Hotel, The Palmer House and Towers-A Hilton Hotel as well as Charlie Fitness Clubs & Hotels, all in Chicago. He also spent four years serving in the United States Coast Guard.
Joe’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Psychology from Auburn University.
Joe is a past member of NACE – National Association of Catering Executives, and ISES – International Special Events Society. He was awarded the Walt Disney Legacy award which is Disney’s highest honor to recognize employees for ways in which they model Walt Disney’s legacy of excellence through three specific criteria: Dream, Create and Inspire.
Joe is an avid cyclist, tennis player and has a black belt in karate. He and his wife, Deirdre live in Orlando, FL and have four adult children.Download Bio