Who We Are

Julianna Barbieri and Hugh Piggin, a team with extensive experience working with major sports events, lead Manuka Sports Event Management. From Super Bowls to Olympics, thousands of miles of ocean racing from fully crewed to short-handed trans-oceanic races and record attempts, Hugh and Julianna have been involved in every aspect of putting on a sports event.

Their wide variety of understanding of both sailing and event management makes Manuka the perfect company to manage and promote any size sports event or brand. 

Hugh Piggin, Professional Sailor and Co-Founder/Managing Partner

Hugh’s personal motivation for starting Manuka comes from his many years of working with short-handed sailing programs.

In that time, he experienced the amazing success grand prix races have in Europe and how much need there is for something in the United States that would allow the sport to grow.

Prior to forming Manuka Sports Event Management, LLC, and after completing a science degree at the University of Auckland, Hugh worked and sailed internationally for 15 years.

Hugh has over 100,000 logged miles which include 8 Transatlantic crossings, a Transatlantic record attempt on the Maxi-Cat Team Adventure, a Cross Channel record (UK-France return), Two Northern Ocean Racing Trophy titles, class wins in the Newport Bermuda Race and the Marblehead Halifax Race and a 6th place finish in the 2011 Transat Jacues Vabre. Working professionally in the sailing industry for 15 years, Hugh has extensive experience running and managing Grand Prix programs.

Contact Hugh

Julianna Barbieri, Co-Founder/Managing Partner

Julianna is a two-time Emmy Award winner who worked extensively on some of the U.S.'s biggest sports events. In 2010 she and Hugh Piggin formed Manuka to create, brand and manage sports events and athletes with a focus on professional sailing.

Julianna began her career with ABC Sports in the promotion and advertising department. After two years of writing copy and editing spots, she took a position with NBC Sports to work on the Salt Lake Olympic Games. That started a long stint in remote production at ABC where she worked on a variety of live events including college football, golf, auto racing, basketball and Monday Night Football.

In 2006, Julianna was hired by CBS Sports to run the on-air graphics department and rebrand the show packaging for all sports events, which included Super Bowl XLI. She led the graphics department until 2011 and some of the major redesigns and show opens she and her team were responsible for included CSTV becoming CBS College Sports, Super Bowl XLIV, the NCAA Tournament rebrand with Turner Sports and The Masters. While at CBS Julianna was also on the ground level of developing 3D graphics for CBS’ golf coverage, March Madness and the US Open Tennis Championships for which she won the 2010 George Wensel Technical Achievement Emmy.

At Manuka, Julianna wears many hats, but is primarily responsible for event logistics, sponsorship sales and activation, marketing, branding and PR.

Julianna holds a Bachelors of Science in Television Production from Ithaca College and a Masters of Science in Sports Business from New York University.

Contact Julianna

Meredith Carroll, Event Logistics and Sponsorship Management

Meredith, the newest member of Manuka team, works with Hugh and Julianna helping to manage event logistics and sponsorship acquisition and activation. Meredith comes to Manuka from J.P. Morgan where she worked in Investor Services for four years.

Meredith graduated from the George Washington University in 2011 where she majored in Computational Mathematics and co-captained the club sailing team and helped transform the team into a varsity program.


 Contact Meredith

Huck, CCO (Chief Canine Officer)

Huck is the resident office dog. His main responsibilities include napping, making sure no food scraps are thrown away and guarding the office from mail men. To unwind after a long day, Huck likes to go on long walks in the graveyard. On weekends he chases squirrels and co-captains a local lobster boat.