SBD/January 21, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Executive Transactions

Findlay joins MLS as CMO
MLS/SUM has hired Town Sports Int'l VP/Marketing J. RUSSELL FINDLAY as CMO. Findlay will be responsible for all marketing, branding and consumer initiatives. He is a 20-year veteran of PepsiCo and Unilever, serving as Dir of Marketing for soft drink innovation at PepsiCo (MLS/SUM)....Octagon has promoted SIMON WARDLE to Chief Strategy Officer for Octagon Worldwide. Wardle previously served as Exec VP & Head of Octagon's Marketing North America Insights & Strategy unit (Octagon)....Team Epic has named MICHELLE BERG the agency's first Exec VP, reporting directly to the Exec Committee. Berg will manage all aspects of the agency's cultural, operational, and strategic integration between current and acquired Team Epic agencies. She also will oversee the agency's approach to and evolution of client service strategies. Berg's promotion follows her recent nomination for the WISE Women of the Year Award (Team Epic).

EXECS: Tennis Channel has hired GAIL RODRIGUEZ as Dir of Ad Sales Marketing, based at the network's N.Y. office. Most recently, Rodriguez served as Marketing Services Manager for Discovery Channel. Previously, she served as Manager of Fan Development & Promotions for the Capitals (Tennis Channel)....ESPN Dir of PR CRYSTAL HOWARD is leaving the company, effective Friday (THE DAILY)....USA Water Polo has hired CLAUDIA DODSON as Associate Dir of Competition and CHRISTY MEDIGOVICH as Membership Manager (USA Water Polo)....HOK has hired ERIK WOOD as Client Services Principal & Regional Leader. Wood previously served as Dir of Marketing for N.Y.-based Cooper, Robertson & Partners (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/21)....The Suns have hired REBECCA CLARK as PR & Community Relations Coordinator. Clark previously worked as an events preview writer for the Arizona Republic, as well as assistant editor for Gannett Magazine Group (Suns)....The MLS New England Revolution have promoted NICK KROPELIN to Soccer Operations Manager. The club also has hired ALEX KANTOR as Communications Coordinator and STEPHEN SANDS as Soccer Operations Coordinator (Revolution)....JOE PINTO, Manager of Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., has resigned to take a position with the Triple-A Int'l League Norfolk Tides. No successor for Pinto has been named (PALM BEACH POST, 1/20)....Women in Sports & Events has named six new members to its national BOD: SOPHIA KUO, AMANDA MITCHELL, MEGHA PAREKH, MELODY PERRY, ALISON WAGNER and ERIN WEINBERG (WISE).

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