SBD/June 18, 2014/People and Pop Culture

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  • Minding My Business With PGA Of America CFO Rhona Aime

    Name: Rhona Aime

    Position: PGA of America CFO

    Age: 52

    Where I'm from: Leven, Scotland

    Where I call home: Miami

    Focusing on right now: Building partnerships with the operations department, improving efficiency.

    Aime and her husband Jorge enjoy spending time
    on the water, often boating or wake boarding
    A must for a new hire: Cultural fit is really key, in the sense of being a team player that supports the team and is a good relationship builder. Cultural fit is more important than intelligence, and it’s really important that your new hires come with the right attitude: Team players who are good relationship builders.

    Exec I most admire: I think ELON MUSK is just a remarkable businessman, a risk taker and a visionary. I like to follow what he’s doing.

    Best book I've read this year: "The Reason I Jump" by NAOKI HIGASHIDA. It’s an incredible book written by a guy who has autism. It really describes how autistic people are feeling and how, when they have interactions with non-autistic people, it really affects them -- usually negatively -- because we don’t understand what’s going on in their mind.

    First thing in the morning: I usually turn on CNN, and I try to watch BBC. Then I'll open The Economist magazine.

    Talking tech: I'm a big fan of the MyFitnessPal app. It's an easy calorie counting system, and I use it pretty regularly.

    Must have music: I love Brazilian music; I find it very soothing. But I’d probably say my favorite band would be ONE REPUBLIC.

    Food for thought: My favorite place to dine out is a little French place in Coconut Grove called Le Bouchon.

    How I unwind: We’re kind of a water family. We love to be out boating, or kite boarding or wake boarding, or anything on the water.

    Day in the life: They’ve tasked me with bringing the finance department up to a level equivalent to what we’re trying to do at the PGA overall. Not to say it was terribly bad beforehand, but I think there’s been a bit of change going on here. We need to make sure the finances are keeping up with that and take it maybe a step further, in not just the traditional finance functions, but something a little bit more involved in the operational side.

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture, PGA of America
  • ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett, Who Focused On The MLB Rangers, Dies Suddenly At 38

    ESPN Dallas writer RICHARD DURRETT died yesterday at the age of 38. Prior to joining ESPN in September ’09, Durrett spent nine years at the Dallas Morning News. He also had a stint as sports editor for the Denton Record-Chronicle in Texas. Durrett is survived by his wife, KELLY, and two children (Mult.). ESPN VP and Editorial Dir for Digital & Print PATRICK STIEGMAN said Durrett was “a dedicated colleague and friend who was extremely respected and well-liked. He was known for creativity and an exceptional work ethic." (ESPN.com, 6/17). MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan notes the Rangers were Durrett’s “main beat, but his tremendous versatility allowed him to write with vigor and clarity on many other sports, including golf, hockey, auto racing and college sports” (MLB.com, 6/18). In Dallas, Barry Horn notes when ERIC NADEL was “forced to leave the Rangers radio booth on a road trip to return home last month for personal reasons, Durrett, who worked team webcasts in spring training, filled in alongside MATT HICKS.” Durrett also has been “a prime contributor to ESPN’s national baseball coverage in print and on broadcasts this season” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/18). ESPN DALLAS' Tim McMahon writes the "only criticism I ever heard or had of my good friend and ESPNDallas.com colleague ... was that he was just too darn nice for this business." Durrett "did not have a shred of cynicism in him, which is about as rare and surprising in the sports media world as BENGIE MOLINA hitting for the cycle was in baseball, a sport Durrett loved and covered with impeccable integrity, professionalism and skill in print, on radio and on television." There is "not a more versatile sports journalist in the Dallas market than Durrett, who expertly covered football, basketball, hockey, motorsports and golf in addition to baseball during his career" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 6/18).

    TWITTER REAX
    : There was abundance of reaction to Durrett's sudden passing on Twitter. ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote, "I'm crushed by the passing of Richard Durrett. I was always blown away by his energy, work ethic & relentlessly upbeat take on life. So sad." FS1's Mike Hill wrote, "I'm in shock right now & so saddened by the news of Richard Durrett's death. A tremendous man & 1 of the nicest guys you'd ever meet." Fox Sports' Jon Morosi: "Richard Durrett was a great and tremendously versatile journalist, one of the kindest people I've met. This is so tragic." ESPN's Karl Ravech wrote, "Richard Durrett was as genuinely funny.. sincere and into his work as anyone I have come across in my 20 years. I will miss him." Astros Dir of Pro Scouting Kevin Goldstein wrote, "Shocked by the news of Richard Durrett's passing. Every interaction I had w/ him was warm, friendly, and welcoming. A rare trio these days." NFL Network's Albert Breer: "Shocked to hear about the passing of old DMN colleague Richard Durrett. Can't be many nicer people in our business."

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture, ESPN
  • Executive Transactions

    Bucks Exec VP/Business Administration RON WALTER, who served as former team Owner HERB KOHL's "right-hand man" since '99, is "stepping down." Walter is the "first prominent executive of the team to step down" since WES EDENS and MARC LASRY bought the Bucks in April. He "played a crucial role representing the team at league meetings and, locally, negotiating with BMO Harris Bradley Center officials on new leases for the team" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/18).

    EXECS: Golden Boy Promotions COO & CMO BRUCE BINKOW has "left the company," and his "last day was Friday." Binkow, "whose departure does not come as much of a surprise," had been with the company since '07. He was "a close ally" of former CEO RICHARD SCHAEFER (ESPN.com, 6/17)....Virginia Tech named Univ. of Cincinnati Senior Woman Administrator and former interim AD DESIREE REED-FRANCOIS Exec Associate AD. Reed-Francois took over for WHIT BABCOCK when he left UC to become VT AD, and became the first Hispanic female to serve as AD at an FBS school (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/17). UC appointed Senior Associate AD MAGGIE MCKINLEY as Reed-Francois' successor as Senior Woman Administrator (UC)....Georgia Tech named Georgia State Univ. Senior Associate AD/Internal Operations JOHN PORTLAND Assistant AD/Facilities, Operations & Events (GT)....Univ. at Albany AD LEE MCELROY JR. will retire at the end of this month and will serve as Senior Advisor for Intercollegiate Athletics Advancement & Engagement through the end of '14 (Albany)....Tommy Baldwin Racing promoted KATE FEGLEY to VP/Marketing (THE DAILY).

    Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture, Executive Transactions
  • Names In The News

    In Pittsburgh, Patty Tascarella profiles Integrated Strategic Marketing USA President & Managing Dir MIKE FETCHKO, who said of how he landed his former job as Indians Legal Counsel, "I wrote every Major League Baseball team president the spring semester of my third year and said, 'I'm going to be in your area over the next six weeks' even though I wasn't." Fetchko: "Three said to stop by." They were the Indians, White Sox and Giants. Fetchko said of the Indians, "I met with GABE PAUL, the president. he was in his early 70s. ... He liked my background. This is 1981, before everyone got into sports marketing. And he said, 'I want you to be our house counsel, but primarily I want you to bring your marketing and sales experience and lead the effort" (PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES, 6/13 issue).

    Puig's escape from Cuba could be made into a
    major motion picture after the rights sale
    SILVER SCREEN: Film director BRETT RATNER "has acquired movie rights to the story" of Dodgers RF YASIEL PUIG's escape from Cuba. The films will be based on SCOTT EDEN's article in ESPN the Magazine titled, "No One Walks Off The Island." The deal "came two months after the producer bought the rights to JESSE KATZ’ article, 'Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey To The Dodgers,'" which was published in the May issue of L.A. Magazine. Ratner "is producing the project with BEAU FLYNN" (VARIETY.com, 6/17).

    COURT REPORT: U.S. District Court Judge MILTON SHADUR yesterday launched a "scathing, seven-page opinion that blasted lawyers" for Hornets Owner MICHAEL JORDAN, who "had accused him of bias and asked that he recuse himself in Jordan’s multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Dominick's food stores." Shadur then recused himself from the "long-running case" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/18).

    NAMES: U.S. men's national soccer team F CLINT DEMPSEY "is releasing his debut album." During the offseason, he recorded a 13-track rap album, "THE REDUX," which will be released in the coming months (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/18)....Gold Medal-winning U.S. ice dancers MERYL DAVIS and CHARLIE WHITE "have been named Grand Marshals for this year's America's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit" (MLIVE.com, 6/16)....Golfer GEOFF OGILVY put his 4,633-square-foot home in Del Mar, Calif., up for sale at $6.475M (LATIMES.com, 6/16)….Mavericks F VINCE CARTER, who “grew up in Daytona Beach, will be the keynote speaker at the June 27 meeting of the Leadership Daytona Council” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 6/17).

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
  • Step To The Plate: Share Your Little League Memories For Upcoming SBJ Issue

    Did you drive home the winning run? Did your team win the local tournament? Are you coaching your son or daughter's team? SportsBusiness Journal is collecting memories for an upcoming section exploring the 75th anniversary of Little League. We would like to hear your favorite Little League stories. What lessons did you learn? Do you still have your trophies? If you are coaching, or have coached in the past, what was your experience? In 100 words or less, share your thoughts with SBJ's Bryan Ives -- bives@sportsbusinessjournal.com -- then look for SBJ's special coverage on Aug. 4.

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
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