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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

Age: 35

Where I’m from: Okemos, Mich.

Where I call home: Lake Mary, Fla.

Position: Daytona Int'l Speedway Dir of Business Development

Focusing on right now: Maximizing all the corporate opportunities around the Daytona Rising project.

Strahan is an avid golfer, and often spends free time
playing the game with his family
Best advice: My parents were pretty influential in my life -- really in all aspects. The thing I look back to is just to work with integrity and certainly be very resourceful and persistent in my sales efforts. That’s something I’ve taken into every sales job I’ve had.

A must for a new hire: Strong values and integrity. I want to work with someone who has that persistent ability about them as well. Being persistent and resourceful in sales today is key to finding success.

Exec I admire the most: The guy I really look up to here is our President, JOIE CHITWOOD. I worked with him in Indianapolis and, fortunately, have the opportunity to do the same thing down here in Daytona. He's a tremendous leader who really does things the right way.

Best book I’ve read this year: "The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan" by JOHN COYNE. I’m a big golfer, I enjoy the game a lot, and I'm a big BEN HOGAN fan in general just for what he stood for in golf. One of the things I liked about that book is his thought process when he played the game. He had a slogan he used that I keep in mind. It says, "What’s important is the next shot, not the one you just played." I think that’s a cool statement, even in business, I can follow that idea.

First thing in the morning: I always grab my phone and get up to speed. Twitter and CNN are two of my things I hit first. I usually hit "MIKE & MIKE" when I get ready and HOWARD STERN on my way into work. I hit about every facet right there.

Talking Tech: I’m an Apple guy. Having an iPhone and an iPad -- you're always connected. I think it's helped streamline a lot of things for me.

Must have music: I'm kind of across the board. I'm a COLDPLAY fan, FOSTER THE PEOPLE, sprinkle in a little '80s and then some EMINEM.

Food for thought: With my family living out in Lake Mary, we've got a couple spots out there that we'll frequent. Usually it's Jimmy Hula's for fish tacos or grabbing a burger at BurgerFi.

How I unwind: My wife and I have two young kids, my daughter, AVERY, just turned 5 and my son, COOPER, will be 2 in June. We're usually busy doing something with them on the weekends. But Avery actually is becoming an avid fan of golf, so she'll join me on the course or on the driving range, chipping and putting in the evenings. That’s something we really like to do together.

Day in the life: One of the things that really drew me down here (from Indianapolis Motor Speedway) was the opportunity to be involved in this $400 million redevelopment of a facility like Daytona. Really having the ability to be around that project day-to-day and selling -- it's definitely a new type of sell for me. I'm certainly speaking with a crowd that we may not have reached out to originally.

Jacksonville-based PR and content marketing firm Reputation Ink named former ESPN sports business reporter KRISTI DOSH VP/PR (, 4/1)....Eastern Michigan Univ. named West Virginia Univ. Major Gifts Officer for the Mountaineer Athletic Club DAN MCLEAN Associate AD/Development (EMU)....New Jersey Youth Soccer named MLS Senior Dir of Supporter Relations & Safety EVAN DABBY Exec Dir (THE DAILY)....The American Indoor Lacrosse Association named Thomas Scientific VP/Marketing & Strategy Development CHARLES SIMMONS VP/Strategic Business Development (THE DAILY).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

T'Wolves Owner GLEN TAYLOR has "made a formal offer to acquire" the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Taylor yesterday said that he "made a cash offer as an individual without any other investors." But he "declined to say how much he has offered to pay." Taylor: "It isn't that I'm interested in going around and buying papers in other parts of the country. I'm interested in this one because it's a Minnesota paper" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/2). Taylor would become "at least the third major sports owner to buy the local daily paper." Red Sox Owner JOHN HENRY purchased the Boston Globe last October for $70M, while the DOLAN family, which owns the Knicks, purchased Newsday through their Cablevision platform for $650M in '08 (N.Y. POST, 4/2).

THE SUNSHINE STATE OF THINGS: NHL Panthers Owner VINCENT VIOLA's Virtu trading firm is "drawing a bit more attention for the practices that have helped the company become so successful." While it "doesn't sound like Virtu was doing anything explicitly illegal, the practices could still come under great attention and perhaps litigation awaits." It is "just something worth paying attention to moving forward" (, 4/1). Meanwhile, the Panthers need a "five-vote majority to get" an $80M bailout from the Broward County Commission. To "aid in that effort, they've hired seven lobbyists" (, 4/1).

AYE, AYE CAPTAIN: Yankees SS DEREK JETER yesterday "spent part of the afternoon having lunch" with former MLBer ROGER CLEMENS and former U.S. President GEORGE H.W. BUSH, who also attended last night's Yankees-Astros game with his wife, BARBARA. During pregame introductions, Jeter "drew the loudest cheers of any active player, an ovation that was outdone only by that given" to Astros Exec Advisor NOLAN RYAN, who "threw the ceremonial first pitch." The Astros "plan to honor Jeter" before today's game in a ceremony featuring Clemens and former MLBer ANDY PETTITTE (N.Y. TIMES, 4/2). Jeter's lunch with Clemens and Bush took place at Katch 22, a "restaurant co-owned by Clemens' son, KORY" (, 4/2).

NAMES: A federal filing shows that Churchill Downs Inc.'s top five execs received $27.9M between them for '13. Most of the money -- $23.3M -- "came in the form of company stock that they will receive over the next four years." CDI President & COO WILLIAM CARSTANJEN made $9.9M, while Exec VP & CFO WILLIAM MUDD made $8.3M, President of Churchill Downs Interactive JAMES GAY made $4.6M, and Exec VP & General Counsel ALAN TSE made $3.6M (, 4/1)....Red Sox DH DAVID ORTIZ during yesterday's visit to the White House took a selfie with PRESIDENT OBAMA after Ortiz had given Obama a Red Sox No. 44 jersey. Ortiz said, "You don’t get that opportunity every day to chat a little bit with the president and take a selfie with him" (, 4/1)....The Florida State Univ. football team was "honored by legislators during Florida State Day" at the state capital in Tallahassee. FSU QB JAMEIS WINSTON was "recognized with his own resolution" yesterday, and he addressed the House afterward. Coach JIMBO FISHER also spoke, and presented Speaker WILL WEATHERFORD with an FSU jersey. Also representing the team was FSU AD STAN WILCOX (AP, 4/1)....Citi yesterday announced that it will launch "Citi ThankYou Home Runs for Communities Program" at Citi Field during the '14 season. The company will donate $2,000 to one of four tri-state area community partners when a Mets player hits a home run. Mets CF CURTIS GRANDERSON is helping launch the program (Citi).