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Volume 20 No. 42

People and Pop Culture

The Chicago White Sox hired Robin Ventura as a special adviser to the director of player development.

The NBA Development League’s Fort Wayne (Ind.) Mad Ants promoted Garrett Martz to director of corporate sponsorships and Kyle Thoms to director of ticket sales, and hired Audrey Siebrase as an account executive.

The West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference hired Megan Ciborowski as senior woman administrator and assistant commissioner. Ciborowski was sports information director and compliance coordinator at Bluefield State College.

Centenary College hired William Broussard as athletic director. Broussard was associate athletic director for external relations at Northwestern State University.

Utah State University hired Ryan McLane as marketing and promotions director.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City hired Josh Snyder as associate athletic director for compliance and Scott Turek as associate athletic director for development. Snyder was executive director for NCAA compliance at Boise State University, and Turek was assistant athletic director for major gifts at the University of Nevada.

The University of New Mexico hired Lee De Leon as associate athletic director for development. De Leon was assistant athletic director for annual giving and major gifts at the University of Arizona.

Oaklawn Park hired Jamie Richardson as track superintendent.

The Green Bay Packers promoted Eliot Wolf to assistant director of player personnel.

The U.S. Golf Association named John Bodenhamer senior managing director of rules, competitions and amateur status.


The PGA Tour’s 2012 Farmers Insurance Open hired Peter Ripa as tournament director. Ripa will also be executive director of the Century Club.

21 Marketing named Tom Shepard chief marketing officer and partner for its new West Coast office.

The Aspire Group promoted Ryan Gottlieb to manager of the Louisiana Tech Fan Relationship Management Center and Preston Shytle to manager of the University of Maryland Fan Relationship Management Center.

Home Team Marketing hired Brittany Boehm as an account executive in its Cleveland office and Derek Birdsong as an account executive in its Dallas office.

Learfield Sports named Steve Tucker manager of business development for Penn State Sports Properties. Tucker was an account director for Plum TV.

Sporting Goods and Apparel
Reebok promoted Viktoria Wallner to head of global brand marketing, replacing Richard Prenderville.

Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
The Pensacola Sports Association hired Liz Hamrick as event coordinator. Hamrick has worked with the Department of Defense and its Armed Forces Recreation Center in Germany.

The U.S. Tennis Association named Ayana Miller publicity associate and Trina Singian communications coordinator.

Ludus Tours hired Brian Melekian as vice president of operations and strategy. Melekian was the senior vice president of the United Football League and the Virginia Destroyers.

People news
To have your personnel announcements included in the People section, please send information and photos to Brandon McClung at 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202, or email them to Electronic photos must be a jpg or tiff file for Macintosh, 2.25 inches wide at 300 dpi. Color only, please. News items may also be sent via fax to (704) 973-1401. If you have questions, call (704) 973-1425.

WISE presents annual honors

At the Women in Sports and Events Women of the Year luncheon June 8 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City (from left): Presenter Jonathan Mariner, MLB CFO and EVP, with honoree Wendy Lewis, MLB SVP of diversity and strategic alliances; Sue Rodin, WISE founder and national president; honoree Stacey Allaster, WTA chairman and CEO, with presenter Ari Fleischer, head of Ari Fleischer Sports Communications; and honoree Lisa Baird, USOC CMO, with presenter Paul Tagliabue, former NFL commissioner.

K.C. crew

Populous was the designer and Turner Construction the builder of Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., Major League Soccer’s newest facility. At media day June 7, two days before opening night (from left): Jeff Spear of Populous; Doug Attebery and Andy Heitmann of Turner; and Brad Albers and Jon Knight of Populous.

Philly sports leaders appear on panel

Participating in “Entrepreneurial Lessons from Philadelphia’s Sports Leaders,” a panel for the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies Founders Luncheon on June 8 at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia (from left): Dean Miller of Novitas Capital, Philadelphia Eagles President Joe Banner, Philadelphia Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz, ESPN football reporter and panel moderator Sal Paolantonio, Philadelphia Phillies President David Montgomery and Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko.

Milwaukee marketers gather

At the June 1 gathering of the Milwaukee Sports Marketing Professionals at GMR Marketing headquarters in New Berlin (from left): Marissa Pitroski of Visit Milwaukee, Cindy Lorenzen of Marquette University, Jessica Blada of the Milwaukee Bucks, Trenni Kusnierek of WTMJ-AM, Caitlin Moyer of the Milwaukee Brewers and Amanda Sucharda of Nelligan Sports Marketing.

Polo pairing

World No. 1-ranked golfer Luke Donald (right) and David Lauren, SVP of advertising, marketing and communications for Polo Ralph Lauren, were at Bloomingdale’s Midtown in New York City on June 6 to promote Polo’s U.S. Open apparel.

Bayne on board

Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne (center) was on board the Odyssey cruise ship in Chicago recently for the Business Marketing Association’s annual conference. He was a guest of Avnet and the BMA, which sponsored his return to NASCAR at Chicagoland Speedway after an illness. Joining Bayne and his Daytona 500 trophy are David Nobs (left), head of sports marketing for the Lavidge Co., and Robin Johnson, Roush Fenway Racing’s EVP of business development.

Trackside for the Agency Challenge

Octagon EVP Mark Coughlin (left) takes in the action at the inaugural World of Outlaws Agency Challenge on June 7 in Charlotte with The B4 Agency co-director Brian Barr (center) and IMG Motorsports VP Tom Knox. Drivers representing nine motorsports agencies took to the dirt track June 7. Retail Sports Marketing bested IMG and HMS Worldwide for top honors.

Ready for rugby at PPL Park

On the field at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., for this month’s USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championships (from left): Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and Versus; Global Spectrum COO John Page; Gary Quinn, director of business development at NBC Sports; PPL Park GM Mike Scanlon; and Donal Walsh, VP of operations for USA Sevens Rugby.

Suited up for EA Sports 'Madden 12' demo

EA Sports President Peter Moore (left) spoke as NFL players (from left) Peyton Hillis, Clay Matthews and Ray Lewis stood on stage with the Lombardi Trophy during EA Sports’ “Madden 12” demo at EA’s E3 press conference June 6 in Los Angeles.

Please submit photos for review of industry conferences, parties, product launches and openings showcasing the people and personalities at the event. Include the event date, location, names/titles of those featured along with credit information. The photo specifications are as follows: 300dpi, tiff, jpeg or eps color images. Submit digital photos for review at: or send color prints to: Faces & Places, c/o Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202.


1. A cricket bat given to Wright by Neel Shah, his first hire at MLS who now works for the Dentsu cricket team in India; 2. Photos of his wife and children; 3. A jersey from the 2005 MLS All-Stars match against Real Madrid 4. A plaque from the Indiana Business Careers in Entertainment Club; 5. A ball signed by the 2010 MLS champion Colorado Rapids; 6. A New York Times clipping about Sueño MLS, a televised player search; 7. A bottle of 1994 World Cup wine


The soccer memorabilia in David Wright's midtown Manhattan office represent significant moments in MLS history, as well as Wright's own background in the sport. Wright played at the University of Indiana from 1991-95, a stretch when the Hoosiers won four Big Ten titles and played in two NCAA College Cups — the soccer equivalent of the Final Four. He planned to coach professionally but went into sales instead, joining MLS in 2000 as the league fought to gain a foothold with American soccer fans. Among the many items in his office, Wright displays his Indiana jersey, as well as a bottle of 1994 World Cup wine — a gift from SUM President Kathy Carter — that he says he'll open the day the U.S. hosts, or wins, the World Cup.

A poster of the MLS Awards winners in 2000 (left), Wright's first year with the league; a finishers medal from the 2011 Ragnar Relay, a 197-mile relay from Woodstock to Westchester, N.Y.
A Houston Texans football (left) given to Wright in 2004 by Texans President Jamey Rootes; an antique Manchester United soccer ball.
A photo of opening day 2003 at the Home Depot Center, the league's second soccer-specific stadium, reminds Wright of the many steps MLS has taken to reach its current position.