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Volume 21 No. 2

People and Pop Culture

Alabama A&M University named Bryan Hicks athletic director. Hicks was associate athletic director for student development at Missouri State University.

Ball State University hired Megan Coyne as director of athletics compliance. Coyne was director of athletics compliance at Florida Atlantic University.

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College named Tom Hathaway athletic director. Hathaway was athletic director at Miamisburg (Ohio) High School.

The University of California, Riverside, hired Eric Buskirk as senior associate athletic director for development. Buskirk was associate athletic director for external affairs and administration at Louisiana Tech University.

The University of San Diego promoted Shaney Fink to senior associate athletic director.

The Collegiate Water Polo Association hired Alex Lourido as director of multimedia services.

The Senior Bowl hired Phil Savage as executive director. Savage was a player personnel executive for the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Arizona Cardinals promoted Steve Keim to vice president of player personnel and hired Jason Licht as director of player personnel. Licht was director of pro personnel for the New England Patriots.

The Canadian Football League Players’ Association named Mike Morreale president, Jay McNeil first vice president, Scott Flory second vice president and Marwan Hage third vice president.

The Montreal Canadiens hired Marc Bergevin as executive vice president and general manager. Bergevin was assistant general manager for the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Professional Lacrosse League named Paul Stewart vice president of lacrosse operations for the new Professional Indoor Lacrosse League.


LeadDog Marketing Group promoted Rob Hagedorn and Rachel Zakoura to senior account directors and Jon Rossi to account director.

Centurion Strategies hired Kristina Andersen as director of public relations and marketing. Andersen was director of public relations and marketing for BDA Sports.

Octagon promoted Kami Taylor to vice president, Michael Behee to group director and Brent Simmons to account manager in its Charlotte office; Joe Dawson and Emily Gardner to account directors and Kati Karotki to account manager in Norwalk, Conn.; Chris Monaco to senior vice president in Los Angeles; Chris Wade to account director in New York City; and Kathryn Bradham to account manager in Atlanta.

Public relations firm Formula hired Debbie Etchison as vice president of its sports and entertainment division. Etchison was with Atomic PR.

Competitor Group promoted Brian Holcombe to editor of and hired Chris Case as managing editor of Velo Magazine and Matthew Beaudin as a staff reporter for Velo and

Time Warner Cable Sports hired Amy Summers as manager of public relations, media relations and communications. Summers was senior manager of public relations for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The U.S. Olympic Committee hired Jason Thompson as director of diversity and inclusion.


The National Sports Forum promoted Lindsay Campbell to operations coordinator and hired Erin Mooney as communications coordinator.

Spire Capital promoted Jim Haworth to chairman and chief executive officer for the Professional Bull Riders.

Tyco International named Tony Wells chief marketing and customer officer for the ADT Corp. Wells was executive vice president and chief marketing officer for 24 Hour Fitness.

Awards and Boards
The Taylor Hooton Foundation named New York Yankees President Randy Levine to its board of directors.

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.

Yanks, Mandalay put shovels in the ground

Officials from Lackawanna County, Pa., the New York Yankees and Mandalay Baseball broke ground ceremonially for PNC Field in Moosic, which will be home to the Yankees’ Class AAA affiliate. From left: Gary Mayse, Mandalay Baseball EVP of facility operations; county commissioner Jim Wansacz; Yankees COO Lonn Trost; Mandalay Baseball President and CEO Art Matin; and county commissioner Corey O’Brien.

McCormack program honorees

The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management in the Isenberg School of Management at UMass presented Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Awards to (from left) Burke Magnus, ESPN SVP of college sports programming; NBA VP of marketing Carolanne McAuliffe; Wade Martin, Alli president and CEO; and Neal Huntington, Pittsburgh Pirates SVP. The awards were given at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., on April 28.
Honored as Alumni-on-the-Rise Award winners (below) were (from left): Pam Ganley, Boston Red Sox director of media relations; Steve Novak, Boston College associate AD for development; Christy Grady, Seattle Seahawks and Sounders director of partnership development. Not shown is Geoff Iacuessa, Portland Sea Dogs EVP and GM.

A sweeping success

The staff of TD Garden, the Boston Bruins and Sportservice took part in the 10th annual Boston Shines citywide cleanup effort April 27, led by TD Garden SVP and GM Hugh Lombardi.
Photo by: TD GARDEN

Louisville arena tour

Jim Host, chairman and CEO (center), and Robbie Valentine (red shirt, back) provided a tour of Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center to (from left) Premiere Global Sports/College Division EVP Ken Bruce, VP Brian Cockerham and senior event planner Elizabeth Giordani; Becky Spetman and Florida State AD Randy Spetman; National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Executive Director Bob Vecchione; and UCLA AD and NACDA President Dan Guerrero.
Photo by: NACDA

Bullish on the Sun Dome

At the grand reopening of the Sun Dome, the University of South Florida’s arena, on May 1 (from left): Global Spectrum’s Dan Krone, assistant director of operations; Tom Bradley, box office manager; Wayne Letson, facility engineer; Lavar Smith, event manager; Trent Merritt, GM; Sara Webster, director of marketing; Nicole Williams, director of finance; USF mascot Rocky; Brian Hixenbaugh, University of Central Florida Arena GM; Seth Benalt, assistant GM; Shannon Darby, operations manager; Ron Rideout, UCF Arena assistant GM; Doug Higgons, regional VP; and Comcast-Spectacor’s Mich Sauers, SVP of business development.

In black and white

At the Brooklyn Nets’ news conference April 30 to launch their new logos and colors (from left): GM Billy King, coach Avery Johnson, NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, Modell’s Sporting Goods CEO Mitchell Modell, public address announcer David Diamante, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies and Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner, Onexim Sports and Entertainment President Irina Pavlova, player Brook Lopez, Nets and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark and Maimonides Medical Center President and CEO Pamela Brier.
Photo by: DAVID DOW / NBAE

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.

When I was growing up, I didn’t know about advertising. If somebody would have said to me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” an advertising executive never would have been on the list.

I spend a lot of time mentoring young women in marketing just so that they see someone doing it, so that it’s on their radar screen.

One of my observations coming in [to the WNBA] is we had 100 initiatives that we were trying to move one yard, rather than five that were moving 20 yards. And I think that’s true of almost every organization.

We have a really multifaceted audience. … I did come in thinking as a classic marketer: Focus on a really specific and narrow audience, and milk it for all it’s worth. And I have actually changed my thinking now that I’ve looked at the data and been in-arena.

The difference between a brand and a product is someone’s relationship to it. The very definition of a really strong brand is that the ownership is given to those who use, partake and love it.

The basketball being played in the WNBA is different from the NBA but not less than.

My job is to create an environment where good things happen.

It’s less about my telling people how to do it and more about setting the vision for what we’re trying to do.

I love when people don’t feel like they’ve got to fit into a mold, but they feel very clear on what they can uniquely bring to a team.

I had just become a vice president at Ogilvy, and to celebrate, I went on a beach vacation. … I come back and find out that my entire team has gone to HR and said, “We’re done.” … What the team said is, “I know that we’re successful, I know we’re sort of the darlings of the agency, but we just don’t feel really good that Laurel is managing this process so tightly.”

My perception [was] I’m a great leader, because look at the metrics, and the reality was I was a really bad leader because the team didn’t feel good. That was the moment when I said I’ve got to shift. … I bought Silly Putty, and for a year as people were creating and thinking about things — when I was very clear on how I would do it and could do it very well and very efficiently — I played with Silly Putty just to keep myself occupied while people did their work.

The greatest compliment is somebody said to me at the end of a year, someone who actually stuck with the team and came back, said, “I would walk through fire for you.”

You’ve got to close the gap between what you say and what you do.

Integrity is really important to me, honesty is really important to me and transparency is really important to me.

I just really believe in walking the talk. That’s a lesson that came from just working for several people who didn’t walk the talk, and working for people who did walk the talk.

I grew up in a household where you didn’t sugarcoat stuff, so I am very, very direct. If you ask my opinion, I will give it. I don’t think I’m mean, or I don’t think I’m mean-spirited, but if you ask an honest question, you’ll get an honest answer.

I don’t like working in an environment where I don’t know where my bosses stand.

Positive feedback I give in front of as many people as humanly possible, and constructive feedback I give in front of as few people as possible.

There are moments when I just cannot send or read another email. So I’ll pick up the phone.

I’m not afraid to let people see my weaknesses, or to actually tell them what they are, so that as a team we can manage around all of that.

I have relearned the importance of having a vision and a point of view and communicating it over and over and over again.

I really rely on people to create an environment where people can be really honest with me and say, “You’ve got a problem over here that you need to go fix.”

You can always come to me three times, because the first time I might say, “Thanks, I think we’ve got it.” If you really feel strongly, come back again, and then if you really, really feel strongly, bring that third one.

Some of the things that I have been challenged on, where it took some fortitude by that challenger, got us to a better place.

Honesty is a badge I will wear.

I think it’s almost a crime to have a half-hour interview with somebody. I think it needs to be at least an hour.

I’m looking for high self-awareness, because I think the more self-aware somebody is, the more I can figure out how best to utilize them.

It’s the little things, like do they look you in the eye?

I think the biggest generational change I notice is they come in ready to run the show.

I notice people will come in and think nothing — in a good way — of scheduling a meeting with me as the president and saying, “I’ve got some thoughts.”

My experience is not that this is an industry that doesn’t embrace women; it’s just an industry that a lot of women don’t think about.

I chose policy studies because it was the broadest major and it was the study of how people make decisions.

Advertising that I am drawn to has something at its core — it just feels authentic.

There are others where it just doesn’t feel authentic. It’s the kids opening up the microwave really excited about the snack they just cooked.

If you get me on a beach, all is right with the world. I’ve never met a beach that I couldn’t relax on.