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Volume 20 No. 42

People and Pop Culture

The San Diego Padres promoted Ray Chan to director of information technology.

The Brooklyn Nets promoted Frank Zanin to assistant general manager, Matt Riccardi to basketball operations manager, Sean Sweeney to video operations manager, Scott Sereday to statistical analyst, and Brennan Blair to video coordinator.

The NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations, Stu Jackson, will step down from the position, effective Aug. 1, and will be replaced by Rod Thorn, Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations.

Albertus Magnus College named James Abromaitis athletic director. Abromaitis was executive director of the Capital City Economic Development Authority in Hartford, Conn.

Berry College named Tom Hart athletic director. Hart was athletic director at Webster University.

College of the Holy Cross Athletic Director Richard Regan Jr. stepped down from the position.

George Washington University named Garrett Klassy senior associate athletic director for external relations. Klassy was assistant athletic director and director of the Duck Athletic Fund at the University of Oregon.

Longwood University promoted Scott Bacon to associate athletic director for external relations, Maya Ozery to director of athletic academic services, Bryan Cornn to director of athletic business operations and Whitney Curtis to assistant director of marketing.

San Francisco State University Athletic Director Michael Simpson retired.

The Southeastern Conference named Mark Whitworth to the newly created position of associate commissioner for men’s basketball. Whitworth was associate commissioner of external affairs.

The U.S. Military Academy hired Garrett Munro as assistant athletic director and director of the Army A Club. Munro was assistant director of development at Miami University of Ohio.

The University of Nebraska hired Steve Waterfield as senior associate athletic director for performance and strategic research, effective Aug. 5. Waterfield was a senior administrator at the University of Miami.

ANC Sports Enterprises named Anthony Hardimon project manager, Geoff McClune tech support specialist, Jireh Billings Boston lead technician, Scott Dalton Indianapolis lead technician, Joe Crutchley Cleveland lead technician, John Lawson Washington, D.C., metro lead technician, Darla Stewart San Antonio lead technician, Melissa Goncalves client services account coordinator, and Alexis Cohen junior motion graphics designer.

Chicagoland Speedway promoted Dawn Martin to consumer marketing director, Nicole Meagher to communications director, and Tim Caputo to security manager.

HOK named Marc Arnold senior vice president and director of operations.

The College Football Playoff named Ken Elder director of marketing and strategic partnerships.

The Dallas Stars named Joe McDonnell amateur scouting director and Mark Leach head scout.

The ECHL hired Valerie Persinger as executive/marketing assistant. Persinger was project coordinator for Precision Sports Entertainment.

The ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies named Tim Branham coach and general manager.


Premier Partnerships promoted Kaitlyn Beale to manager of corporate partnerships.

Wasserman Media Group named Kim Smither to the newly created position of senior vice president of consulting.

The Aspire Group promoted Tony Garrett to director of ticket sales and service at Tulane and Alan Pandiani to manager of new business development.

IMG College named Loyd Childree general manager at Florida State, Ed Olsen general manager at Arizona State, Greg Ellis general manager at Drake, Brian Miller general manager at Kentucky, and Jon Kuka general manager at the Ohio Valley Conference and the Horizon League.

The Associated Press named Genaro Armas Wisconsin sportswriter.

YES Network promoted Mike Webb to vice president of broadcast operations and Rob Brinkmann to director of studio and production planning.

The World Fishing Network named Kim Carver president and chief executive officer and Steve Hurlbut adviser to the chief executive officer. Carver will continue her role as president and chief executive officer for Altitude Sports & Entertainment.

Multiteam Companies
AEG promoted Rob Reed to chief financial officer.

Insignia Sports & Entertainment hired Matt Grandis as vice president of corporate partnerships and media sales and Katie Grossman as director of partnership marketing. Grandis was senior director of national sales at IMG College, and Grossman was national program director at IMG College.

Sharks Sports & Entertainment promoted Jon Gustafson to vice president and named Joe Will general manager of the Worcester Sharks.

Reading FC named Ben Wells commercial director.

Sporting Goods and Apparel
Peter Millar named Steve Nedelka golf sales executive for the Midwest.

Sports Authority Chief Executive Officer Darrell Webb retired and will be replaced by Michael Foss. Foss was vice president and chief financial officer for Petco Animal Supplies.

Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
The Louisville Sports Commission named Michael Moll chairman. Moll is senior vice president of PNC Bank.

GoVision promoted Jeff Williams to director of operations.

Richmond 2015, the organizing committee for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, hired Jeannea Spence as global development director. Spence was founder of IndiSPENCEable Coaching.

The Los Angeles Marathon named Tracey Russell chief executive officer. Russell was executive director of the Atlanta Track Club.

Moffett Research named Michael Nathanson senior media analyst. Nathanson was managing director at Nomura Securities.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association hired Jim Mulvihill as director of media and industry relations. Mulvihill was communications and pari-mutuel marketing manager for Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots.

Sports Group International named Rob Grady vice president of sports business. Grady was sports licensing and e-commerce director for Sun Capital Partners.

Student-Athlete Showcase named Caroline O’Connor director of worldwide golf recruiting. O’Connor was women’s golf coach at Stanford University.

Awards and Boards
Rossetti design lead Matthew Taylor won the Young Architect of the Year Award from the American Institute of Architects Michigan.

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters named Spartan Sports Network owners Will Tieman and Wendy Hart as Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame honorees.

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.

CMO and executive vice president, JHE Production Group

“The Eagle’s Secret,” by David McNally
I picked this book because the JHE business coach, Terry Ainsworth, suggested it. I’m excited to read it because it encourages success in both your business and personal life.
“Steve Jobs,” by Walter Isaacson
I picked this book because I love technology. I am amazed by Jobs’ entrepreneurial spirit, his ability to see the future and how far ahead of his time he was.
“Halftime,” by Bob Buford
This book is about “moving from success to significance.” It talks about how the first half of your life is about working for the position, title and money while the second half of your life is about working for a purpose.
“No Easy Day,” by Mark Owen
This book is about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Working with the military as frequently as we do at JHE has created a love of all things military. We’ve worked with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, special operations, 82nd Airborne Division and more. I imagine some of the assets that were used during the search came from similar units.

Senior vice president of marketing, Tennis Channel

“Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” by Sheryl Sandberg
So much has been written about this book by Facebook’s chief operating officer. As a working mother I’m looking forward to gleaning her insights and using them to ensure that the women on our marketing team fearlessly take advantage of life’s opportunities.
“The Outsider: A Memoir,” by Jimmy Connors
Even if Jimmy hadn’t worked with Tennis Channel I would still want to read this revealing look at the life of an American sports icon. I think it will be fascinating to learn what makes him tick.
“And the Mountains Echoed,” by Khaled Hosseini
I love Hosseini’s writing, and this is his first book in six years. I’m a big fan of his “The Kite Runner” and the way he explores cross-generational family sagas and the ways critical life decisions propel our destinies.
“Maya’s Notebook,” by Isabel Allende
I’m captivated by stories about other cultures and enjoy learning how different people survive and persist in the face of enormous challenges.

Chief sales officer, NASCAR

“Bruce,” by Peter Carlin
Recent biography of Bruce Springsteen, one of the all-time great songwriters/performers and a true Jersey guy.
“The Lords of Discipline,” by Pat Conroy
I’ve read this book a few times, and always enjoy rereading. Pat Conroy is the best storyteller around, and the themes of loyalty, trust, honor and friendship always resonate.
“American Sniper,” by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
The story of an American hero, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. It is humbling to read his life story.

Chief marketing officer, Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets

“Loudmouth,” by Craig Carton
I start my morning drive with him every day. He just makes me laugh, and I don’t know why. He is a guilty pleasure.
“Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success,” by Phil Jackson
He coached the best of the best and knew how to manage different personalities.

President, Taco Bell

“The Match,” by Mark Frost
I’m a 6-handicap golfer and I love the game, golf architecture and golf history. This match transformed the way people see golf; so, connecting the dots, if you can do this to grow the game of golf for generations, it brings to light possible solutions in business — find ways you can change perceptions, transform the way people see your brand.
“The Power of Habit,” by Charles Duhigg
I have always been interested in why people do what they do, because, ultimately, we’re in the business of creating new habits or changing habits. This book will be especially helpful in helping to build the brand’s Cantina Bell and breakfast menus. We’re trying to define what the cue is that sets that routine and what the reward should be to get them to come back. “The Power of Habit” will help the team formulate this strategy.
“Talent Is Overrated,” by Geoff Colvin
I’m always looking for how you can get the best performance out of your organization. Success is about discipline: If you want to be the best, you don’t just have talents — you have to practice a lot. An example: Tiger wasn’t just a talented golfer; he’d been practicing since age 2. And it can be said of most athletes, which is why the brand is such a big fan, and partnered with sports entities and leagues.

Athletic director, Georgetown University

“College (Un)Bound,” by Jeffrey Selingo
Just as we are at an inflection point in college athletics, so too is American higher education. The challenges facing higher education will have direct impact on college athletics.
“Drive,” by Daniel Pink
Extremely relevant to college athletics as we try to better understand what motivates student athletes, coaches and staff.
“The Hit,” by David Baldacci
I just really like all of his novels. Great thrillers that keep you engaged and turning the pages.

The Lehigh Valley (Pa.) IronPigs in less than six seasons have become a dominant force in Minor League Baseball despite playing in one of the smallest markets in Class AAA. The Philadelphia Phillies’ top farm club is poised to lead all of the affiliated minors in attendance for a fourth straight year, and the team last fall won MiLB’s prestigious Freitas Award for sustained business excellence. Chuck Domino, a three-decade veteran of the baseball business, is president of the IronPigs. He’s also chief executive manager of the Class AA Richmond (Va.) Flying Squirrels, helping to resurrect minor league baseball in that market in recent years.

— Compiled by Eric Fisher


We need to protect the brand we have built in our collective communities while taking advantage of certain opportunities.

Secret of Lehigh Valley’s success:
It’s really not a secret at all. Hard work and the introduction of unique ballpark features such as the Tiki Terrace, the Hot Corner, the Bacon Strip [all seating areas] and the “urinal games” in an already beautiful ballpark in a strong market with the appropriate affiliation is a winning combination. We have always chosen to reinvest in the facility rather than just relying on tweaking the promotional calendar or the advertising mix.

MiLB attendance trends: It has kind of leveled off after a couple of decades of consistent growth. We are limited by a fixed number of games, a fixed number of weekends, a similar balance of games each month from year to year, the size of the markets and ballparks we play in, less new stadiums being constructed, and the continual competition from other entertainment options. The teams that excel in group sales are the ones most likely to maintain an established level of attendance.

Effect of extended bad weather: It can contribute anywhere from disappointment to devastation. It is a rarity when a rainout can result in net positive revenue because we are able to schedule a doubleheader later in the season. We do budget for a couple of rainouts every season, but we never expected the type of weather we’ve had this season. Once we fall behind, it is a game of catch-up all season since we budget for a high percentage of capacity. There is simply not enough inventory remaining to give us a favorable chance to close the gap on the budgeted goal.

MiLB’s newer collective business efforts, such as BIRCO and Project Brand: Time will only tell, but staying the course certainly would not be the prudent thing to do. I think packaging our product as a whole is a measured risk worth taking.