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Volume 21 No. 1

People and Pop Culture

The Class A Carolina League’s Salem Red Sox promoted Ryan Shelton to general manager and Allen Lawrence and Tim Anderson to vice presidents.


The Orlando Magic named Lisa Cotter vice president of marketing. Cotter was vice president of marketing for the Pebble Beach Co.

The University of Connecticut named Angie Cretors senior associate athletic director for NCAA rules education and compliance services. Cretors was associate director of enforcement for the NCAA.

The University of Massachusetts named Jana Spaulding assistant athletic director for communications and media relations. Spaulding was vice president of public and community relations for the NBA D-League Maine Red Claws.

The University of Rhode Island named Garrett Waller associate athletic director for development. Waller was executive director of the athletic association and director of major gifts at the University of Massachusetts.

The University of Miami promoted Brian Bowsher to assistant athletic director for digital strategy, Chris Yandle to assistant athletic director for communications, Amy Woodruff to associate communications director, and Lindy Sparby to director of marketing.

The University of North Florida hired Donna Kirk as senior associate athletic director for compliance and academics and senior woman administrator. Kirk was associate athletic director for compliance at Jacksonville University. UNF also hired Eric Nappy as associate athletic director for development, effective Sept. 23. Nappy was assistant director of athletics annual giving at the University of New Hampshire.

The University of Massachusetts-Lowell named Scott Dolch senior associate athletic director for external operations. Dolch was senior account executive at UConn IMG Sports Marketing.

The University of South Florida hired Brian Siegrist as associate athletic director for communications. Siegrist was associate media relations director at Penn State University.

McNeese State University named Bruce Hemphill athletic director.

California State University, Northridge, named Dawn Ellerbe associate athletic director of marketing, branding and fan development. Ellerbe was assistant athletic director of marketing at California State University, East Bay.

The Colonial Athletic Association promoted Steve Kanaby to associate commissioner for championships and Bobby Broyles to director of video services. CAA named Alex Souza director of video services and Donna Jones assistant director of compliance and student-athlete services. Souza was assistant video producer at Syracuse University, and Jones was graduate assistant for compliance at James Madison University.

Grambling State University named Aaron James athletic director.

High Point University promoted Craig Keilitz to vice president of athletics and named Eric Gabriel director of video operations for the men’s basketball team and Taylor Johnson assistant director of development. Johnson was assistant director of annual giving and alumni engagement at Greensboro College.

Alfred University promoted Tony Aquilina to assistant athletic director of internal operations.

Garnett Purnell retired as Wittenberg University director of athletics and recreation.

Western Kentucky University promoted Lindsay Boyden to associate athletic director for marketing and Michael Schroeder to assistant athletic director for communications. WKU hired Kyle Neaves as director of athletic communications and media relations, Robert Sampson and Whitney Tarpy as assistant directors, Larry Cash as assistant director of the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation, and Chelsie Cummings as ticket sales associate.

The Buffalo Bills named Gregg Brandon vice president and general counsel. Brandon was vice president and general counsel at XOS Digital/Collegiate Images.


The Century Club of San Diego named Julianne Alarcio pro-am and charity manager. Alarcio was an account coordinator at Davis Elen Advertising.

The Boston Bruins promoted Keith Gretzky to director of amateur scouting and named Keith Sullivan and P.J. Axelsson amateur scouts.

The Minnesota Wild promoted Aaron Sickman to media relations director and Ryan Stanzel to digital content manager, and named Frank Buonomo to the newly created position of senior director of team operation and business integration. Buonomo was director of marketing for Octagon Hockey. The Minnesota Wild Foundation named Rachel Schuldt executive director.


Learfield Sports named Gary Friedman general manager for its KFC Yum! Center Properties. Friedman was athletic director at Illinois State University.

Nelligan Sports Marketing named Chris Dunn director of sales at Providence University and Daryl Jasper general manager at the University of Rhode Island.

Goodyear named Jonathan Norman marketing manager of sponsorships. Norman was senior director of client strategy for GMR Marketing.


Jeff Yocom launched executive recruiting firm Marquee Search. Yocom was senior vice president of executive search at Game Face.

DC Media named Greg Economou executive vice president and chief revenue officer for Dick Clark Productions. Economou was executive vice president of revenue performance at MSG.

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.

A gathering of No. 1’s

Players who have topped the ATP World Tour rankings gathered to mark the 40th anniversary of the Emirates ATP Rankings on Aug. 23 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. An on-stage Q&A with Justin Gimelstob and Guy Forget.
Photo by: ELLA LING

John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors.

Each year-end No. 1 who attended received a replica No. 1 trophy. Back row: Ivan Lendl, Connors, Ilie Nastase, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt. Front row: Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg, Gustavo Kuerten, McEnroe, Borg and Jim Courier.

USTA Serves Opening Night Gala

The 13th annual USTA Serves Opening Night Gala at the 2013 U.S. Open took place Aug. 26 in the President’s Suite at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
ABOVE: Former pros Mary Carillo of USTA Serves, Katrina Adams of the USTA and Pam Shriver with Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America.” BELOW: Actor Kevin Spacey, who led the live charity auction, and USTA Serves’ Mary Carillo, Dan Faber and Sean Mayo.
Photos by: STEVEN FREEMAN (2)

Discussing tennis and Africa

Credit Suisse hosted the “What Can Tennis Do to Improve Lives in Africa” debate at the Grand Hyatt in New York on Aug. 23. On hand were Bill Macatee, Tennis Channel and CBS; Lorne Abony, Mood Media; the WTA’s Stacey Allaster; Janine Handel, Roger Federer Foundation; and ATP board member Justin Gimelstob.

McIlroy’s a bell-ringer

Defending champion Rory McIlroy and Deutsche Bank North America CEO Jacques Brand rang the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 26 to kick off the 11th annual Deutsche Bank Championship.

Celebration of golf

Wasserman Media Group, Pinehurst, Golf & Body and The Metropolitan Golf Association hosted an evening celebration of golf at Golf & Body in Manhattan. Among those attending were Jeffrey Holzschuh, MGA Foundation; Thomas Pashley, Pinehurst; Pete Bevacqua, PGA of America and Golf Channel’s Gary Williams.

Launch for new

At a launch event for the new website Aug. 21 at Pac-12 Studios in San Francisco: Ryan Currier, Pac-12 Networks; Jeff Walpole, Phase 2; Chris Wagner, NeuLion; David Aufhauser, Pac-12 Networks; Frank Febbraro, Phase 2; and Mark Kramer, Pac-12 Networks.

Happy campers include a senator

At the San Diego Chargers training camp at Chargers Park: John Tatum of Genesco Sports Enterprises, the Chargers’ A.G. Spanos and Mike McCoy, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Chargers owner Dean Spanos.
Photo by: ZACH BURR

Houston welcomes SWAC, championships

City officials welcomed the Southwestern Athletic Conference to Houston on Aug. 22: J. Kent Friedman of the Harris County Houston Sports Authority; county Commissioner El Franco Lee; Texas Southern University’s John Rudley; Michael Sanders of sponsor Toyota; SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp; Houston Mayor Annise Parker; Kevin Hoffman of the county Sports & Convention Corp.; and the Houston Rockets’ Tad Brown. Houston will host the SWAC football championships at Reliant Stadium and basketball tournaments at the Toyota Center for the next three years.

Score one for Detroit

Compass Management’s Jordan Dumars (second from left) and Daniel Sillman (center) joined the Pistons’ Andre Drummond, the Warriors’ Draymond Green, the Pistons’ Rodney Stuckey, the Warriors’ Harrison Barnes, and the Jazz’s Trey Burke to raise more than $100,000 for Detroit Youth Programs at the first Michigan All-Star Gala on Aug. 23.

U.S. Hockey shows off jerseys

Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis addresses the crowd during the unveiling of the 2014 Winter Olympic team jersey during the National Team Orientation Camp last week at Kettler Capitals IcePlex in Arlington, Va.
BELOW: The 2014 U.S. team candidates are introduced during a news conference.

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.

What does Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, have on his plate as a new season of football begins? He’s starting a new company: Dallas-based real estate brokerage firm E Smith Realty Partners. Smith formed the new company in part through his real estate development and asset management firm, ESmith Legacy, and it joins in his business roster EJ Construction, which focuses on civil construction and commercial building projects.

— By correspondent Candace Carlisle


I’ll tell myself, ‘Self, if this is challenging for you, can you imagine what it must be like for a person that doesn’t even have a brand like yours?’

Why start a new company?:
It’s a natural progression in terms of where we are. We felt like the market itself was headed in the right direction and now was the time to expand our offerings to retailers we’re working with in the marketplace.

Benefits of name recognition?: No, it doesn’t help at all. It makes it tougher. Everyone wants to know if I’m serious about the business. They see me on “Dancing with the Stars” and they don’t think I’m completely focused on the business. And some folks, once they see you have pockets, they want to go deeper.

Why the brokerage business?: We needed both sides of the business, so whether we’re representing the tenant or land owner, we could look at a site. This is a people’s business and it’s relationship oriented.

More to come?: All of what we’re doing kind of all works together from a development company to a construction company and now a brokerage firm. There’s a couple more components we can add to the table, but I’m not going to disclose what those are.

Biggest challenge?: For people to take me seriously. People want to leverage the brand to their benefit. Most people think I’m another athlete starting a business. … I don’t let folks define who I am. Any business is always a challenge to grow, whether you start a new venture or not. People question whether you can execute a new game plan, but actions speak louder than anything you can say.

‘At my age now, time is very precious,’ and the man working to turn the Jaguars organization around isn’t wasting any. He discusses scaling up, working hard and an optimist’s take on Sartre.

M y management style has evolved over time, but I know what works for me now. You have got to find the best people. Everything really comes down to the people, whether it’s auto parts, football or retail.

You’ve got to find the best people, you’ve got to give them the resources, you have to hold them accountable, and then you have to set high standards on them.

So it’s very simple — it’s people that you click with, people you like and trust, and they’re competent.

I thought I was the smartest kid in the world earlier in my career. Seriously. I finished engineering school before I turned 20. I could do a lot of different things, and I had some good success with innovation and metals — solving some problems or challenges that had existed for a long time and hadn’t been solved.

I was also able to stay ahead of the curve. I went from nothing in 1988 to 12 years later being a $50 million company at Flex-N-Gate. And then through a bunch of different circumstances, I ended up with a couple of really good key people who are still with us today. I learned that there are a lot of other people out there that are competent and have plans.

Having an open mind and empowering others is really how you can scale up. If you can’t find the people, you’re not going to scale up.

Whenever I’ve been at a decision point, and there was an easy way and a hard way, the hard way always turned out to be the right way.

When I was young, I was looking for a job. … Obviously, for me, I had a huge sense of urgency because if you don’t have a job, you can’t get a green card and you can’t stay in America.

After a good 60 days of door-to-door calling, I ended up with two job offers the same day: one as a sit-down night manager for an ice cream shop. I’d put on a tie and basically boss around high school kids in the air conditioning and it was clean. And then there was basically a blacksmith job. You’ve got dust, you’ve got grinding, it’s hot. It’s hard work. So what is the choice? I ended up obviously at Flex-N-Gate. I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll get to use my degree there.’

Today’s youth may feel more entitled because we have so many success stories. We have Microsoft, Facebook, anything technology related. You have a blogger and all of a sudden they are doing very well. And what they don’t see is that there were hundreds of others who didn’t do well.

Hard work, I think, is fundamental. It is part of the American DNA. Maybe very Midwestern, very Puritan, but it’s absolutely the fabric of America.

Jacksonville is Deep South. More Deep South, less Florida. It’s got a lot more in common with Georgia than it does with Miami. It’s like a Midwestern mindset in terms of hospitality and the kindness of people. There is an obsession about football.

The London opportunity is huge for us, because it gives us a chance to really do something for the league and work in a leadership role.

To me, it was very important we have full stadiums. You need the energy. Yes, you want the money, but I think it’s more than that in football. You want the 12th person in the stands and you want the energy. You want people getting out from behind their HDTVs and into the stadium.

One and a half million Brits come to Florida each year. I’ve already seen that after last year — when we announced we were the home team for the next four years in London. People going to Disney World would take a day off and they came for a game.

It’s good exposure for Jacksonville, great for investment, insurance, banking, to all get exposure in London. And obviously on the football side, we need the money.

There is a direct correlation between the top revenue-generating teams and success on the field. Green Bay is a small-market team but it’s No. 4 in NFL revenue.

I end up entertaining big time during games. If we lose the game, regrettably, there’s very little I can do at that stage. My job is not to second-guess the general manager and coaching staff, it’s just to see that we move in the right direction.

Last year we started at ground zero and we didn’t move in the right direction, and it’s a judgment that you aren’t going to be moving if you don’t have a coaching change and a people change. We’ve done that. Now it will be to re-evaluate if we are moving in the right direction. And I’m confident we will.

At my age now, time is very precious. You want to have experiences that add value to you. One of the great choices is you can do anything you want to do with whatever time you have. That is a luxury that you can’t put a value on. It’s precious.

I’ve traveled quite a bit; I’ve been pretty much everywhere.

You want to read stuff you wouldn’t read otherwise, and I kind of developed that habit even as a student just going through bookstores. I like Michel de Montaigne, the French philosopher. I also love to read about Chinese history, some of that has evolved into “The Art of War.” It’s probably got 100 translations, and all of them are different.

I’ve been reading the books of Jean-Paul Sartre. I’ve got to tell you, it’s like this guy is Fox News all over again. It’s gloom and doom, the world is coming to an end right now.

It’s a very pessimistic kind of a thing, but to me, I always want to look at the 1 percent of the glass that’s full, so it’s such a different viewpoint, but a lot of times when you do that it gives you an appreciation of what a person’s viewpoint is.

I’ve been blessed that I’ve been all over. I like the vitality here — Manhattan. Awesome. Barcelona. We have four clients in Barcelona, so I really discovered that as a business. I love Barcelona. Again for the excitement, the vibrancy, the realness of it where people are making a living and yet want to stay up late and enjoy good food. It’s not fake.