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Volume 21 No. 1
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People: Executive transactions

The Texas Rangers promoted Jim Cochrane to senior vice president of partnerships and client services.

The WNBA’s Seattle Storm promoted Shannon Burley to senior vice president of marketing and business operations. The team also named Alisha Valavanis chief operating officer, effective July 1, and Nate Silverman vice president of marketing partnerships. Valavanis was assistant athletic director of development for annual giving and alumni relations at the University of California, Berkeley.

Charlotte Hornets president of basketball operations Rod Higgins stepped down. General manager Rich Cho will assume responsibility for the team’s basketball operations.

The Cleveland Cavaliers named Dionna Widder vice president of ticket sales and services. Widder was director of team marketing and business operations for the NBA, WNBA and D-League.

The Los Angeles Clippers named Doc Rivers president of basketball operations in addition to his duties as head coach, Kevin Eastman vice president of basketball operations, Dave Wohl general manager, Gary Sacks assistant general manager, Gerald Madkins director of scouting and Jason Piombetti assistant director of scouting. The team also hired Jud Winton as director of analytics.

Ron Walter stepped down as Milwaukee Bucks executive vice president of business administration.

The Phoenix Suns named Maria Baier senior vice president of communications and public affairs, and Melissa Goldenberg vice president and general counsel.

Bruce Binkow, Golden Boy Promotions chief operating officer and chief marketing officer, left the company.

Kansas Wesleyan University named Kyle Weiser assistant athletic director.

The University of Iowa named Gene Taylor deputy athletic director. Taylor was athletic director of North Dakota State University.

University of Evansville Athletic Director John Stanley is retiring.

Paul Meyers resigned as University of Nebraska associate athletic director for the Huskers Athletic Fund.

The University of Montevallo named Mark Richard athletic director. Richard was athletic director at Gannon University.

Duquesne University named Natalie Hozak assistant director of athletic administration. Hozak was sport administration championships assistant for the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

Manhattan College named Alison Fitzgerald assistant athletic director for compliance. Fitzgerald was assistant athletic director for compliance, student services and special events at Barry University.

Virginia Tech named Desiree Reed-Francois executive associate athletic director. Reed-Francois was interim athletic director and senior woman administrator at the University of Cincinnati.

Iowa Speedway named Trent Staley vice president of marketing. Staley was with the entertainment marketing division of NASCAR.

Michigan International Speedway senior director of operations Barry Gibson retired.

The Washington Capitals promoted Ross Mahoney to assistant general manager. Mahoney was director of amateur scouting.

The St. Louis Blues named Chris Zimmerman president and chief executive officer of business operations. Zimmerman was president of Easton Sports.


Freedom Sports and Entertainment named Brett Zalaski founding partner of its ticket sales training division. Zalaski is the founder of Get After It Sales and was senior director of ticket sales for MLS Columbus Crew.

PrimeSport named John Walker president. Walker was president and chief executive officer of

S&E Sponsorship Group named David Chong senior director of client services, valuations and negotiations, and Andrew Shulman senior director of strategy development and planning.


U/S Sports Advisors named David Martin vice president of business development. Martin was vice president of marketing and ticket sales for Kentucky Speedway.

ESPN named Steve Busfield managing editor of ESPN FC and Busfield was sports editor for The Guardian U.S.

Entercom Boston named Matt Houston sales manager for WAAF-FM.

One World Sports named Kristin McNeill senior vice president of the Western division and Mark Romano senior vice president of the Eastern division. Mitchell was vice president of affiliate sales in the Western region for the Tribune Co.’s broadcast television group and WGN America, and Romano was vice president of distribution sales and marketing for Outdoor Channel.

ESPN promoted Rob Temple to senior vice president of its sports management group, Danielle Carney to vice president of multimedia sales, Deidra Maddock to vice president of sports management, Bill Condon to senior director of multimedia sales and Brant Allen to director of multimedia sales for the Southeast region, and hired Justin Hergianto as senior director of digital marketing sales and Scott Williams as senior director of multimedia sales.


The NHRA promoted Bob Lang to senior director of safety and emergency services, and Dave Mohn to division director of NHRA’s Northeast division.

Tommy Baldwin Racing promoted Kate Fegley to vice president of marketing.

The Chicago Fire hired Doug Hicks as vice president of communications. Hicks was chief marketing officer at D.C. United.

Sporting Goods and Apparel
Loudmouth Golf named Dennis Green president.

Skins, a compression apparel company, named Sean Logan independent sales representative in Southern California and Brad Barber in-house tech representative. Logan was key account manager for Reebok, and Barber was brand ambassador for Inverness Sales Group.

Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education appointed Vince Gennaro director of its master of science in sports management.

Bellator MMA named Scott Coker president and chief executive officer. Coker was chief executive officer of Strikeforce.

StubHub global head of business development and partnerships Danielle Maged left the company.

Ali Rowghani resigned as Twitter chief operations officer. Rowghani will continue to work for Twitter as a strategic adviser. Vice president of media Chloe Sladden is leaving the company.

Awards and Boards
Varsity Brands named Jeff Webb chairman of its board of directors. Webb is chief executive officer of the company.

The NCAA appointed Tom Holmoe to the Division I men’s basketball committee. Holmoe is athletic director at Brigham Young University.

The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation named Mark Butler chairman of its board of directors. Butler is president and chief executive officer of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet as well as part owner of the Class AA Eastern League Harrisburg (Pa.) Senators.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association inducted Jon Almquist, David Draper, Mark Gibson, Katie Grove, Paula Sammarone Turocy and Ken Wright into its Hall of Fame.

USA Cycling named Bob Stapleton chairman and Alex Nieroth vice chairman of 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.