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Volume 21 No. 1

People and Pop Culture

MLB named former player Billy Bean ambassador for inclusion.

The Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena promoted David Lee to senior vice president of external affairs and executive director of the Atlanta Hawks Foundation.

The WNBA’s Atlanta Dream named Maureen Brown chief operating officer. Brown was director of financial planning and analysis for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The NBA named Eric Hutcherson senior vice president of human resources. Hutcherson was managing director and chief human resources officer for the U.S. and Canada for insurance broker Marsh.

The Philadelphia 76ers named Zack Robinson sales manager. Robinson was a senior account executive with MLS’s Sporting Kansas City. The team also named Enoch Andoh, Matt Cohn and Troy Snead account executives and Sarah Proctor service and retention coordinator.

Duke University promoted Nina King to deputy athletic director for administration and legal affairs, and chief of staff; Brad Berndt to senior associate athletic director for academic services; Todd Mesibov to associate athletic director for compliance; and Bob Weiseman to assistant athletic director for athletic facilities, game operations and championships. Duke also named Mitch Moser deputy athletic director and chief financial officer, Gerald Harrison senior associate athletic director for internal affairs, Jon Jackson senior associate athletic director for external affairs, and Tony Sales assistant athletic director for student-athlete external affairs.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay named Brendan Gildea assistant athletic director for internal affairs, effective Aug. 4. Gildea was a financial reporting analyst at the University of California, Berkeley.

Lynchburg College named Jon Waters athletic director, effective in early August. Waters was senior associate athletic director at Christopher Newport University.

Northern Kentucky University named Bryan McEldowney assistant athletic director for communications and media services. McEldowney was athletic communications assistant and video coordinator at Xavier University.

Georgia Tech assistant athletic director for media relations Dean Buchan left his position.

Oakland University named Jeffrey Konya athletic director, effective Aug. 11. Konya was athletic director at California State University, Bakersfield.

The Atlantic Coast Conference named Amy Yakola senior associate commissioner and chief of external affairs, Brad Hostetter senior associate commissioner and chief of internal affairs, Jeff Elliott senior associate commissioner and chief financial officer, W. Scott McBurney associate commissioner for advanced media and Lee Butler assistant commissioner for men’s basketball operations.

Georgia Southern University named Tracy Ham associate athletic director. Ham was an All-American quarterback at Georgia Southern.

Clemson University named Joe Simon assistant athletic director for facilities management. Simon was associate athletic director for internal operations at the University of Central Florida.

The University of Louisiana-Lafayette named Rob Stewart senior athletic director for external affairs. Stewart was associate athletic director for marketing and promotions at the University of Houston.

The University of Memphis named Derek Houtz assistant athletic director for ticket operations and sales. Houtz was assistant athletic director for ticket operations at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The University of Texas at Dallas named Bill Petitt athletic director. Petitt was associate athletic director for external affairs.

The Big South Conference named Courtney Fritts public relations assistant and Fletcher Jones marketing assistant.


Metropolitan Hospitality, the hospitality company for Citi Field, named Vincent Ruffino Jr. sales assistant. Ruffino was a ticket fulfillment representative for the New York Mets.

HKS sports architects Jerry Fawcett, Byron Chambers and Jonathan Kelley left the company to join Gensler and start a new design studio in Dallas.

Florida Citrus Sports named Scott Herring chief financial officer. Herring was vice president of finance for the Memphis Grizzlies.


The Seattle Seahawks named Ed Goines general counsel and vice president of government affairs.

The NFL named Matt Birk director of football development. Birk played 15 seasons in the NFL.

IMG College named Chad Bolen general manager at Florida State University.

The Aspire Group named Nicole Arteca ticket sales consultant at Rutgers University, Logan Dailey ticket sales consultant at Western Michigan University, Mike Cassidy ticket sales consultant at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Kady Remshik ticket sales consultant for the U.S. Open (tennis).

Johnny Alamo Entertainment named Tiffany Lutke marketing and communications specialist.

WME-IMG Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein left the company for personal reasons. The company also named Seth Krauss general counsel. Krauss was executive vice president and general counsel for Take-Two Interactive.

Comcast-Spectacor named Dan Gallagher senior vice president of strategic growth initiatives. Gallagher was chief of staff for Comcast-Spectacor.

ESPN moved Mike McQuade to vice president of “SportsCenter,” Phil Orlins to senior coordinating producer for MLB and Rich Feinberg to senior coordinating producer for X Games.

Paul Faulkner stepped down as chief executive officer at the English Premier League’s Aston Villa.

Louisville City FC of the USL named Djorn Buchholz president, effective Aug. 4. Buchholz was director of fan experience for MLS’s Sporting Kansas City.

Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing named Francie Gottsegen vice president of U.S. Soccer property.

MLS’s Orlando City Soccer Club named Lenny Santiago vice president of communications. Santiago was senior director of public relations at Daytona International Speedway.

Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
The Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission named Jay Kasten director of sports. Kasten was senior operations director for the Bruno Event Team.

Tennis Canada named Mark Healy chief marketing officer and Helene St-Amand chief financial officer. Healy was head of strategic planning for Venture Communications, and St-Amand was vice principal of finance and administration for Bishop’s University.

Twitter promoted Katie Jacobs Stanton to vice president of global media. Stanton was vice president of international market development.

Bellator MMA named Eric Burak vice president of digital marketing and international distribution. Burak was with Brand Affinity Technologies.

Awards and Boards
The NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association named its officers for 2014-15. The association named Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference’s Steve Murray president, Peach Belt Conference’s David Brunk first vice president, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s Dell Robinson second vice president, Great Lakes Valley Conference’s Jim Naumovich past president and Conference Carolinas’ Alan Patterson treasurer.

WWE named Laureen Ong to its board of directors. Ong was most recently president of the Travel Channel.

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.

NESN shows Red Sox trophies

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, NESN displayed Boston Red Sox World Series trophies from 2004, 2007 and 2013 at the annual New England Cable & Telecommunications Association convention, which took place July 16-18 in Newport, R.I. From left: NESN’s Sean McGrail, Comcast’s Kevin Casey, NECTA’s Paul Cianelli and Cox Communications’ John Wolfe.

Marking anniversary of the L.A. Games

The pregame ceremony at a recent Los Angeles Angels game commemorated the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Olympic Games held in Southern California. First-pitch participants: Olympian Peter Vidmar, former president of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee Peter Ueberroth, Olympian Janet Evans, Olympian Rafer Johnson and the LA84 Foundation’s Bob Wagner.

SportsBeep launch party

At the SportsBeep Fantasy Sports Mobile App launch party at the Montclair Country Club in Montclair, N.J.: David Mermelstein of Croton Watches, baseball’s Pete Rose, Tom Happle of SportsBeep and former New Jersey Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko.
Photo by: JOHN RATTA

New Levi’s for 49ers

Among those on hand at the Levi’s Stadium ribbon cutting July 18: 49ers GM Trent Baalke, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, 49ers President Paraag Marathe, players Patrick Willis and Joe Staley and coach Jim Harbaugh.

Fired up for World Games

Toyota executives Doug Eroh, Pete Carey, and Michael Rouse; Global Messenger Debi Anderson; ESPN commentator Jay Harris, ESPN President John Skipper; Global Messenger Dustin Plunkett; and LA2015 President and CEO Patrick McClenahan strike the World Games celebratory pose at the Special Olympics World Games LA2015 press conference July 16 at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.

Broadway Blueshirts hit the links

At the 12th annual Coke Zero and New York Rangers golf outing July 8 at Trump National Golf Course in Briarcliff, N.Y.: Front: Rangers alumnus Gilles Villemure, Coca-Cola’s Dori Silverman and MSG’s Ron Skotarczak. Back: Rangers alumni Ron Duguay, Bob Nevin, Steve Vickers, Ron Greschner and Glenn Anderson.

TWC’s David Rone honored

The Shadow League sports website honored David Rone, Time Warner Cable president of sports, news and local programming, as the recipient of its inaugural Shadow League Award for Leadership during a dinner this month at the L’Ermitage Beverly Hills. With Rone (center) are the Shadow League’s Yussuf Khan (left) and Keith Clinkscales, also of Revolt TV.

View from Park Lane

Andrew Kline, founder and managing director of sports investment bank Park Lane, spoke with SportsBusiness Journal reporters and editors during a visit to the SBJ/SBD offices in Charlotte on July 16.

Getting together on greening sports

With the Environmental Leadership Award, given to the NHL’s Gary Bettman, at the Green Sports Alliance Summit in Santa Clara, Calif.: Michael Doyle of the Vancouver Canucks / Rogers Arena, the NHL’s Omar Mitchell, hockey hall of famer Michael Richter of Healthy Planet Partners, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Allen Hershkowitz, and the Green Sports Alliance’s Martin Tull.

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.

Managing director, Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, University of Oregon

“The Billionaire’s Vinegar,” by Benjamin Wallace
Love a good glass of wine … figure this book will convince me to not buy a bottle over $50.

“Unbroken,” by Laura Hillenbrand
A reread already planned before Louis Zamperini passed away in early July. Don’t be lazy and wait for the movie in December. Hillenbrand’s storytelling is captivating.

“The Great Tamasha,” by James Astill
Taking my students to Mumbai in September as part of our annual study tour of Asia. Wanted a primer on cricket and the sport culture in India.

“Remarkable,” by Lizzie K. Foley
Ten-year-old daughter Ella and I are working our way through this book at bedtime. Best part of summer is time for more bedtime stories.

CEO and co-founder, Spartan Race

“Atlas Shrugged,” by Ayn Rand
It’s my favorite book and I think it may be time to read it again as I am growing concerned over the future of capitalism.

■ “No Easy Day: The Autobiography of a Navy SEAL,” by Mark Owen (AKA Matt Bissonnette)
This inspirational story shows so much of what is great with our men and women in uniform. Many military personnel participate in Spartan Races, so I have developed partnerships and friendships with them. This book embodies the teamwork, self-sacrifice and dedication that makes them truly remarkable people.

“Lone Survivor,” by Marcus Luttrell
My respect for the military was raised with this inspiring and gut-wrenching film. But to truly understand Marcus Luttrell’s experience I need to hear it in his own words. From what others have told me, the book is even more powerful than the acclaimed film.

President and owner, Shamrock Sports & Entertainment

“Unbroken,” by Laura Hillenbrand
An inspiring true story of Olympic runner and war hero Louis Zamperini. As an avid runner and grandson to a former U.S. Marines lieutenant colonel, it hits close to home and exemplifies what hard work, determination and never-give-up attitudes can do in life to overcome all odds.

“Thinking, Fast And Slow,” by Daniel Kahneman
The winner of the Nobel in economic science discusses how we make choices in business and personal life. With my wife and I blessed with our first child due in September and a fast-growing business, figured it was a good time to go to school on pointers to optimize the ever-elusive balance.

Senior vice president and chief financial officer, Detroit Lions

I’ve gotten into a routine where I read books my daughters read for school and which they recommend that I read. It’s sort of our own little book club. Two of those which I am reading and will read while on vacation are “I Am Malala,” by Malala Yousafzai, and “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien.
I’ve also picked up and am looking forward to reading “Brain on Fire,” by Susannah Cahalan, because I’m fascinated by this true story and feel inspired by this woman’s perseverance and fight for survival. I would imagine it’s quite rare for someone who has suffered from such a brain-related illness to get to a point where they can go back and tell their story.
Next is “The Burglary,” by Betty Medsger, because I think it’s a fascinating exposé and account of history altering events. And “The Arsenal of Democracy,” by A.J. Baime, because of its ties to Detroit (my new hometown) and the role of Ford in WWII.
Finally are a couple of best-sellers which I’ve been wanting to get to: “American Sniper,” by Chris Kyle, and “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” by Daniel Kahneman.

Publisher, Runner’s World / Running Times

“Bossypants,” by Tina Fey
What working woman can’t relate to her? Keeping a sense of humor while I “Liz Lemon” my workplace is what keeps me sane. Knowing I’m not the only one who thinks like her empowers me daily and I feel lucky to get the joke.

“My Life on the Run,” by Bart Yasso
I like to refer back to this book every so often, to be reminded about the transformative power of running. I have the privilege of being around Runner’s World Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso a lot, hearing his stories and seeing firsthand why he has been called the Mayor of Running. This book captures the positive, infectious spirit of Bart.

“The Fault in Our Stars,” by John Green
My 14-year-old daughter, McKenzie, read this book in a weekend and was an emotional wreck, so I had to add it to my reading list. The sarcasm laced with humor tied in with cancer and youth was a gut-wrenchingly beautiful love story.

“The Invention of Wings,” by Sue Monk Kidd
A wonderful story set in 19th-century Charleston about two very different women, one a slave and one a member of a prominent family, and how their struggles mirror each other in very complex ways.

Athletic director, Davidson College

“Empire of the Summer Moon,” by S.C. Gwynne
A brutally truthful history of the rise and fall of the Comanche nation.

“Living Hell: The Dark Side of the Civil War,” by Michael C.C. Adams
A counterpoint to the Civil War’s glamorization in American lore.

“John Wayne: The Life and Legend,” by Scott Eyman
John Wayne acted like the man you wanted to be.

Partner, Eiger Marketing Group

I have a ton of books queued up on my nightstand at home:
“The Pro,” by Butch Harmon
A great read for any member of Winged Foot or any fan of the game and one of golf’s great families. It’s a story about golf and Butch’s father, Claude, who was the head pro at Winged Foot for more than 30 years, but it’s also a coming-of-age tale about fathers and sons and passing along a lifetime of wisdom to the next generation.

Daily Racing Form
I love my time at the track and checking in on our horses, so this is the easiest to check off my summer reading list. After 120 years, DRF is still the go-to publication for any fan of thoroughbred racing, or anyone involved in the Sport of Kings (horse racing, NOT boxing).

“Fans Not Customers,” by Vernon Hill
I’m fascinated by people who translate their diverse interests into successful endeavors. As a retail specialist, Vernon Hill built two banking giants; as a dog lover he launched one of the first pet insurance businesses in the U.S.; and as a golfer he developed Galloway National, one of the top golf courses in the U.S.

“Busting Vegas,” by Ben Mezrich
Every gambler dreams of finding a foolproof system. I’m convinced that, through research, practice and a little luck, the perfect system is in reach.

Managing director, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

“The Billionaire and the Mechanic” is one on my list.  I am interested to learn more about the partnership between Larry Ellison and his team, including an auto mechanic, that led to the America’s Cup win. Teamwork, sports, business and improbable success all in one read … looking forward to getting to the beach with it!

Russ Simons is managing partner of Venue Solutions Group, a Nashville-based consulting firm that teams and sports facilities hire to improve their building operations. Simons has been in the business since 1981 and served as general manager at both The Pyramid in Memphis and Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. He later spent 10 years at Populous as its facility operations consultant before forming VSG in 2011 with partners Mike Wooley and Tom Williams.

I’m not adept at this mobile technology stuff, but through brute force I’m getting to understand it more and more. I try to be like a sponge and apply those advances to the traditional understanding of the business. I love the speed at which it’s coming.

On the title he uses, Chief Listening Officer: When I was a facility manager, vendors and salespeople put a lot of energy into trying to convince me to do something that was good for them without ever taking time or making any effort to listen and understand our needs. When I started our consulting business, I vowed that I was not going to be like that.

On how VSG gets business: We tell them what they need to know, not what they want to hear.

On the continued need for quality customer service: We recently reviewed the [San Diego] Padres and [Pittsburgh] Pirates through our secret-shopping program for guest-experience benchmarking. I came in disguised as a fan, wearing old blue jeans and a team cap. Both teams had old-school staff members looking you straight in the eye and asking, “How can I help you?” I was thinking to myself, “Is there a picture of me somewhere around here?” It just goes to prove the whole mantra that you can’t control the product on the field but you can control every part of the guest experience.

On the changing face of the fan and technology: There is a dichotomy now between fans age 34 and younger and 34 and older. Those two distinct audiences must share the same space in a facility, and making an equal commitment to both are the challenges facing us now. We need to adapt to the [younger] audience or risk people staying at home.

On the next generation of NFL stadiums: The [San Francisco] 49ers came right out and said “We’re going to be great” in terms of all the technology at their facility. I can’t wait until Levi’s Stadium opens and I wish them well. The good news for the [Minnesota] Vikings and [Atlanta] Falcons is they get to see it deployed and then make a decision design-wise how to improve upon those things at their new stadiums.

— Don Muret