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Volume 21 No. 6
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People: Executive transactions

The Oakland Athletics named Ashwin Puri vice president of strategy and business operations. Puri was chief revenue officer and senior associate athletic director at the University of California, Berkeley.

The New Orleans Baby Cakes named Paul Kleinhans-Schulz director of ticket sales, Daniel Straney group sales manager, Alex Rankin box office manager, Kyle Guille corporate sales executive, Kyle Hamer account executive and Patrick Vath account executive.

The Atlanta Hawks named Marcus Wasdin chief information officer. Wasdin held the same position for Church’s Chicken.

The Phoenix Suns named former NBA player James Jones vice president of basketball operations.

The New York Knicks hired Gerald Madkins as assistant general manager. Madkins held the same position with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Florida Gulf Coast University promoted Graham Diemer to associate athletic director for advancement.

Boston College hired Vaughn Williams as senior associate athletic director for administration and Jocelyn Fisher Gates as senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator. Williams was athletic director at Kennesaw State University, and Gates was senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at the University of South Florida.

East Carolina University named Phillip Wood senior associate athletic director and executive director of the Pirate Club. Wood was associate executive director for the Wolfpack Club at North Carolina State University.

Roger Williams University named Kristin Jacobs athletic director. Jacobs was associate athletic director for Springfield College.

Seton Hall University promoted Christopher Carl to associate athletic director for marketing, Thomas Chen to associate athletic director for digital media and communications, Brian Connor to assistant athletic director for equipment operations, Cameron Harty to assistant athletic director for facilities and operations, Jay Judge to associate athletic director for development, Alex Keddie to associate athletic director for compliance, Loren Peterson to associate athletic director for business affairs, and Roberto Sasso to associate athletic director for student-athlete development.

The Atlantic Coast Conference named Ron Cherry special adviser. Cherry was an ACC football referee.

The College of the Holy Cross named Allison Crandall assistant athletic director for content and digital strategy. Crandall was assistant athletic director for communications for Bryant University.

The Pac-12 Conference hired Laura Hazlett as chief financial officer and promoted Erik Hardenbergh to chief of staff and Andrew Walker to vice president of public affairs. Hazlett was chief financial and administrative officer for the California College of Arts.

The University of Illinois-Chicago named Garrett Klassy athletic director. Klassy was senior associate athletic director for external relations at George Washington University.

Fort Lewis College named Barney Hinkle athletic director and promoted Lynne Andrew to senior associate athletic director. Hinkle was vice president of business development at The Marketing Arm.

The Frisco Bowl hired Sean Johnson as executive director. Johnson was account executive and partnerships director for Fox Sports Southwest.

The Southland Conference named John Williams deputy commissioner, Bruce Ludlow associate commissioner for sports operations and Thomas Samuel assistant commissioner for compliance services, and promoted Edd Henderson to senior associate commissioner for internal operations, Jenny McGhee to senior associate commissioner for external operations, Chris Mycoskie to associate commissioner for broadcast and new media, John Payne to director of business operations, Travis Day to information director and Jeremy Villanueva to assistant information director.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham named Katreshia Louis-Verrett senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator. Louis-Verrett was senior woman administrator for North Carolina A&T State University.

The University of Michigan named Matt Dudek director of football recruiting. Dudek was general manager and director of player personnel for the University of Arizona.

The University of Pittsburgh hired Brendan Fouracre as executive associate athletic director for capital planning and projects and facility and event operations. Fouracre was senior associate athletic director for facilities and operations for the University of Cincinnati.

Virginia Tech University named Brad Wurthman senior associate athletic director for external operations. Wurthman was associate athletic director of marketing and fan development at the University of Illinois.

Echo Fox named Jared Jeffries president. Jeffries was director of player personnel for the Denver Nuggets.

The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl named Scott Leightman senior director of communications and Jackie Hobson communications coordinator. Leightman was director of communication and public relations for USA Swimming.

The Maxwell Football Club named former NFLer Shawn Wooden chairman and promoted Mark Dianno to president and chief executive officer after Ron Jaworski stepped down as chairman and president.

The Denver Broncos hired Dan Hawley as senior director of corporate partnerships. Hawley was vice president of national sales for Learfield Sports.

The New Orleans Saints named Ryan Herman football analyst. Herman was director of football administration for the Miami Dolphins.

The NFL named Jonathan Nabavi vice president of public policy and government affairs. Nabavi was majority counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Carolina Panthers fired director of player personnel Mark Koncz.

The Denver Broncos hired former player Steve Atwater as fan development manager and insider for

The Green Bay Packers promoted Jason McDonough to director of ticketing and premium seating.

The New York Jets promoted Brian Heimerdinger to vice president of player personnel.


The Houston Golf Association named Russ Evans senior director of sales. Evans was director of media and corporate partnerships for the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic.

The TPC Network named Bill Hughes regional director of operations. Hughes was general manager of TPC Sawgrass.

The NHL named Brian Cull group vice president of business development and hired Evin Dobson as group vice president of partnership marketing and Jaka Lednik as group vice president of international strategy. Dobson was a Momentum Worldwide vice president and director of business leadership, and Lednik was a principal with the Boston Consulting Group.

USA Hockey named Andrea Mazzarelli communications manager and Pat Durant digital content coordinator. Mazzarelli was communications coordinator for the USOC, and Durant was media relations assistant for athletics at Ohio University.

The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center named Michelle McCarthy director of entertainment marketing, Starr Butler director of special events, Jason Gonella vice president of premium partnerships and Dan Spiegel vice president of marketing.

The Colorado Mammoth promoted Dan Carey to general manager.

Foley & Lardner added Michael Wall as counsel in the firm’s sports industry team. Wall was executive vice president of general counsel and corporate secretary at Performance Sports Group.


GMR Marketing named Ryan Ritter vice president of business development. Ritter was associate director of strategic accounts for C Space.

Innovative Partnerships Group hired Ian Shapiro as director for valuation and analytics.

SportBox Entertainment Group hired Francisco Terreros as executive vice president of global soccer. Terreros was principal of Os Group.

The Aspire Group named Kenneth Rubongoya senior service consultant and Ryan Morehouse group sales consultant of the University of Maryland, Taylor Forlano manager of sales and service at the University of Pennsylvania, Ryan Beckner and Kristi Lawless sales consultants at Army West Point, Azia Evans national sales associate, Grayson Heath service consultant and Chad Wilkinson database marketing and analytics coordinator at the University of Denver, and Mark Sutcliffe and Steven Vogelgesang sales consultants and Michael Valacer database marketing and analytics coordinator at Miami University.

CAA China named Mary Gu Shuhang chief executive officer. Gu was regional president for East Asia for the Special Olympics.

Berk Communications hired Melanie Wadden as vice president of sports and entertainment. Wadden was director of public relations at Select Sports Group.

Intrepid Marketing Group named Caitlin Carey digital media coordinator, Joseph Lowe account executive and Missy White senior account executive.

ESPN hired Travis Howe as senior vice president of digital ad product sales and strategy. Howe was executive vice president and general manager of global platform solutions for Mediaocean.

Bleacher Report hired Howard Mittman as chief revenue officer and chief marking officer. Mittman was chief business officer at Conde Nast.

Learfield’s UNLV property named Dan Dolby general manager; Jay Vickers, Beau Orth and Joey Swanner managers of business development; and Savannah Stallworth manager of marketing and branding. Learfield’s Illinois State University property hired Larry Hoepfner as general manger and Ryan Randall as manager of business development.

Tennis Channel named Steve Disson head of new business development, sponsorships. Disson was chief executive officer at Disson Sports & Entertainment.

Univision President of Ad Sales and Marketing Keith Turner plans to retire at the end of the year.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports named Jon Flack president. Flack was global chief operations officer and president of the Americas for JMI.

Texas Motor Speedway hired Jason Wonderly as vice president of sales. Wonderly was director of marketing partnerships and new business at Team Penske.

The U.S. Olympic Committee named Nicole Deal chief security officer and David Zodikoff chief information officer. Deal is a former regional security officer for the U.S. Department of State, and Zodikoff was chief information officer at Association Member Benefits Advisors.

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.