Sport Management Advisory Board
The Sport Management (SPM) Advisory Council is comprised of a “Who’s Who in Sports.” This esteemed group of sport industry professionals and practitioners provides an inner circle of advisors and supporters for the Department of Sport Management. The council provides input and guidance for short- and long-term goals, student internships, employment opportunities, curriculum development and classroom instruction. It champions the program to prospective supporters, students, business colleagues, and the community.
"To be the preeminent student-centered experiential learning, scholarship and teaching institution, by forming a unique partnership amongst students, faculty, high profile industry leaders and staff, all collaborating to maximize academic, professional and personal growth."
- Ronald C. Bernard, President, LWB Consulting
- Russ Brandon, President and CEO, Buffalo Bills
- Howard Dolgon, President and CEO, Syracuse Crunch Hockey Club
- Michael Duda, Co-Founder/Managing Partner of Consigliere Brand Capital
- Patti Kleinman-Fallick, Director, Broadcast Operations, MLB Network
- Jina (Song) Freiberg, Grants Administrator and Data Analyst for the City of Falls Church
- Julie Foudy, Analyst for ABC/ESPN
- Shawn Garrity, Chief Executive Officer, Circle TPR
- Mark Geddis, President & CEO of Geddis Holdings, Inc.
- Ed Goren, Consultant, FOX Sports
- Pamela Hollander, Vice President, Integrated Marketing Communications, Allstate
- Cliff Kaplan, Chairman, Equity Sports Partner
- David Kleinhandler, Founder and Chair, ArxSocial, LLC
- Christopher J. LencheskiFounder and Chairman, Phoenicia
- David Levy, President of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
- Sandy Montag, Senior Corporate Vice President/Managing Director of Clients for IMG Sports & Entertainment
- Laurie Orlando, Senior Vice President, Talent Strategy, Development & Planning, ESPN Productions, Inc.
- Ben C. Sutton, Jr., President of IMG College
- Kathrine Switzer, President of Marathon Woman & AtAlanta Sports Promotions, Inc.
- Mike Tirico, Play-By-Play Commentator, Studio & ESPN Radio Host
- John Wildhack,
Executive Vice President, Programming & Production, ESPN
- Michael Wohl, Partner, Pinnacle Housing Group
- Tyler Young, Manager, Sales Leader Strategy & Readiness, Salesforce
Brandon Steiner, Board Chairman
Founder and Chairman
Steiner Sports Marketing
Brandon is the founder and chairman of Steiner Sports Marketing, the largest company of its kind in America. Its inventory of collectibles includes more than 10,000 items. He's considered a bona fide sports marketing guru who is a regular on ESPN Radio 1050 on Sunday mornings, along with his co-hosting duties on Yankees-Steiner: Memories of the Game, which is prominently featured on the YES Network.
Brandon is an expert commentator on all issues involving sports and is regularly featured on national news networks including CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, ESPN and in newspapers such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Brandon works closely with corporations to align them with athletes to promote their products. He maintains relationships with hundreds of current and former professional athletes. One of his newest concepts is Last Licks Ice Cream Stores which features its own unique brand of ice cream along with public appearances from select athletes. He calls Last Licks "The Sports Bar for Kids," a place for Little League teams to come after the game, watch sports, eat ice cream and just be kids. The only catch is that you might bump into any star from Magic Johnson to Mia Hamm. Last Licks currently has five different locations and two more are scheduled to open shortly.
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David B. Falk, Chair Emeritus
Falk Associates Management Enterprises (FAME)
David Falk, the founder of FAME, has long been recognized as one of the sports industry’s leading figures and most talented innovators. During a
40 year career, he has represented the top players in NBA history and has negotiated record-breaking contracts for his clients, both on and off the court. His vision and ability to read the changing landscape helped to shape the evolution of the business of sports over the past 30 years.
He began his career representing professional athletes with ProServ in 1974, rising to Vice Chairman of the company. He left ProServ in 1992 and established Falk Associates Management Enterprises (FAME) to provide specialized and personal representation services to the company’s elite clientele of NBA superstars. During his career, Falk has represented more NBA first-round draft selections, lottery picks, Rookies-of-the-Year, and All-Stars than anyone else in the athlete management business.
Falk negotiated the highest contracts in NBA league history for Patrick Ewing (New York Knicks) in 1985 and Danny Ferry (Cleveland Cavaliers) in 1990. He negotiated professional sports’ first $100 million contract in 1996 for Alonzo Mourning as part of an unprecedented free agency period in which FAME changed the entire salary structure of the NBA, negotiating over $400 million in contracts for its free agent clients in a six-day period. He negotiated Michael Jordan’s one-year $30 million contract in 1996, the highest salary in NBA history for the next 16 years!Read More ...
Falk has also been credited as sports marketing’s leading innovator. In 1985, he negotiated Michael Jordan’s ground-breaking deal with Nike, which is the most successful endorsement relationship in history, and in the process coined the nickname “Air Jordan.” He also negotiated notable shoe endorsement contracts for James Worthy in 1982, Boomer Esiason (who became the first NFL player to endorse the Reebok “Pump”) in 1987, Allen Iverson with Reebok in 1996 and Evan Turner with Li-Ning in 2010.
In 1996, Falk crossed over into entertainment as he executive produced the Ivan Reitman/Warner Bros. feature Space Jam, Michael Jordan's first film, teaming Jordan with the Looney Tunes in an intergalactic basketball showdown. In 2000, he executive produced Michael Jordan to the Max, the critically acclaimed large format feature on the NBA legend. Falk also served as Executive Producer of the Emmy-winning On Hallowed Ground, a documentary on the history of the Rucker Park Basketball League, which received a gold medal at the 2000 New York Film Festival, as well as One Love (2003) and Young Guns (2004). Falk was a founding partner, along with Quincy Jones, in New Urban Entertainment (NUE), a multi-faceted entertainment company that focused on the development, production and marketing of entertainment drawn from the urban experience.
In 1998, Falk sold FAME to SFX Entertainment, serving on SFX’s Board of Directors and in the Office of the Chairman. As Chairman of SFX Sports Group, Falk oversaw the acquisition of a dozen sports agencies that enabled SFX to represent approximately 20% of MLB and NBA players. Falk stepped down as Chairman in 2001. In 2007, Falk re-launched FAME as an ultra boutique agency for a small but elite clientele.
Falk ranked #2, behind NBA Commissioner David Stern in a Basketball Digest survey of the most influential people in basketball. He has been a perennial selection to The Sporting News’ “100 Most Powerful People in Sports.” In 1999, Advertising Age named Falk to their “Marketing 100” list of the country’s top 100 marketers. USA Today selected Falk as an “Ad/Marketing Powerbroker of 1996”.
Falk is a Founding Investor in Marquis Jet, a private aviation company, and Golf GCX Partners, and is a founder and principal in Pokeware, a digital alternative advertising company. In 2009, he released his first book, The Bald Truth.
A 1972 honors graduate of Syracuse University with a B.A. in Economics, the 61-year-old New York native received a J.D. with honors from the National Law Center at George Washington University in 1975. In 2010, Syracuse University established the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.
He is a member of the Board of Trustees for Syracuse University, the Board of Advisors for George Washington University’s National Law Center, as well as the Board of The Congressional Awards; the official charity of Congress.
He and his wife, the former Rhonda Frank, live in Rockville, Maryland, and have two daughters, Daina, and Jocelyn.
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Ronald C. Bernard
Senior Advisor, Alvarez & Marsal
President, LWB Consulting
Ronald Bernard has over 35 years experience in the entertainment, sports, and media industries in both senior operating and financial capacities. He is currently a Managing Director at Alvarez & Marsal specializing in the media/sports industries. In addition, since January, 2003, he has been President of LWB Consulting where he has worked with a number of private equity investors in identifying and acquiring media properties. LWB Consulting is a media/sports consulting advisory to private equity firms looking to make investments in the sports/entertainment industry.
Mr. Bernard was CEO of Sekani, Inc., a digital media licensing and digital asset management company that he and a number of venture capital firms sold to Corbis, Inc. in 2002.
Mr. Bernard was also President of NFL Enterprises, the media business division of the National Football League from 1993-2000. He was responsible for NFL Sunday Ticket, NFL Films, NFL International, and all new media ventures. Prior to that, he held a number of senior level positions at Viacom Inc., including serving as Corporate Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer of Showtime Networks Entertainment, and President of Viacom Networks Enterprises.
Mr. Bernard is currently on the Board of Directors of Premier Exhibitions, and formerly served on the Board of Atari, Inc. He is a New York CPA, with an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
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President and Chief Executive Officer
Bills founding father Ralph Wilson, Jr. bestowed the title of President and Chief Executive Officer upon Russ Brandon on New Year's Day 2013. Little did anyone know that in a little over a year, the staff at One Bills Drive would rely heavily on Brandon's leadership skills to navigate the organization through the challenging transitional period following the late owner's passing on March 25, 2014.
Wilson commented at the time of Brandon's promotion, "Russ has done a tremendous job in his 16 years with our organization and is very highly respected throughout the National Football League. He has proven to be extremely successful with each new level of responsibility he has been given and has earned this opportunity. I have granted him full autonomy to run the organization as he feels is best."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell added, "Russ is a dynamic, forward-thinking leader. He is a proven executive with extensive experience in the operation of the Bills. He is committed to the Buffalo region and understands the dynamics of the NFL. Ralph Wilson’s decision is a positive step to enhance the stability of the franchise."
Brandon wasted little time in the days following his increased responsibilities in dealing successfully with critical issues. Six days into the job he played a vital role in selecting former SU coach Doug Marrone as the Bills’ 16th head coach and by mid-May Brandon had named a new General Manager in Doug Whaley.Read More ...
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President, CEO Team Governor
A founding member of Alan Taylor Communications, Inc., the leading independent sports public relations agency in the country, Howard Dolgon has spent more than 25 years in the public relations/marketing field.
A graduate of Brooklyn (N.Y.) College, Mr. Dolgon has created and implemented numerous award-winning programs for a variety of corporations including MasterCard International, General Mills and Diageo. He has handled promotions throughout the United States, Europe, and South America for World Cup Soccer and the Olympic Games. Both he and Mr. Taylor were named by the New York Daily News as two of the top 40 influential sport figures in New York.
Mr. Dolgon is a visiting professor at the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications of Syracuse University and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the school’s sport management program.
Mr. Dolgon is a member of the American Hockey League’s Executive Committee and received the James C. Hendy Memorial Award as the outstanding executive in the American Hockey League for the 2009-10 season. He has also promoted NBA preseason games and world-class boxing events in Syracuse.
Mr. Dolgon is 54 years old and has homes in East Meadow, NY and Boca Raton, FL. He and his wife Joy have five children, Mike, Garrett, Connor, Brittany and Alec and their dog Rub
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Consigliere Brand Capital
Mike is the Co-Founder/Managing Partner of Consigliere Brand Capital an accelerator agency and consumer investment-driven investment company based in Brooklyn and Greenwich, CT. Consigliere has worked with established companies such as Under Armour, Chobani, Boston Beer and GNC and invested in early-stage companies such as Birchbox, Warby Parker, Harry's and Casper Mattress.
He has spent 23 years in the world of Madison Avenue, including 13 at Deutsch Inc. as Partner, Chief Corporate Strategy Officer and helped turnaround WPP-backed Johannes Leonardo as CEO. He was named to the exclusive Crain's 40 Under 40 Award of business in 2005.
Mike is a graduate of St. John Fisher College and is on the Board of Directors of the David Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University, The 119-year old Advertising Club of New York City and Spark Motion. When not spending time with his wife and three boys in Connecticut, he can be found arguing with referees at a sporting event.
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Director, Broadcast Operations
Fallick was part of the original team of employees to be part of MLB Network’s record-setting launch on January 1, 2009 in 50 million homes throughout the country. In her role since then, Fallick oversees the daily integration of MLB Network programming, promotions and commercial content while managing the operational policies and procedures for MLB Network’s games, live studio programming, breaking news and special events programming.
She has six Emmy Awards as Operations Producer for Outstanding Studio Show Sports for “MLB Tonight” and Outstanding Studio Technical Team for “MLB Tonight.” She also has one Emmy for Fox Sports baseball playoff coverage in 2013.
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Fallick is based at MLB Network’s Secaucus, New Jersey headquarters.
Prior to joining MLB Network, Fallick spent 15 years at the National Hockey League, first working in the league’s Broadcasting department, followed by executive roles with NHL Productions and NHL Images before serving as the NHL’s group vice president of Media Operations and Planning. During her tenure in this role, she was responsible for overseeing all technical and operational executions for the launch of the U.S. NHL Network in 2007, in addition to NHL Productions and Images.
Fallick began her career as a page at NBC, where she went on to spend ten years working in productions and operations at NBC Sports.
Fallick graduated from Syracuse University in 1978 with a Bachelor of science degree in Television & Radio from the Newhouse School of Public Communications and a Bachelor of arts degree in American history. Fallick lives in Lake Success, New York with her husband David, a 1979 Syracuse alumnus, and their three children, Perry (Syracuse ’07), Ashley and Scott.
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Julie had a sensational soccer career while playing on the USA National Team for 17 years. She is the former Captain of the US Women's National Soccer Team. Julie was a captain on the National Team for 13 of her 17 years with the team. Julie participated in 4 Women's World Cups and 3 Olympics for the USA Team. She is a two-time World Cup Champion (1991 and 1999) and she is also a 1996 Olympic Gold medalist, 2000 Olympic Silver medalist and 2004 Olympic Gold medalist.
Julie finished her National Team career with 45 goals, 59 assists and 272 international appearances (caps) for the USA. Her 272 caps rank third in the world all-time, male or female. Julie played all 3 years as Captain with the WUSA's San Diego Spirit. She was a 4 time All-American at Stanford University and was inducted into the Stanford Hall of Fame. While at Mission Viejo High School, Julie won three CIF Championships and three CIF Player of the Year awards. Julie was voted Los Angeles Times' High School Player of the Decade for the 80's.
Most important to Julie, she has made a difference off the field as well. She was accepted into Stanford University's Medical School but decided not to pursue a career in medicine. Julie was the President of the Women's Sports Foundation from 2000-2002. She served on the Women's Sports Foundation Board of Directors for 7 years and was a WSF advocacy consultant for two years, with a focus on Title IX, childhood obesity, and athletes' rights issues. Read More ...
Julie currently sits on the board of Athletes for Hope (AFH) and is the global spokeswoman for Global Girl Media, a new non-profit helping young women around the world find their voice through journalism. Julie is on the Positive Coaching Alliance’s National Advisory Board and is also an ambassador for Beyond Sport, a global organization that promotes, develops and funds the use of sport to create positive social change across the world. Julie has been instrumental in a number of women's rights and child labor issues around the world. The world governing body of soccer, FIFA, awarded her the FIFA Fair Play Award, the first woman and American to receive the award, for her work against child labor in the stitching of soccer balls.
She served as a member for the Commission on Title IX, appointed by President Bush and Secretary Paige. She has been honored numerous times for her work on behalf of Title IX. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Smith College in 2005 and was honored by the National Women's Law Center. Julie was also named as one of the "100 Most Influential NCAA Student-Athletes." The NCAA defines the 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes as those who have made a significant impact or major contributions to society.
Julie was inducted in the US National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007, alongside longtime teammate and friend, Mia Hamm. Julie and Mia were only the 6th and 7th women ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and the first ever ALL FEMALE induction class. Julie founded the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy (JFSLA) in 2006, along with her husband Ian Sawyers. The JFSLA is a unique residential camp experience that uses sports as the vehicle to teach leadership skills for life. In 2006, Julie also founded the Julie Foudy Leadership Foundation (JFLF), a non-profit, 510(c)3 public charity. The mission of the Julie Foudy Leadership Foundation is: Building on a foundation of sports and fitness, we empower young women from all socioeconomic backgrounds to become leaders who positively impact their communities.
She is currently an analyst and reporter for ESPN, director of her Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academies, motivational speaker, and proud mother of two children, Isabel and Declan.
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Chief Executive Officer, Circle TPR
Shawn Garrity has never been far from sports. A graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in Communications, Garrity was a scholarship athlete who excelled as an offensive lineman and received the Maxwell Award for Outstanding Student Athlete Citizen in 1986. After departing Syracuse, he took to a different field – the marketing, branding and promotions business – where his leadership has had enduring success for more than two decades.
In 2013, he founded Circle TPR, a national entertainment production company in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he currently serves as the chief executive officer.
His career has included the founding of a Las Vegas-based company called Performance Plus. After Performance Plus was sold to Heritage Communications, Garrity served as a division president for their western offices for eight years. Garrity left Heritage to become a partner at Lincoln Studios, which saw success leading the formation of the third largest marketing and communications agency MC2.
Garrity has served as a board member on several non-profits over the years and currently serves as an advisory board member for the Department of Sport Management in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University.
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President & CEO
Geddis Holdings, Inc.
Prior to launching Geddis Holdings, Inc., Geddis founded Collegiate Images, LLC, in July 2002 which was later acquired by IMG Worldwide and XOS Technologies, Inc. Collegiate Images serves as the centralized licensing and rights clearance agency that manages the distribution of copyrighted intellectual property content, focusing exclusively on college sports. CI partners with copyright holders to define, claim, protect and manage their intellectual property, allowing each copyright holder to control and monetize those rights in the ever-changing digital landscape. CI provides these services for moving images, still images and live data rights. Partners include premier athletic programs, collegiate conferences, bowl games, national and regional sports networks and a multitude of other rights’ holders.
Prior to Collegiate Images, Geddis co-founded Convizion, Inc., a digital content management company, in 2000. He served as Chief Marketing and Business Development Director for several H. Wayne Huizenga Holdings companies between 1999-2000.
For more than seven years (1992-99), Geddis served in numerous roles with the Florida Marlins Baseball Club. He was the head of Communications during the teams first World Championship in 1997, overseeing the club’s marketing communications, broadcast operations and the coordination of broadcast matters with Major League Baseball. In addition to promoting the ballclub in the areas of promotions, community relations and non-baseball related activities, he was involved with the club’s new technology areas and special projects.
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Geddis joined the Marlins in August of 1992 as the club's Publications Coordinator and Media Relations Assistant prior to his promotion to Assistant Director of Media Relations on September 5, 1993. Geddis was responsible for designing and producing all publications during the Marlins inaugural season in 1993.
Geddis, a native of Liverpool, NY, served as the Media Relations Director for the Syracuse Chiefs Baseball Club in 1992 and as Sports Information Graduate Assistant at Syracuse University (1990-92) before joining the Marlins. Prior to his stint in Syracuse, Geddis worked in Media Relations for the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs (1990) and at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA (1986-89). He also served as an operations assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1991.
His event management experience includes working Super Bowl XXIX and XXXIII for the NFL, in addition to serving as a media coordinator for the 1990 U.S. Olympic Festival, 1992 NCAA East Regional Basketball Tournament, the 1993 National League Championship Series and four MLB All-Star Games.
Geddis received his B.S. degree in Sports Management from Old Dominion University and Master’s in Media Administration from The Newhouse School at Syracuse University.
Geddis, 47, and his wife Vicki, daughters Kasey Alexandra (10/23/98) and Kyra Grace (3/4/02) and son Colby Jacob (5/15/03) reside in Weston, FL.
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FOX Sports Media Group
In May 2010, Ed Goren, a 46-time Emmy Award winner and Executive Producer of FOX Sports since 1994, was elevated to Vice Chairman FOX Sports Media Group. Goren, Chairman David Hill and FOX Sports Media Group co-President & COO Eric Shanks are responsible for the look, sound, editorial content and superior quality of FOX Sports’ studio and game broadcasts and serve as Executive Producers of all FOX Sports productions.
Goren also oversees all aspects of FOX Sports’ television investments and partnerships. In addition, Goren spearheads the division’s strategy of pursuing major event programming to insure FOX Sports’ position as a premier network sports broadcaster.
Goren was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, in October 2011, a fitting tribute to his long and distinguished career.
Goren had been Senior Producer at CBS Sports since 1991, where he worked on nearly every sport the network broadcast. During his tenure as Senior Producer, CBS Sports broadcasted such major events as the World Series, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, The Masters and Super Bowl XXVI.Read More ...
Goren produced CBS Sports’ Major League Baseball studio program in 1990. He also produced The College Football Report and the annual Heisman Trophy Award presentation (1986-89). As producer of The College Football Report, he revamped the series, integrating information including scores, highlights, live interviews and special news segments into a program less than 15 minutes long. Other credits at CBS Sports include serving as producer of NFL, NBA and NCAA basketball broadcasts.
He joined CBS in 1966, as a copy boy in the news division and one year later became a news writer, producer and occasional on-air reporter at the then-CBS affiliate in Miami. Late in 1969, Goren moved back to CBS News as a producer for Newsnet, the daily news feeds to CBS affiliates. He joined CBS Sports in 1975 as a coordinating producer for CBS Sports Spectacular, the network’s sports anthology series.
Goren’s sports roots run deep, as his late father, Herb Goren, was a longtime baseball columnist for the New York Sun and public relations director for the New York Rangers hockey club.
Goren graduated from Syracuse University in 1966 with degrees in journalism and political science. In 2005, Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University honored Goren at its 40th anniversary as one of its most distinguished alumni.
Born June 15, 1944, in Greensboro, N.C., he lives in Los Angeles with his wife Patty. He has one son.
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Vice President, Integrated Marketing Communications
As Vice President, Integrated Marketing Communications at Allstate, Hollander leads the corporation's Sponsorship Marketing, Promotions, Consumer Public Relations and Social Media. She also leads the development and execution of integrated marketing plans that build Allstate brand consideration and purchase intent for Allstate's Business-to-Business lines (Allstate Benefits, Allstate Business insurance, Allstate Dealer Services, Allstate Roadside Services and Encompass), as well as Allstate Motorcycle and Power Sports lines.
Allstate's strategic sponsorship marketing opportunities include Soccer (MLS, USMNT and MNT), the Allstate Sugar Bowl and College Football Playoff partnership, deals with 80 colleges/universities through the Allstate "Good Hands®" Field Goal Net program, as well as the NCAA Corporate Partner relationship. In her role, Hollander is responsible for all strategic planning, activation and advertising.
She's most known for creating programs that allow consumers to engage with brands in unique ways. She is on the board of the Chicago National Sports Marketing Network and has been involved with Menttium as a mentor since 2003. She sits on the Sport Management Advisory Board at Syracuse University's David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.
She joined Allstate in July 2000 and has been in the marketing communications and public relations industry for 25 years.
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Chairman, Equity Sports Partner
Cliff Kaplan is chairman of Equity Sports Partner (ESP), a boutique sports marketing and media company, based in New York City, and launched in 2013. Previous to founding ESP, Kaplan served for many years as president and CEO of Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment, a leading sports marketing company and a division of Van Wagner Communications. Kaplan has been an industry leader for more than 25 years, holding senior-level management positions across leagues, networks, and sports marketing companies. For the better part of the past 20 years, he has helped launch, grow, and sell several sports marketing businesses and developed a reputation for successfully launching/building/expanding business by driving revenues and creating increased asset value.
In launching ESP, Kaplan’s focus is to evolve the traditional business model employed by sports marketing agencies which focuses largely on representation. Clients and business partners of ESP include WWE Network, IMG Media, Tough Mudder, Anthem Media, the World Series of Fighting and several international sports media organizations.
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Prior to launching ESP, Kaplan served as president and CEO of Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment, which he joined in December 2005 when the company that he previously founded, Premiere Sports & Entertainment (PSE), was acquired by VWSE. At VWSE, Kaplan oversaw all aspects of the business, including the development of the business vision, full operational responsibility as well as oversight of investments and acquisitions. He expanded the business from what was initially an organization focused largely on the sale of television visible signage at major sports venues to what is today a diversified sports marketing and media company that now complements its roots in television visible signage with businesses focused on corporate consulting, sponsorship sales, media rights management, content production, and team and venue services.
PSE, a boutique sports marketing and television consultancy, harnessed Kaplan’s sports marketing and media experience working for and on behalf of leagues, networks, teams, and venues by creating an organization that was focused on providing sponsorship/media sales, media rights negotiations and corporate consulting services to those groups. In the span of four years, PSE had assembled a blue-chip roster of top sports property clients, accumulating a strong track record of success in delivering results and growing the businesses of its various clients.
After initially breaking into the industry as a sales executive at Madison Square Garden, Kaplan went on to hold senior executive positions at The Baseball Network, SFX Sports and the NBA. While at the NBA, Kaplan served as senior vice president, where he oversaw the sponsorship sales efforts for the NBA, WNBA, NBDL, and USA Basketball. Additionally, he was responsible for overseeing the advertising sales and management of the NBA’s television assets, serving as the key liaison for the league with its domestic television partners.
Kaplan, a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Communications, sits on the Advisory Board for the University's sport management department. He is married with three children and resides in West Harrison, NY, in Westchester County.
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Founder & CEO
David Kleinhandler is the Founder and CEO of Blackridge Capital and has been an entrepreneur for over 28 years. Blackridge was founded as a solution to help people think through complex tax and wealth transfer strategies.
David's other current projects include Dynasty Financial Partners and Foundations including a partnership with Carmelo Anthony, titled Courts for Kids, The Martin Luther King Foundation and David Kleinhandler's Life Skills, a financial literacy initiative for Syracuse University Student Athletes. David continues to contribute to the success of 'Orange' athletics, with the donation of the basketball court in the new practice facility. One the proud new owners of Happoel Jerasulem basketball club with Amare Stoudamire and others. David currently sits on the board of athletics and The David Falk Sports Management School at Syracuse University. He also sits on the board of UJA of New York.
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A graduate of Syracuse University, David began his career on Wall Street and then moved to Equitable Insurance where he was recognized as an esteemed leader and top producer. From there, David went on to running a successful and prominent agency for AIG. In 1997 David launched his first venture, Quotemaster USA, with a mission to provide quality life insurance solutions to select professionals nationwide.
Born and raised in Bronx, New York, David Kleinhandler has risen from humble beginnings to become one of the country's preeminent names in life insurance planning and wealth preservation. Whether in his office or giving back to his community, David is passionate about making a difference through helping people one person at a time. David resides in Rye Brook, NY with his wife and three daughters.
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Christopher J. Lencheski
Founder and Chairman, Phoenicia
Chris Lencheski has worked in the global sports and entertainment landscape for more than 20 years. He has authored industry-setting
standards and practice guidelines followed by major entities from network and cable
television groups to Fortune 500 companies. His work has included collaborations with the Americas’
Cup, the Olympics, Formula One and World Cup projects as well as a host of international and
national properties from every major league to governing bodies. The Pennsylvania resident is
recognized as an authority in identifying and leveraging commercial rights sponsorship, partnership
strategies and alliance opportunities to drive increases in sales, digital and television
carriage distribution and CPG market visibility.
Lencheski recently returned to his roots as the chairman and founder/CEO of Phoenicia, which has
offices in New York City, Dallas, Los Angeles and London. Its client portfolio exists between media
start-ups to traditional CPG brands using sports and entertainment as change-agent platforms. The
company recently won the global commercial rights agreement with the Back 9 Network, which is the first truly independent sports
network launched in the USA in over 20 years.
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Prior to returning to Phoenicia, he was president of Comcast-Spectacor subsidiary Front Row
Marketing and Analytics (FRMS), a multi-continent stadia, sports media commercial
rights and entertainment agency inside the greater Comcast ecosystem. FRMS realized 40 percent growth
in new business and portfolio revenue under his guidance and was re-positioned for future
development inside the Comcast umbrella as the integrator of Comcast-Spectacor assets in major
league teams, stadia, networks and consumer facing brands. Front Row was an integral part of the
5 billion revenue base of Comcast-Spectacor.
Before Comcast, Lencheski was founder, CEO, and president of Adweek/Brandweek award-winning
sports marketing agency SKI & Company, the first-ever global agency of record designation
by General Motors for their General Motors Racing global operating group. Lencheski was a multiple
team owner in the NASCAR Sprint and Nationwide Series, as well as owner and governor of the
International Hockey League franchise; the Quad City Mallards – The IHL Affiliate of the NHL
Lencheski is a graduate of Syracuse University and an alumnus of Harvard Business School. He is a
member of the advisory board to the Syracuse University David B. Falk College of
Sport and Human Dynamics, as well as founding member of the Ivy Sports.
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Turner Broadcasting System, Inc
David Levy is president of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), a position he was elevated to in the summer of 2013. In this new role, Levy added oversight of Turner's domestic entertainment, kids & young adults networks and business portfolios to his current leadership of the company's advertising sales, affiliate sales and sports units.
In his expanded executive role, Levy oversees all creative and business activity of the Turner signature entertainment networks TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim, and their digital brand extensions, as well as Turner Sports. Additionally, Levy is responsible for overseeing domestic revenue for Turner’s portfolio of networks including TNT, TBS, CNN, HLN, TCM, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, truTV and CNN Airport Network.
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President & CEO,
The Montag Group
Sandy Montag, a 30-year industry veteran, is President and CEO of The Montag Group. The Montag Group has been launched as a consulting, advising, content development, and media strategy company focused in the world of sports, entertainment, and lifestyle.
Montag also represents a wide variety of clients with IMG. His clients cover multiple divisions, including Broadcasting, Speakers, Literary, Coaching, and Talent Marketing. Included among them are John Madden, Bob Costas, Mary Carillo, James Brown, Jim Nantz, Erin Andrews, Peyton Manning, Mike Tirico, Ming Tsai, Bob Knight, and Tom Coughlin.
Montag has spent his entire professional career at IMG, joining the company in 1985. He started as an assistant to John Madden, traveling the country with Madden by train and on the first “Madden Cruiser.” He went on to run IMG’s Clients operations for ten years.
Montag developed and launched Ari Fleischer Sports Communications with Ari Fleischer, former press secretary to President George W. Bush after Fleischer left with White House in 2003.
He is active in several charities, serving on the advisory boards for Madden Charities, Tom Coughlin’s “Jay Fund Foundation” and the Alan T. Brown Foundation. He also sits on the Sports Management Advisory Boards at Syracuse University and the University of Michigan.
Montag resides in Westchester, NY with his wife and two children.
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Jina (Song) Freiberg
Grants Administrator and Data Analyst,
City of Falls Church, VA
Jina (Song) Freiberg, a 2009 SU sport management graduate, joined the Sport Management Advisory Board in 2015. Freiberg works as the grants administrator and data analyst for the City of Falls Church, Virginia. She is responsible for administering state and federal grants for capital improvements, primarily transportation and storm water infrastructure projects.
Prior to joining the City of Falls Church in 2014, Freiberg worked as an assistant program officer and grants administrator for the Leon Levy Foundation in New York City, where she developed and implemented systems and procedures to execute the foundation's programmatic and grants work. Previously, she worked in individual and institutional fundraising for large nonprofits at the 92nd Street Y and Girls Incorporated.
As an undergraduate at SU, Freiberg held community relations internships with the Brooklyn Cyclones, National Football League, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. She also earned a minor in social welfare.
A resident of Northern Virginia, Freiberg volunteers at her local church and serves in a mentoring program run by Northern Virginia Family Services.
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Senior Vice President, Talent Strategy, Development & Planning
Laurie Orlando joined ESPN as Senior Vice President, Talent Strategy, Planning and Development in January 2008. Laurie oversees ESPN's Talent Office and relationships with the on-air personalities who represent the ESPN brand across all multimedia platforms. She is focused on three primary areas – identification and recruitment of new talent and negotiation and facilitation of those contracts; the development, coaching and feedback processes for talent; and the booking of guests for all ESPN programming. She works hand-in-hand with ESPN’s studio, event, news, international, radio, new media, ESPN.com, content development and Magazine management teams.
This is the second ESPN stint for Laurie, who worked for ESPN Classic as a Senior Coordinating Producer in 1999. In her earlier role, she oversaw the development, supervision and execution of all original, documentary and long-form programming, including the Sweet Science documentary series and other critically-acclaimed original programs.
Prior to rejoining ESPN, Laurie was the Senior Vice President and Executive Producer for MSG & Fox Sports New York (Sept. 2006 – Dec. '07), and before that she spent nearly five years (Nov. 2002 – Aug. '06) at College Sports Television (CSTV) as Vice President of Programming, Original Programming and Development and Vice President of Remote & Feature production.
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Laurie has held significant production and programming roles at multiple networks throughout her career, while developing a reputation throughout the industry as a creative executive who thrives on the challenge of building networks from their inception, having played an integral role in start-up teams that launched five networks -- The Comedy Channel (1989), Classic Sports Network (1994), Oxygen Media (1999), CSTV (2003), and The MTN (2006), all of which remain on the air in some form.
Laurie has exhibited a passion for sports throughout her professional career, beginning with her early experience as a freelance producer for Showtime's Championship Boxing coverage (Jan. 1991-July '96). She joined Classic Sports Network in 1996 as a Coordinating Producer responsible for development and execution of the network's boxing programming and original programming, and she also supervised original studio production for all sports genres.
Following ESPN Classic, Laurie was named the supervising producer for Oxygen Sports, where she was responsible for the highly acclaimed twice-weekly one-hour original women's sports program, a series of 13 sports biographies and the network's first season of WNBA games. She also directed production of programming on a global basis.
A native of Scotia, N.Y., Laurie graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Television and Film Writing from the University's Newhouse School of Public Communications. She began her career in television in 1980, serving as a news intern with WRGB TV in Albany, N.Y. In 1986 she interned at Late Night With David Letterman before moving onto positions with Showtime and HBO's Comedy Channel. A resident of Fairfield, Conn., Orlando remains actively involved in the Syracuse University, Newhouse School Alumni Advisory Program, a member of the Advisory Board for the Falk School of Sport Management at Syracuse University and a charter member of Women in Sports and Events and a member of the New York Chapter of WICT. Laurie also participates annually in an Executive Level Business program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
In her free time, Orlando enjoys spending time with family and friends, yoga, cycling, paddle boarding, soccer, the Yankees, music, reading, cooking, traveling and wine.
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Ben C. Sutton, Jr.
Ben is a graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law (Juris Doctor, 1983) and Wake Forest University (1980, BA) and is currently the Chairman of IMG College, which works with colleges and universities nationwide through its four market leading businesses in multi-media and sponsorship rights, trademark licensing and brand management, ticketing and stadium seating.
IMG College employs more than 1,000 people in nearly 100 offices throughout the United States with annual sales of nearly $800 million. IMG College manages multi-media rights for 100+ colleges and collegiate athletic conferences, including corporate sponsorships, radio and television programs, publishing, Internet, national advertising and signage sales, and numerous lifestyle and event marketing platforms. It also serves as the exclusive licensing agency for more than 200 collegiate properties, including the College Football Playoff Series, the Rose Bowl, the Heisman Trophy and the NCAA. And the company has become the market leader in ticketing solutions and stadium seating with over 150 partnerships.
Prior to his current role, Sutton spent 18 years as Chairman and CEO for ISP Sports. He founded the company in 1992 and grew the business from its first partner in Wake Forest to over 60 NCAA colleges and conferences. He also spent nine years as an athletic administrator at Wake Forest before founding ISP in early 1992. Read More ...
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Marathon Woman & AtAlanta Sports Promotions, Inc.
Kathrine Switzer has long been one of running's most iconic figures. But when she was inducted into the U.S.A. National Women's Hall of Fame six months ago, it became known that Switzer's work in the sport has become a force for positive global social change. Because of her, millions of women are now empowered by the simple act of running.
Her work began accidentally 45 years ago when she was the first woman to enter the Boston Marathon when it was considered a men's only race. Her entry revolutionized the sports world when she was physically attacked by the race director for wearing official numbers in the race. The photo of this incident flashed around the globe and became one of Time-Life's "100 Photos that Changed the World." Switzer finished that race but was radicalized by the incident. She campaigned to make women official in the Boston Marathon in 1972 and later that year was one of the creators of the first women's road race.
Switzer went on run 39 marathons, and won the New York City Marathon in 1974. She ran her personal best in 1975, finishing second in Boston (2:51:33). She then put her substantial energies into creating the Avon International Running Circuit of women’s only races in 27 countries with over a million participating from 1978 to the present time. It was this series of events, which showed global participation and performances that largely convinced the IOC to include a women’s marathon in the 1984 Olympic Games.Read More ...
Switzer is now an Emmy award-winning TV commentator and has covered the Olympic Games, World and National Championships as well as the New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and every televised edition of the Boston Marathon (34 consecutive years!). She is a dynamic pubic speaker, journalist and author of three books, including her memoir, Marathon Woman. Other books include 26.2 Marathon Stories, co-authored with her husband, Roger Robinson and Running and Walking for Women Over 40.
Switzer also continues creating opportunities for women around the world as she launches "261 Fearless," a movement to empower women through running that includes the 261 Women's Marathon in Mallorca, Spain, a line of 261 Fearless running clothes with Skirt Sports, Inc., and a global series of 261 Fearless running clubs and training. She is still running marathons and anticipates running the Boston Marathon again in 2017. For more information about Kathrine, please visit www.marathonwoman.com.
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Play-By-Play Commentator, Studio & Radio Host
Mike Tirico has handled a variety of assignments for ESPN, ESPN Radio and ABC Sports since 1991, establishing himself as one of the most recognizable faces and steady voices across ESPN’s multimedia platforms and in the industry at large. In 2006 he assumed one of the top positions in sports television as ESPN’s Monday Night Football play-by-play commentator. Tirico’s other major roles include NBA, college basketball and golf play-by-play/host and studio host for major events.
Tirico works alongside analyst Jon Gruden on MNF, the most-viewed series in cable television history. He is just the fourth person – joining broadcasting legends Keith Jackson, Frank Gifford and Al Michaels – to occupy the play-by-play post in the more than 40-year history of sports television’s signature series.
Tirico handles play-by-play for NBA games paired with analyst Hubie Brown on ESPN and ABC, as well as the NBA Finals (also with Dr. Jack Ramsey) on ESPN Radio. In 2012, he returned to ESPN’s college basketball coverage as the play-by-play voice for weekly Super Tuesday Big Ten games alongside analyst Dan Dakich. He is also ESPN’s top golf host/commentator, working alongside the likes of analysts Andy North, Curtis Strange and Paul Azinger on major events, including the U.S. Open, The Open Championship and the first two rounds of The Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, which ESPN added to its golf portfolio in April 2008.
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Tirico continues to build upon his impressive credentials with a number of high-profile major assignments. In August 2009, he hosted U.S. Open grand slam tennis from Flushing Meadows – a venue Tirico frequented while growing up in Queens, N.Y. – as part of ESPN’s new agreement with the U.S. Tennis Association. And in the summer of 2010 he hosted ESPN’s coverage of two major global sports events – joining Bob Ley and Chris Fowler to anchor pre, halftime and post-match shows and SportsCenter segments from the FIFA World Cup in South Africa; and increasing his golf play-by-play and host responsibilities when ESPN presented all four rounds of The Open Championship for the first time.
A regular host and contributor to ESPN Radio, Tirico is part of the weekly Countdown to Kickoff Friday program (7-9 p.m.) in the fall devoted to college and pro football, alongside the likes of Chris Mortensen and Keyshawn Johnson. He hosts the “Open Mike” podcast that examines sports topics in-depth with long-form interviews and commentary, and SportsBeat afternoon drive-time commentaries throughout the year. Tirico also handled radio play-by-play for the 2010 Rose Bowl and 2010-12 BCS Championship games, working alongside MNF partner Jon Gruden and Todd Blackledge.
Tirico previously hosted The Mike Tirico Show on ESPN Radio, a nationally-syndicated sports news and discussion program, which launched September 20, 2007 (from the studios of WAER-AM, the same Central New York public radio station at Syracuse University where Tirico began his broadcasting career). In May 2008, the two-hour weekday afternoon program was re-launched as the Tirico & Van Pelt Show with SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt named the co-host. Tirico stepped away from the show in July 2009.
Tirico has always been one of the industry’s most versatile sportscasters, covering play-by-play duties for ESPN NFL games, Thursday and Saturday college football games, college basketball, NBA games for both networks (including hosting NBA broadcasts on ABC), and golf coverage on both ESPN and ABC.
Tirico has covered his share of big-time events: anchoring SportsCenter coverage from the 2009 NCAA Final Four, co-hosting Super Bowl XL pre-game and post-game shows; NBA Finals coverage for ABC Sports and ESPN Radio; the Fedex Orange Bowl; and The Open Championship. He received critical acclaim for eloquently capturing the tone and emotion both when the New Orleans Saints triumphantly returned to the Louisiana Superdome after Hurricane Katrina on MNF in 2006, and when Virginia Tech hosted its first college football game in August 2007 in the aftermath of the on-campus shootings that spring.
Tirico joined ESPN as a SportsCenter anchor in July 1991, later serving as host of Monday Night Countdown during the NFL season from that show’s 1993 launch to 2001. From 1993-1997, he anchored ESPN's College Football Scoreboard show and on November 1, 1996 he hosted the debut of ESPNEWS. Tirico has hosted ESPN's SportsCenter coverage of the U.S. Open, The Masters and the Daytona 500. He has also anchored coverage of the Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four, and NFL Draft for both television and radio. In 1998, he also appeared on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown.
In recent years, Tirico has largely left the studio to focus on event coverage. In December 1996, he was named golf host for ABC Sports with his first on-air partner Curtis Strange. He worked college basketball and Thursday night college football telecasts for ESPN from 1997-2006. His NBA assignments commenced with the 2002–03 season, when ESPN and ABC acquired their extensive schedules, including the NBA Finals on ABC and ESPN Radio.
Tirico was an original ESPN Radio host when the network debuted in 1992 and anchored The NFL on ESPN Radio (1993-96), a New York Festival Gold World Medal winner in 1995. He was the first host (1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons) of The NBA on ESPN Radio, which includes regular and post-season games, All-Star Weekend and the NBA Draft. On January 1, 2004, Tirico assumed the role as voice of ESPN Radio’s weekday afternoon drivetime “SportsBeat” segments, the five-minute daily mainstay of the network since Brent Musburger launched ESPN Radio with the inaugural “SportsBeat” on January 1, 1992.
Prior to joining ESPN, Tirico worked in Syracuse, N.Y. (1987-1991). He was sports director at CBS affiliate WTVH-TV and play-by-play voice for Syracuse University basketball, football, lacrosse and volleyball for the Super Sports Network of Cook CableVision.
Tirico was named the 2010 Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA), an award voted on by his industry peers. He has also been nominated for a Sports Emmy in the Outstanding Personality – Play-by-Play category, and he received the 2011 Harrah’s Sports Broadcaster of the Year Award from the Maxwell Football Club.
In 1989, Tirico was named top local sportscaster by the Syracuse Journal, and received an Associated Press New York Broadcasters award for 48 Hours with Syracuse University Football, a 30-minute documentary on the team's preparation for a game. In 1987, he was the first recipient of the Bob Costas Scholarship, given to an exceptional broadcast journalism student at Syracuse. Tirico remains very active in alumni activities at Syracuse. In the fall of 2007, he participated in the dedication of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications’ new building, Newhouse III.
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Executive Vice President, Programming & Production
John Wildhack, who joined ESPN in its first year of operation, was named to the newly created position of executive vice president, programming and production, in January 2014.
He now oversees all ESPN production efforts, as well as programming acquisitions, rights holder relationship management and scheduling. The role combines his two areas of expertise, since throughout his ESPN career Wildhack has held a wide variety of programming and production management roles.
Wildhack served as executive vice president, production, since January 2012. In that role, he was responsible for all ESPN and ABC game, event and studio production work for domestic and international television and radio networks.
Having cut his ESPN teeth rising quickly through the ranks in remote production, Wildhack holds the distinction of producing ESPN's first live NFL game, Chicago at Miami (August 1987), and its first live regular-season college football game, Brigham Young vs. Pittsburgh (September 1984).
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From 1994 – January 2012, Wildhack held top executive positions in the programming department. Since March 2007, he had served as executive vice president, programming and acquisitions, overseeing all rights negotiations and managing relationships with rights holders for all ESPN entities. These include ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN International, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile Properties, print and more. In 2009, he added responsibility for strategic program planning for all the ESPN television networks, ESPN on ABC and ESPN’s digital platforms.
While leading programming, Wildhack's efforts were integral in the increase of live and original programming on ESPN and ESPN2, close to 10,000 hours. Under his direction, the evolution of ESPN2's programming lineup included an extensive commitment to auto racing, college football and basketball, leading to ESPN2 becoming the fastest growing network of the 1990s. Wildhack was also directly involved in the renewal and expansion of many ESPN and ESPN2 programming agreements including NFL, MLB, NBA, the Bowl Championship Series, NCAA, tennis' four Grand Slam events and a variety of major college conferences.
Wildhack joined ESPN as a production assistant in 1980. He was promoted to associate producer in 1982, to senior associate producer in 1983 and to producer in 1985. Among the sports he worked on were college football, NCAA basketball, boxing, golf and auto racing. He served as coordinating producer of ESPN's Sunday Night NFL and NFL Draft telecasts in 1988 and 1989 and produced NFL games for the network – the first NFL games on cable – from 1987-89. From 1990-91 he was director, event productions, and vice president, remote production from 1991-1993. He then was promoted to senior vice president, remote production.
In September 1994, he moved to the programming department as senior vice president, programming, and in 2005 he became senior vice president, programming acquisitions & strategy.
A native of Buffalo, Wildhack received a bachelor of arts degree in telecommunications in 1980 from Syracuse University.
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Pinnacle Housing Group
Mr. Wohl's activities as President of Pinnacle Housing Group are enhanced by his indepth
familiarity with real estate and law. Mr. Wohl had been active in real estate
development and management while continuing to practice law until 1990 when he
formed MAHB Companies, a full service real estate firm. Prior to the formation of
MAHB, Mr. Wohl was Managing Partner for the Miami office of Herzfeld and Rubin, a
multi-state law firm comprised of over two hundred lawyers operating in six cities,
Mr. Wohl has extensive experience in negotiating, documenting and closing
acquisitions and sales of residential, industrial and commercial office space. He and
his family have participated in the development, construction and management of
over two thousand residential units in the New York metropolitan area and in
Miami, where he has lived since 1975. Mr. Wohl is well versed in project financing
and leasing; he has owned and managed over one million square feet of
commercial property and 700 apartment units in Florida. Wohl
is a Licensed Real Estate Broker and Mortgage Broker.
Today, Mr. Wohl's focuses solely on Pinnacle Housing Group and the development
of quality, affordable housing in South Florida. He heads Pinnacle's acquisition and
disposition efforts throughout the state. Mr. Wohl was recently named the chairman
of the Urban Land Institutes Terwillinger Center for Workforce Housing, a leading
agency working to solve the housing problems in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach
counties. He earned both B.A. and JD Degrees at Syracuse University.
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Manager, Sales Leader Strategy and Readiness
Tyler Young, a 2010 SPM graduate, began his career while still at Syracuse University, as the general manager of Syracuse-Steiner Collectibles from 2007 to 2009. Along with SPM Advisory Board Chairman Brandon Steiner, and Steiner Sports, Young helped to launch the Syracuse-Steiner partnership on campus.
In 2011, Young began working as a project manager for Buddy Media, a leading social media management company, activating and managing campaigns for ESPN's "SportsNation," Procter & Gamble, Sony Electronics, Calvin Klein, and Fathead. Over the next year, Young was recruited to help build global business policies and processes, as the company's business operations manager. Buddy Media was then acquired in the summer of 2012 by Salesforce.com, a customer relationship management company.
For the last three years, Young has been a member of Salesforce.com's global, internal sales enablement team. He is the manager of Sales Leader Strategy and Readiness, responsible for training program development and management for more than 500 sales leaders globally.
Young currently lives in Manhattan, where he serves as an ambassador of Syracuse University and is a member of the Generation Orange Alumni Society of New York.
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