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
- Patti Kleinman-Fallick, Director, Broadcast Operations, MLB Network
- Julie Foudy, Analyst for ABC/ESPN
- Shawn Garrity, Vice President, Integrated Solutions, Gilbert Group
- Mark Geddis, President & CEO of Geddis Holdings, Inc.
- Ed Goren, Consultant, FOX Sports
- Dr. Daryl Gross, Director of Athletics for Syracuse University
- Pamela Hollander, Vice President, Integrated Marketing Communications, Allstate
- Cliff Kaplan, Equity Sports Partners
- David Kleinhandler, Founder and Chair, ArxSocial, LLC
- Christopher J. Lencheski, Comcast-Spectacor
- David Levy, President of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
- Ian McFate, Club Manager, Aramark Sports & Entertainment at Citizens Bank Park
- Sandy Montag, Senior Corporate Vice President/Managing Director of Clients for IMG Sports & Entertainment
- Julie Nemeroff, Senior Hospitality Coordinator, Global Marketing Partnerships, NBA
- 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
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
Alvarez & Marsal
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.
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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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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Vice President Integrated Solutions
Shawn Garrity has never been far from sports. A graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in Communications, Mr. 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 over two decades.
His career has included the founding of a Las Vegas-based company Performance Plus. After Performance Plus was sold to Heritage Communications, Garrity served as a Division President for their Western Offices for 8 Years.
Mr. Garrity then decided to leave Heritage to become a partner at Lincoln Studios, which saw immediate success leading the formation of the 3rd largest marketing and communications agency MC2.Read More ...
Recognizing the market’s need for a fully integrated marketing company and wanting to parlay his love of sports with his entrepreneurial prowess, he joined forces to launch MSL Sports and Entertainment which produced over a hundred sports and entertainment events within the high school, collegiate and professional arenas. Mr. Garrity has been actively involved with several major brands and sports organizations creating and placing dynamic programs that connect these brands with retail via sports team partnerships.
Now a co-founder and President at Union Square Agency (USSE Corp.) he continues his vision of providing differentiated strategic and creative marketing solutions to clients with an emphasis on intellectual property development integrating sports, music, fashion, media and consumer lifestyle events.
Mr. Garrity has a wife and two children and currently resides in Fairfield, CT.
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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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Dr. Daryl Gross
Director of Athletics
His vision to ensure that Syracuse is consistently recognized as one of the great athletics institutions in the country and to produce the world’s future leaders through championship-caliber sports experiences drives Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross. His mission for Syracuse Athletics is to compete and perform at the highest level in everything – on the playing field, in the classroom, and in the community, in an effort to graduate student-athletes who will make a positive impact on society. The principles in which he believes include winning championships, graduating all of the student-athletes, maintaining compliance to all NCAA rules, and being fiscally sound and efficient.
A veteran athletics administrator, Gross has led Syracuse Athletics to historic levels. Syracuse had its fourth-best finish in school history in the 2011 NACDA Learfield Directors’ Cup. In fact, the across-the-board finishes in the last four years have been part of the top seven performances in SU Athletics’ history. In 2010-11, a record nine teams were represented in the postseason. Additionally, six Orange head coaches were honored as Coach of the Year, which is the most in school history. In 2009-10, five Syracuse head coaches were also honored. His insistence and emphasis on having the best coaching leadership in the world has produced arguably the greatest assembly of head coaches in the country. Football head coach Doug Marrone earned American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Region I Coach of the Year honors after leading the Orange to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl championship and cross country coach Chris Fox was selected Northeast Region Men’s Coach of the Year. Fox and his staff were also named BIG EAST Men’s Coaching Staff of the Year. Fox led the Orange men and women to elite finishes in the NCAA Championships. Softball coach Leigh Ross and her staff earned the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Coaching Staff of the Year award after leading the Orange to its second-consecutive BIG EAST Tournament title and an NCAA Championship invitation. SU beat 20th-ranked LSU in the Super Regional for its first NCAA Tournament win in program history.Read More ...
In addition, field hockey coach Ange Bradley, men’s lacrosse coach John Desko and women’s lacrosse coach Gary Gait were selected as BIG EAST Coach of the Year after leading their squads to league titles. Field hockey and men’s lacrosse returned to the NCAA Championship in 2011, as did Ross’ softball squad, and the men’s basketball team, under the direction of Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim. The women’s basketball team, led by head coach Quentin Hillsman advanced to the postseason for the fourth year in a row.
Entering his seventh year at Syracuse, Gross has put his imprint on the program, as many teams have had their greatest success in history. He has hired nationally-recognized, elite head coaches in football, women’s basketball, softball, women’s tennis, field hockey, women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s ice hockey, women’s rowing, and cross country and track & field, adding them to a fraternity that already includes national championship winners Boeheim (men’s basketball) and Desko (men’s lacrosse). In 2008-09, Gross added women’s ice hockey, and during its brief history head coach Paul Flanagan’s team has been ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Gross has increased Athletics’ revenues to record levels by increasing donor giving to its highest amount in history, significantly increasing corporate sponsorships, and creating multiple new line item revenues. The department is the leading campus unit in the University’s ‘Campaign for Syracuse’, a $1 billion fundraising endeavor, which was publicly launched in November 2007. Gross has led a capital campaign, which has seen the construction of the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center, the Manley Hall of Champions, the renovation of Manley Field House to an indoor practice facility, the re-surfacing of football practice fields, the naming of the Carrier Dome field as ‘Ernie Davis Legends Field,’ a weight room, a lacrosse practice field, a field hockey field, an ice hockey training facility and locker room complex, a new Dome field for football and lacrosse, a multi-media studio for Orange All Access, upgraded Dome amenities, new suites and floor seats, and improvements to many other Athletics’ facilities.
Branding the Orange
As the lone BCS University in the state of New York, Gross continues to brand Syracuse University Athletics as New York’s College Team. SU Athletics continues to have events all over the Empire State and in the largest metropolitan area of the nation. In addition to basketball games at Madison Square Garden, football and lacrosse will play multiple games at the New Meadowlands Stadium. An Orange presence at the U.S. Open tennis tournament and “Orange is in The Apple” celebrations are regular events in the NYC area. The 2010 football team added to the prominence of the Orange in NYC by winning the New Era Pinstripe Bowl championship, while the men’s lacrosse team has won both of its games at the New Meadowlands. Marketing initiatives include SU Athletics’ taxi tops in Manhattan, as well as the NY logo on the back of the football helmets. The Athletics department website, SUAthletics.com, is a leader nationally in design and multi-media content. Gross enhanced the ‘Cuse Cares Program for student-athletes to engage and make an impact on the community. Student-athletes won the Chancellor’s Award for Community Service for the 14th consecutive year in 2011. Syracuse student-athletes continue to graduate at a high level and have received prestigious academic awards that include one Rhodes Scholar, 13 ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, and one finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year Award since 2005. In 2007, Gross initiated the ‘Cuse Awards, a celebration of the accomplishments of all student-athletes, coaches and administrators.
In 2005, Gross retired the #44 in football, honoring the Syracuse greats who donned the number. The ‘Legend of 44’ includes, including 1961 Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis, who was the first African-American to win the award, as well as legends Jim Brown and Floyd Little. Gross also played a role in the production of the motion picture, “The Express,” which tells the story of Davis, and worked to bring the September 2008 movie premiere to Central New York.
Developing the Plan to Lead
Prior to his appointment at Syracuse, Gross served as senior associate athletic director at the University of Southern California. During his 14 years in athletics administration at USC, the Trojans won 16 national and more than 30 Pac-10 championships, fielded 145 Olympians, played in nine bowl games, and finished in the top 10 of the Directors’ Cup ranking almost every year. The University’s signature program – football – dressed two Heisman Trophy winners and won two national championships.
At USC, he directed coaching searches and contract discussions, served as the department’s spokesman, led marketing and corporate sponsorship efforts, negotiated television contracts, developed and contracted football and men’s basketball schedules, directed student-athlete academic services, and directly supervised 10 of the University’s 19 intercollegiate sports programs, among other responsibilities. In 2001, he led the effort to sign long-time NFL coach Pete Carroll. Gross’ searches also produced women’s volleyball coach Mick Haley, track & field coach Ron Allice, men’s and women’s water polo coach Jovan Vavic, and tennis coach Peter Smith, all of whom have won national championships and been named national coach of the year. Gross was named a senior associate athletic director in 2002. In that role, he led USC Athletics’ corporate sponsorship program to record revenues and he headed the football marketing effort that broke USC attendance records. Gross also assisted in the biggest building program in the history of USC Athletics, including facilities for track & field, tennis, football, women’s soccer, basketball and volleyball.
“Daryl has fostered a culture of excellence across the board in SU Athletics,” said SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “Building on a foundation of high expectations for our student-athletes’ academic and community engagement, he has constructed a coaching staff that is producing unprecedented success, including record-setting performances by so many of our athletes, teams, and our Athletics program as a whole. That carries over into the strong relationships he has cultivated with supporters of SU Athletics who have responded with exceptional generosity, in addition to their undying support for the Orange.”
Gross holds both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in educational psychology from USC, as well as a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California at Davis, where he was a football wide receiver from 1979 to 1981, catching passes from future New York Jets quarterback Ken O’Brien. From 1982 to 1985, he was on the UC Davis football coaching staff; in 1985, the Aggies were the nation’s No. 1 Division II team. He also was the assistant men’s tennis coach. In 1986 (Citrus Bowl) and 1987 (Rose Bowl), Gross was a graduate assistant at USC, working with quarterbacks and wide receivers. From 1989 to 1991, he worked for the New York Jets as a personnel scout and in the front office. Gross joined the USC athletic administration as an assistant athletic director in 1991.
A native of Los Angeles, Gross and his wife, Lael, Syracuse’s assistant athletics director for trademark licensing, reside in Fayetteville with their daughters, Jamie, Jolie, Zoe and Averie.
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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 Center of Excellence. 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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Equity Sports Partners
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, in which he was also an equity partner. Kaplan has been a respected industry leader for some 25 years having held senior level management positions across leagues, networks, and sports marketing companies. For the better part of the past 15 years, he has helped launch, grow, and sell several sports marketing businesses and in the process has developed a reputation for successfully launching/building/expanding business 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, to one which is more partnership focused with both parties sharing in value creation. Clients and business partners of ESP include WWE Network, IMG 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 was acquired by VWSE. In his role at VWSE, Kaplan was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the VWSE business including the development of the overall business vision, full budget and operational responsibility as well as oversight of investments and acquisitions. In his time at VWSE, Kaplan 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 meaningful businesses focused on corporate consulting, sponsorship sales, media rights management, content production, and team & venue services. Kaplan built VWSE into an organization that has been recognized over the years by industry trade magazines for its leadership position and has been nominated for the annual Sports Business Awards.
Prior to the acquisition by VWSE, Kaplan founded Premiere Sports & Entertainment (PSE), a boutique sports marketing and television consultancy. PSE harnessed Kaplan’s broad 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 clients, an impressive track record for delivering results and growing the businesses of its various clients. Of note during this time, Kaplan provided sales representation services to several start-up sports television networks. His work on behalf of College Sports Television Network in the U.S. helped successfully secure a long list of blue-ship advertisers which in turn “proved the model” for their advertising sales efforts and resulted in the successful sale of the network to CBS for $325 million.
Kaplan founded PSE after serving as Senior Vice President of the NBA where he oversaw the sponsorship sales efforts for the NBA, WNBA, NBDL and USA Basketball. Additionally, Kaplan was responsible for overseeing the advertising sales and management of the NBA’s television assets both domestically and internationally. These media assets included extensive year round programming on NBC, ESPN, ESPN2, Lifetime, Oxygen and WGN domestically as well as programming syndicated to a global network of broadcasters in over 205 countries reaching 750 million households. Kaplan also served as the key liaison for the league with its domestic television partners, NBC and Turner Broadcasting, on all matters as they related to the sale of commercial inventory for their respective NBA television packages.
Kaplan joined the NBA after having been a central player in the roll-up of sports marketing companies in the late 90’s as part of The Marquee Group and SFX Sports. Kaplan served as Senior Vice President of Sales and was one of the first senior management hires at The Marquee Group. Marquee was the initial company that began the roll-up of sports marketing companies at that time. In his role, Kaplan oversaw the sale of sponsorship and media properties, venue naming rights, talent marketing and events. Kaplan was a member of the senior management team which eventually took the company public and subsequently grew to the point where it was acquired by SFX Entertainment as part of SFX’s broader roll-up of sports marketing companies and music promoters.
Kaplan’s earlier career included senior sales and sales management positions with Madison Square Garden, The Baseball Network, and Fox Sports Net. In almost all instances, Kaplan was part of the management team that launched new integrated sponsorship platforms for each of these organizations.
Kaplan, a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communications, sits on the Advisory Board for the University’s sports marketing department. He is married with 3 children and resides in West Harrison, New York 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
Former President, Comcast-Spectacor Subsidiary Front Row Marketing & Analytics
Chris Lencheski is a twenty-year veteran of sports and entertainment marketing. Most recently, he was President of Comcast-Spectacor subsidiary Front Row Marketing and Analytics – the multi-continent stadia, sports media commercial rights and entertainment agency inside the greater Comcast ecosystem. A Brandweek award-winning executive, Lencheski has built successful media and entertainment agencies from the ground-up, generating sustainable global portfolio growth. He has been instrumental in forging highly lucrative relationships between corporations and some of the world’s most high-profile brands, organizations, and events.
Chris has authored industry-setting standards and practice guides followed by major entities from network and cable television stations to Fortune 500 companies, the Olympics and World Cup venues. He is recognized as an authority in identifying and leveraging sponsorship, partnership and alliance opportunities to drive dramatic increases in sales, digital and television distribution and market visibility,
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Prior to joining Comcast, Lencheski was Founder, CEO, and President of award-winning sports marketing agency SKI & Company, the first-ever global agency of record designation by General Motors for their General Motors Racing operating group. Chris 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 Philadelphia Flyers. The Mallards were “IHL Franchise of the Year 2009-2010”.
Lencheski is a graduate of Syracuse University and an alumnus of Harvard Business School. Chris is a three-term member of the Board of Advisors to the Syracuse University David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, as well as Founding Member of the Ivy Sports Symposium.
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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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Aramark Sports & Entertainment at Citizens Bank Park
Home of the Philadelphia Phillies
Ian McFate is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and a member of the first graduating class within the Sport Management Program.
Currently, he oversees the club level operation for food, beverage, hospitality, and special events at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent summers during college working at this very ballpark and has come full-circle in the hospitality industry. Prior to rejoining Aramark in 2013, McFate held various roles within the Sales and Service Departments for the Philadelphia Phillies, Brooklyn Cyclones and New York Yankees. He also worked at Citi Field in Queens, home of the New York Mets.
McFate currently lives in Philadelphia, PA, and looks forward to contributing to Syracuse University as an SPM alumnus.
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Senior Corporate Vice President/Managing Director of Clients
IMG Sports and Entertainment
Sandy Montag is Senior Corporate Vice President of IMG Sports and Entertainment responsible for the operations of the Clients group. This unit includes Broadcasting, Speakers, Literary, Coaching, and Talent Marketing. IMG represents some of the most popular athletes, broadcasters, coaches, speakers and personalities including John Madden, Bob Costas, James Brown, Jim Nantz, Peyton Manning, Pat Conroy, Ming Tsai, Bob Knight, Tom Coughlin, and Ari Fleischer.
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." Montag became a vice president in 1991 and a senior vice president responsible for the day-to day operations of the Broadcasting Division in 1995. He was promoted to his current position in 2005.
He is active in several charities, serving as president of the Irwin and Judith Montag Memorial Fund which raises money for research on Amyloidosis and Heart Disease. In addition, he serves on the advisory boards for Madden Charities, Tom Coughlin's "Jay Fund Foundation" and the Alan T. Brown Foundation.
Montag resides in Westchester, NY, with his wife and two children
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Senior Hospitality Coordinator, Global Marketing
National Basketball Association (NBA)
Julie Nemeroff, a 2008 SPM graduate of Syracuse University, began her career at the NBA as a marketing assistant and has recently been promoted to senior hospitality coordinator of Global Marketing Partnerships. She currently is responsible for managing, entertaining, and fulfilling corporate sponsor needs at all events across all properties (NBA, WNBA and USA Basketball). Julie has had a key role in hospitality at NBA events such as NBA All-Star, NBA Finals, NBA Draft, USAB Hospitality events, and WNBA Inspiring Women. She is also responsible for managing budgets, regular season tickets, suites, and merchandise.
Prior to the NBA, Julie worked at a small event planning company in Manhattan, where she planned and managed various corporate and charity events. After about a year, she began working at Major League Soccer in the Special Events Department, where she was able to experience working on a national sport level at MLS Cup and MLS All-Star. From there, Julie moved on to Amplify Sports & Entertainment, where she learned the sales side of the sports business.
Julie currently lives in Manhattan and looks forward to being a part of SPM alumni groups and future SPM initiatives as she was in the first graduating class of the Sport Management program.
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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 and President of IMG College.
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 as President of IMG College, 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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