Have you taken a moment to fist-bump, high-five, or hug a co-worker or colleague today? People ask me a lot if sports "matter". Sports matter because they remind us to celebrate, to push ourselves, and to strive to be better than our competition. They remind us to collaborate with those who might not always share our ideas. They remind us to work together and then to embrace the process of accomplishing a goal in conjunction with our "team". I guess you could say that sports often represent us all at our very best. So do sports matter? In a single cliche... a picture really is worth a thousand words.
I'm a 27-year veteran of the world of professional sports and entertainment and a native of the Fort Wayne area. Born in Auburn, IN, I spent 10 seasons with the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) and the Fort Wayne Fury prior to my current 17-year run as executive vice president and co-owner of the Fort Wayne Komets.
I started my career in sports management as an intern with the Fury and held every job, except coach, in the front office during my tenure. I was CEO of the Fury and a regional vice president of the CBA Eastern Region until the days just prior to the league’s demise in February of 2001.
In February 2001, I joined Summit Sports, Inc., the ownership group of the Fort Wayne Komets as an operating partner to the Franke family, charged with heading up all aspects of the Komets’ sales, marketing, promotions, product development and event production.
I have helped to engineer five league championships, five regular season titles and six Franchise of the Year awards in minor league hockey. I have also been honored as my league’s Marketing Executive of the Year multiple times.
I've also had the unbelievable opportunity to serve as a consultant to several minor league franchises in a variety of sports and leagues throughout North America in the areas of team and venue operations and designs. I've participated in revivals of dying franchises, creation of new franchises, renovations of existing facilities and consultation on the design of new facilities.
Hopefully there's still much more to come!
I have been blessed with a rich background of fantastic stories and better people. From Chris Chelios to Brent Gretzky; from Damon Bailey to Master P; from Isaiah Thomas to Lloyd Daniels; from Tank Abbott to Ric Flair... my travels have taken me places I never dreamed I'd have been and given me some unbelievable anecdotes I have a responsibility to share 'cause they're just too good!
I'm available for speaking engagements, guest lectures, a cup of coffee, or just a good old-fashioned chat.
FORT WAYNE KOMETS
I'm a career sports industry executive with extensive experience in Sales, Marketing, Operations, Public Relations, Promotions, Development, Finance, Ticketing, and Management at both the team and league level. If there's a job in sports... I've done it.
I'm proud to currently be a caretaker of one of the most prolific and successful minor league operations and brands in North America, the Fort Wayne Komet Hockey Club of the ECHL.
After 67 seasons, Komet Hockey belongs to the entire Northeast Indiana Kommunity... I only hope to leave it in better shape than when I found it. That's what drives me daily.
I'm truly blessed to serve as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, IN.
For the last 16+ years I've had the pleasure of lending my experiences to young people through the instruction of undergraduate level courses in Sports Management, Sports Marketing, Public Facility Management, as well as Advertising and Promotions.
I am humbled to have the opportunity to share the knowledge of both what to do and more importantly what NOT to do in the sports industry in which I've been so lucky to spend my career.
Many of my former students and interns have gone on to begin their journeys in sports... nothing brings me more satisfaction.
Of all the titles I've ever held... nothing ever has or will come close to "Dad".
The greatest accomplishments of my life go by the names: Will, Ty, and Reid. It is easily the greatest honor of my life to be their father.
There's nothing that I enjoy more than sitting quietly alone watching my boys play the sports they love. My boys have blessed me with many an unforgettable day at the football field, the baseball diamond, and the soccer pitch. Their fields have always been my solitude.
My professional accomplishments pale in comparison to the three outstanding young men that my wife Stacy and I have had the distinct honor of raising.
Though completely different, they all share an outlook of the world that allows them to be true to the men who they are, the passions that drive them, and the people who they affect. Will, Ty, and Reid will always be what I am most proud of in my life.
6112 Deer Track Cove, Auburn, IN, USA
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