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MASTERY LEVEL IDEAS & INSIGHTS

2021 Speakers & Presenters

Gail Lowney Alofsin

Dir. of Corporate Partnerships & Community Relations

Newport International Boat Show

As an Author, Keynote Speaker, Workshop Leader and University Professor, Gail shares her brand of positivity and living life to the fullest. Her energetic, engaging, educational and inspirational presentations, focused on leadership, time management and career excellence have been shared throughout the nation and internationally at corporations, universities, conferences, workshops and webinars.

As a sales and marketing executive and thought leader, Gail is passionate about her career at Newport Harbor Corporation (NHC) which commenced in March 1988. Her current position is Director of Corporate Partnerships & Community Relations. Her main responsibility is procuring and retaining corporate sponsors for NHC properties inclusive of the Newport International Boat Show and Castle Hill Inn. Clients include: Volvo, Sebago, Helly Hansen, Celebrity Cruise Lines, Sobieski Vodka, Hendrick’s Gin, Harbortown Wine, Dodge Ram, Seabags, in addition to Community Relations for NHC.

Jim Andrews

Founder & CEO

A-Mark Partnership Strategies

Jim is an acknowledged expert in the fields of sponsorship, event and sports marketing. He was instrumental in building pioneering sponsorship firm IEG into a global leader in industry data, information and consulting.

He has worked with organizations of many stripes to create strategic sponsorship programs focused on best practices in sponsorship assessment, selection, negotiation, contracting, valuation, activation and ROI measurement. A respected industry veteran, his network of contacts across sports and sponsorship—from rightsholders and brands to agencies, data and technology suppliers and beyond—is unparalleled.

As a sought-after thought leader, Jim is widely recognized for providing critical insights and education through trainings, appearances and publications. In addition to identifying key trends and delivering his unique perspective on the most important issues facing rightsholders and their commercial partners, he is recognized for identifying and developing strategies and concepts for securing, evaluating and optimizing partnerships now widely adopted by corporate, sports, entertainment and nonprofit marketers of all types and sizes.

Jim spent 30-plus years with IEG, including notable roles as chairman of the annual IEG Sponsorship Conference and author of IEG’s annual report and forecast of overall sponsorship spending, as well as director of its annual industry surveys.

A frequent media commentator and guest, Jim has been a featured speaker at hundreds of sports, entertainment and marketing conferences around the world.

Paula Beadle

Founder

Sponsorship Mastery

Paula is a sponsorship industry leader who has mastered the art and science of sponsorship over 30 years of experience in sponsorship, media, sports, major events, and entertainment. Paula is the CEO of Caravel – a national consulting company specializing in strategic sponsorship and partnership marketing. Paula is also the founder of Sponsorship Mastery – an organization dedicated to improving individual and organizational sponsorship performance.

Paula has bought and sold sponsorships for everything from multi-million-dollar naming rights to racing pigs. She a results-driven leader known for developing winning strategies, fostering bold ideas, increasing revenue, and creatively connecting the right partners. She has had the good fortune to work with a countless number of iconic events and major brands. She also has a passion for Fairs and has worked side-by-side with the Washington State Fair, Oklahoma State Fair and Oregon State Fair.

Paula also serves on the Board of Directors for the Red Cross, Seattle Sports Commission, Washington Fairs and Events Association (WFEA) and as a Mentor for Women in Sports and Entertainment (WISE). She is outdoorsy and often can be found navigating the waters of the Pacific Northwest, hiking trails, or perfecting her swing on the golf course.

Paula will talk about Navigating the Future of Sponsorship and why sponsorship success will require bold, new thinking. She will share her industry predictions and insights how fairs can build stronger partnerships and increase revenue. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sponsorship industry is dramatically transforming… a transformation that is long overdue and is happening at an accelerated pace. Sponsorship has been progressing over the last several years, and while strides have been taken toward strengthening the partnerships between brands and fairs, there is still work to be done. Paula will reveal the most important factors to sponsors and her insights how fairs can reach a higher level of success.

Amber Burda

Executive Director of Sponsorship, Business & Corporate Development

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Amber Burda moved back to the Houston area after studying hospitality administration at Stephen F. Austin State University. She proceeded to work in the fast pace event industry as an Event Coordinator, for SMG, at NRG Park.   Passionate about events and helping one company succeed at sales in the fair and rodeo business, the move to Mattress Firm, Inc. was a natural fit. Burda spent over six years with the Houston-based specialty bedding retailer managing and growing relationships with over 300 events across the country.  In January 2017 she was named the Executive Director of Sponsorships, Business and Corporate Development at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™. She is responsible for the creation, design, development, negotiation and execution of all official Rodeo sponsorships.  Burda and her husband, Greg, live in Santa Fe, Texas, with their 6-year-old son and 19-month-old daughter.

Dan Frystak

Vice President, Strategy

JP Sport & Entertainment

Strategic sports and entertainment industry leader with extensive experience in creating and executing highly successful partnerships with measurable, proven results.

Charece Williams Gee

Brand Director, Consumer & Entertainment Marketing

Pepsi

Building and cultivating relationships, delivering fresh perspectives, leading with humility and compassion, and the mind of a champion are the traits that have guided Charece Williams Gee and have shaped her reputation as a visionary leader and culture shifter.

Charece has successfully built a career as a brand & sports marketer, currently serving as Brand Director, Consumer & Entertainment Marketing at PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA).  She draws on her relationships with creative agency executives, NBA & WNBA league, teams and athlete representatives, and internal PBNA stakeholders to create breakthrough ideas. Gee’s career at PBNA started in Portfolio promotions in conjunction with marquee events for the Super Bowl as well as the NBA before expanding her role to include portfolio and packaging innovation.

With 15+ post MBA experience on the brand, nonprofit, and agency side of sports, she also serves as a champion of diversity and inclusion. After taking the reins as Head of Basketball at PepsiCo, Charece spearheaded the signing of A’ja Wilson as the first WNBA endorser for Mountain Dew and made the brand the first ever sponsor for the WNBA 3-point Contest within the same season. Charece also serves on the National Advisory Board for MOSAIC, PepsiCo’s Black Employee Resource Group, helping to increase the representation and advancement of Black talent. Her accomplishments at PepsiCo were recognized in 2018 when she won the prestigious Harvey C. Russell Award, presented annually by PepsiCo’s CEO.

Charece’s fresh perspective has provided invaluable contributions on consumer campaigns that have positively impacted PBNA’s bottom line. In 2020, she was responsible for the first change to the NBA 3-point Contest in 30 years, when she conceived the Mountain Dew Zone ahead of the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. This new innovation resulted in over 5 billion impressions and increased overall share of voice for the brand by 50%. She followed this game-changing endeavor by developing Mountain Dew’s first-ever Women’s History Month campaign featuring three female professional athletes; an amazing feat for a brand historically focused on millennial male consumers.

Charece has been heralded for her tenacity and vision, her ability to sell in new ideas, and ability to push each company she has worked with to new heights.  Throughout her career, Charece has held leadership positions in marketing, strategy, and business development at Wasserman, ESPN, and National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA). While at the NBRPA, she initiated key changes to the bylaws that opened the association and its benefits to former WNBA players for the first time in its 20-year history. For all these reasons Forbes recently profiled Charece as a trailblazer who uses her Superpowers to empower women in sports.

A community leader, Charece serves on the Board of Advisors for both Hacker U and the DeVos Sports Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida, where she holds an M.B.A and Master of Sports Business Management. Additionally, she serves as a mentor for WEEN, a nonprofit seeking to develop the next generation of black women leaders in sports and entertainment.

A graduate of North Carolina State University, where she was Captain and MVP of the volleyball team, Charece has a championship mindset which she brings to every situation, earning numerous awards and recognition throughout her career. Of note, She was presented the She-Mogul Award by WISE Atlanta during the 2019 Sports Power Brunch during Super Bowl week. That same year Charece was honored as a recipient of the 40 under 40 Award by The Network Journal and the Rising Star Award from The Shadow League. In 2020, Charece was awarded the “Societal Spark” Bevvie Award, given during the PBNA Annual Marketing Awards program and new in 2021, she was awarded Crain’s NY Best in Marketing & PR.

Allen Hermeling

Senior VP, Sponsorship and Growth

UnitedHealth Group

Allen leads the UnitedHealth Group Sponsorships and Growth team reporting to Terry Clark. In this role he has enterprise-wide responsibility for UnitedHealth Group, UnitedHealthcare and Optum Sponsorships with a focus on driving growth for enterprise business segments, advancing brands, demonstrating organizational commitment to the communities we serve, and engaging employees across the enterprise.

Allen is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, completing two sea tours and a shore tour at the Office of Naval Intelligence. Allen obtained his MBA from George Washington University in 2010 and has spent the previous 10 years in leadership roles in the Sports Marketing Industry with the Washington Redskins, Washington Nationals, and most recently as Managing Director of Marquee Sports and Entertainment with the Chicago Cubs. He also served as an adjunct professor in Georgetown’s Sports Industry Management Master’s Program and serves on the Board of Directors of the USO of Illinois.

Allen lives in Wilmette, Illinois with his wife Megan, daughter Maddie and sons Teddy and Jack. He enjoys music, playing golf and basketball, spending time with his family and watching his children do what they love.

Tamika Hillman

Senior Sponsorship Manager

T-Mobile

Tamika Hillman is currently a Senior Sponsorship Manager at T-Mobile US.  T-Mobile’s HQ Sports and Entertainment Sponsorship team is the group behind signature programs and partnerships like Major League Baseball, Little League, Live Nation, Activision l Blizzard, four naming rights partnerships, Artist Partnerships, Un-carrier events and much more.

In her role, Tamika leads a team responsible for the enterprise wide localization strategy of T-Mobile’s national Sports, Entertainment and Gaming portfolio. Additionally, Tamika manages the T-Mobile Arena naming rights partnership in Las Vegas, NV along with the sponsorship portfolios that support T-Mobile’s Multicultural, DE&I and Emerging Market efforts. Previously, Tamika led National Partner Marketing & Strategic Alliances at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s Corporate HQ in Orlando, FL and held various Sales and Marketing roles at Live Nation and House of Blues.

An alumna of the University of Florida and West Virginia University, Tamika currently lives, works, and plays on the Upper Left Coast of the US. In her free time, Tamika can usually be found reading Sponsorship Industry news, in constant search of her next perfect vacation location or cheering for anything related to the Florida Gators, especially Florida Football. Her words to live by: “Do it scared.”

Charles Johnson

VP, Corporate Partnerships

Seattle Mariners

Charles Johnson is in his 1st season with the Mariners. He was hired as the Vice President of Corporate Partnerships in Jan 2021. He is charged with leading all corporate partnership initiatives by expanding the team’s brand and awareness throughout the Pacific Northwest region, domestically and international.

With 14 years of experience in developing and executing sales and marketing strategies, Johnson has attained success in highly competitive organizations like the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Yankees. Prior to his role with the Mariners, he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for the Dallas Wings (WNBA) and The Panther City Lacrosse Club (NLL) since 2017 and as Manager of Corporate Partnerships for the Dallas Cowboys Football Club.  His career on the business side of sports began in 2006, when he joined the Texas Rangers Baseball Club as an inside sales representative. He then moved on to the Dallas Cowboys as a sales consultant, where he was recognized as a top sales performer for the organization generating over $22 million in contractual sales revenue during his three-year tenure. With his successes within the Cowboys organization, he was then recommended to the New York Yankees as a sales manager where he directed the growth of a $19 million membership account base and secured $42 million dollars in contractual membership revenue. Following his tenure with the Yankees, Johnson joined the NBA family where he was appointed Director of Ticket Sales & Service for the Philadelphia 76ers. While there, his sales team was recognized and awarded by the NBA for leading the league in new membership sales.

Charles is a native of San Antonio, Texas and a former collegiate athlete recruited by Mike Leah at Texas Tech University. Charles earned a B.A. in Communication Studies and Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies (Business & Negotiations) from Texas Tech in 2002 and 2004 respectively.

Charles and his wife Varatip (V) have two children: Landon (12) and Layla (7)

Marc Avery Jones

Director of Marketing & Business Development

City of Seattle, Seattle Center

As a member of the Seattle Center Executive Leadership Team for 13 years, Marc was hired to oversee all marketing, booking, sales and commercial event operations for the 74-acre urban park, which is home to 30 non-profit arts organizations, museums, attractions, performing arts and concert/sports venues. Marc’s first major focus was to help reposition Seattle Center with a new brand identity and develop a new business strategy for the campus focusing on a new model for KeyArena following the Sonics departure in 2008. This work included building a strong music and entertainment brand for the city’s premier multi-purpose arena and helping to bring KeyArena back to profitable status in just one year. The new strategy allowed the turnaround and profitability of Seattle Center, with the brightest spot being KeyArena which has generated average net profits of $1 Million since 2012.

With more than 20 years of experience in the media, entertainment and tourism industry, Marc has helped develop and market Fortune 500 brands with a focus on experiential marketing in the live music entertainment arena. He has developed integrated strategic marketing partnerships, while providing leadership for non-profit and arts organizations. He worked in publicity/promotion for ABC television and Entercom/CBS radio for a combined 10 years. He also enjoyed experience establishing a music and entertainment marketing platform for Chase Bank (formerly WaMu), establishing sponsorships and naming rights at music venues for the West Coast.

Marc currently leads a division of 40 at the Seattle Center, including 5 senior managers focused on Marketing, Communication, Technology, Business Development, Major Festivals/Events Sponsorships, McCaw Hall and manages the Strategic Partnership with OVG the developer and operator of the new Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle. Marc was responsible for developing new business related to corporate sponsorship, yielding 1 million in new revenue annually for Seattle Center.

Brian Jones

President

Consulting Jones, LLC

Brian’s professional career started in Denver, CO in 1994 working for the Denver Nuggets. He held several season ticket and corporate partnership positions, including Vice President, Sponsorship and Advertising Sales, with the Nuggets, two-time Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche, McNichols Arena, and Pepsi Center from 1994-2001.
From 2001-2003, he served as the Vice President of Sales for Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, CO before making his way to Seattle, where he worked for the Seattle Seahawks, CenturyLink Field, WaMu Theater, and Sounders FC as Director of Sales, Corporate Partnerships from 2003-2012.
In 2013 he was promoted to Managing Director of Corporate Partnerships for the Seahawks and Sounders FC. In 2014 he was promoted to Vice President of Business Development with Sounders FC. In each of these capacities, he led overachieving teams responsible for new revenue/partnership growth as well as partner amplification, satisfaction, and retention.
In late 2016, Brian followed in the footsteps of several entrepreneurs in the Jones Family and launched Consulting Jones, LLC to advise and contribute to a wide variety of organizations in strategic partnership planning, new business development, and sponsorship optimization in the sports, venues, non-profit, and events space. Past and current Consulting Jones, LLC clients include: Q13 FOX, the Seattle Seawolves Rugby Football Club, WaFd Bank, Seattle Pride, Scorebook Live, Pacific Science Center, Caravel Marketing (OBO the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, Paris Panthers, and Blakeway Worldwide Panoramas), and more. Brian is currently:

  • Seattle Seawolves Rugby Club – President and Minority Owner
  • WaFd Bank – Sports and Media Consultant
  • Seattle Pride – Partnership Consultant

Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Tulane University, was a finalist for the 2015 Major League Soccer Corporate Partnership Executive of the Year Award, led the 2016 MLS Corporate Partnership Team of the year, serves as a commissioner of the Seattle Sports Commission, served on the board of Communities in Schools of Washington, and was on the Executive Leadership Team for the 2016 Seattle Heart Walk. Brian lives in Lake Forest Park with his wife Megan and daughter Tatum.

Vinu Joseph

Associate

McGuire Woods

Vinu focuses his practice in the area of government investigations and white collar litigation. Vinu has experience litigating a wide variety of matters in federal and state court.

Before joining McGuireWoods, Vinu worked in the Chicago office of an international law firm, litigating class action, products liability, RICO, bankruptcy, and breach-of-contract matters. He is also committed to pro bono service, working in the areas of domestic violence, adult guardianship, and immigrant rights.

While in law school, Vinu served as a board member for the first-year oral advocacy competition and participated in the school’s state and federal criminal appellate clinics. He also worked as a legal intern for the Honorable Robert H. Cleland in the Eastern District of Michigan and the Honorable Helene N. White in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Before his law career, Vinu consulted corporations and entertainment and nonprofit organizations to develop strategies for corporate sponsorship and philanthropy.

Michael Kithcart

Founder & CEO

MWK Consulting

Michael is a certified high performance and business coach to entrepreneurs and sales leaders committed to next level results, and serves as a strategy and revenue consultant at Caravel Marketing. She combines psychology, neuroscience, business acumen and a break it down to get it done approach to move leaders and teams from stuck to unstoppable.

Throughout her career, Michael has transformed organizations, created new departments, organized startups and enhanced the effectiveness of individuals and teams. Previous roles have included chief operations officer, chief strategy officer, vice president of sales, marketing strategist, and business consultant.

Michael’s international development and women’s empowerment interests have provided opportunities for her to consult and conduct fieldwork to support social entrepreneurs in Haiti, Africa, India and Nepal. She’s also the creator of the Champions of RISK podcast which examines the many aspects of risk so we can all move through uncertainty with more strength and courage together.

Krystal Marx

Executive Director

Seattle Pride

Krystal Marx (she/her) is a lifelong Washingtonian, out bisexual (cisgender) woman, and proud Millennial mother of four kids ranging from six to 14 years old. As the first Executive Director of Seattle Pride with over a decade in nonprofit management, she provides strategic direction on year-round programming and advocacy for Greater Seattle’s LGBTQIA+ community that expands beyond the infamous 400,000-person Pride Parade. Krystal is also the Deputy Mayor of Burien, Washington, having served on the Burien City Council since 2018. When not legislating, Krystal provides free community-identified training such as Bystander Intervention and Self-Defense. Finally, Krystal is the wife and caregiver to an Army combat veteran, and enjoys cooking, reading (and writing) urban fantasy, and watercolor painting when she isn’t running for Congress in Washington’s 9th Congressional District (2022).

Mike McCann

Sr. Manager Global Sponsorships

Amazon

An accomplished sponsorship and brand marketing veteran, Mike oversees Amazon’s new Climate Pledge Arena naming rights and Seattle Kraken partnerships. Mike’s recent arrival at Amazon is preceded by successful stints at powerhouse brands – Pepsi, Heineken, Harley-Davidson, Intel – where he leveraged the power of sport and entertainment partnerships to connect with consumers in remarkable ways to drive business results and brand value. Mike’s sports experience spans the Olympic Games, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour, US Soccer, NCAA, USTA, NASCAR and the NHRA. He is an alumnus of Georgetown University (BA) and University of Michigan (MBA), and is a new resident of the Seattle area, where he is eager to explore the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Chris Mead

Chief Marketing Officer

Gallagher

Chris Mead joined Gallagher in 2017. As Chief Marketing Officer, he is responsible for leading company’s global marketing and communication efforts.

Chris came to Gallagher from CME Group, the world’s largest futures exchange. As Managing Director of Marketing, he helped shape CME’s global strategic direction and was responsible for the development of global marketing strategies, planning and implementation activities. Prior to joining CME Group, Chris served as Vice President of Marketing for CNA Insurance, where he was charged with leading all marketing and branding efforts for the firm. In addition, Chris has held various marketing leadership positions within marketing/advertising agencies serving clients in the sports entertainment, restaurant, retail and healthcare industries.

Chris holds an undergraduate degree from Keene State College in New Hampshire and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois with his wife and four children.

Jen Mueller

Seahawks Sideline Reporter & Founder

Talk Sporty to Me

Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker is rarely at a loss for words. She pursued a career in sports broadcasting after repeated comments of “talks too much” from teachers and family members.

An 18-year sports broadcasting veteran, Jen currently serves as the Seattle Seahawks sideline radio reporter. She is also part of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team on ROOT Sports. In addition to her work on the sidelines, Jen launched Talk Sporty to Me in 2009. She provides a unique twist on business communication based on her time in locker rooms and expertise in 1-on-1 conversations.

Jen is the author of three books. The most recent book, The Influential Conversationalist, was published October 2017. Jen graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2000 with degrees in Broadcasting Journalism and Public Policy.

Scott O’Neil

Recent CEO

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment

Scott O’Neil is the Chief Executive Officer of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, an organization with the mission of building passionate, high-performing teams that inspire people to enhance the communities where its teams live, work, play and win.

O’Neil is responsible for the organization’s leadership, strategic vision, operations and global ambitions, including the pursuit and acquisition of sports, entertainment and consumer-facing properties. He is the acting Chief Executive Officer over all properties within the organization’s portfolio and under the ownership of Founders Josh Harris and David Blitzer, including: the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the New Jersey Devils (NHL), Prudential Center, a top ten-ranked performance venue in the U.S. located in Newark, New Jersey; Dignitas, an internationally renowned esports organization which includes Clutch Gaming, the NBA 2K League’s 76ers Gaming Club, the Sixers Innovation Lab, the GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center, the Delaware Blue Coats (NBA G League), and the Binghamton Devils (AHL). He is an acting Co-Managing partner for Elevate Sports Ventures a sports and entertainment agency created in partnership between HBSE, Live Nation Entertainment | Ticketmaster,  the San Francisco 49ers and Oak View Group.

With more than 20 years of experience in the NBA, NHL and NFL, O’Neil has earned a reputation as a leader of leaders and is one of the most connected, dynamic and driven executives in the industry today. Previous executives whom he has mentored and managed run many of the top organizations in sports and entertainment today; those he currently manages are poised to lead the industry into the next generation.

O’Neil’s reputation for authentic leadership, unparalleled drive to innovate, and emphasis on the importance of corporate culture has placed him at the forefront of the industry vanguard. In merely six years overseeing operations for the properties in HBSE’s portfolio, O’Neil led the Philadelphia 76ers to sign the first jersey patch sponsorship in “Big Four”  sports history; construct the most technically advanced training complex in professional sports, the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex; establish an industry-leading Innovation Lab, and become the first U.S. professional sports franchise to acquire a world-renowned esports team. In that same period, under O’Neil’s ambitious and aggressive leadership, Prudential Center has become a top seven and top five most-played venue in the U.S. and the world by Billboard and Pollstar, respectively, and welcomes over 1.75 million fans and event attendees through its doors annually.

Of his professional accomplishments, O’Neil considers his organizations’ corporate culture and dedication to community service his greatest successes and future legacy. The Philadelphia 76ers have been named one of the “Most Innovative Companies” in the world by Fast Company magazine (2018),  one of the “Top 50 Cultures” in the U.S. by Entrepreneur (2017),  three-times named a “Best Place to Work in Philadelphia” (2016, 2015, 2014) and “Heathiest Employer” (2019) by the Philadelphia Business Journal, twice named a “Best Place to Work in Pennsylvania by the Central Penn Business Journal (2018, 2017) and twice named one of the “50 Best Companies to Sell For” by internationally-renowned Selling Power Magazine (2019, 2018). Prudential Center was named a “Best Business” by NJBiz (2016). O’Neil’s belief that those who steward iconic sports and entertainment brands have the responsibility and privilege to use those platforms to mentor the next generation of leaders and make the world a better place is the driving force behind HBSE’s community engagement initiatives.

Recognizing the important role HBSE’s properties play within its communities, O’Neil’s employees individually volunteer 76 hours of service annually in the communities where their fans and patrons live, work and play, resulting in more than 30,000 hours of dedicated community service each year. The Philadelphia 76ers’ charitable endeavor, the Sixers Youth Foundation, has additionally raised more than $1 million for Philadelphia-area youth last year alone and is leveraging sports to help children in need.

A former President of Madison Square Garden Sports, O’Neil was responsible for overseeing two of the most iconic sports properties in the world in the New York Knicks[40] (NBA) and New York Rangers (NHL). O’Neil spent seven years as the Senior Vice President of the NBA’s renowned Team Marketing and Business Operations group, where he advised NBA, WNBA and NBA Gatorade League teams on all business operations, CRM Department and NBA Canada business. Earlier in his career, O’Neil served as the President of HoopsTV.com and held positions with the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) and New Jersey Nets (NBA).

For over a decade, O’Neil has served as an Alternate Governor for the NBA and NHL.  In 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 the Philadelphia Business Journal named O’Neil to their “Power 100” list of the “most influential people” in the greater Philadelphia region; he additionally received Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Most Admired CEO” honor in 2018. In 2019, The Hockey News named O’Neil No. 37 on their list of their list of “100 People of Power and Influence.”  In 2019, Hashtag Sports honored O’Neil with an award for “Leadership in Supporting Diversity in Sports.” Sports and technology outlet, SportTechie, named O’Neil as 2017’s “Most Innovative Executive”; in 2016, Philadelphia Magazine declared him one of the “Most Innovative Leaders” in Philadelphia. He has been twice named to The NJBiz “Power 100” list. As a young executive, O’Neil was thrice recognized at Sports Business Journal’s acclaimed “Forty Under 40” Awards; launching him into the publication’s renowned “Hall of Fame.”  He additionally received “Forty Under 40” honors from Adweek and Sporting News in 2006 and 2005 respectively.

O’Neil’s influence and experience has earned him a place at the podium at some of the largest industry conferences in the world, delivering keynotes at events such as: Leaders in Sport, Beyond Sport, Sports Business Journal’s World Congress of Sport, the IEG Pivot Conference, the Ivy Sports Symposium, Sport Marketing Association’s Conference and more. O’Neil’s leadership practices have been chronicled and applauded in The Outward Mindset by the Arbinger Institute, publishers of The New York Times Best Seller, Leadership and Self Deception, The Orange Revolution by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, and Potato Chip Ticket Sales by Kathy Burrows. He has made numerous appearances on CNN, CNBC, FOX Business Network, and has twice co-hosted Bloomberg television’s Bloomberg. He also interacts daily with his nearly 20,000 Twitter and 35,000 LinkedIn followers.  He serves on the boards for the March of Dimes, Zoomi Inc., Myota, Inc., the Sixers Youth Foundation and the Sixers Innovation Lab.

O’Neil earned his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Villanova University with honors and his master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife, Lisa, and three daughters; O’Neil became a member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 2016 and is an active member of his Church community.

Sarah Smith Pancheri

COO/VP of Sales & Marketing

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.

Sarah Smith Pancheri serves as Chief Operating Officer / Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., (MWF) the organization that produces Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance, The World’s Largest Music Festival.  She is now responsible for directly overseeing the Operations, Sales and Marketing departments of MWF, including sponsorships and corporate sales as well as advertising, social media, media partnerships and public relations for Summerfest and all MWF properties. During her tenure with MWF, Henry Maier Festival Park has opened over $80 million in new capital projects, funded primarily by corporate sponsorship.

Sarah has served a variety of community organizations including the Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts, Red Cross of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Fair Park Foundation.  She was named a Women of Influence by the Milwaukee Business Journal in 2018.  She is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

Matt Pensinger

Executive Vice President, Managing Director

Jack Morton Worldwide

Matt Pensinger is EVP, Managing Director at Jack Morton Worldwide where he oversees client relationships with companies such as Molson Coors, Procter & Gamble and Kellogg’s and also manages the agency’s Chicago office. He has worked on both the agency and client with some of the world’s leading brands, building expertise in brand experiences, sponsorship, experiential marketing and promotions. Pensinger joined Jack Morton in 2011 after serving as a client service and strategy leader at Publicis Groupe agencies Publicis Experiences and Relay Worldwide. Prior to agency life, Pensinger worked at General Motors Corporation where he managed sports and entertainment marketing programs across GM brands. His tenure at GM included management of large-scale sponsorship programs including the U.S. Olympic Committee, the NCAA, Major League Baseball and as well as overseeing GM’s product placement program in film and television.

Pensinger received his B.A. in English from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons.

David Perry

Senior Vice President, Integrated Sponsorships

Pac-12 Networks

Sports is a passion and a profession for Mr.Perry. Currently, at the Pac-12 Network, he is responsible for managing the direct (internal) sales team and national rep firm relationships; creating annual revenue strategies; budgets; and new asset development for the Network and Conference properties/events.

Before arriving at the Pac-12 Network, David was employed by AIM Media as the VP/General Manager where he managed the Mountain Group sales and operations for Ski Magazine; the Warren Miller Film; and the Fish Fishing Film Tour. He oversaw a team of thirty people including editors, film producers, marketers, and salespeople ranging from entry to senior levels.

Prior to AIM, Perry served a ten-year legacy as Vice President of National Sales at Home Team Sports (a division of FOX Sports Network) in Dallas, TX. While at HTS David managed a small sales team that covered an eight-state territory. They called on major advertisers and the agencies who focused on sports media nationally, regionally and/or locally interested in MLB, NBA, NHL, and Collegiate athletics.

Before arriving in Dallas, David owned a small sports marketing agency in Denver, and prior to that he spent five years at Time Inc. During his tenure, he led a national sales and activation team that managed and major sponsored events driven through lifestyle ski and outdoor enthusiast magazines.

Perry’s past experience includes executive level positions with the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Sonics, and Golden State Warriors in similar advertising and sport sponsorship sales roles.

David has a wealth of experience in managing senior level sales and service professionals, while fostering strong client direct and executive level agency relationships. He has been instrumental in changing team culture; setting company policies; managing P&L; and sales strategies. During Mr. Perry’s professional journey, he has built a reputation of turning low performing businesses into highly profitable ones.

Outside of work, David has been involved in non-profit work with organizations such as After School All-Stars, Falling Whistle Campaign, and the SPCA. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Communications, strengthening his Pac-12 passion. He currently resides in Denver, CO and has two children (Kendi 15, and Andre 16).

Amy Potter

Director, North American Sponsorships

BMO Financial Group

Amy Potter serves as Director of North American Sponsorships for BMO Financial Group, a leading North American financial services organization. Amy is responsible for leading the sponsorship properties across the U.S. and Canadian footprint.

Before joining BMO, Amy led corporate partnership strategy, sales and marketing efforts at several prestigious universities, including the University of Virginia, the University of Maryland and Northwestern University, where she served as one of two female General Managers in Division I college athletics in charge of all corporate marketing and partnership programs for Northwestern Athletics.

Amy started her career with Home Team Sports (HTS), the regional sports network for the Mid-Atlantic, covering the Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals. During her years with HTS, Amy was responsible for the network’s promotions, website and day-to-day execution of television marketing programs for each team.

Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in business from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Involved in the community, Amy’s “spare” time is spent serving as the National Chair of WISE Within Mentoring program through Women in Sports and Events and volunteers for various Chicagoland nonprofit organizations.

Jen Puente

Chief Marketing Officer

Wisconsin State Fair Park

Jen Puente has had a love for Fairs her entire life. From her days in 4-H showing chickens and arts & crafts, to her days of performing at the county & state fair. Jen was her county fair queen, and through that experience earned the opportunity to intern with the Wisconsin State Fair which turned into a full time job. Throughout her 18-year career at Wisconsin State Fair, she worked her way up through the ranks to production coordinator, Sponsorship Manager and Director of Marketing. She currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer, overseeing the annual advertising campaigns, sponsorships, social media, content creation, media buying, and brand development.

Post-Covid, she cannot wait to get back to traveling, attending events, and spending more time on the golf course!

Alex Seyferth

VP, Corporate Partnerships

Chicago Cubs

As Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for the Chicago Cubs and Marquee 360, Alex oversees corporate partnership sales, service, and activation for the Chicago Cubs and Marquee Development, inclusive of Wrigley Field, Gallagher Way, Hotel Zachary and the Wrigley rooftops. Alex originally joined the Cubs in 2013 and was promoted to his current role in 2018.

Prior to joining the Cubs, Alex was with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2011-2013. Alex received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and Masters from Northwestern University, where he also played baseball.

Misha Sher

Global Head of Sport, Entertainment & Culture

MediaCom

Misha Sher is a Global Head of Sport, Entertainment & Culture at MediaCom (WPP Group).
Industry veteran who has been at the forefront of the sports industry for more than 15 years, Misha has negotiated and advised on more £1B in sponsorship investments and activation with major sport & entertainment properties, including UEFA, IOC, NFL and F1 in more than 25 countries.
At MediaCom, he has built and scaled global sport & entertainment business that sits at the intersection of sport, media, lifestyle and culture, with clients that include some of the biggest blue-chip brands like Toyota, Shell, Mars, Richemont, American Airlines and Allianz as well as top talent such as Pelé, Brian Lara, Mesut Özil, Vinicius Jr and Eniola Aluko, to name a few.
Misha is a published author and his opinions are regularly featured in leading media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Fortune, CNN, Sky, CMO, The Drum, Marketing Magazine and Sport Business International.
He is a board director at European Sponsorship Association and holds an MBA in Football Industries.

Nate Silverman

SVP, Corporate Partnerships & Social Responsibility

Seattle Storm | Force 10 Sports Management

Nate is currently the Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Social Responsibility for the 4x WNBA Champion Seattle Storm. In this role, he works closely with both internal and external stakeholders to develop mutually beneficial partnerships. Under Nate’s leadership, Storm team sponsorship revenue has more than tripled since he started with the franchise in 2014. He has also helped to grow Storm reach through broadcast partnerships. On the Social Responsibility side, Nate finds ways to connect the Storm mission to the community through innovative partnerships that have long term impact on non-profits and the individuals they serve.  
 
Prior to the Storm, Nate held positions with Learfield Sports at both the Mountain West Conference and San Diego State University. From 2008-2010 he founded and operated an agency called SYNC Sports Entertainment that helped brands connect with fans through Sports marketing. Prior to that, he was with the Seattle Sports Commission overseeing marketing and business development. Nate started his career in business development with the Sonics and Storm and worked with the organization until the team departed Seattle.
 
Nate has a passion for the Sports Business, enjoys mentoring future leaders, conducts sales trainings and speaks on the topics of marketing, business development and social responsibility. He currently serves on the Board for the Seattle Sports Commission. He and his wife Alona reside in Newcastle and have a daughter named Tayla.

Gerry Tabio

President & Founder

Creative Resources Group

Gerry Tabio founded the company Creative Resources Group in 1990 and has since trained thousands of sales leaders to adopt and facilitate a creative process to control their business and create sustained revenue growth. The Creative Resources Process emerged out of the pursuit to develop a repeatable process to generate marketing ideas that create value for media companies and results for their advertising clients.

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