SFM Network

MEET OUR EXPERIENCED TEAM.

The SFM team is uniquely suited to serve our clients. Our background, experience, and culture allow us to find solutions and generate results where others may not.

SFM is built to support long term relationships with clients that produce results. Our team of over 400 professionals come from a variety of backgrounds in the sports, event management, entertainment, and hospitality industries. Our dedication to collaboration ensures our entire team and all our clients benefit from this collective expertise.

SFM account leadership is supported by departments of subject-matter experts to provide each facility with the resources needed for success. In our model, each client maintains full control of their asset and has full visibility into each portion of the operation. 

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ABOUT JASON

With the leadership of Jason, SFM has opened more successful sports tourism venues than any organization in the country. Jason is a passionate contributor to causes that positively impact families and communities. He is also an experienced advisor having provided planning, strategy, finance, and operational leadership to projects worldwide.

Prior to transitioning to his current role as CEO of SFM, Jason served for nearly 10 years as the Chief Operating Officer for SFA and SFM from their infancy to their current state as enterprise level firms. Under his leadership the firms have become globally recognized leaders focusing on transforming the health and economic vitality of communities around the world. As the Chief Executive Officer of SFM, Jason leads the strategic direction, culture, and service standards that define SFM in the public and private sector markets.

Jason retains his architecture license and began his career as a licensed architect specializing in sports complex design. He then worked in corporate real estate asset management where he oversaw the optimization and strategic oversight of major corporate real estate assets for such companies as Conoco Philips, USAA, Nokia, and other large cap corporations.

In response to market demand, Jason founded and led the launch of SFM overseeing the development of the organization products, services, and management delivery systems.

ABOUT DEV

Dev founded SFA in 2003 and is widely regarded as an industry thought-leader who has contributed to the well-being of communities around the world. Dev is a passionate social entrepreneur and innovator who has dedicated more than 25 years to the development of numerous businesses that empower and develop communities. He’s led numerous efforts to expand the youth and amateur sports in suburban, urban, and rural environments.

Dev’s passion for developing teams and for engaging kids and communities in sport led him to develop the Sports Facilities Advisory. His leadership has produced facilities that integrate traditional sports with special events, adventure sports, education, leadership-development, and amusement to turn early concepts into financeable and sustainable facilities that make a difference in communities. Dev is a sought after public speaker, leadership mentor, and advisor to public and private owners.

Under his leadership, SFA has become respected as the industry leader in strategy, program planning, and project finance; a position achieved through global brand presence and measurable impacts for communities. Dev’s expertise and thought leadership have been sought out by The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Market-Watch, CNBC, NBC, The Aspen Institute Sports & Society, The National Association of Sports Commissions, The National Recreation and Parks Association, The Sports Business Journal, Sports Travel Magazine and many others.

For more than 20 years, Dev has owned, operated, and advised a wide range of sport, adventure, education, and special events venues. Prior to the launch of SFA in 2003, Dev served as an Outward Bound Instructor, a Wilderness guide, and he founded and sold an International Eco-Tourism Company, a ten-acre corporate team development center, two specialized business-development firms, and he served as an active investor in a-number of other sport and recreation focused businesses. Dev has served on numerous Boards of Directors and has led executive team development efforts for large corporations in the sports and entertainment industries. Dev is a dedicated father and husband.

ABOUT ERIC

Eric earned his MBA in International Business and began his career as a professional soccer player. He joined SFA in 2006 and has since held nearly every operational role through SFA & SFM’s growth. Eric now leads SFA and SFM’s growth effort by designing service solutions that help our clients achieve their goals. 

Eric developed the original financial and market analysis tools that SFA is most well-known for. Eric also led the first facility opening projects in our company history that paved the way for the launch of SFM. Since joining SFA & SFM, Eric has overseen and served as an advisor to hundreds of projects including market studies, financing plans, development plans, turn-arounds, and new facility openings. His work in domestic and international markets includes projects in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, United Kingdom, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. Eric currently leads SFA & SFM’s expansion efforts in our continued vision to integrate sports, fitness, education, leadership development, and adventure sports into communities around the globe.

In 2012, he was honored as a member of the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “30 Under 30” Up and Comers class. In total, Eric has been a catalyst for SFA’s growth, leading the entire planning, funding, and grand opening of more than $500 million in sports, fitness, recreation, and entertainment facilities.

ABOUT EVAN

Evan began his career with more than 8 years in facility operations and as a Program Manager within one of the largest YMCA systems in the U.S. Evan joined SFA in 2012 as a Business Analyst, Account Executive, and today Evan serves as the COO of SFA. He oversees the company’s customer service and delivery systems as well as the team of strategic advisors, business analysts, project managers, and research specialists who produce SFA’s market research, feasibility, and financing services. Since joining, Evan has served a portfolio of over 400 projects totaling more than $4.5 billion in planned and operational sports tourism, community recreation, and large-scale, master-planned sport, recreation, wellness, and entertainment destinations.

Evan holds a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from University of Florida and formerly served as Operations Director for the largest YMCA branch in the Tampa Bay region.

ABOUT BOB

An energetic and results-driven financial leader, Bob has guided teams that perform finance functions for some of the world’s largest companies. Bob served in a number of roles over a 10-year span at Walmart, Inc. Most notably, Bob held the position of CFO of Walmart Global E-commerce (Walmart.com) from 2008-2010. In his role as CFO, Bob led the finance and accounting teams for Walmart’s $3 billion e-commerce business. Bob takes his experience developing and implementing financial processes at the highest level and his experience in a diverse set of industries to his role as Chief Financial Officer for the Sports Facilities Companies

In his role, Bob oversees our corporate and SF Network venue finance teams. Bob also oversees risk management and major corporate growth initiatives.

Bob has extensive experience developing and implementing financial processes, systems, and controls for some of the world’s largest companies, including Walmart, Inc. He has a proven record of achievement in E-commerce, real estate development, and retail. Through his work, Bob has managed planning, forecasting, and reporting (external and internal) for multiple segment levels and corporate support areas and has driven productivity and improved bottom-line results. Bob has in-depth experience leading acquisition due diligence and negotiations, including lease and contract reviews, best practice analysis, risk assessments, and valuations.

From 2012 to 2019, Bob also served as a city councilman and then as the mayor of the city of Little Flock, AR. This role provided Bob with experience in municipal budgeting, governmental fund accounting, state audits, and FEMA disaster application development and administration.

Notable Projects

  • Horizons Edge Sports Campus, Harrisonburg, VA
  • The Highlands Sports Complex, Triadelphia, WV
  • Sand Mountain Park & Amphitheater, Albertville, AL
  • Bridgeport Recreation Complex, Bridgeport, WV
  • Rocky Top Sports World, Gatlinburg, TN 

 

ABOUT DAVE

Dave has extensive experience in operations having held executive level positions in several national footprint, multi-channel sports, and outdoor retail chains. He has a proven record of achievement in strategy development and execution, results-oriented leadership, and customer satisfaction within fast-paced, rapidly growing companies. He is particularly adept in developing effective, loyal, and cohesive entrepreneurial teams. Dave brings his far-reaching experience and achievements in all aspects of business operations, strategy, and team and culture development to Sports Facilities Companies as Chief Operating Officer.

In his role as COO, Dave oversees venue development and operations across all SFC venues. He provides oversight for our human resources, event creation and management, vertical operations, venue planning, and information technology teams.

From 2010 to 2013, David served as Vice President – Director of Retail for Baskin’s Western & Work Wear, where he oversaw all aspects of retail operations. During David’s tenure, Baskin’s grew from 17 to 31 locations prior to a successful exit by a private equity ownership. In the two years prior to this work, he served as a Regional Manager for Academy Sports & Outdoors, Inc. where he held responsibilities for retail operations.

From 2004 to 2008, David served as Senior Vice President – Director of Stores for Golfsmith Golf & Tennis, Inc., where he oversaw all aspects of retail development and operations. During his tenure, Golfsmith grew from 60 to 79 nationwide locations with over $300M in annual revenue and successfully executed an IPO.

David started his career in 1987 at Galyan’s Sports & Outdoors., Inc. where he worked more than 20 years, starting as a salesperson during high school, working in a variety of management positions in stores and home office, eventually being promoted to Senior Vice President – Director of Retail, where he oversaw all aspect of retail development and operations. During David’s tenure, Galyan’s grew from 2 to 51 nationwide locations with over $750M in annual revenue, successfully migrating through several changes in ownership transaction resulting in a successful IPO.

Education:

  • Indiana University, Bloomington, IN: BS in Business Management

 

Notable Projects

  • Rocky Top Sports World, Gatlinburg, TN
  • Rocky Mount Event Center, Rocky Mount, NC
  • Myrtle Beach Sports Center, Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Hoover Metropolitan Complex, Hoover, AL
  • Cedar Point Sports Center, Sandusky, OH
  • Panama City Beach Sports Complex, PCB, FL
  • Community First Champion Center, Appleton, WI
  • Elizabethtown Sports Park, Elizabethtown, KY
  • Horizons Edge Sports Campus, Harrisonburg, VA
  • Iron Peak Sports & Events, Hillsborough, NJ
SFM VP of Bus Dev Ashley Whittaker portrait

ABOUT ASHLEY

With seven years of experience in the sports industry, Ashley has a unique background in product design andmarketing including a patented track and field safety device (now required by the NFHS and NCAA), technical equipment support for the 2004 Track & Field Olympic Trials, brand development, trade-show coordination, and multi-media marketing for a $40- million equipment company. Previously a consulting entrepreneur, Ashley honed her marketing and brand development skills catering to the needs of small business owners. A graduate of the University of Illinois and a varsity track and field athlete, Ashley brings her love of competition and discipline to her role as the Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at SFA and SFM.

ABOUT JACK

Jack has overseen SFM since its founding. He is responsible for operating and optimizing sports, recreation, entertainment, and special event businesses throughout the U.S. His remarkable and successful career has spanned almost twenty years of operations, marketing, and programming of complex and multiplex facilities and venues in dozens of markets.

These operations have included live entertainment including the world’s biggest names in music, dance, and theatrical & comedic performances. They have featured sports, recreation, concessions, restaurants (from high-volume to five-star dining) hotels, retail, and real estate management components. These operations have also been in privately held, publicly traded, non-profit, and government/municipal environments.

Jack’s entertainment venues were represented in Pollstar Magazine’s “Top 100 Clubs” worldwide for 10 years, including five of those years at #2. He also led one of Billboard Magazine’s “Worldwide Top 100 Nightclubs,” and has opened and overseen many of the most celebrated amateur and youth sports centers in the country. 

Jack specializes in multiple revenue center and corporate operations, programming and talent procurement, branding, marketing, PR, promotions, entertainment, forecasting, revenue and profit growth, cost control, optimization, leadership and team building, training, IT systems, risk and crisis management, planning and funding, project management and development, and new venue openings.

ABOUT JAKE

Jake has over a decade of experience in athletic facility construction. Jake earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois and began his career with one of the industry leading athletic equipment manufacturers serving in several roles prior to spending time as a contractor focusing on serving athletic facilities.

Jake has successfully led engineering, estimating, and project management teams working on some of the largest athletic facilities across the nation in addition to several large international projects. Consulting and working with Architects, Contractors, and Owners; Jake has been a part of thousands of facilities of different shapes and sizes in private, college, k-12, and public markets.

ABOUT JUSTIN

Justin is a thought leader and innovator in the events industry with a proven track record and commitment to community improvement and revitalization through sport. Prior to joining the Sports Facilities Companies (SFC), Justin served as the Director of Business Development for DuPage County, Illinois. In this role, he created and launched the DuPage Sports Commission to harness the power of sports tourism on behalf of the County’s 38 communities and nearly one million residents and numerous stakeholders. During this time, he orchestrated new event and entertainment partnerships with dozens of national governing bodies and rights holders and led the creation of new grassroots events. Justin brings his nationally recognized experience in event development and management and passion for driving entrepreneurial success in organizations to the role of National Director of Events & Entertainment.

 In his role, Justin leads the creation and growth of SFC’s event brands. In 2020, Justin led a team that launched two new brands Halo LAX, a tournament and youth showcase event brand focusing on lacrosse and Hype Nation, which plays the same role for youth volleyball. Justin’s work with these brands and others is far-reaching and includes working with marketing and branding experts, building community partnerships and guiding the operational aspects of the events.

Justin earned a BA in Sports Management from North Central College in Illinois and proudly served our country in the United States Air Force. He is passionate about enhancing communities through the development of sports events. His passion and commitment to excellence is well recognized throughout our industry as Justin has been honored with numerous awards including as an Emerging Sports Event Industry Leader by SportsEvents Magazine.

Notable Projects: 

  • HaloLax 
  • Amp Events 
  • Hype Nation 

ABOUT JIM

Jim is widely recognized as one of the leading designers and developers of youth sports complexes in the United States. In his role as the National Business Development Director, Jim Arnold leads the expansion of the SF Network of sports and recreation destinations across the country. With over 16 years of experience in the industry, Jim has overseen the planning, design, development, and operations of many of the most innovative and successful facilities in the country.

Notable has been his role in the development and growth of two of the largest brands in youth sports, Ripken Baseball and Sports Force Parks. As part of this role, Jim was instrumental in developing the company’s youth facilities from one park to three, with the additions of the Ripken Experience Myrtle Beach and the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge. Jim’s projects are highly regarded for their ability to drive profitability through creative design and self-operations.

While his career has been focused primarily on youth sports facility development, Jim has been involved in projects that touch all levels of sports across the world.  From his role in the design of SRP Park (2018 Minor League Baseball Ballpark of the Year) to overseeing the development of a country-wide growth and development strategy for New Zealand Baseball; his experience across the sports landscape has an influential role in helping clients develop the most innovative, unique and sustainable sports facilities in the industry.

Notable Projects

  • Ripken Baseball- Baltimore, MD, Myrtle Beach, SC, and Pigeon Forge, TN*
  • Sports Force Parks- Sandusky, OH, Vicksburg, MS, and Naples, FL*
  • Panama City Beach Sports Complex, PCB, FL
  • Rocky Top Sports World, Gatlinburg, TN
  • Cyclone Ballparks, Pecos, TX
  • Cedar Point Sports Center, Sandusky, OH
  • Ballparks of America, Branson, MO
  • TNT Sportsplex, Kingsport, TN 

*Please note: Projects completed prior to joining the firm.

ABOUT DONALD

Donald is a dedicated sports management professional who has executed over 500 events and sports programs in 38 states. He played an active role in growing a national flag football league to over 100 markets that experienced over 65 percent participation growth year over year for four straight years. Donald also managed an online ticketing and registration platform that saw a 50 percent revenue increase from $6 million to $9 million in one year.  

As the National Director of Programs at the Sports Facilities Companies, Donald leads the Programming department overseeing the formal creation of unique SF Companies-led programming curricula, processes, systems, and standards for the SFM Network.  

Before joining the SF Companies, Donald spent nearly 13 years as the Executive Director for DeBartolo Sports and Events, a division of DeBartolo Holdings that owned and operated companies across multiple platforms and was founded by Pro Football Hall of Fame owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. During that time, he managed a portfolio of investments that included an amateur sports business that produced events across the country, an online registration and ticketing platform, and a grassroots sports business operating youth leagues across the United States and Canada. 

 He has developed and operated programs for national brands, including Under Armour, Nike, Adidas, Powerade, Red Bull, Pepsi, the Outback Bowl Game, the Beef O Brady’s Bowl Game, the Army All-American Bowl Game on NBC, and USA Football. 

Education:

  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, BS in Education and Human Sciences 

 

Notable Projects:

  • Panama City Beach Sports Complex, PCB, FL
  • Midway Central Station, Bedford Park, IL
  • Sand Mountain Park & Amphitheater, Albertville, AL
  • The Bridge, Bridgeport, WV

 

SFM Account Executive Lori Moore portrait

ABOUT LORI

An award-winning leader in the sport tourism industry, Lori has helped the communities that she has worked with experience positive economic impacts year over year. Through her extensive experience in destination promotion and management the sports facilities that she’s led have not only become must play destinations for tons of travel teams across the country, but they’ve also become that standard for outstanding service. Lori’s leadership and her ability to build relationships and develop teams of leaders is at the heart of the success she’s experienced in her role as Account Executive.

In her role as Account Executive, Lori serves multiple venues in their initiatives to drive economic impact and develop programming to sustain community growth and visitation. In both management and advisory capacities, she leads teams focused on sustained growth and operational efficiency.

Lori’s primary goal is to improve financial performance and support client goals while developing leadership skills and opportunities for SFC team members. Through her venue management, she exceeded economic impact projections by 50 percent for five consecutive years.

Lori has been honored as one of the “Top 9 Women in Sports Tourism” by Connect Sports Magazine and recognized as the “Most Outstanding Leader” by the Sports Facilities Companies.

Notable Projects:

  • Re-Opening Venues in Covid Webinars Part l & ll, Sports ETA
  • Leadership Initiative with Pat Summit Leadership Group at AAU National Event
  • Led re-opening of Ballparks of America with new ownership group

ABOUT JOE

Joe has over 20 years of experience helping municipalities, economic development organizations, chambers of commerce and commercial real estate professionals leverage consumer intelligence technologies to grow their tax base through retail/hospitality development. His expertise in analyzing demographic and psychographic data and retail trends has help elected officials and stakeholders recruit new businesses to their communities in over 20 states. Joe brings his background in retail market analysis, strategic planning, and retail business recruitment and development to the advisory team as a development advisor for public sector projects.

In his role on the advisory team, Joe leads the planning process for communities considering sports, recreation, or event facility development. Through his guidance, municipalities are able to understand market data, “right size” facility opportunities, and move concepts through each phase of the development cycle.  

Joe earned his BA in Political Science from the University of Missouri. He’s passionate about helping communities enhance their economic outcomes by using data to make better decisions. He has been a featured presenter at the National League of Cities (NLC), International City/County Management Association (ICMA), National Brownfields Conference and the International Downtown Association (IDA) and has guided companies in several industries including telecommunications, energy and pharmaceuticals.






Education:

  • University of Missouri, BA in Political Science

Notable Projects

  • American Surf Parks
  • Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports
  • Invest Atlanta*
  • Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission*
  • Montgomery County, OH*
  • City of Cypress, CA*
  • Town of Fountain Hills, AZ*

*Please note: Projects completed prior to joining the firm.

ABOUT JESSICA

For nearly 20 years, Jess has been committed to using sports as a vehicle driving growth within both communities and individuals. Before joining the Sports Facilities Companies, coached woman’s basketball at several schools including the United States Military Academy, Furman University, Presbyterian College, and St. Andrews University. Her ability to manage dynamic teams is an instrumental part of her success in the Account Executive role for SFC.

In this role, Jess serves multiple venues in their initiatives to drive economic impact and develop programming to sustain community growth and visitation. In both management and advisory capacities, she leads teams focused on sustained growth and operational efficiency.

She was hired in 2015 to serve as the Director of Operations at the Myrtle Beach Sports Center before being promoted to the General Manager in July of 2016.

A native of Cleveland, OH, Jessica was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame and played college basketball at St. Bonaventure University. In addition, she holds a master’s degree in Sport Psychology from Boston University and an MBA from St. Andrews University.

SFM Account Executive Gregg Wisecarver portrait

ABOUT GREGG

Gregg is a passionate team leader who has made a career of using sports as a vehicle to enhance the lives of young people and to build community. Gregg began his career in sports ministry and served as Vice President of Upward Sports leading training, program development and event creation to help grow the Upward client base by 500% in his time there. He brings not only his passion for sports but tremendous ability to develop processes, programs, and high-performing teams to his role as an Account Executive for Sports Facilities Companies.

In the Account Executive role, Gregg leads clients through the hurdles of the start-up operational development process. This includes setting up policies and procedures, booking the facility, establishing programming and navigating local political climates. Gregg specialized in relationship management and takes pride in the deep connections that are made with our clients.

Gregg has managed accounts totaling more than $200 million and individual operating budgets of over $4 million. His clients’ managed assets include, outdoor turf, fitness centers, hardwood courts, arcades, ninja courses, cafes, ropes courses, climbing centers, inflatable domes, indoor turf, multipurpose/meeting spaces, competition pools and more.

Notable Projects

  • The Bridge Sports Complex, Bridgeport, WV
  • Iron Peak Sports & Events, Hillsborough, NJ
  • The Morristown Landing, Morristown, TN
  • Open Court Sports Complex, Katy, TX
  • Highlands Sports Complex, Triadelphia, WV
  • Civic Park, Eugene, OR

ABOUT KELLY

With over twenty years of administrative experience, Kelly brings to the SFA | SFM team strong organizational, project management, event planning, and analytical skills. Her knowledge is diversified, having provided support in the fields of transportation and finance. 

After working for several years as an Executive Assistant for an LTL carrier, Kelly moved to Morgan Keegan & Co., Inc., a financial firm in Memphis, Tennessee. Obtaining her Series 7 General Securities license, she worked as a Registered Sales Associate with equity institutional traders and clients before transitioning to the position of Vice President in the Wealth Management Services department of the firm. 

After Morgan Keegan & Co., Inc. was acquired by Raymond James Financial, Kelly moved to St. Petersburg, in which she was the Executive Assistant to the Private Client Group. Kelly most recently worked for HSN, providing administrative planning and development to the Marketing, Digital, and Strategic executive teams. 

Kelly and her husband are the parents of four daughters. Avid outdoor enthusiasts and football fanatics, the family loves spending time on the beach and attending as many University of Florida games as possible.

SFM Account Executive John Sparks portrait

ABOUT JOHN

John has over 20 years of experience in national collegiate and professional large-scale event management and booking. He previously served as Vice President/General Manager of AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX) where he oversaw operations of the building through three NBA Championships in a 10-year span. John also served as the Director of Operations for Phillips Arena (Atlanta, GA) where he oversaw the construction and development of the facility prior to opening and operations. He utilizes his experience directing operations for some of the country’s most popular venues in his role as Account Executive for the Sports Facilities Companies

In this role, John oversees efforts to drive financial growth and community engagement for a diverse group of facilities, including well-known sports tourism destinations and large recreation centers. John is a trusted resources to clients and guides them through a variety of processes, including start-up operational development, event booking, program development, and risk management.

John consulted with numerous groups and organizations throughout all areas of sports management, technical systems, staffing, operations and finance. In 2014, he joined the Orlando Venues Team (a division of the City of Orlando) as the Stadium Operations Assistant Division Manager of the Citrus Bowl, where he was in charge of numerous high-level, high-attendance events including: NCAA college bowl games, the NFL Pro Bowl, MLS soccer, International Soccer Copa America, and numerous concerts and festivals. Additionally, John worked on the construction and development of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY prior to establishing his own consulting business “Sage in Sight” in August of 2012.

John served his country for over 20 years in the United States Navy where he worked in roles related to engineering, gas turbines, and propulsion for several aircraft carriers while ascending to the role of Gas Turbine Systems Master Chief.

Notable Projects:

  • Hoover Metropolitan Complex, Hoover, AL:
    • SEC Baseball Tournament
    • Perfect Game Elite Baseball 
  • AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX:*
    • NCAA Women’s Final Four
    • NBA & WBNA
    • 100 Concerts over 10 years
  • Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL:*
    • NFL Pro Bowl
    • College Football
    • MLS Soccer

*Please note: Projects completed prior to joining the firm.

SFA SEO Specialist Johnny Crosskey portrait

ABOUT JOHNNY

With 20 years of experience in content development, across a variety of platforms, Johnny brings a wide range of experience and best practices to SFA. Prior to joining the SFA, Johnny built content and SEO strategies for a national digital marketing agency, served as a college football writer for an Atlanta-based publication, and worked as a public relations specialist for a media relations firm serving the cycling industry. These experiences, along with detailed study of communications theory and user intent, uniquely positions Johnny to build campaigns that further amplify SFA and SFM’s thought leadership in innovative ways. Additionally, Johnny earned an MS in Communications Management from Simmons College in Boston, MA.

Away from the office, Johnny enjoys beach days with his wife and daughter. Also an avid football fan, Johnny hopes to see his beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers make it back to the Super Bowl in his lifetime.

Sand Mountain Park General Manager Patrick O'Brien portrait

ABOUT PATRICK

Patrick is currently the General Manager at Sand Mountain Park & Amphitheater (SMPA). Prior to this, Patrick was an integral member of the leadership team during the pre-opening phase of Spooky Nook Sports (SNS), which at the time was the largest indoor sports complex in North America.  SNS is a 65 acre, 700,000 sq. ft. facility who sees about 1M unique visitors per year.  He was able to consistently build high performing teams that achieved goals and provided exceptional customer service.  SNS quickly grew into one the best indoor sports complexes on the East Coast in part due to Patrick’s excellent leadership.  He also was one of the key operational liaisons to the USA Women’s National Field Hockey Team which practiced and hosted matches at SNS. 

SMPA is a 120-acre venue that will focus on positively impacting the Sand Mountain Park region through health/wellness, recreation, events and economic impact.  Some features of SMPA include an outdoor Amphitheater, a two-story Fitness Center, indoor hardwood courts, outdoor turf fields, an RV park, indoor/outdoor aquatics, tennis courts, playgrounds, a walking/running trail and dog parks.  SMPA will be opening next year and will be one of the most unique venues in the U.S. because of all the amenities it will have.  Patrick sees this opportunity as a sincere honor to serve the City of Albertville and help make the SMPA dream come true.  His leadership style focuses on purpose relating to the mission, ownership, development, performance and teamwork.

Patrick’s passion is to make a positive impact on the community through sport, recreation, events and wellness!

ABOUT TAMI

Tami is a dedicated human resources leader with a proven track record of building systems for attracting and retaining top talent and supporting the development of proactive work cultures for companies of various sizes and industries. She’s not only shaped the future of several organizations through her work, but she’s also worked diligently to streamline a number of processes within her role and others leading to increases and productivity and a cost savings. Tami takes her experience building high-performing work forces to her role as Director of Human Resources for the Sports Facilities Companies.

In her role, Tami leads all of aspects of HR from hire to retire, talent acquisition, payroll, benefits, and training & development. Her expertise in team development creates a talent pipeline for SF Network venues. Additionally, Tami is committed to creating an environment that is warm and welcoming to all team members through approachability, kindness and respect.

Tami began her career in retail operations where she held several leadership roles. Her passion for helping team members to reach their professional goals led to her transition into Human Resources. Since then, she’s made the largest impact on the organizations she’s worked with by increasing the levels of employee engagement and continuous process improvement.

 Notable Projects

  • Cedar Point Sports Center, Sandusky, OH
  • Panama City Beach Sports Complex, PCB, FL
  • Community First Champion Center, Appleton, WI
  • Elizabethtown Sports Park, Elizabethtown, KY
  • Iron Peak Sports & Events, Hillsborough, NJ
  • Ballparks of America, Branson, MO

Noteworthy Memberships, Accreditations, & Achievements 

  • SPHR
  • SHRM-CP
SFM Legal Counsel Bruce Rector portrait

ABOUT BRUCE

Bruce has 26 years of law practice experience and has taught and lectured on Sports Law topics during most of that time. He has worked in professional sports for the Indianapolis Colts, collegiate athletics at the University of Kentucky and as a volunteer leader for numerous local, state and national youth sports organizations and events. He also served as the 58th president of Junior Chamber International (JCI), a 200,000-member organization of young leaders and entrepreneurs from over 100 countries.

Prior to joining SFA & SFM, Bruce was President of KBA Sports, Inc., in Lexington, Kentucky where he led a team of professionals in organizing, hosting, and managing large sports and recreation programs including regional and national championship tournaments. In his final year at KBA Sports, the organization attracted over 500,000 visitors for various tournaments and events. An inspiring speaker, trainer and author on leadership topics, Bruce is the author of Monday Morning Messages: Teaching, Inspiring and Motivating to Lead (Xephor Press 2005). He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at the University of the Cumberlands and also active in a number of non-profit organizations in the Tampa Bay area.

ABOUT MICHAEL

Michael is a highly effective executive with a comprehensive background in the management of sports and entertainment venues. For nearly 30 years, he’s developed a proven track record of organizing, managing, and executing initiatives while collaborating with various stakeholders. His ability to develop processes and empower strong teams has been the driving force a number of companies, including ASM Global and Jones Lang LaSalle. Michael utilizes his experience achieving results in complex environments including major sports leagues, private sector companies, city and regional government, and educational institutions to achieve success in his role as Senior Vice President of Venue Operations for the Sports Facilities Companies.

In his role, Michael oversees venue operations across all SFC venues. Michael uses his broad and deep industry experience to participate in the ongoing progress of making SFC the leading national organization for the day-to-day management of sports, wellness, and entertainment venues. This is done by ensuring that the team leaders at each of the SF Network facilities build and maintain service-oriented cultures grounded on best practices and our guiding principles. Michael provides oversight for several operational components including staff management and development, day-to-day operations, business strategy, information technology, and legal and risk management. 

During a 20-year career at ASM Global, Michael championed the infusion of technology and best practices to enhance a variety of systems and practices, including ones focused on staff development, customer service, security and safety procedures, preventative maintenance programs, procurement, and facility operational audits. Additionally, Michael oversaw numerous components of the facility development process, including design, construction, and capital planning, Michael has overseen over 75 projects valued at over $7 billion in original construction costs.

Michael was recognized by his peers in 2014 receiving the Hall of Headlines Award for Operations and Technology by Venues Today.

ABOUT JAMIE

Jamie is the GM of Panama City Beach Sports Complex. Cox leads the Panama City Beach team with 15 years of experience in the sports industry. Cox began his career with SFM in Hoover, Alabama opening and making the Hoover Metropolitan Complex one of the highest performing sports venues in the country. Cox was instrumental in leading the business development efforts culminating in $50 million dollars in visitor spending to the region in 2019. He has also served as a Sports and Wellness Director for both the Atlanta and Birmingham YMCA associations.

ABOUT DAN

Dan began his career in facility management of an indoor sports venue in the Northeast United States. For several years, he learned the day-to-day operations of sports and recreation facilities, holding a variety of positions from Coach to Manager on Duty to Sports Program Manager. This experience equipped him for a transition to the planning and analysis of new facility developments with SFA.

Dan joined SFA in 2012 as a market research and document specialist, and today serves as a Strategic Advisor leading SFA’s team of market specialists and business analysts through the development of market studies, financial forecasts, economic impact analyses, feasibility studies, and existing facility optimization plans. His work in this area is focused on serving SFA’s clients to provide the most accurate and reliable information possible through dynamic financial and economic impact forecasting to create facility models that fulfill client goals as well as SFA’s mission to positively impact the lives of its clients and the communities they serve.

Since joining, Dan has worked on a portfolio of over 350 projects totaling more than $4 billion in planned and operational recreation, wellness, entertainment, and sports tourism assets. Dan earned a degree in Sport and Recreation Management from Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

SFM Project Manager Mike Mays portrait

ABOUT MIKE

Mike is a project management professional who has experienced guiding facility development projects and ensuring positive outcomes for a variety of clients. Mike was the Director of Facilities for a large, multi-location non-profit where he oversaw new construction projects as well as the daily operations of over 400,000 square feet of facilities. His attention to detail and experience as an operator for large facilities are integral parts of his role as project manager for SFC’s Development Services.

In his role, Mike leads projects from the design phase through procurement. He partners with stakeholders, vendors, and industry leaders to collaborate, plan, and execute on the project vision for both public and private clients.

Mike ensures that our clients receive the best prices on all OSE/FFE items. He works closely with clients and their operating teams to guarantee our development services are delivered on time and on budget. Mike has managed numerous indoor and outdoor venue project totaling over $500 million dollars.

Notable Projects

  • Panama City Beach Sports Complex, PCB, FL
  • Midway Central Station, Bedford Park, IL
  • Sand Mountain Park & Amphitheater, Albertville, AL
  • The Bridge, Bridgeport, WV
  • Iron Peak Sports & Events, Hillsborough, NJ
  • The Morristown Landing, Morristown, TN
Highlands GM_Harvey

ABOUT HARVEY

Harvey is the General Manager of Highlands Sports Complex in Wheeling, WV. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.  He joins the SFM family with over 24 years of experience in Summer Camps, Youth Development, Sports Programing and Events Management. Harvey started his career at the Greenpoint YMCA and by following its core values of respect responsibility, honesty and caring propelled himself toward excellence. He quickly became the Youth & Development Director, overseeing a number of Youth & Teen mentoring programs, After School, Summer Camp and off-site Sports Programs.

In 2006 Harvey joined Aviator Sports and Events Center as the Camp & Birthday Party Coordinator. Through hard work and dedication he rose to the position of General Manager and was in charge of booking all major events such as 5k Runs, Dinners, Weddings, Concerts and Professional boxing matches. Harvey is a die-hard Buffalo Bills Fan and is accompanied by his wife and two boys.

ABOUT CAITLYN

Caitlyn is a dynamic human resources professional with experience leading human resource processes for a 1,400-member company. Caitlyn’s ability to guide a workforce of high performers is instrumental to her role as Human Resources Business Partner at Sports Facilities Companies.

At SFC, Caitlyn works one on one with SF Network venues and our home office as a dedicated resource for their recruitment requirements. She manages the applicant tracking system and trainings, ensuring successful candidate pools for each venue. 

Caitlyn identifies training needs and creates/procures a professional development curriculum. She also monitors training programs to ensure that training objectives are accomplished. In addition, she ensures regulatory compliance with legal requirements pertinent to employee management are met.

Since joining SFC, Caitlyn has increased candidate engagement with our application process from 65 to over 80 percent.

Notable Projects

  • Company-wide migration to SharePoint
  • Cedar Point Sports Center, Sandusky, OH
  • Panama City Beach Sports Complex, PCB, FL
  • Community First Champion Center, Appleton, WI
  • Elizabethtown Sports Park, Elizabethtown, KY
SFA Advisor Gary Smallshaw portrait

ABOUT GARY

Gary has over 25 years of operational, marketing and strategic partnership experience across a diverse set of sports, fitness, performance, recreation and entertainment venues. He has successfully led day-to-day operations and has negotiated strategic retail, entertainment and sports partnerships at a local, regional and national level with corporate partners including Nike, United States Olympic Committee, Pepsi, Red Bull, Snickers, AAA, McDonalds, Papa Johns, Taco Bell, Puma of North America, Eurosport and the United Way. Through his experience developing partnerships with many of the world’s most recognizable brands, Gary fulfills his role as Development Advisor.

As a Development Advisor at SFC, Gary leads some of SFC’s largest, high profile sports and mixed-use development projects as well as venue procurement for several leading national sports organizations. Additionally, he helps to transition projects from early feasibility and forecasting to the funding, financing and development phase. Gary has worked on a portfolio of projects totaling more than $4 billion in planned and operational recreation, wellness, entertainment, and sports tourism assets.

Gary also leads our portfolio of elite venues, executing strategic business initiatives related to branding, advertising, digital marketing, design, sponsorship, as well as public relations.

As a founding partner of the National Sports Center Consortium (NSCC) he served as an industry expert in sponsorship and marketing, leading initiatives on benchmarking and best practices for more than 30 facilities nationally.

Certifications:

  • Data Science and Social Media Analytics
  • CSCS: Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist 

 

 

Projects:

  • Bluhawk Sports Park & Event Center, KS
  • American Surf Parks, Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Perfect Game Baseball National/Regional Venue Procurement
  • Team USA/USA Field Hockey Venue Procurement
  • City of Fort Worth Sports Tourism Destination Complex
  • San Antonio Sports, Entertainment & Wellness Complex
  • Smith Arenas Sports Complex, Michigan
  • Drive Nation Sports Complex, Fort Worth

ABOUT NIC

Nic is a dedicated market and business analyst who has worked with the Tampa Bay Lightning as a Digital Media Resident Analyst, Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) as a Data Analyst, and Power Design, Inc. as a Business Technical Analyst. Nic brings his analytical skills, technical support experience and business intelligence software adaptability to his role as Business Analyst for SFC projects.

In his role, Nic builds, automates, and maintains financial forecast, economic impact, and other business modeling templates. He also supports SFC’s Development/Strategic Advisors and Project Managers in the enhancement and execution of formal documents used to make financial decisions for public and private projects. Additionally, Nic guides our facility optimization and financial planning and analysis (FP&A) processes. Currently, he is integrating data visualization into many of our research projects.  

Nic has an MBA from the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program at USF. His ability to develop and manage business process improvement has generated proven results for companies in the sports, finance, and construction industries.

Staff Accountant Sylvia Bierchen portrait

ABOUT SYLVIA

With over eight years as the Office Manager for a display, exhibit and event company, Sylvia’s skills and talents helped drive the company to the top of the field. With expertise in strategic planning and logistics execution, it allowed her to successfully facilitate projects for multiple clients simultaneously. She has serviced a list of clients including: Tradewind’s Resort on Saint Petersburg Beach, Hard Rock Casinos, and major malls throughout the Tampa Bay Area & Hawaiian Islands.

In Sylvia’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her three children, kayaking, & boating.

ABOUT ERIN

Erin is a Kansas native who recently moved to Florida with her daughter for the sun, sand, and amusement parks. She is looking forward to putting her over 20 years of experience in legal and accounting assistance and customer service to use in this new career path.

Erin enjoys staying active in the community attending events from vintage markets to live concerts and sporting events. She is a people person who loves meeting new people in any setting be it in the elevator at work or in the roller coaster lines at her favorite amusement park.

ABOUT RYAN

Ryan is a dedicated writer and research professional with extensive experience developing articles and comprehensive guides on a variety of topics. His work includes The International Football (Soccer) Legal Research Guide. Ryan brings his ability to research and communicate a high volume of information, some of it complex in nature, to his role as the Business and Market Research Writer for the Sports Facilities Companies.

 

Ryan plays a key role for SFC by developing and writing market opportunity reports, feasibility studies, business plans, presentations, and other reports as well as collecting, assessing, and reporting on the internal and external market and industry data that forms the foundation of SFA’s institutional-grade analyses and forecasts.

Ryan is a recent graduate of Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida, earning a specialized degree in international law and international business law. He has completed various pro bono legal opportunities while at Stetson in the areas of immigration and elder law, utilizing university-learned and self-taught linguistic skills in Spanish, Portuguese, and more.

Ryan is also a contributor to sports and sports business article collections on Medium.com.

ABOUT DROO

Droo Callahan brings a wealth of knowledge in sports management. Post playing professional soccer for several teams for 10 years, Callahan managed a large soccer club and Legacy Center Sports Complex in Brighton, Michigan. His experience brings event management and a high-level understanding in almost every sport.

“I am honored to take on this position and look forward to getting to know the community through The Bridge. The Greater Bridgeport area is in the transition to become a bustling destination and we are extremely lucky to be a part of this growth with this venue adding to the community.”

ABOUT ARIEL

Ariel is a passionate marketing professional with experience executing traditional and digital marketing campaigns for both large non-profit organizations and universities. Additionally, Ariel has worked in a media relations role, securing earned media for a variety of initiatives. With nearly a decade of marketing and advertising project management experience, Ariel brings a creative, organized, strategic mindset to her role as Marketing Manager for the Sports Facilities Companies.

 

As a Marketing Manager for our facility operations clients, Ariel manages and supports venues through the establishment of marketing systems, collateral, and foundational elements. Ariel has worked with a portfolio of projects totaling close to $500 million in planned and operational recreation, wellness, entertainment, and sports tourism assets.

Ariel serves on the board of directors for the Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Here, she and her 13 fellow board members create the essential community for marketing in Tampa Bay. 

Education:

  • University of South Florida: BFA in Photography

 

Notable Projects:

  • Panama City Beach Sports Complex
  • Pelican Bay Aquatic Center
  • Cyclone Ballparks
  • TNT Sportsplex
  • Midway Central Station
  • The Bridge 
  • Morristown Landing
  • Horizons Edge 
  • Highlands Sports Complex 
  • Rocky Top Sports World 

ABOUT JOE

Joe is an emerging events professional with extensive experience planning large youth lacrosse events throughout the Northeast United States. He has guided the execution of lacrosse tournaments and showcases with an average attendance of over 5,000 athletes and guests per event. Joe brings an entrepreneurial spirit, expertise in the operational aspects of youth lacrosse events, and a deep knowledge and love for the sport to his role as event manager for Halo Lax.

In his role, Joe is responsible for developing and executing Halo Lax events at SFM Network venues. He serves as the liaison between the SFM Network and participating teams and individuals to ensure a tremendous event and tournament experience. Additionally, Joe drives the growth of the Halo Lax brand by performing business development, planning, and operational tasks for new events.

Joe graduated from the University of Tampa where he played lacrosse and was an integral part of teams that won four straight Sunshine State Conference Championships. He was also placed on the All-Academic Team.

Education:

  • University of Tampa, Tampa, FL: BS in Criminal Justice

Notable Projects:

  • Halo Lax
  • Long Island Lax Fest*
  • Warrior All-American Games*
  • National Lacrosse Federation National Championships*

*Please note: Projects completed prior to joining the firm.

ABOUT TRACY

Tracy is an accomplished sports marketing and social media professional with experience leading high profile campaigns both in the United States and internationally. Her creativity and project management acumen has led to a number of successful roles including as a Global Advertising Team Lead for a large social media company where she managed teams based in Austin, Texas and Dublin, Ireland. Tracy brings in-depth knowledge of marketing best practices and project management to her role as Marketing Manager for the Sports Facilities Companies.

As Marketing Manager for SFC, Tracy leads the marketing strategy and execution of marketing efforts for facilities across the SF Network by leading, training, and developing marketing managers in over a dozen destinations. She also leads and manages SFC’s corporate social media strategy execution, as well as marketing strategy, website and CRM development, and advertising execution for SFC’s events vertical. Tracy serves on both full-time facility operations accounts within the SFC portfolio and on several short-term agreements to provide start-up operational development services. The latter includes project management of brand development, website development, and brand awareness campaigns. Tracy has overseen more than $1 million of marketing and advertising revenue, acting as the project manager and strategic arm to destinations across the United States.

Tracy began her career with the sports marketing company in charge of marketing and sponsorships for all NCAA sports at her alma mater, University of Texas at San Antonio. Since then, she has worked as a freelance marketer and event planner, prior to her role at SFC.

NOTABLE PROJECTS

  • Hoover Metropolitan Complex, Hoover, AL
  • Iron Peak Sports & Events, Hillsborough, NJ
  • Sand Mountain Park & Amphitheater, Albertville, AL
  • Horizons Edge Sports Campus, Harrisonburg, VA
  • The Hub Recreation Center, Marion, IL
  • Rocky Mount Events Center, Rocky Mount, NC

ABOUT TODD

Todd Yancey is the General Manager of the Elizabethtown (Etown) Sports Park in Kentucky. He oversees the management of the park, sets the environment for the Elizabethtown Sports Park team to deliver a lifetime experience to all of the guests. His favorite thing about the Sports Park is, “The perfect feel of our field.” Yancey worked most recently at Ballparks of America where he was the General Manager of their facility in Branson, Missouri. When Yancey isn’t at the Etown Sports Park you can find him spending quality time with his wife, two sons and their pets.

ABOUT DYLAN

Dylan is an emerging project management professional with extensive experience in several large organizations throughout the state of Florida. His project management experience was highlighted by his work at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital where he assisted with large-scope projects incorporating a variety of vendors and contractors. Dylan brings his attention to detail and passion for sports to his role as Project Coordinator for the Sports Facilities Companies.

As Project Coordinator, Dylan sources furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) items and creates schematics for SFC’s venue planning projects.

Dylan graduated from Florida State University in 2018 with a degree in Business Management and a certificate in Health Informatics. Dylan also participated on the FSU Lacrosse team from 2014-2018 where he was elected to the Board of Directors in 2018 as the team’s Risk and Travel officer.

 

NOTABLE PROJECTS

 

  • The Bridge Sports Complex, Bridgeport, WV
  • Sand Mountain Park & Amphitheater, Albertville, AL
  • Highlands Sports Complex, Triadelphia, WV
  • Iron Peak Sports & Events, Hillsborough, NJ
  • Open Court Sports Complex, Katy, TX
  • Civic Park, Eugene, OR

 

ABOUT GABBY

Gabby is an experienced marketing and business development professional with a deep belief in the power of sports to impact the lives of young athletes. She’s an accomplished athlete and has worked as coach and trainer for numerous organizations. Her passion and attention to detail drive her success as Business Development Manager for the Sports Facilities Companies.

As Business Development Manager, Gabby identifies, develops, and secures new business opportunities by generating leads, sales, and maintaining client relationships. She creates and maintains client databases to ensure schedules and proposals/cost estimates are properly reported. Gabby also works closely with our sales team to track deals, implement growth, and develop processes to create the maximum value of opportunities.

Gabby joined the SFA team as a college intern where she worked on outbound prospecting efforts. These efforts allowed her to grow in customer relationship management and provide our clients with the maximum level of service.

Before joining the Sports Facilities Companies full-time, Gabby played collegiate volleyball at Florida Southern College where she earned a conference, regional, and national runner up title.

NOTABLE PROJECTS

  • Salesforce to HubSpot migration
  • City of Bryan, TX
  • Panama City Beach Sports Complex, PCB, FL
  • The Morristown Landing, Morristown, TN
  • Sand Mountain Park & Amphitheater, Albertville, AL

ABOUT TRISTAN

Tristan is an Addy Award-winning designer who has created work for 18 facilities and a variety of short-term projects in his time with the Sports Facilities Companies.  

As Graphic Designer for the Sports Facilities Companies, Tristan leads the brand development for all the facilities in the SF Network. As part of the marketing team, he develops visual language, graphical elements, and collateral for both digital and print marketing. 

Tristan attended both Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and Sheridan University in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. His studies in Animation, and in Media Arts give Tristan a unique ability to work in a variety of styles, and pivot quickly from brand to brand.

 Notable Projects: 

  • Future Legends 
  • Cedar Point Sports Center 
  • Highlands Sports Complex 
  • Midway Central Station 
  • Hoover Met Complex 
  • Rocky Mount Event Center 
  • Community First Champion Center 
  • Rocky Top Sports World 

ABOUT WES

Wes Hall is the General Manager of the Cedar Point Sports Center. With over 17 years of experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors of the sports business industry, Wes has been responsible for events that have generated over $260 million in direct visitor spending. 

Prior to assuming his role with the Cedar Point Sports Center, Wes held executive positions with the Hampton Roads Sports Commission, the Omaha Sports Commission, and the Sioux Falls Sports Authority.

A native of Virginia, Wes earned his bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. He has two master’s degrees — one in sport management from Old Dominion University and the other in business administration from the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota. 

ABOUT WADE

Wade is a dynamic and motivated sales and marketing leader with a proven record of generating revenue and building relationships, managing projects from concept to completion, designing strategies, and coaching individuals to success.

Skilled in building teams, demonstrating exceptional communication skills, and making critical decisions during challenges. He is an adaptable and transformational leader with an ability to work independently, creating effective presentations, and developing opportunities that further establish organizational goals.

About his new role as General Manager, Welsh adds, “It is an honor to join the Sports Facilities Companies and serve as the General Manager for Midway Central Station. The Village of Bedford Park is a tremendous community and I look forward to getting to know the community better to bring excellent programs, events, and entertainment to this destination.”

Rocky Top Sports World GM Jim Downs portrait

ABOUT JIM

Jim Downs is the General Manager at Rocky Top Sports World in Gatlinburg, TN. He started his career at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs CO. 

Feeling the “event itch,” he moved to Los Angeles starting work on the US Olympic Festivals in LA, San Antonio and St. Louis. In each of these events he served as Logistics Director responsible for the ordering, acquisition, delivery and recovery of all the materials needed to run these 27 sport, 5000 athlete events.

Downs’ has been noted as an exceptional leader. One of his greatest strengths is his ability to draw out the best in others and encourage his team to make calculated decisions. Downs’ thoughtful processes result in breaking down seemingly overwhelming situations to a manageable, granular level.