National Association of Sports Commissions Names Next Host Cities for Symposiums; NASC Wraps Up Oklahoma City Meeting with Record Attendance, New Board Leadership

The National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC), the governing body of the $8.7 billion sports events industry, celebrated record attendance for its annual symposium here this week.

More than 800 attendees, including 170 first-timers, participated in this week’s NASC Symposium to elect new NASC leadership, honor members with industry awards and participate in dozens of continuing education programs led by industry leadership.

Also, during the event the NASC Sports Legacy Fund raised $14,000 to benefit Oklahoma Cleats for Kids, an Oklahoma City-based organization that collects, recycles and distributes new and gently used athletic shoes and equipment to kids in need.

NASC Selects Future Host Cities for 2016 and 2017

The NASC also announced future locations for its annual meeting: Grand Rapids, Michigan will be the host in 2016 and Sacramento was named the 2017 host city. Previously announced, Milwaukee will host the 2015 NASC Symposium from April 27-30.

“We feel we have an exciting lineup of cities that will be the hosts for our Symposiums,” said Don Schumacher, executive director of the NASC. “With our return to Milwaukee in 2015, we’ll visit some of our most dynamic sports cities.”

NEW NASC Leadership Elected

New NASC board leadership was also announced, including Kevin Smith, CSEE, the director of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, as the new chair of NASC.

Additional officers include: Vice Chair/Chair Elect, Greg Ayers, CSEE, president & CEO, Discover Kalamazoo; Treasurer, Ralph Morton, CSEE, executive director, Seattle Sports Commission; Secretary, Mike Anderson, CSEE, director of sports, Visit Charlotte; and  Immediate Past Chair, Terry Hasseltine, CSEE, executive director, Maryland Office of Sports.

The slate of NASC directors includes: Board term expiring 2015, Tammy Dunn, CSEE, sports marketing manager, Snohomish County Sports Commission; Greg Fante, CSEE, director of sports development, Louisville Sports Commission; Kindra Fry, CSEE, SMP, vice president of sales and marketing, Bryan-College Station CVB and Nancy Yawn, CSEE, CDME, director, Round Rock CVB.

Directors with Board terms expiring in 2016: John Gibbons, CSEE, executive director, Rhode Island Sports Commission; Michael Price, CSEE, executive director, Greater Lansing Sports Authority; Janis Schmees Burke, CSEE, executive director, Harris County-Houston Sports Authority and Holly Shelton, CSEE, manager of sports business development, Oklahoma City CVB.

Directors with Board terms expiring in 2017: Brian Hickey, CSEE, director of sports, Visit Tallahassee/Tallahassee Sports Council; Janis Ross, executive director, Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports; Benjamin Wilder, CSEE, director, Savannah Sports Council and Marc Zimmerman, CSEE, sales & events manager, Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing.

Allied representatives with a board term expiring in 2015 include Rick Hatcher, CSEE, director of business development, PSA, and board term expiring in 2016, Mike Hill, CSEE, senior director of sports sales, Hilton Worldwide-Sports Sales. Rights Holder representatives are, with a board term expiring in 2015, Jeff Jarnecke, associate director of championships and alliances, NCAA, and board term expiring in 2016, John David, chief operating officer, USA BMX.

NASC Members Honored

Also presented this week were the Member Awards, signifying outstanding work in the field of sports events, marketing and promotion. This year NASC added the prestigious Sports Event Professional of the Year award, honoring the person deemed most influential in Sports Events planning and management. This year’s inaugural Sports Event Professional of the Year award goes to Ron Radigonda, recently retired as executive director of Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball.

Other award winners include:

  • Locally Created Event of the Year, under $200,000 budget; Hampton Roads Sports Commission
  • Locally Created Event of the Year, $200,000 budget and above; Kansas City Sports Commission
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year, $200,000 budget and above; Round Rock CVB
  • Sports Commission of the Year, under $200,000 budget; Erie Sports Commission
  • Sports Commission of the Year, $200,000 budget and above, Harris County-Houston Sports Commission
  • Sports Tourism Organization of the Year, under $200,000 budget; Butler County Visitors Bureau

The NASC this week also recognized its latest class of graduates in its Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) continuing education program. The Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 CSEE graduates include: Cissy Aberg, Plano Convention and Visitors Bureau; Christopher Ackerman, Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau; John David, USA BMX; Katie Fencl, Des Moines Area Sports Commission; Michael Guswiler, West Michigan Sports Commission; Scott Hofmann, Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau; Meaghan Hughes, Ann Arbor Area Convention & Visitors Bureau; Matthew Libber, Elite Tournaments; Leah Mitcham, Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau; Jason Philbeck, Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance; Beth Porreca, US Lacrosse and Meghan Ziehmer, Greater Lansing Sports Authority.

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