School of Management

Forward Together

Sports Management Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is a group of sports management industry professionals who serve as advisors to the undergradaute Sports Management program and faculty. The members of the Advisory Council come from a variety of disciplines within the sports industry. Their focus is on advising on program improvements, developing learning opportunities, and promoting close cooperation among the community. They also support the Sports Management program on a wide range of other activities involving students, faculty and alumni.

Ronnie Burton

 Air Force Academy Foundation

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Ronnie Burton currently works for the Air Force Academy Foundation where he focuses on
soliciting major and principal gifts for capital priorities in athletics and academia. Prior to his
time with the foundation, he was the Director of Development for Air Force Athletics where he
focused on soliciting major gifts and helping oversee the annual fund strategy for all 27 sports.
Prior to his affiliation with the Air Force Academy, he served as an assistant director of athletics
development for the University of Nevada. Before his transition into college athletics, he worked
as a baseball operations supervisor for Major League Baseball's Office of the Commissioner
where he helped oversee the operations of the Arizona Fall League and MLB Draft. Prior to that,
he was an assistant baseball coach at California Lutheran University and a recruiting assistant
with Michigan State football.

Burton earned a Master of Legal Studies in sports law and business from Arizona State's Sandra
Day O'Connor College of Law in 2015 and is currently pursuing his MBA from the University
of Colorado. A former student-athlete, he played baseball at the University of the Pacific,
Southern Utah University and finally California Lutheran University where he graduated with a
bachelor's degree in communications. A professional speaker Ronnie has spoken at the United
States Olympic Committee's Flame Program, Minor League Baseball Headquarters, and as a
guest lecturer for sports management programs across the country. His family is also no stranger
to athletics his father Ron Burton Sr. played in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys, Phoenix
Cardinals, Los Angeles Raiders, and is currently the defensive line coach at Michigan State. His
brother Ryan played football at the University of Kansas from 2009-2013, his younger brother
Reid currently plays Tight end at Michigan State, and his sister Roya is the Social Content
Assistant for the Denver Broncos.
Steve Delsohn

 Founder and President of Delsohn Strategies

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Steve Delsohn is the Founder and President of Delsohn Strategies, a strategic communications company.

Previously he worked for 16 years as an investigative reporter for ESPN TV's Outside the Lines, where he won a Peabody Award and earned an Emmy nomination.  He also written 12 books and co-produced documentaries for History Channel and ESPN’s esteemed 30 for 30 series. Delsohn has a BA in Journalism from the University of Colorado.

 
Jennifer Dubow

 Executive Director, Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

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Jennifer Dubow is in her fourth year as Executive Director of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Previously, she has served as Commissioner of the Colonial States Athletic Conference for four years, prior to which she was the Assistant Commissioner. Prior to joining the CSAC, Dubow served as the Associate Director of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.

Along with her extensive experience in compliance, scheduling, conference officiating and budgeting, she has authored legislation regulating athletics fundraising that was adopted at the 2011 DIII national convention and secured over $400,000 in NCAA grants for her conferences. She has also served on multiple NCAA committees, including being the current chair of the Division III Women's Tennis Committee as well as chair of the Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee and on the Commissioner Executive Committee and Interpretation and Legislation Subcommittee.

A native of Dana Point, California, Dubow was a four-year Varsity tennis student-athlete at Franklin & Marshall College and went on to earn her Juris Doctorate at the Duquesne University School of Law.
Brittany Ermita

 Supervisor, Kings Care Foundation

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Brittany Eremita is the Supervisor of Kings Care Foundation for the NHL team, the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings Care Foundation partners with organizations that work tirelessly to address the needs of Los Angeles residents in alignment with the charitable goals of the team which include wellness, sustainability, social advocacy and inclusion.

Brittany runs all ancillary fundraising for the foundation, including administration of the 50/50 raffle program at all LA Kings home games in accordance with California State Law guidelines and other department goals set by the Kings Care Foundation. She maintains the foundation's silent auction platform and frequently interacts with Kings Care donors.

As a Kings Care Foundation Board Member, she is involved with establishing multiyear partnerships with many of the foundation's key partners including Ronald McDonald House Charities, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Discovery Cube LA and YMCA of LA.

Brittany received her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing Communication from California Lutheran University.

Chad Faulkner

 Chairman and CEO, Sports Academy

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Chad Faulkner is Chairman and CEO of Sports Academy. Sports Academy provides world-class, effective, and safe overall human performance training to develop athletes and high performers of all levels to the peak of their potential. The Academy enlists diverse experts to support youth, amateur and elite athletes with a full-circle approach including body, performance and mind training.

Chad is continuing to express his passion for philanthropy with the development and advancement of Sports Academy Foundation where he serves as Director. Chad also serves as a Director for the Special Forces Charitable Trust, whose primary mission is to provide meaningful financial support, programs and services to the U.S. Army Special Forces; Co-Founder of the Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows Program, whose mission is to develop young leaders through the transformational process developed and utilized by Coach Bill Snyder at Kansas State University.

Mark Francis

 Sports Management Consultant

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Mark holds an MBA and MA in Sports Administration as well as a Diploma in University Teaching from the University of New Brunswick (Canada). He has served as a in Sports Business Professor at UCLA Anderson's Center for Media, Entertainment and Sports since 2011, and is also serving as an academic advisor to educational technology company and UCLA Anderson Academic partner, Athleta-Ed. Mark is also course developer and professor for the MBA program in Hockey Business at the Business of Hockey Institute for Athabasca University in Edmonton. He also had the privilege of acting as the Lead Instructor for UCLA Extension's Custom Programs in Sports & Entertainment Marketing in Shanghai, China in 2016, and served in a similar capacity for Jiaotong University of Shanghai in 2018. Mark also teaches Sports Law and Sports Finance at Concordia University Irvine. Mark serves on the Board of Advisors for the Sport Management program at California Lutheran University and for IMPACT Internship LLC.

In addition to his professional academic work, Mark also boasts a wealth of consulting experience through his consulting company, MARK ONE Sports & Entertainment, whose clients have included Athleta-Ed, Edwards Technologies International, Panasonic, Business of Hockey Institute, California Center, BaAM Productions, Concordia University Irvine and UC Irvine.

Mark has in depth experience at all levels of Sports & Entertainment with significant expertise in fan/guest engagement technologies and large-scale event management and marketing. He speaks regularly on numerous topics related to the business of sports, hi-lighted by the 2019 Keynote presentation on the NCAA College Admissions Scandal, 2019 Future of Sports Conference with the LA Chargers, 2019, PrimeTime Sports Management Conference (Toronto), 2018 Keynote Presentation for Sport BC AGM, 2017 UCLA Anderson Big Data Conference, 2015 Gravity Summit & UCLA Sports Technology Panel, 2014 SATE Conference in Themed Entertainment, 2014 LA Dodgers/LA Chamber of Commerce panel on Sports Technology, and the 2014 Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce Panel on the "Art of Negotiation in Sport."

Through his extensive industry work, Mark has developed a deep professional network of leaders throughout all levels of sports & entertainment, many of whom appear annually during his Sports Business program at UCLA Anderson. He also serves on the international board of advisors for the European-based IBJA Sports Alliance Group.

Mark served Head Coach and Co-Coach for the Men's Ice Hockey program at UCLA from 2010-2017 and won the 2017 PAC 8 Conference Championship. He was also selected as one of two finalists for the PAC 8 Coach of the Year Award for 2012 and was selected as Head Coach of the PAC-8 Selects at the ACHA National Championships in Philadelphia in 2011 and 2013 respectively. He also served a two-year term serving as the Associate Executive Director of the PAC 8 Men's Hockey Conference. Mark also served as Head Coach for the University of New Brunswick Women's Varsity Hockey program from 2004-2007 and holds 2 USports Canada National Silver Medals and 2 Atlantic University Sport Championships as an Assistant Coach with the University of New Brunswick Men's Ice Hockey program (1999-2004).
Jim Friedl

 General Manager, Conejo Recreation & Park District

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Jim grew up in Agoura Hills attending public schools and graduated from Agoura High School. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Planning from UC San Diego and a Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University School of Law. While in law school, Jim also received a certificate in dispute resolution from the Strauss Institute.

Jim was hired as an attorney for the City of Thousand Oaks in 1994. After five years of legal practice, he moved into public administration as a Deputy City Manager for the City of Thousand Oaks.

In 2006, Jim was selected as General Manager for the Conejo Recreation and Park District.  CRPD owns and operates over 50 public parks and facilities with gymnasiums, grass fields, sport courts, pools, arenas and multi-use trails for coaches, athletes and spectators to enjoy dozens of sports.  

In addition to his work as GM, he participates in various other organizations, professional associations and nonprofits.

  • California Association of Park and Recreation Indemnity (CAPRI), Board member (CAPRI is a statewide liability, property and workers compensation insurance pool of more than 60 recreation and park districts)

  • Play Conejo Board Member

  • Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), Finance Officer

  • Conejo Open Space Conservation Authority (COSCA), Joint Chief Administrative Officer

  • California Association of Recreation and Park Districts (CAPRD), Legislative Committee member (served 10 years as Chair)

  • Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, Advisory Board member

  • Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks, Member

  • California Special District's Association (CSDA), Certified Special District Administrator

 

Jim is married with 4 adult kids.  He spends his free time reading, hiking with his dog Max and biking in the local mountains.

 
Sophie Harlan

 Director, Football Operations/Los Angeles Rams

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Sophie Harlan is in her fifth season with the Los Angeles Rams, her first as the director of football operations. She had previously served as the manager, football administration and manager, business operations.

Prior to joining the Rams, Harlan served as the Director of Recruiting Operations at the University of California - Berkeley for three seasons under Head Coach Sonny Dykes.

Prior to Cal, Harlan worked in Los Angeles for IMG Broadcasting, for former college basketball head coach the late Rick Majerus and as a recruiting assistant at UCLA for its football program.

Harlan is a native of Ukiah, Calif. and graduated from UCLA in 2010 with a double major: Mass Communications and History. Harlan and her husband, Matthew, reside in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Dan Isaacson

 CEO, Isaacson Fitness, LLC

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Dan is CEO of ISAACSON FITNESS LLC headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California.  

He is a fitness expert and pioneer in the personal training business, media spokesperson and creator of fitness training programs used on studio lots in Hollywood. He is author of The Equationpast Executive Director of the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and first Fitness Editor for ABC’s Good Morning America. 

ISAACSON FITNESS LLC is currently developing media, television and online programs including a health and wellness city model program to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 with Champions in Service in relationship with the City of Los Angeles. Dan was the owner of Sports Management International, Inc., (SMI), a corporation that managed and developed fitness facilities and programs in Colorado and California, which included the first personal training centers in the world on Hollywood Studio Lots at Paramount and Sony Pictures. 

Dan is recognized for his entrepreneurial work, development and management of a science-based training program he created for actors requiring specific  appearance, performance and health changes in film roles including actors; Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Ryan Felipe, Ethan Hawke, Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson) John Travolta, Johnny Depp, Billy Crystal, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne and in high profile films; Matrix, Superman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, The Lone Ranger, Superman, City Slickers, Apollo 13 including iconic productions Philadelphia 1993 and Forrest Gump 1994 in which Tom Hanks won back to back Best Actor Awards, the only time in Academy history since Spencer Tracy in the 1930’s.  

Dan holds a BS from Western Illinois University and MS from the University of Illinois in Recreation and Park Administration.

 
Arthur Kitano

 Director of Officials, Western States Hockey League (WSHL)

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Arthur Kitano is the Director of Officials for the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) and the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), Division 2 Western Region. He has held these positions for 22 and 11 years, respectively.

The WSHL is a Junior A Tier 2 Ice Hockey Program and in the Western United States and Canada that develops ice hockey players to compete at the collegiate level. The ACHA is a collegiate hockey program that competes against other colleges and universities fielding over 450 teams across the United States. As director of officials for these programs, Arthur is responsible for recruiting, overseeing the training, and assigning game assignments for the on-ice officials for each respective league. As an official for the past 32 years, Arthur has developed the ability to find and advance promising officials to higher levels, including the American Hockey League (AHL) and NCAA.

Arthur's latest accomplishment was to supervise the 2019 ACHA National Ice Hockey Tournament Division 2 and 3, in Dallas Texas. Some other notable roles Arthur has held in the past 31 years are:
  1. Southern California Amateur Hockey Association (SCAHA) Referee in Chief
  2. California Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) Referee in Chief
  3. Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL) Director of Officials
  4. USA Hockey Pacific District Officials Evaluation Coordinator
  5. Lecturer for USA Hockey Coaches Education Program Southern California
While not officiating or supervising officials, Arthur works in the wine industry as a fine wine specialist. He has been married since 1998 to his wife Vivianne and has two children, Alexander, 20, and Rachel, 17.
Jack Kocur

 Co-Founder, Pride Water Polo Academy

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Jack Kocur is the Co-Founder of Pride Water Polo Academy and the current Head Coach of the Oaks Christian Water Polo Program. In addition, Jack was the USA Men's Olympic Team Assistant Coach in 2012 and 2016, and most recently the Head Coach of the 2019 USA Junior Men's 19u Team in Kuwait. Coach Kocur brings a professional history that highlights his capability to build successful teams at every level of competition.

Prior to co-founding the Pride Water Polo Academy, Jack served as the Director of Operations for the Men's Water Polo Team at the University of Pacific in 2013 helping the Tiger's to their first-ever appearance to the NCAA Championship Finals. Kocur also served as an assistant coach for the USC Trojan's 2012 NCAA Championship Team.

Kocur was the Head Coach of the Pepperdine University Men's Water Polo Team for six years. In 2008, he was named MPSF Co-Coach of the Year as the Waves went 21-7 overall, earning a No. 2 national ranking.

Coach Kocur has a history of success at the USAWP Age Group level. He was the co-founder and owner of the Waves Water Polo Club and won three different age group championships over a three-year period.

As a player, Kocur was 3x-NCAA All-American and a Team Captain of the Pepperdine's 1997 NCAA National Championship team. He was a member of the USA Men's National Team for over six years and played professionally for two years in Greece and Spain.

Jack resides in Moorpark, with his wife Jodie, and three children: Camden, Sadie, and Savannah.

Dan Kuntz

 Director of Athletics, California Lutheran University

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Dan Kuntz was named California Lutheran University’s full time Director of Athletics in 2005 after serving one year as the interim director in 2004. Before that, he served 10 years as the Coordinator of Athletic Marketing.

As Director of Athletics, Kuntz oversees 22 varsity sports programs and 6 junior varsity programs. He assisted in the planning and operational development of the Cal Lutheran North Campus athletics complex including the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, Ullman Stadium and Sparky Anderson Field, Samuelson Aquatics Center, Paulson Tennis Center, William Rolland Stadium, North Field and Hutton Softball Field. 

During his tenure as Director, the sports program’s at Cal Lutheran have been recognized as some of the top NCAA D-III programs with several sports earning NCAA appearances, national, regional and conference recognition.He led the Cal Lutheran athletic department during the re-instatement of the men’s volleyball program and the addition of the women’s LaCrosse programs as NCAA varsity sports. During his leadership, Cal Lutheran student-athlete academic achievement has improved with the development of the Scholar-Athlete Society to recognize and encourage student-athlete academic success.

Under Kuntz direction, Cal Lutheran hosted their first NCAA football championship contest, NCAA men’s and women’s West Region soccer championship contests, NCAA West Region Women’s Volleyball Championships as well as numerous conference championships. During his tenure, Cal Lutheran also earned its first NCAA team national championships, one in volleyball (2015) and another in baseball (2017). In addition, many championships events have been hosted under Kuntz leadership including conference tournament and NCAA championship events. 

As Director, Kuntz served on a sub-committee with the Southern California Athletic Conference to review SCIAC and NCAA rules and regulations. During his tenure as Director of Athletics, the Cal Lutheran Athletics Department have been ranked nationally in the Learfield Director’s Cup Standings.. 

Kuntz has served in leadership roles as the Chair of the SCIAC conference athletic administrators and as a member of the NCAA men's and women's soccer regional advisory committees, the chair of the NCAA West Region Championship Committee, and has chaired the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Far West Senior Women's Regional All-America Committee.

A 1984 graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelors’ Degree in Telecommunications and Broadcast Station Management from Arizona State University (1984). Kuntz also holds a Master's Degree in Educational Technology with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction (2005) and a Doctorate Degree in Higher Education Leadership (2011), earned at California Lutheran University. While in Arizona he earned teaching credentials in Communication Arts, Television and Radio and English and taught high school at the East Valley Institute of Technology for eight years assisting in the writing of their state approved Radio Broadcast curriculum.  He also served in the Mesa Unified School District Tech Prep Consortium and the Career Ladder program assessing teacher achievement. In 1993, Kuntz wrote the business plan for Cal Lutheran’s KCLU radio and served as its’ first General Manager launching their NPR affiliate radio station on the air in 1994

In 2017, Dan Kuntz retired from coaching the Kingsmen soccer program after 25 years of service. He currently holds the longest tenure as a fall sports head coach. Kuntz guided the Kingsmen to new heights in 2007 earning the program’s first ever appearance in the SCIAC post season tournament concluding the season ranked seventh nationally. Then in 2013, Kuntz coached the Kingsmen when they earned the program's first SCIAC Post Season Tournament Championship and a subsequent birth into the NCAA National Tournament. In 2017, Kuntz was named coach of the year by the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Kingsmen competed in the NCAA tournament and the NCAA national tournament. In 2012, Kuntz surpassed 200 victories as a head coach for CLU men's soccer. Under his reign, the men's soccer program earned seven SCIAC titles and three NCAA postseason appearances.

As head coach of the Cal Lutheran’s women's soccer program from 1993-2004, Kuntz received recognition three times as the NSCAA Far West Region Coach of the Year for women's soccer in1996, 1997 and 1998.  During this time, the Regals won eight straight SCIAC titles and earned one of the longest SCIAC win streaks in women's soccer history. While the head coach for women’s soccer, Kuntz and his teams earned 8 consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles.

Kuntz showed success early in his coaching career when he led Mesa AZ Westwood High School to a Fiesta Bowl Soccer Classic Championship in 1986 and a runner-up finish in 1987. He also led Westwood High School to its first state soccer championship appearance. He has served and crafted the bylaws as a founding board member and volunteer for two soccer clubs in the Southwest. In 1984, Kuntz obtained his United States Soccer Federation (USSF) "A" license; Kuntz also possesses a USSF "B", "C", and US Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) National Youth License. 
A founding member of the Latino Soccer Coaches Association of America and the National Association of Collegiate Director of Athletics.

Born and raised in Arizona, he later became an instructor in the Arizona Soccer Association coaches’ education program. As a youth coach, Kuntz worked with the California Youth Soccer Association (CYSA), Olympic Development Program (ODP) and won two CYSA-South state titles. He also coached in the Arizona and California club systems for more than 20 years. He has coached in camps and clinics for more than 30 years throughout the Southwest and Hawaii.

Kuntz has served Cal Lutheran on numerous committees and boards in areas such as strategic planning, diversity council, campus scheduling, student retention, risk management, faculty athletic policy, marketing, victory club, sports management.

His wife Nora, is also a Cal Lutheran and Arizona State University graduate, and currently serves as a Principal at Crestview Elementary School in Simi Valley.

Derek R. Marquis, CFP, CEP, CPFA

 First VP, Investment at Raymond James & Associates

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Derek R. Marquis, is a veteran Certified Financial Planner™ with more than 30 years of experience working with a wide range of clients. During his career, Derek has worked with publicly traded companies, professional athletes, entertainers and high net worth individuals.

Derek has extensive training and experience in cash management, comprehensive financial planning, tax-advantaged investment strategies, insurance and estate planning. During his career Derek has managed over $300 million in client assets. Prior to joining Raymond James in March 2009, he worked for Wachovia Securities, previously Prudential Securities.

In 2007 Derek created the Life Skills Playbook, an educational and mentoring program designed for professional athletes. In October of 2009, Derek was selected to give Wealth Management Seminars to the Top 100 college football players at the Under Armour Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

Today Derek's primary responsibilities include financial, business and investment management for professional athletes. His educational, communication and investment process is a collaborative unbiased team effort that allows his clients to protect themselves by adopting a system of checks and balances.

Derek is a graduate of California State University, Northridge where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business, Real Estate-Finance. He is also a Series 7 Registered Financial Advisor, Series 8 Registered Securities Principal, Certified Estate Planner, California Licensed Insurance Agent and Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor.

Derek has been married for 26 years and has two children, Danielle 21 and Alec 23. He is an avid golfer, loves to cook and has completed over 70 Marathons as well as the 2003 Florida Ironman Triathlon. In 2016 Derek and his daughter Danielle Co-founded is the CFO of The Jewel Levine Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization the provides hope, support and monetary assistance to individuals and families that under financial duress caused by extreme circumstances or life threatening medical conditions.

Chuck Miller

 Senior Manager, American Honda Motor Company, Powersports Division

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Chuck has worked at American Honda for 35 years and began his tenure as a professional off road motorcycle racer winning numerous national races including 2 Baja 1,000 off road races overall and was a Gold Medalist representing the United States in the International Six Day Enduro. Recently Chuck was inducted into the Trailblazer Hall of Fame and has travelled the world representing motorcycle racing and the motorcycle industry business.

Sports Management is an exciting area for a career and Chuck managed Honda's successful Motorcycle racing programs for eight years earning many national championships with famed racers such as Nicky Hayden, Miguel Duhamel, Ricky Carmichael and Johnny Campbell. His success earned him senior management positions in Product Planning, National Sales, Distribution and Customer Services. He has worked closely with Rider managements, professional racing organizations, and production or development suppliers. More importantly managing the drive and desires of the individuals who make a team successful in sports or business.

Chuck enjoys time with his family either riding or waterskiing and can be found on his mountain bike just about any day. His passion for the outdoors, friends and success is what drives him and is always looking for the next adventure in business or life.
Keith Pillow, APR, MBA

 Founder and Principal, Caddy Marketing and Communications, Inc.

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A senior accomplished marketing and communications executive, Keith R. Pillow, APR, MBA possesses over 25 years of corporate and agency experience developing and implementing strategic, results-driven integrated programs for a wide range of firms, from start-ups to major Fortune 500 brands, in the technology, media, sports, entertainment, professional services, consumer products, and non-profit domains. Currently, Keith is the founder and chief caddy of Caddy Marketing and Communications, Inc. (CMAC), a Camarillo, Calif.-based branding, public relations (PR), and social media consulting firm specializing in the planning and execution of high-impact, cost-effective communications strategies for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) operating in many different industries.

Prior to establishing CMAC in 2009, Keith held senior account management positions at several boutique PR agencies and international PR firms, including Fleishman-Hillard and Shandwick International, and corporate communications positions at global billion-dollar technology concerns Technicolor (NYSE: TCH), Dassault Systèmes (NASDAQ: DASTY), and Quarterdeck Corporation. He began his career as a sports marketing manager at Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc., where he worked with some of the most prestigious organizations and companies in sports, including ESPN, NFL, IMG, LPGA, Major League Soccer, PGA TOUR, World Cup USA 1994, and SHOWTIME Championship Boxing.

Keith holds B.S. degrees in marketing and international business from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, and a MBA in marketing from the George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University. He received his accreditation in public relations (APR) designation from the Universal Accreditation Board in 2008. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the Phi Beta Kappa equivalent for business graduates; the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and its Los Angeles and California Gold Coast chapters; PRSA Counselors Academy; the American Marketing Association; and Social Media Club Los Angeles. He is a former board member and officer of the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce; the PRSA-L.A. chapter; the PRSA California Gold Coast chapter; the PRSA Western District; Social Media Club L.A. and the Pleasant Valley Education Foundation. Currently, Keith serves on the marketing and communications committees of three organizations:  Santa Monica, Calif.-based OPCC; Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based Grades of Green; and the Southern California Golf Association.

An expert on marketing and communications, career advancement, and business development strategies, Keith is an adjunct professor of marketing at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA), where he teaches advertising and other marketing courses, and an adjunct professor of PR at California Lutheran University and Pepperdine University. In addition, he is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist at other major area colleges and universities, including Ventura College; Santa Barbara City College; California State University Northridge (CSUN); University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension; and the Annenberg School for Communication at University of Southern California (USC).

Vern Sparling

 Supervisor of Football Officials, Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

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Vern has served as the Supervisor of Football Officials for the SCIAC since September 2012. Responsible for the recruiting and training of football officials and game assignments. Prior to that he worked as the assistant to the previous Supervisor for over 10 years. He has officiated football for over 30 years. Vern began officiating in 1984, as a high school official and ascended to the D-1 collegiate ranks, working assignments in the BigWest, WAC, CUSA and Mt.West conferences. Vern has also umpired many years of high school and collegiate baseball including the D-2 collegiate level. He has served in the leadership of many sports officiating organizations. For 20 years, Vern worked for the California Interscholastic Federation as the officiating liaison for all sports to 57 high schools in the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire. Vern has three sons, his eldest played D-1 football at SMU, his second played D-1 baseball at UC Irvine, his third is attending Embry Riddle University perusing a degree in Aeronautics. Professionally, Vern worked as the Western States Manager for a sports officiating uniform manufacturer/distributor, where he worked with every level of officiating organizations throughout the western portion of the US.
Chris Thomas

 Performance Development Mentor & Mental Coach, Fusion Odyssey

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  • Eight-year NFL wide receiver
  • Super Bowl champion with the St. Louis Rams
  • 14-year financial advisor with Merrill Lynch
  • In 2005 created Fusion Odyssey, a Performance Development Program initially for wide receivers, quarterbacks and tight ends. In 2016 that expanded to include athletes in every sport.
  • Since 2005:
  • 8 players have signed NFL contracts, 35% of my athletes have earned the opportunity to play in college, 74% of those players end up starting at some point in college.
  • 2020 - Finalized a 28 video series called "The gateway to unlocking your mental game."
  • The series addresses everything an athlete contends with or needs to know in order to transform their game & life emotionally, psychologically & intellectually
  • Have been a keynote speaker for: TedX, regions of Fortune 500 companies, corporations, non-profit organizations.
  • Inducted into the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Hall of Fame 2007
Denise White

 CEO and Founder, EAG Sports Management

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Denise L. White is the CEO and Founder of the EAG Sports Management, a company that specializes in handling those aspects of an athlete’s career that can be easily overlooked by an agent or team with an overflowing roster. In the past 20 years she has taken her company from an initial concept for a couple of clients to a major player in the sports industry that retains an impressive list of athletes. Throughout the incredible growth of her business, Denise has maintained her personal approach, leaving no doubt about the investment of time and dedication she grants every client. This wholehearted commitment and attention to detail is the secret to her success as one of the very few successful females in an aggressive, male-dominated industry.

In 1996 after a successful career in broadcasting, Ms. White chose to expand her sports business experience by pursuing an entrepreneurial venture. She had noticed a gap between the roles of player agents and front offices when it came to career management services for professional athletes. In the NFL, where teams at times field 80 players and agencies sign even more, it is easy for rookies and veterans alike to fall through the cracks. Denise used vision and determination to open an office where players could find individually tailored career assistance and development.

Today EAG provides the highest quality service for athletes seeking marketing, public relations, event planning, branding and crisis management. In one week it is not unusual for Denise herself to coordinate or attend a red carpet event, a fundraising dinner, a network show taping, and a national magazine photoshoot while working on bringing an athlete back from a crisis management situation. Amidst these activities, she can be found at a host of sporting events throughout the years.
Denise can also be seen on CNN as a contributor to their sports stories.

Most recently Denise was featured in a seven-page Men’s Journal article where she was profiled as the "Woman who bails out the NFL's bad boys".

Out of the Men's Journal article Hollywood came knocking and Fox2000 bought Denise's life rights to produce a film about her life starring Jennifer Anniston, which then was parlayed into a TV show with Apple TV starring Jennifer Anniston, due for production in 2021.

Ms. White has established her position as a respected leader in sports management through strong cooperation with leagues, teams, and agents. They recognize that Denise and EAG enhance their efforts to both promote and provide for their athletes.

Nana Yaw

 Director of Premium, Suite & SBL Sales, San Francisco 49ers

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Nana Yaw is in his 12th year with the San Francisco 49ers and currently serves as the Director of Premium, Suite & SBL Sales. In this role he oversees strategy and manages a sales team responsible for helping companies achieve their business goals and objectives, by utilizing various forms of 49ers premium hospitality.

Prior to his current role, he was a sales manager and top revenue producer for Levi's® Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers which opened in 2014. This team surpassed all industry records selling over $1 Billion in revenue.

Before joining the 49ers, Nana spent 1 year with the Los Angeles Avengers/Wasserman Media Group arena football team where he sold Season and Group Ticket inventory. Prior to the Avengers, Nana started his sales career as an Inside Sales Executive with the Los Angeles Clippers where he sold Season and Group Ticket inventory.

Nana received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Multimedia from California Lutheran University where he played four years of football and two years of track & field for the Kingsmen.

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