DON DEDONATIS is the executive director and chief executive officer of the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA). His previous roles at USSSA include assistant executive director, national president, executive vice president of the Great Lakes Division, Michigan State director and area director. He also was instrumental in the design and transition of the USSSA from a national slowpitch softball organization to the largest multi-sport athletic association in the nation with over 4.1 million members. USSSA.com MIKE GUSWILER is president of the West Michigan Sports Commission, overseeing commission operations, the Meijer State Games of Michigan and the new Art Van Sports Complex that opened in 2014. Mike has led the WMSC since its inception in 2007. The commission has booked 383 sporting events and tournaments with 550,000 athletes and visitors, generating almost $150 million in direct visitor spending. He recently was named a 2014 Newsmaker of the Year by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. Mguswiler@westmisports.com SUSAN HLAVACEK is director of events and programs with the National Senior Games Association. Previously, she was director of athletics for Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio. A native of Cleveland and a skilled athlete, she was inducted into both her high school and college halls of fame. In addition, she played in the Women’s Basketball League (WBL), the first women’s professional basketball league in the U.S., and has a background as a P.E. teacher and coach. Shlavacek@nsga.com JESS LUSCINSKI is the NCAA and Collegiate Triathlon Coordinator at USA Triathlon. She is responsible for managing materials to provide athletes, coaches and athletic department administrators with information on all aspects of NCAA Women’s Triathlon. Www.usatriathlon.org MATT REGER is national events coordinator with USA Triathlon. He is responsible for all logistical and event management aspects for national championships and has additional responsibility for oversight of the Splash and Dash Youth Aquathlon Series. Reger also serves as race director for the Colorado Springs Splash and Dash event. He holds a bachelor of science and master of arts in sport management with a business law minor from Minnesota State University. Www.usatriathlon.org RON SERTZ is the executive director of the Erie Sports Commission and has been instrumental in the formation, direction and guidance of many of the major sporting organizations and events in the Erie tri-state region. In a career spanning almost five decades, Ron has been involved in all facets of the sports world as an athlete, coach, athletic director, professional team owner and president and the founder or director of many major sporting events. Www.eriesportscommission.com MARIE STENSETH has been an intern with the St. Cloud Area CVB since fall 2014. She is responsible for the social media marketing as well as the coordination of certain events and building marketing materials specific to sports in the St. Cloud area. She expects to graduate from St. Cloud State University with a degree in public relations in December of 2015. Http://granitecountry.com DR. BONNIE TIELL is the dean of graduate studies for Tiffin University (Ohio). She coordinates the Olympic Academic Experience (Athens, Beijing and London) and is co-chair of the NCAA Women’s Leadership Symposium. Tiell has a doctorate in sports management and human resource management from the United States Sports Academy; a master of education in sports administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and a bachelor of science in Physical Education (N-12) from Troy University. Btiell@tiffin.edu PETER FRANCESCONI has been in publishing for more than 25 years, working with newspapers, a wire service and magazines. He is the editor of Tennis Industry, the world’s largest tennis trade publication, and through his company, Ace Media Group, he works closely with the Tennis Industry Association and other groups in communications, marketing and public relations. He was managing editor of Tennis Magazine from 1990 to 1999 and editorial director of Tennis’s custom publishing division from 1999 to 2009. JULI ANNE PATTY has written for Sports Destination Management since the magazine’s creation, working with sports event owners and CVBs all across North America. A traveling freelance writer, Juli combines her interests in travel, writing and sports to help destinations and rights owners create the most unique and successful events possible. MICHAEL POPKE is an award-winning journalist with 25 years of professional experience in print and digital media. For 14 years, he was managing editor of Athletic Business, the leading business-to-business magazine and website for athletic, fitness and recreation professionals. He also has coached baseball, basketball and softball, worked as a USA Swimming stroke-and-turn official and is an avid high school sports and aquatics safety supporter. Michael owns Two Lakes Media Group and lives in the Madison, Wisconsin, area. ANDREW COHEN is a media relations consultant adept at increasing the visibility of his clients, primarily architecture firms specializing in sports, recreation, healthcare and public safety buildings. A Connecticut native who lives in Madison, Wisconsin, Andrew has been honored with an ASBPE National Gold award and two Milwaukee Press Club awards during a writing and editing career spanning more than 25 years in both the business-to-business and consumer markets. He founded AC Media in 2013.
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