MIKE GUSWILER is president of the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) where he oversees commission operations, the Meijer State Games of Michigan and the championship-caliber Art Van Sports Complex. Mike has led the WMSC since its inception. Under his leadership, the commission has booked 489 sporting events and tournaments that attracted 650,000 athletes and visitors, generating $190 million in direct visitor spending over its seven-year history. Mike was named a 2014 “Newsmaker of the Year” by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. Mguswiler@westmisports.com. JIM LORD is a former captain for the nationally ranked University of Kentucky cheer squad. He has been involved in cheerleading since 1984 as a cheerleader, coach, administrator and now as the executive director for the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators. He works with the NFHS Spirit Rules Committee and has spoken at over 30 different state coaches conference as well as national and international conferences. He also volunteers at his son’s elementary as president of the PTO. Jimlord@aacca.org RON SERTZ, executive director of Erie Sports Commission, has been instrumental in the formation, direction and guidance of many sporting organizations and events in Erie, Pennsylvania’s tri-state region. In a nearly five-decade career, Ron has been involved in all facets of sports as an athlete, coach, athletic director, team owner and president, and as founder or director of many sporting events. Ron was named the 2016 Sports Tourism Professional of the Year by the National Association of Sports Commissions and serves as the chairman of Pennsylvania Sports. Www.eriesportscommission.com STEVE STENERSEN, CEO and president of US Lacrosse since 1998, has been a guiding force behind the national and international development of lacrosse for 30 years, and continues to lead the sport through unprecedented growth. From 1993 to 2003, he chaired the International Lacrosse Development Committee. He was also pivotal to the formation of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) in 2008. Stenersen serves as the United States’ delegate to the FIL and was elected as the FIL’s Vice President in 2014. Sstenersen@uslacrosse.org DENISE STOKES spent more than six years pitching travel and tourism story ideas that helped a DMO achieve fame, recognition and influence. She started DS Marketing & PR in 2014 and helps businesses earn external respect and attention rather than buy it. Tdenisestokes@gmail.com MICHAEL J. WILDES is the managing partner of Wildes and Weinberg, P.C. He is a former federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn (1989-1993 and a frequent legal commentator/analyst for network television. He is an adjunct professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York and teaches business immigration law. He was also the Mayor of Englewood, New Jersey, where he resides. Wildes and Weinberg, P.C. has offices in New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles and Florida. Michael@wildeslaw.com, www.wildeslaw.com. 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. 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.
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