In accordance with the mission of the Sport Management Department, the Advisory Board is committed to preparing students for professional employment at all levels of the
The advisory board meets on campus a minimum of once per year and are available for consultations.
Title: Director of Ticket Sales
Company: Rochester Americans and Rochester Knighthawks
David Aitken LinkedIn
David Aitken is currently the Director of Ticket Sales for the Rochester Americans (AHL) and Rochester Knighthawks (NLL) having joined the organization in March of 2019. In this role, he coordinates and manages the Ticket Sales strategy for the Rochester Americans (AHL) and Rochester Knighthawks (NLL) and serves as team leader for the Ticket Sales department and staff. David oversees the sales, service, and retention of all ticket-related packages for the two teams, as well as all training, goal-setting, and budgeting of the Ticket Sales staff.
Before coming to work in Rochester, David spent eight seasons with the Cleveland Monsters (AHL) as part of the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) organization. David started his career in the sports industry after graduating from SUNY Cortland in May of 2011 with a degree in Sport Management. Having first starting with the Monsters as an Inside Sales representative, David eventually grew to the role of Senior Manager of New Business Development where he led all new business ticket sales efforts, as well as managed a senior level team of ticket representatives. During his time with the Monsters he was also in charge of all youth hockey game-day programming and community outreach efforts for six seasons and led the organization in the founding of the Monsters’ “Grow the Game” and Learn to Play initiatives in Northeast Ohio.
David’s tenure in Cleveland was highlighted by placing among the AHL’s top 10 in group sales for five seasons and generated the most group sales in franchise history in the 2015-16 season. He was also part of the 2016 Calder Cup champion Lake Erie Monsters staff which won the AHL’s President’s Award for Business Team of the Year.
Title: General Manager
Company: Banc of California Stadium
Mike Alperstein LinkedIn
In 2019, Mike left the East Coast for the sun of California, where he currently is the general manager of the Banc of California Stadium, home of Los Angeles FC of MLS and Angel City FC of the NWSL. The stadium also hosts CONCACAF Gold Cup matches, boxing events, lacrosse events, eSport competitions, concerts, and much more
Mike Alperstein '04, formerllly worked at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Mike worked at MetLife for nearly 10 years, starting with the stadium's inaugural season in 2010. During those ten years, Mike has had the opportunity to work many high profile events including NY Jets and Giants' home games, Super Bowl XLVII, Wrestlemania 29 & 35, COPA Centenario, and numerous concerts from many of today's top artists. Prior to working at MetLife Stadium, Mike spent five years working with the Jets in their Events and Game Day Operations Department. In 2009, Mike had the fortunate opportunity to return to Cortland with the Jets, when the team moved their training camp location to SUNY Cortland's campus. During his time at Cortland, Mike was an Event Manager for Cortland's Athletic Department. He credits this opportunity and his Cortland Sport Management degree with preparing him for his career.
Matt Coats is the Associate Director of Athletics for Intercollegiate Operations at Cornell University. He oversees the management of athletic facilities, contest scheduling, game contracts, and all home athletic events. He serves as the primary administrator for baseball, equestrian, fencing, gymnastics, men’s and women’s polo, men’s and women’s soccer, and sprint football. Matt first arrived at Cornell in 2001 as the Athletic Operations Manager until 2005 when he was named Assistant Director of Athletics for Intercollegiate Operations and then promoted to his current role as Associate Director of Athletics for Intercollegiate Operations in 2014. Additionally, Matt serves on the Board of Directors for the Cortland YMCA.
Matt earned his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Sport Management from SUNY Cortland in 1997 and completed a Master of Business Administration concentrating in Marketing from Wagner College in 2000. Matt resides in Cortland with his wife, Johanna, and their two children.
Growing up in upstate New York, I spent most of my life playing every sport imaginable. As you can imagine, I thought I was going to be the next Billie Jean King! When reality hit and I was trying to come to grips with not being able to make a career out of playing sports I thought I might be able to make a career in the Sports Medicine field,
Chris is a native New Yorker from Hopewell Junction, NY. He graduated from SUNY Cortland as President of the Sport Management Club with a B.S, in Sport Management & Minor in Economics. He later completed his MPS at Georgetown University. Chris is currently a Retention Sales Specialist on the New York Yankees' Season Ticket Retention team. Prior to that, he was a member of the Season Ticket Sales & Service and Inside Sales teams and spent a year working for the Yankees in a part-time sales role. Chris has a six year record of demonstrated success in professional sports, driving multimillion-dollar revenue growth, while providing sales leadership in a competitive market. He is a proven leader with passion for mentoring & developing the next generation of leaders.”
Title: Assistant Director, Facilities Operations
Company: Rutgers University
Therno Diallo LinkedIn
Therno (pronounced Cheir-no) works at Rutgers University. He was previous with DePauw University near Chicago.
Before coming to DePauw, Diallo served as the C.D. Henry Intern for the Big Ten Conference in Rosemont, Illinois from July 2017 until August 2018. Diallo assisted with the overall planning, preparation, and execution of conference tournaments and championships. He also assisted with youth engagement programming to implement various S.C.O.R.E initiatives.
Diallo has also spent time with the athletic departments at John Jay College, Syracuse University, and SUNY Cortland. He also has experience in coaching, serving as an assistant men’s tennis coach at John Jay College in 2016 and assistant football coach at SUNY Cortland in 2015.
He is a member of the Collegiate Event and Facilities Management Association (CEFMA), National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIIAA), and the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA), through the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Diallo is a 2016 graduate of the State University of New York at Cortland with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. He also received his master’s in sports administration from Canisius College in May 2018.
Title: Senior Account Manager
Company: Riddle & Bloom, a Wasserman Company
Ameena formerly worked in client services with Live Nation Entertainment, the world's leading live entertainment company. Ameena works Live Nation's full-service sponsorship team. She is the former sponsorship coordinator for Fenway Sports Management. She has also worked as an Inside Sales Representative at the Boston Red Sox. She completed her Masters in Sports Leadership at Northeastern University and graduated from SUNY Cortland in 2015 as a Communications Major and Sport Management Minor. While at Cortland she was also a member of the cross country and track teams.
Robert Emmett joined the Binghamton University men's soccer coaching staff as an assistant coach in February 2017. Prior to joining the Bearcats staff, he spent one season as the top assistant at Division II Lake Erie College in Painesville Ohio. Emmett also served as an assistant coach for the SUNY Cortland men’s soccer program. Emmett competed for the Red Dragons men’s soccer program from 2010-2013 as a goalkeeper. In December of 2016, he earned his master's degree in Sport Management from SUNY Cortland. He earned his bachelor's degree in Sport Management with a minor in communications from SUNY Cortland in 2014
Title: Vice President
Company: Momentum Worldwide
Ian Fettinger LinkedIn
Ian Fettinger is an accomplished sports marketing professional with a background in sponsorship activation and experiential brand marketing. Ian graduated from SUNY Cortland in 2005, with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Management.
After a successful & exciting internship with the 2005 Genesis Invitational, a PGA TOUR event, Ian joined Golf Digest Publications in the summer of 2005 on the Events & Sports Marketing team, creating and executing added-value experiences for blue -chip advertising clients.
After 5 years with Golf Digest, Ian moved into a Sponsorship Management role with Lagardere Sports, overseeing sponsorship activations for Hoop it Up 3x3 Basketball. In this role, Ian created & implemented a sponsorship playbook for the tour's national sponsors, ensuring a high level of activation performance and brand consistency across the various regions.
Ian joined the globally-known experiential agency, Momentum Worldwide in 2012, where he currently serves as Vice President, Director, Business Leadership. Ian oversees sports sponsorships & activations for Momentum's American Express, SAP and Subway clients, in addition to contributing to new-business pitches. During his time at Momentum, Ian has led work for American Express that has resulted in more than 20 industry awards, including Clio Sports, Event Marketer and Cannes Lion awards.
Ian currently resides in Lindenhurst, NY, with his wife and daughter.
Title: Chair of Board of Trustees
Company: SUNY Cortland
Business Owner - Pepsi Cola Distribution; Executive Director - Cortland County Chamber; Former Mayor - City of Cortland; President - The Cortland Community Foundation
Title: Group Sales Account Executive
Company: Madison Square Garden
Tim Holder LinkedIn
Tim graduated with a degree in Sports Management from SUNY Cortland in 2011. During his years at Cortland, he was an active member of the Sport Management Club and 4 year player on the Club Baseball team, including being Vice President his Senior year
Tim then made his way to the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden in 2015. He started as a Group Sales Specialist and is currently a Group Sales Account Executive. His prime responsibilities include handling group sales and hospitality packages for the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, Radio City Christmas Spectacular & other sporting events.
Tim Holder Interview
Donte Hewlett is a native New Yorker. He studied Sport Management receiving both a Bachelor of Science and a Master's Degree from SUNY Cortland. Donte's greatest passion is mentoring Sports Management students from various colleges and Universities via Skype and on campus visits. In New York and Las Vegas, Donte honed his skills in Minor League AAA and independent baseball as a concession manager. Donte joined the Levy team in August 2016 as the General Manager of Concession at American Airlines Center in Dallas (Dallas Mavericks and Stars). Just a few short months later, Donte was promoted to Director of Concessions in Salt Lake City at Vivint Smart Home Arena (Utah Jazz). He spent one full season with the Salted Honey Hospitality Jazz team before making the move back east to be the Assistant Director of Operations in Concessions for Levy Restaurants based at FedEx Field, home of the Washington Football Team.
Katie Keenan is a passionate, seasoned sports and entertainment event professional specializing in large-scale event operations and project management with 13+ years of experience at industry-leading organizations.
In her role as Director of Event Operations at the National Football League, Katie oversees
Katie started at the NFL in 2012 as Manager, Event Operations and Accreditation tasked with orchestrating an overhaul of the league’s antiquated Super Bowl Accreditation process. Katie did so successfully, implementing
Prior to joining the NFL, Katie was part of the team that opened the state-of-the-art Prudential Center arena in Newark, NJ, serving as its first Special Event Coordinator and then as an Event Manager from 2007 to 2012. Katie spent her time
Katie started her career completing internships with the National Hockey League and International Paralympic Committee, followed by a short stint in ticket sales with the New Jersey Devils.
Katie graduated SUNY Cortland with a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management in 2010, and 2005 respectively.
Title: Vice President, Brand & Marketing Strategy
Company: Detroit Pistons
Tyrel Kirkham LinkedIn
Formerly the Vice President of Global Merchandising for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, Tyrel recently joined the Los Angles Rams to oversee all of the team's merchandise-related operation.
Prior to joining the Nets, Tyrel was a mainstay in the New York Mets organization. Starting as an intern in 2004, he worked his way up to Director of Venue Services, in which he oversaw all elements of the team’s merchandising and promotions operation. Tyrel currently resides in Long Island City, NY.
Tyrel Kirkham Interview
Lightening Round of Questions
Blaire Mershon graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Sport Management from SUNY Cortland in 2013, and with her MBA with a concentration in Sport Management in 2020. During her time at Cortland, she was an active member of the Sport Management Club (Vice President, Award Ceremony Chair), and worked for the football team as their Director of Operations, assisting with all things related to the itinerary. After graduating from Cortland, Blaire spent 5 years at Major League Baseball Players Association, serving in its licensing division in various roles, but left the MLBPA as the Business Affairs Operations Manager. She also had a short stint at the PGA TOUR as a Licensing Manager. Today, Blaire has taken her expertise to perhaps the biggest player in sport licensed products, Fanatics, where she is the Manager, Sub-licensees and Sub-manufacturers, after spending 2 years as the Go To Market/Brand Manager for MLB Apparel. Her day to day responsibilities include serving as the primary contact for Fanatics sublicensee relationships and acts as liaison between their external partners and the Fanatics internal teams. She also works with these contacts on working their business plans and forecasting models, contractual obligations, brand standards, product reviews and more.
Growing up in Syracuse, NY I was surrounded by the Orange and never in a million years did I think I would be one. It was late in my Junior Year of High School at CBA that the opportunity to attend and play tennis at Syracuse University presented itself. When arriving on campus I had always hoped to be in the Sport Management Program but instead graduated with a degree in Political Science and Finance. It was during my Senior Year at SU that I knew I wanted to continue my education and study Sport Management which brought me to SUNY Cortland immediately following graduation. My time at SUNY Cortland allowed me to take a deep dive into the sport industry and have a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes. I always knew that after my time as an athlete was over I wanted to be behind the scenes and be part of making game days for athletes come to life.
In the midst of my time at SUNY Cortland I landed an internship in an industry I was not all too familiar with, NASCAR. But knew I was up for the challenge and a chance to expand my horizons. From its unique partnership model to working with various drivers across multiple national series. It was like nothing I had ever experienced and knew it was a place I wanted to be. My internship turned into a full-time job in Driver & Team Marketing. My main focus is Driver Event Promotion and Industry Alignment with the NASCAR Xfinity Series & NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series while assisting with various efforts with the NASCAR Cup Series. I've been fortunate enough to work with various drivers, teams and other industry stakeholders. I've had a wonderful experience thus far and look forward to what's ahead.
Title: Coordinator, Event Staffing & Training
Company: New York Road Runners
Alexandra Proulx LinkedIn
As a native of QC., Canada, and a SUNY Cortland 2018 Graduate, Alex has been working in the sporting event industry since 2016 for different international organizations. Prior to her time at NYRR, Alex joined the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec et Montreal, a company tasked with hosting two UCI WorldTour sanctioned events in 2016 in the role of Event Coordinator. In 2018, following her experience with the GPCQM and three years of leading and developing the SUNY Cortland Sport Management TCS New York City Marathon student volunteer program, Alex joined the New York Road Runners as a Volunteer Operations intern in the Event Development and Production department. Following her internship with the New York Road Runners she accepted a position in the Event Development and Production department as an Event Staffing and Training Coordinator. In her last two years at NYRR Alex has been tasked with staffing over 150 adult and youth running events including the biggest marathon in the world that was the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon. Some of Alex’s additional duties include recruitment/hiring, workforce training, workforce management, logistics implementation, apparel management, as well as large-scale event operations and accreditation. Alex is continuously looking for ways to drive the sport industry forward.
Title: Latino Club Marketing, Senior Coordinator
Company: Major League Baseball
Javier Roman LinkedIn
Originally from Arecibo, Puerto Rico, I have been working in sports since 2010, starting with ESPN PR Tip-Off (NCAA College Basketball) and FIBA Americas regional tournaments in Puerto Rico. I was a student-athlete
In 2015, I worked with Criollos de Caguas in the Puerto Rico Winter League, where I was an intern and worked team's In-game promotions, Marketing, and Community Relations.
In 2016, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona to work with Arizona Diamondbacks as an intern in Hispanic Marketing, where I worked as a translator and worked with the team's marketing in the Hispanic community. I also worked with the team's and MLB's
Currently, I work for the Office of the Commissioner of MLB, as the Senior Coordinator of Latino Club Marketing. In that
Javier Roman Interview
Originally from North Babylon, N.Y., Rob first came to the University of Michigan in 1994 as an intern with the Department of Recreational Sports. He was an Assistant Director of Recreational Sports from 1995-98 before becoming an Athletic Department Facility Manager in 1998, overseeing Schembechler Hall, Oosterbaan Fieldhouse, Fisher Stadium, Ferry Field and Alumni Field. In 2000, Rademacher was named Director of Facilities for Michigan Athletics, where his responsibilities included all athletic facilities as well as game operations for football, men’s basketball and ice hockey. He was shortly promoted to Assistant Athletic Director before being named to Associate Athletic Director of Facilities and Operations in 2010 where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Athletic Facility Campus including scheduling, maintenance, event management, new construction
Mitch Reynolds has worked for the Kansas City Chiefs since 2011. Some of Reynolds’ responsibilities include handling the logistics of team travel, scheduling, and the setup and operation of training camp. Growing up in Buffalo, NY, Reynolds joined the Chiefs after working 10 training camps and one season with the Buffalo Bills in various roles. Along the way, Mitch attended SUNY Cortland for his Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management before receiving his Master’s Degree in
Title: Director of Marketing and Promotions
Company: Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Eddie Saunders LinkedIn
Edward Maynard Kennett Saunders is a Five-Year Veteran in Minor League Baseball with the New York Mets Double-A Affiliate, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. He has worked in a wide array of fields in Minor League Baseball including Marketing, Promotions, Sales, Community Relations, and Ticket Operations. Currently, Edward oversees the Community Relations Department as well as keeping an eye on the Box Office during the baseball season. When this Red Dragon alumnus is away from the ballpark he enjoys spending time with family and making home cooked meals for his family and friends. Saunders cooking skills earned him the title of 1st place in the 2019 Celebrity Spiedies Cooking Competition at the annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally.
In his current role with the NYSGA, Dan leads all marketing, communication and sales efforts for the association. Additionally, he acts as the staff person in charge and
Previously, Dan worked at Hunter Mountain Resort in the Catskill Mountains where he was responsible for an array of marketing, public relations, special events and sales duties for the organization beginning in the Fall of 2015. Dan also interned for the Albany Dutchmen baseball team for three summers in sports media and operations and spent a semester interning in Cornell University’s Alumni Affairs & Athletic Development office in 2015.
Dan graduated from SUNY Cortland in 2015, with a Sport Management degree and a minor in Communication Studies. During his years at Cortland, he was involved in a few different organizations on campus including the Sport Management Club, CSTV, Red Dragon Sports Network, Speak Magazine, and the SGA.