Meet the 2017 Connect Sports Game Changers

By Connect Sports Staff, August 8, 2017

Sporting events are worth more than $10 billion to the U.S. economy and fill 98 million hotel rooms annually because of Game Changers like you. Here, Connect Sports honors the industry’s sharpest minds with our second annual collection of Game Changers. The people who have elevated sports tourism through innovation and precise execution. We look forward to honoring these Game Changers at Connect Sports in New Orleans, Aug. 21-23. As always, thanks to SportsPittsburgh for sponsoring this editorial initiative.

Jamie Adams NAIAJamie Adams

Associate Director of Championship Events
Kansas City, Missouri


Mark Chambers NGBAMark Chambers

President and Founder
National Gay Basketball Association
Lakewood, California


John David USA BMXJohn David, CSEE

Gilbert, Arizona


Ashley Ellefson Drone Racing LeagueAshley Ellefson

Director of Operations
Drone Racing League
New York


Greg Fante Louisville Sports CommissionGreg Fante, CSEE

Vice President of Sports Development
Louisville Sports Commission
Louisville, Kentucky


Byron HicksByron Hicks

Events Manager
USA Ultimate
Parker, Colorado


Rich Janor Game Day USARich Janor

President and CEO
Game Day USA
Naperville, Illinois


Joel Koester Chicago Southland CVBJoel Koester

Sports Market Manager
Chicago Southland CVB
Tinley Park, Illinois


Matt Libber Elite TournamentsMatt Libber, CSEE

Vice President of Business Operations
Elite Tournaments


Patrice Matamoros



Mike Mon Asian Basketball Championships of North AmericaMike Mon

Founder and Tournament Director
Asian Basketball Championships of North America


Michael Mulone B.A.S.S.Michael Mulone

Director, Event and Tourism Partnerships
Palm Harbor, Florida


Clay Partain Visit Salt LakeClay Partain

Director of Sports Market Sales
Visit Salt Lake
Salt Lake City


Kris Smith Detroit Sports CommissionKris Smith

Detroit Sports Commission


Danielle Vincenti Richmond Region TourismDanielle Vincenti, CSEE

Senior Sports Development Manager
Richmond Region Tourism
Richmond, Virginia


Virginia Blue Ridge Sports tourism Carey Harveycutter and John ShanerCarey Harveycutter and John P. Shaner, MS

Director of Tourism, Salem; Director of Salem Parks and Recreation
Virginia Blue Ridge Sports
Salem, Virginia