Meet the 2019 Connect Sports Game Changers

Game Changers, presented by Sports Pittsburgh

Sports tourism is, above all else, a relationship business. Event professionals drive big business to communities through innovative practices and smart networking. Few do this better than these 19 individuals. They are a perfect representation of this close-knit, diverse industry. Here, Connect Sports honors the industry’s sharpest minds with our fourth 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 Louisville, Aug. 26-28. As always, thanks to SportsPittsburgh for sponsoring this editorial initiative.

Adam AndraskoAdam Andrasko

CEO USA Synchro Colorado Springs  

Jim Arnold, Sports Force ParksJim Arnold

Director of Business Development Sports Force Parks Woodstock, Georgia  

Ashleigh Bachert, Durham Sports CommissionAshleigh Bachert, CSEE

Executive Director Durham Sports Commission Durham, North Carolina  

Ginger Lively Cade, Dallas Sports CommissionGinger Lively Cade

Sales Director Dallas Sports Commission Dallas  

Josh Dill, Visit FriscoJosh Dill, CSEE

Director of Sports and Events Visit Frisco Frisco, Texas  

Lawrence Hamm, Destination DCLawrence M. Hamm II

Senior Manager of Sports Development and Strategy Destination DC Washington, D.C.   

Beth Hecquet, ScrippsBeth Hecquet, CMP, CMM

Program Manager of Events Scripps National Spelling Bee Cincinnati  

Anthony Holman, NCAAAnthony Holman, MSS, MBA

Managing Director Championships and Alliances – Playing Rules and Officiating, NCAA Indianapolis  

David Killian, Gay GamesDavid Killian

Officer of Site Selection Federation of Gay Games Philadelphia  

Pedro Meloni, USA WeightliftingPedro Meloni

Director, Events and Sponsorship USA Weightlifting Colorado Springs  

Rhanee Palma, Visit OaklandRhanee Palma, CMDE

Vice President of Sales and Services Visit Oakland Oakland, California  

Michelle Perry, BCW Sport Practice – North AmericaMichelle Perry

Senior Consultant BCW Sport Practice – North America Indianapolis  

Nick Povalitis, RockfordNick Povalitis, CDME

Director of Sports Development Rockford Area CVB Rockford, Illinois  

Erik Sabato, Wyndham Hotels and ResortsErik Sabato, CSEE

Senior Director, Global Sales | Specialty Team Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Centennial, Colorado  

Megan Schmidt, Elite TournamentsMegan Schmidt

Vice President of Event Operations Elite Tournaments Baltimore, Maryland  

R. Ron Sertz, Erie, Pa.R. Ron Sertz

Chairman, PA Sports; Executive Consultant, Erie Sports Commission Erie, Pennsylvania  

David StephensDavid Stephens

Founder and CEO DynaSports Group and PrimeTime Sports; CEO, Bigfoot Hoops Frisco, Texas  

Blake Thompson, Teammate BasketballBlake Thompson

Owner/Creator Teammate Basketball Grimsley, Tennessee  

Katie Yarber, Chicago Sports CommissionKatie Yarber

Senior Manager, Events and Operations Chicago Sports Commission Chicago