The Greater Orlando Sports Commission (GO Sports) has announced its 2022-23 officers as well as 21 incoming members to its Executive and Advisory Board of Directors. New incoming members will serve as the team that will help us continue to collaborate and bring innovative ideas and leadership to Greater Orlando. With their help, GO Sports will be able to expand our mission of bringing a robust calendar of sporting events to Central Florida.
This team will provide vision, guidance and counsel when it comes to attracting and managing sports-related events, conferences and activities that are designed to drive positive economic developments and visitation to the greater Orlando area. They will also be laser-focused on marketing the destination that extends across the City of Orlando and Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.
In addition to 21 new board members, three existing board members have been elevated from the Advisory Board to the Executive Board: Kurt Esser from Seminole State College, Suzanne Gilbert from Holland & Knight, and Latria Graham from GLB Media Group.
“As chairman, it is exciting to see how successful this organization has been in continually attracting and recruiting some of the most diverse, talented and respected individuals in our community to serve on the board of directors,” said Sharon Line Clary, Chairman of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission Board and Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Communications for AdventHealth. “We look forward to the contributions of our new members and are excited to work alongside them for many years to come.”
“We are proud to formally announce our 2022-23 officers and welcome new members to our board of directors,” said Jason Siegel, President & CEO of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.
2022-23 Executive Committee Officers:
- Chairman: Sharon Line Clary has been with AdventHealth for 27 years and currently serves as the Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Communications, where she oversees marketing, sales communications and sports and entertainment partnerships for the nationally ranked health care system. Prior to AdventHealth, Line Clary held various roles within sports and hospitality, including stints with the Florida State University Athletic and Sports Information Departments, World Cup Soccer, Olympic Games, and Mission Inn Resort & Club.
- Chair-Elect: Caesar Lopez is the Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel for the Orlando City Soccer Club, Orlando Pride, and Exploria Stadium, overseeing all legal and business affairs, strategic projects, human resources, administration and external/government affairs. Prior to joining the team side in Orlando, Lopez spent time at Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing where he provided strategic counsel to multiple MLS Clubs, U.S. Soccer Federation and the Mexican Federation on all commercial deals and player transactions.
- Past Chair: Faron Kelley is the Vice President of ESPN Wide World of Sports, runDisney and Disney’s Water Parks at the Walt Disney World® Resort. Kelley joined the Walt Disney Company in 1990 as a production manager and producer for Walt Disney Entertainment and held several other positions before joining the sports team in 2008 as Marketing Director. Kelley was promoted to the VP role that he currently holds in 2016.
- General Counsel: Chris Carmody is a Shareholder at GrayRobinson, P.A. He earned his certification as a Designated Professional Lobbyist and is an attorney admitted to practice in all Florida state courts. Carmody has substantial experience handling government relations matters, including representation before the Florida legislative and executive branches, purchasing and procurement appeals, and professional licensing.
- Matt Chmura is the Chief Marketing, Communications and Brand Officer of the LPGA. In this role he is responsible for overseeing the strategy and execution of all marketing, communications, and content initiatives along with fan acquisition, engagement and retention efforts. Chmura’s professional philosophy is based in driving innovation and creativity to maximize revenue while maintaining a consumer centric marketing approach. Before joining the LPGA he was Chief Marketing Officer of Leader Bank in Massachusetts, and spent 15 years with the Boston Bruins prior to that. In 2011 he was honored with his name being etched on the Stanley Cup, and he has been awarded two President’s Trophies and three Prince of Whales trophies.
- Drew Donovan is the new Tournament Director of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, where he manages a team who continues to position the event as one of the PGA TOUR’s most prestigious and elevated events on the tour schedule. Prior to being elevated as Tournament Director, Donovan previously managed all tournament operations including 20+ vendors who build-out the tournament infrastructure, including hospitality venues, concessions, merchandise tents, restrooms, grandstands, parking lots, signage, security, ecology, etc.
- Kurt Esser began his tenure as Director of Athletics at Seminole State College in August of 2016. Since his arrival, Esser has put together a master plan for Raider Athletics, created a sponsorship and fund-raising plan and enhanced the Raider brand through community outreach. Esser was instrumental in the planning, opening and operations of the brand-new Raider Center, home to Seminole State Athletics, campus wellness and recreation. Esser came to Seminole State from the University of New Mexico. Prior to New Mexico, Esser worked for almost five years at the University of Nevada.
- Suzanne Gilbert, Partner at Holland & Knight, practices in the areas of financial and real estate litigation, business litigation and creditors' rights. She has experience representing clients in complex commercial disputes in federal, state and bankruptcy courts. In addition to her focus on financial and real estate litigation, Gilbert has also defended class actions involving Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Since 2007, Gilbert has served as the practice group leader for the firm's Central Florida Litigation Group. In college, Gilbert was a manager for the men's basketball team at Duke University. During her tenure as head manager, the team won the 1991 and 1992 NCAA National Championships.
- Latria Graham is the President of GLB Media Group, whose purpose is to help build world class purpose-driven brands through authentic communications strategies and innovative products. GLB’s clients largely consist of sports and entertainment brands, large corporations, universities, and government entities. Prior to founding GLB, Graham worked in the NBA for 11 seasons and was responsible for overseeing the Orlando Magic’s community relations strategy, multicultural and diversity relations, cause marketing, and the NBA Cares global campaign activation in the Central Florida market.
- Dan Malasky joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Chief Legal Officer in 2018. In this position, Malasky quarterbacks the Legal, Human Resources, and Facility Security teams for the Bucs and serves on its executive team. Prior to joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Malasky worked for 12 years at the United States Tennis Association, most recently as its General Counsel and Managing Director of Business Affairs for the USTA National Campus. Malasky served as Chairman of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission from 2017-2018, and currently serves on the Florida Sports Foundation Board of Directors.
- Mike Barbato is currently the Chief Business Officer for AJ Tickets, a full-service secondary market ticket broker. In this role, he is responsible for creating and implementing the day-to-day business operations of the company, including establishing policies that promote company culture and vision, as well as drive performance and growth. Prior to joining AJ Tickets, Barbato spent 4 years as the Chief Operating Officer in charge of all business and revenue operations for the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, the largest multi-day junior golf tour in the world.
- Simon Collins brings more than 25 years of sports industry to his role as Commissioner of the USYS National League, along with a vast knowledge of sports management and business. Collins most recently served as the Technical Director for EDP Soccer — helping to oversee four US Youth Soccer National League Conferences while playing an integral part in the EDP Soccer business development team. As an 11-year veteran professional soccer player, Collins made over 200 appearances in the England Football League — playing as a defender for Huddersfield Town, Plymouth Argyle, Macclesfield Town and Shrewsbury Town.
- Lonnie Flores became the Sr. Administrator of Athletics and Wellness Services for Orange County Public Schools in the Fall of 2022, where he currently oversees the middle school and high school athletic programs. He also acts as the Title IX coordinator and oversees school-based clubs, Athletic Trainers and Junior ROTC. Previously, Flores worked for the School District of Osceola County for four years as a school Director of Athletics, the majority at Tohopekaliga High School, where he opened the sports programs for the new High School.
- James “Jay” Galbraith joined Valencia College in Central Florida in March 2014. He serves as the vice president of public affairs and advancement, and interim president for the Valencia College Foundation. He directs the college’s state and federal public affairs, communications, community engagement, economic development, marketing and advancement. Prior to joining Valencia, Galbraith served almost eight years as vice president for state and domestic affairs at Sea World Entertainment, responsible for the company’s government and industry relations in Florida, Texas, California, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
- Patrick Goddard is President of Brightline, where he is responsible for the company’s multi-billion-dollar intercity passenger rail development and expansion that will connect Central and South Florida. Goddard leads the company’s go to market strategy, including more than 1.5M square feet of transit-oriented development, and has been recognized as one of South Florida Business Journal’s Power Leaders 250 and Florida Trends 500 Most Influential Leaders. He is a member of the Florida Council of 100, a graduate of Leadership Florida’s Executive Class and a board member of Camillus House.
- Dr. John Gyllin, an administrator with over 25 years of experience in higher education, is the Vice President of Resource and Economic Development, and Executive Director of the Foundation for Seminole State College. Gyllin, who previously served in similar capacities in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, has been back in his home state of Florida working for the past 12 years with the Foundation for Seminole State, a non-profit corporation that oversees the development and stewardship of external resources on behalf of the College. Gyllin holds a bachelor's degree in management and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark., where he played football and was heavily involved in student life. He also has a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration (Ed.D.) from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
- Arnaldo Herrero was named Executive Vice President of Kings Service Solutions in March 2010, where he is responsible for the company’s operations, including client development and retention. A 12-year veteran of Kings Service Solutions, Herrero is a visionary leader guiding one of the fastest growing Janitorial companies in the State of Florida. He previously served as President and CEO of SunKey Building Maintenance Services, is a former Leon County Deputy Sheriff where he rose to the rank of detective, and served in the United States Marine Corps for 11 years where he rose to the rank of Staff Sargent.
- Ashley Jarocki is a veteran of Talent Acquisition and Recruitment and is one of five original Partners of NextPath Career Partners started in 2018. Throughout the four years of growth, NextPath has been the recipient of several awards including 2019 Perm Placements award, Small Business of the Year finalist, 2022 Fast 50 Awards (No. 3 ranked), and the Golden 100 for privately held businesses by Orlando Business Journal. Jarocki is also a Co – Creator of the Live Bold & Boss Up Podcast, which was established in 2020.
- Bart Kendall currently serves as Vice President, Team Business and Event Operations, for Orlando’s newest professional sports franchise, the XFL’s Orlando Guardians. Kendall oversees all business operations of the Guardians which includes corporate partnerships, inclusive community engagement strategies, ticket sales, team marketing, communications and promotional campaigns, game day event operations and fan experience at Camping World Stadium, and overall responsibility for the team. Prior to joining the Guardians, Kendall ran his own independent sports marketing agency, and before that he was the Vice President of Alternative Event Programming at Golf Channel/NBC Sports in Orlando.
- Clay Luter joined Ticketmaster in May 1988 and brings over 30 years of industry experience in a variety of executive management and strategic leadership roles within the company. As EVP & Co-Head of Sports for Ticketmaster, Luter is based in the company’s Orlando office and oversees all aspects of sports business for this operating division that includes the National Football League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, college athletics, NASCAR, PGA Tour and other marquee sport leagues and organizations. Prior to assuming his current post, Luter previously served as Senior Vice President for Ticketmaster’s Stadium, Outdoor and College Sports segment.
- Doug Patterson is a Regional Sales Manager for BSN Sports, one of the nation’s leaders in offering high-quality team sports apparel and equipment from top brands such as Under Armour and Nike. Patterson worked for Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) for 19 years, the majority at Boone High School. For 11 of his 13 years at Boone, he served as the school’s Director of Athletics. Patterson then moved into the Sr. Administrator of Athletics and Activities role for OCPS in the summer of 2016, where he oversaw the middle and high school athletic programs for OCPS.
- Spencer Pylant is Regional Manager of External Affairs for TECO Peoples Gas System, Florida’s largest natural gas distribution utility. He has been with TECO since May 2022 and is responsible for the Central Region of Florida, which includes Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties. Prior to his current role, Pylant was the Vice President of Government Affairs for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, where he represented South Florida business interests. Other previously held positions include communications and government relations liaison for Pasco County Schools and legislative assistant for Florida Senator John Legg.
- R.P. Rama is the President of Sarona Hotels, Investments & Holdings and owner of the company, where he is responsible for the operation of a multi-sector conglomerate of investments in over 22 hotels and several Technology Startup Companies. Rama has been in the Hospitality Travel & Tourism business for 42 years, and brings diverse, out-of-the-box ideas to any organization or board. Rama has spearheaded the company’s management using information technology infrastructure and planning projects, and successfully conceptualized and implemented Sarona’s Management Information System and Information Technology initiatives to succeed in a competitive market.
- Adrianna Sekula is a public policy expert with legislative and municipal experience in transportation, nonprofit, development, tourism, campaigning, juvenile justice and sustainability. Sekula previously managed local government relations at Walt Disney Park & Resorts, served as the Government Affairs Director at the Greater Orlando Builders Association, and led public policy as the Associate Director of Government Affairs at Pace Center for Girls, Inc. She began her career managing a successful campaign for the Florida House of Representatives.
- Cindy Staley serves as the General Manager of Mission Inn Resort & Club where she is responsible for overseeing the hotel’s daily operations, working to guarantee guest satisfaction and foster a productive work environment. Staley develops and implements growth strategies, manages the hotel budget to optimize performance, and supervises all resort staff to ensure efficiency and positive guest experiences. She has held management positions in hospitality for more than 25 years, primarily in Florida, ranging from Miami to Orlando, since 1998. In addition to successful resort management, Staley has assisted and participated in 8-hotel conversions, 3-openings, 7-major renovations and 2-reopenings to date.
- Aaron Stewart is the Vice President of Sports Marketing at Hilton Grand Vacations. In this role, he oversees all aspects of the LPGA Tour’s season opening event, the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, which is televised live on Golf Channel and NBC. Stewart started his career as a tournament coordinator for the Tavistock Cup before joining Diamond Resorts in a nine-month long apprenticeship program designed to develop young professionals into marketing leadership positions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and Applied Physiology and is the son of late PGA Tour icon Payne Stewart.
- Craig Swygert’s 30-year Outdoor career started in Chattanooga with Peterson Outdoor Advertising as a Sales Account Executive. As he worked up through the ranks, he witnessed the consolidation of the Outdoor Advertising industry and worked for four different owners, which ultimately became Clear Channel Outdoor. During this time Swygert amassed seven years of Sales Manager experience, and 17 years of Executive Management experience. He is currently President of the three Central Florida Markets and was recently recognized as “Branch of the Year” for 2019 by Clear Channel Outdoor.
- Scott Weisz is the Senior Vice President, Global Inventory & Revenue Management and Vacation Ownership - Americas East for Marriott Vacations Worldwide. In addition to leading MVW’s Inventory & Revenue Management team, he also has responsibility for eighteen resorts and eight sales galleries from north Florida to Boston. Weisz’s prior roles at MVW included positions in Feasibility & Business Planning and Asset Management where he was involved in new project development, delivery, and optimization. Outside of work, Weisz is involved in local healthcare fundraising as the current Chairman of the Orlando Health Foundation Philanthropy Council.
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