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Speaker Series

The Partners in Sports Speaker Series was initiated in 2003 by long-time Partners in Sports supporter Bill Schmidt along with Dr. Buck Jones. Bill is the former vice-president of Gatorade Worldwide Sports Marketing and CEO of Oakley Sunglasses. Bill used his plethora of contacts and relationships to invite industry leaders to speak to students in the Sport Management program with original iteration of Speaker Series being the Partners in Sports Fall Conference. The Fall Conference was traditionally held in the Wolf-Kaplan Room at Neyland Stadium and averaged 150 attendees from 2003 to 2019. The half-day event was managed and operated by the Partners in Sports Student Board of Directors which allowed those students to gain valuable leadership experience in executing an event. The event also allowed for students to interact in a professional environment with one another, alumni and other sport industry professionals.

The conference was restructured in 2020 and held virtually due to factors related to COVID-19. The focus of the conference was women working in collegiate athletics. The 2021 event was a panel discussion featuring perspectives Name, Image, and Likeness in college athletics. In 2022, a speaker series was introduced as the format for the event. The event continues to thrive as professionals interact with our students in the form of the Speaker Series.

2023-24Ashley JahnAssociate Head Coach, Tennessee Swimming & Diving
Ladina PolteraMarketing Operations Manager, Infront Sports & Media
Brooks SavageHead Coach, East Tennessee State University Men’s Basketball
Greg ViaSport Marketing Executive, Gatorade, New Era Caps, Motorola, Gillette
2022-23Justin JacksonDirector of Operations – National Basketball Players Association
Jay GrahamNCAA Division I Football Coach
Adam AlexanderFox Sports – Motor Sports
2021Sheridan GannonHead of Media & Entertainment – Spyre Sports Group
John FulkersonStudent-Athlete – Tennessee Basketball
Kathryn JonesDirector of Name, Image, and Likeness – Tennessee Athletics
Bill TimpanoDirector of Compliance – Tennessee Athletics
2020Carolyn CrutchfieldSWA/Associate Athletic Director – Old Dominion
Rachel FinebergSWA/Assistant Athletic Director – Nova Southeastern
Regina JohnsonDirector of Football Academics – Florida State
Ashlie SantollaDirector of Sports Information – Charleston (W.V.)
2019Sue BuckleyFounder and President – Club Vibes
Che MockFounding Partner – ESQ Agency
Dr. Kendall RaineyAthletic Director – UVA -Wise
Brenda StatonMarketing Assets & Activation Manager – Coca-Cola
2018Natalee AndersonDirector, Private Events – Mercedes-Benz Stadium
CJ FaytonDirector of VFL Programming – Tennessee Athletics
Victoria KlineManager, Social Media & Digital Marketing – Atlanta Braves
Marty MulfordSenior Director of Service & Retention – Nashville Predators
Dara WorrellAssociate Athletics Director – Tennessee Athletics
2017Chris BurtonDirector of Premium Seating – Nashville Predators
Janeen LalikSenior Associate AD – Tennessee Athletics
Dan LeibovitzAssociate Commissioner – Southeastern Conference
Chad SpeckPartner/President – Allegiant Athletic Agency
2016Monica FawknotsonExecutive Director – Metro Nashville Sports Authority
Nigel FieldsChief of Resource Education – Great Smoky Mountains NP
Craig JenkinsSenior Director of Corporate Marketing – Tennessee Smokies
Tyler JohnsonAssociate Athletic Director – Tennessee Athletics
2015Tony JohnsonEVP Business Development – Learfield Licensing
Jennifer HoverstadOperations and Project Manager – o3
Mendy McMurtrySenior Regional Manager – UnderArmour
Ryan RobinsonSenior Associate Athletic Director – Tennessee Athletics
2014Seana SwierzekDirector of Business Development – 160over90
Mark KrauseFounder and CEO – Cyclops Gear
Bridget BurkeDirector of Digital Assets – IMG
Kevin RossVice-President of Footwear – UnderArmour
2013Lisa HurstCEO – Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley
Cory MossSenior VP & Marketing Director – Collegiate Licensing Co.
Keri PottsSenior Director of Public Relations – ESPN
Tom SatkowiakAssociate Director of Media Relations – Tennessee Athletics
2012Colin ClarkAssistant VP of Marketing – Ripken Baseball
John MaedelVP/Assistant General Manager – Chattanooga Lookouts
Jenneen KaufmanVP/Chief Financial Officer – Tennessee Titans
Houston FancherDirector of Operations – Tennessee Basketball
2011Andre LottVol For Life Coordinator – Tennessee Athletics
Carol EvansExecutive Director – Legacy Parks Foundation
John EwartExecutive Director – Tennova Health & Fitness
David KnightDirector of Ticket Operations – Southeastern Conference
2010Tim MackGold Medalist – 2004 Olympics
Bob ReichVice President Customer and Dealer Support – SeaRay
Kevin RossVice President/General Manager – TaylorMade Golf
Bill SchmidtFounder and CEO – Pegasus Marketing
2009Jared KarnesExecutive Vice President – Allegiant Athletic Agency
Larry RobinsonStudent-Athlete – Tennessee Basketball
Debbie CorumAssociate Commissioner – Southeastern Conference
Earl LloydHall of Fame Member – NBA
Greg ViaGlobal Director of Sports Marketing – Gillette
2008Steve EarlyVice President and General Manager – The Vol Network
Dr. Daniel FulksNCAA Research Staff – Transylvania University
Dan HoldenTicket Operations Manager – Atlanta Braves
Jennifer WigginsDirector of Capital and Endowment Giving – Tennessee Athletics
2007Scott PaddockDirector of Sports Marketing – Gatorade
John AlthoffCollegiate Sports Sponsorship Coordinator – State Farm
Andy DolichPresident of Business Operations – Memphis Grizzlies
Mike PaulPresident – MPG & Associates PR Firm
2006Mary Reiling SpencerOnSports, Wasserman Media Group
Kenneth ShropshireDirector, Wharton School of Business
Susan O’MalleyPresident, Washington Sports and Entertainment
Bill KrausVice President of Licensing/Team Sports, UnderArmour
2005Darren RovellSports Business Reporter – ESPN
Kevin DonnellonFounder and President – Macali Communications
Peter BynoeSenior Partner – DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary
Hank SteinbrecherPresident – Touchline Consultants Inc.
2004Bruce WeberPublisher – Scholastic Coach & Athletic Director
Bill KrausVice President of Licensing/Team Sports – UnderArmour
Greg ViaVice-President – New Era Cap Company
Tom CondonPresident – IMG Football
2003Gordon WhitenerCEO – Host Communications
Rob GallasSenior VP of Broadcasting/Marketing – Chicago White Sox
John La SageCEO – Chicago Midwest Burson-Marsteller
David FalkAttorney – SFX Basketball

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