“Each member will get out of [Sports ETA] what they put into it, and are asked to use their passions within our industry to make us stronger.”
That is exactly what Don Dukemineer does. He is the co-chair of the Mentoring & Engagement Committee and the current Sports ETA Treasurer.
Don is also the Director of Sports Development at Decatur-Morgan County Tourism where he is responsible for the sales and development of attracting sporting events, tournaments or competitions to the area. For Don, that entails building relationships with city and county officials, while also spearheading efforts to build new facilities or opportunities to increase economic development within our community.
Don says he’s always willing to help whether that’s giving advice or input on industry best practices or dressing up as a ‘Minion’ at a tradeshow, where he got mistaken for an actual park character.
“For once in my life, maybe I was a ‘re...
Share the knowledge. That’s what Gray Williams wants to do for Sports ETA members, new and not so new.
“I begged, borrowed lots from Sports ETA members to get where we are today,” said Williams. “I am always happy to help anyone who is looking to move towards this.”
All that begging and borrowing has led her to this - the Executive Director of Greenville- Pitt County Sports Commission, a newly formed organization. Launching in July 2019, the commission is just beginning to show how the area is an emerging sports destination. Her role is to lead the sports commission in being a preferred sports destination for events, vendors, visitors and beyond.
“We are a small destination with big city feels and budget friendly hospitality,” Williams said. “We also understand what we are and what we are not. Knowing we have 2,000 hotel rooms puts us in a position where some events could be a fit and some are not.”
Gray suggests partner...
He was known once as a hero in the small town of Beaver, Oklahoma after he and his cross country team won the Class 2A State Championship. Today, that memory holds a special place in Clay Partain’s heart as his love for sports bleeds into his job.
Clay is the Director of Sports Market Sales at Visit Salt Lake. There, he oversees the sports market for the visitor’s bureau to ensure the growth of sports tourism in Salt Lake, and also the positioning of the CVB in a positive and effective manner amongst local and national partners and clients.
“My role in a large market DMO such as Visit Salt Lake, requires a certain amount of political navigation and strategic relationship building,” said Partain. “In particular when working with our various municipalities, chambers, mayors, parks & rec offices, venues, and our state-level sports commission office. Keeping a healthy partnership with these entities can be very time consuming, but ultimately is...
From two Olympics to the NCAA and state games, event planning his Russ Yurk’s specialty. Along with being a great Sports ETA mentor, Russ is the president of 129 Sports LLC. His company provides world-class event planning and project management to clients.
Russ leads the NCAA Championships host bid process. He’s also planning a U-18 world championship for USA Baseball in 2021. On the side, he’s the commissioner of the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. They are a Division I/II conference that receives one of five automatic bids into the NCAA tournament.
After working at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Russ hopes to work on one more summer Olympics before he retires saying, “there is nothing better. International events are an amazing experience.”
Russ speaks to groups about his experience in event planning and when he does, he asks this ice-breaker question- if you could attend any s...
Casey Taker’s bucket list:
Working in an industry she loves - COMPLETE
Going on the field at a Super Bowl - COMPLETE
Completing an IRONMAN 70.3 with her father - COMPLETE
Visiting Alaska to complete her goal of visiting all 50 states
This Sports ETA mentor has done something many will never attempt- Casey Taker completed an IRONMAN 70.3. She and her father crossed that finish line together in Maine last year.
Casey works at The IRONMAN Group as Senior Manager, Athlete Development. There she develops strategy and programming to support the entire athlete journey from initial engagement to athlete retention across two of their largest brands, IRONMAN and the Rock N Roll Marathon Series.
In her current role, Casey has become well versed in:
Creating opportunities for athletes to engage deeper with both a brand and a host destination. This synergy is imperative to maximize the athlete experience and retain athletes.
Defining the athlete ...
For Tyler Childs, the phrase ‘young at heart’ is all too true. Sports are his life- when he’s not working, he’s playing them. Golf in the summer, curling in the winter, and baseball all in between. He jokes that people say he needs to take it easy and slow down. He laughs it off every time.
“I am told regularly I'm too old for the sports that I play. I tell them I'm part of the youth movement,” says Childs.
As President and CEO of Sport-Travel, Childs’ primary responsibilities are to lead their team while executing on our short and long-term strategic plans.
“Although 'responsibilities' is the right word to describe the tasks and expectations of my role I view them as my privileges and opportunity to make our industry a little stronger each and every day,” Childs says. “I don't believe I am done learning and I take each day as an opportunity to grow and better myself and our team.”
HELP! Have you ever just blurted this out in the middle of everything? I know I have, multiple times. If you’re a rights holder, an event organizer, or even a supplier, you have mastered the art of being an excellent multi-tasker, or have you? With so many deadlines and multiple projects going on around you, you are working around the clock. You have your hands in everything such as site selections, contract negotiations, building the registration platform, marketing, room block monitoring, food & beverage selection, onsite registration, room set up, and speakers, the list is endless. Who does all that work? The answer is usually one person does it all.
Have you ever thought about forming a “Study Abroad” internship program? Well, it is a pretty simple process, as long as you find the right partner who is willing to help you every step of the way. In fact, many of the accredited universities have a study abroad program and are willing to hold ...
More than ever, today's business climate is transitioning from being male-dominated to embracing equality. Even as a woman, and a mom at that, embracing this is not easy – mom guilt is real. I cannot count how many times I have been asked why I work or have been told I am missing out on my toddler’s childhood. These people could not be more wrong and out of date. Just look at the sports world in today’s society! The thing is, even science can back me up. Research shows mothers who work have long-lasting, positive effects on their kids that go all the way into adulthood. Maybe this shows them that being a parent and working embrace having responsibilities by providing for the ones they love!
Being a woman in the sports industry – I can be up against some stigmas sometimes. I adore my job and I know I am good at what I do. But, it doesn’t help that sometimes it can be harder for me to be taken seriously or move up. I have definitely heard jokes on &ld...
While it’s months away, chances are that Ariana Tyler has the date marked on her calendar for the football tailgating season to come back. Ariana says that her favorite time out of the whole year is, “Saturday afternoon in September or October, because it means football and tailgating.”
As a die-hard Michigan State fan, Ariana’s favorite sports memory was going to the Rose Bowl with her father in 2014 and watching her Spartans steal the win from Stanford in the last minute of the game.
For Ariana Tyler, the sport event industry is about giving people a life-long memory. She enjoys meeting peers from across the country and building relationships within the industry.
“Learning from others has truly helped me be a better event planner and provide that next level of servicing to our clients,” says Tyler. “Plus, it’s always fun to hear what cool things other cities are doing!”
As an Events Manager for the Greater Columbus Spo...
If Cole isn’t relaxing on a boat with his friends and family, you can be sure he’s networking until you know the name of Wicomico County, Maryland. Cole works to connect with peers and colleagues to help bring big scale events to a small market.
“I focus on strengthening and growing my professional network not only locally, with facilities and various organizations, but nationally with colleagues and event organizers,” said Cole Lacey.
Cole was recently promoted to Assistant Tourism Manager at Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism/TEAM Maryland. His main focus is on bringing new business to Wicomico County including developing proposals and budgets for events with the goal to grow economic impact. Additionally, Cole assists event organizers with logistics and management including facility set up and volunteer/ staffing needs.
If there is one thing to take pride in working in sport tourism and events, its recognizing the impact that one single ...