Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at Isenberg


Alumni-On-The-Rise Award Winners 2013

Jeff Ianello, BS '02, Sr. Vice President of Sales, Phoenix Suns


Ianello, named Sr. Vice President of Sales & Service in February, 2013, oversees all elements of ticket sales & retention for the Phoenix Suns, Mercury, and US Airways Center.  This includes leading sales campaigns for suite, club seating, full & partial membership, group programs, and renewals.  In recent seasons, Ianello has spearheaded new organizational initiatives such as "Membership", Variable & Dynamic Pricing, and Secondary Market Strategies, as well as expanding the department's internal staff training and professional growth platforms. 

Ianello, widely considered an industry expert in sales training and development, is currently in his tenth year with the Suns. Since joining the Suns in 2003 he has held positions as Account Executive, Inside Sales Manager, Director of Sales, Sr. Director of Sales, Vice President of Sales, and his current role as Sr. Vice President of Sales & Service. Prior to transitioning to Inside Sales Manager in September, 2005 Ianello produced over $1.1 Million in new ticket plan revenue and was named department MVP for the 04-05 season. Under Ianello's leadership eighteen people have grown from the Suns entry level ranks into leadership positions internally and around the industry.

A Port Chester, NY native Ianello graduated from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst with a degree in Sport Management in 2002 and started his career as a Sales Consultant with the Hornets during their inaugural season in New Orleans. Ianello currently resides in Phoenix with his wife Laura who is the Head Women's Golf Coach at the University of Arizona.


Li Li Leung, MBAMS '03, Managing Director, Helios UK and China


Li Li is the Managing Director of both the UK and China offices for Helios and has served an integral role in the growth of Helios' business globally.  She founded the China office in 2005, directed the servicing of several Beijing Olympic sponsors and was involved in the contract negotiation, strategic planning, Games time activation, and post-Games evaluation process.  Helios' Beijing Olympic clients included brands, such as Samsung, Lenovo, adidas, Volkswagen, Snickers, and BHP Billiton.  Li Li also brokered athlete endorsement deals for multiple sponsors and signed Helios' first athlete representation client with China's first ever Winter Olympic gold medalist and national hero, Yang Yang. Li Li also was a critical member of the team that brought Major League Baseball to China.  

Since moving to London in 2009, Li Li has worked closely with Arsenal Football Club in its global expansion efforts and also on Dow's delivery for their global sponsorship of the Olympic Movement.  She has also overseen projects for a number of London 2012 sponsors, such as Lloyds TSB and Westfield Stratford City.  Li Li is now spearheading Helios' efforts in Turkey and is currently working on taking Turkish brands global.

A former world-class gymnast, full four-year athletic scholarship recipient, and three-time Academic All-Big Ten Conference athlete at the University of Michigan, Li Li came to Helios from Zou Marketing, a Chinese strategic sports branding firm, where she was the Account Director in charge of branding and market entry for Reebok, Electronic Arts, and the NFL.  She holds a BA from Michigan as well as a MBA and Master of Science in Sports Management from the University of Massachusetts where she was selected to the Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society.


Troy Ewanchyna, MS '02, Vice President, Business Development and Digital Strategies, NBC Sports Group


Troy Ewanchyna in September 2011 became Vice President, Business Development and Digital Strategies for NBC Sports Group. In this position he is responsible for driving digital growth and partnerships across, and other NBC Sports assets.  Recent business initiatives include negotiating a partnership with Yahoo! Sports, acquiring rights to first-ever streaming of NFL Super Bowl and supporting various London Olympics digital initiatives.

Previously Ewanchyna was Vice President, Digital Strategy for Comcast Sports Group.  In this position he was responsible for developing multiplatform strategies for the company's regional networks.  His accomplishments included overhauling local sports websites, introducing mobile products and launching live, online streaming - including the Philadelphia 76'ers on - for many of the company's sports networks.

               Prior to joining Comcast, Ewanchyna had fourteen years of business development and marketing experience in sports, media and new technology.  He was previously Director, New Media Business Development with the National Hockey League where his responsibilities included developing the league-wide online content distribution strategy.  He negotiated partnership agreements with emerging technology companies that included YouTube, Verizon Wireless, Apple iTunes, Hulu and Sling Media.

Ewanchyna launched NHL Network, a digital television channel in Canada, and managed day-to-day business operations.  He also served in senior marketing and product management positions at ALK Technologies, a mapping software and GPS navigation company serving both commercial and consumer markets.

Ewanchyna holds a graduate master's degree in sport management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a bachelor's degree in economics from Princeton University, where he was captain of the varsity ice hockey team.   Ewanchyna currently serves as the President of the Princeton University Hockey Association Friend's Group.  He and his wife Lisa live in Lawrenceville, NJ with their three children.


Alex Schwerin, BS, '03, President, Springfield Armor


Alex is in his fifth year as President of the Springfield Armor, an NBA Development League Team in Springfield, MA and affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets. As the first employee of the Armor, Alex has helped build the entire organization from the ground up since it joined the NBA Development League as an expansion team in 2009. The Armor have seen attendance and revenue growth in each of their first three seasons.

Prior to his arrival in Springfield, Alex spent five years in minor league baseball working for the Modesto Nuts, the Class A California League affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. His career in Modesto began in February of 2004 as the Director of Operations. He was promoted to Assistant General Manager prior to the 2005 season and promoted to General Manager before the 2008 season. While in Modesto Alex built a strong relationship with the team's major league affiliate the Colorado Rockies. He was also instrumental in major staff accomplishments during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. During those two years the organization broke the full season attendance record twice and the single game attendance record three times. In 2008, the Modesto Nuts were winners of the "Small Business of the Year" award presented by the Modesto Chamber of Commerce.

A native of Cohasset, Massachusetts, Alex graduated from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst with a Sport Management degree from McCormack Sport Management at Isenberg in May 2003. While acquiring his degree Alex spent four years as an Operations Manager at the Mullins Center Arena on campus and spent all four summers working in the Operations Department for the Bay State Games. Away from work, Alex was recently married in September and enjoys traveling with his wife Jen and spending time with family and friends.




Alumni-On-The-Rise Award Winners 2012


Geoff Iacuessa, BS '01
Executive Vice President and General Manager
Portland Sea Dogs

    The 2012 season will be Geoff's second season as the Sea Dogs' Executive Vice President & General Manager and 12th season with the organization. He began his career with the team as an intern in 2001 and was hired as Director of Group Sales prior to the 2002 season. In 2004 Geoff became the Director of Sales and Promotions and after the 2006 season, Geoff was promoted to Assistant General Manager for Sales and Promotions.
    In 2011 he was named to the Portland Press Herald's "40 under 40" list, recognizing 40 local business leaders under the age of 40. Geoff is a 2001 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in sport management. In addition to his work with the Sea Dogs, Geoff has served on the Maine Children's Cancer Program Board of Directors since March of 2005 and serves on the Portland Community Chamber's Economic Development & City Affairs Committee.


Pamela Ganley, BS '01
Director of Media Relations
Boston Red Sox
Pam Ganley was named Director of Media Relations for the Boston Red Sox in November of 2008. In that role, she acts as the liaison between the media and the team, handles all baseball press conferences and announcements and travels with the club throughout Spring Training and the regular season. She has coordinated several significant press conferences for the Red Sox recently, including Tim Wakefield's and Jason Varitek's retirement announcements, the hiring of manager Bobby Valentine and the naming of Ben Cherington as the club's General Manager.
     Prior to joining the media relations department as the Manager, Media Relations in 2006, Pam served as the Alumni Coordinator, improving relations between the club and its former players and staff. She has assisted in a variety of events and celebrations, including the tribute to Ted Williams in 2002, the reunion of the 1967 Impossible Dream Team, the Jimmy Fund Radio/Telethon, and various activities with Red Sox alumni, including the creation of Autograph Alley on Yawkey Way. Pam originally joined the Red Sox as an intern in June of 2000 while still a student in the University of Massachusetts' Sport Management program.  The Burlington, MA native returned to the Red Sox after graduating with a B.S. from UMass in June 2001. While at UMass, Pam assisted the sports information office and also worked on the Event Staff at the Mullins Center.

Christine Grady, MS '01
Director of Partnership Development
Seahawks & Seattle Sounders FC

    Christy is in her eighth season with the Seattle Seahawks and fourth with Seattle Sounders FC.  She serves as a Director of Business Development securing corporate partners for both organizations.  In addition to renewing current partnerships and developing new business, Christy is responsible for maintaining the relationship between the MLS office and Sounders FC from a partnership's standpoint.  
      She began her professional career serving as the Compliance intern for the University of Notre Dame for one year. Christy moved on to become Account Coordinator for The Gazelle Group; a sports marketing company focused on pre-season college basketball tournaments.  After her time with The Gazelle Group, she served as the Director of Special Events for 16W Marketing in East Rutherford, N.J. There, she managed a number of charity golf tournaments, along with hospitality events at Super Bowl XXXVIII & XXXIX. 
    Grady earned her Bachelors degree in marketing from the University of Notre Dame and her Masters in Sport Management from UMass-Amherst. While at Notre Dame, she served as the women's basketball student manager and during their 1997 NCAA Tournament run, Grady happened to become the "manager-turned-player," and for her efforts was highlighted on CNN's Play of the Day.

Steve Novak, MS '01

Associate AD for Development

Boston College

    Steve Novak is in his 10th season at Boston College and currently serves as Assistant Athletic Director for Development.  Prior to assuming his current role, Novak served as Associate Director - Development, Assistant Director, Flynn Fund and Athletic Development Assistant.
    Novak's duties at Boston College include supervising all aspects of fundraising associated with Boston College Athletics.  He also supervises all aspects of fundraising associated with Boston College's athletic annual fund - the Flynn Fund for its 4,500 members.
    During his tenure Novak managed the implementation and launch of Boston College's first donor-based seating system for basketball in March 2006.  Football donor-based seating was implemented for the 2007 season.  He also initiated Boston College's first-ever courtside seating program.  The Flynn Fund oversees donor services including the University's privileged parking systems for football, basketball and hockey as well as numerous events throughout the year.  The staff also operates BC's 54 luxury suites which generate revenues of $1M annually.