Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management Announces Annual Alumni Awards
April 27, 2020
The school names eight alumni as winners of its highest 2020 honors, the Alumni on the Rise Award and the Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Alumni on the Rise Award
This award, which was launched in 2013, recognizes alumni who have graduated within the past five to ten years and have demonstrated exceptional achievement within the sport industry while giving back through time and resources to the McCormack Department of Sport Management at Isenberg:
Andrew George, MS 2010
George has been a rising star since joining the Honda Classic golf tournament in 2009, fresh out of McCormack’s M.S. in Sport Management program. George helped start the Birdies for Children program, which allows local charities to team up with the Honda Classic and present their donors with a chance to win a new Honda while raising money for their charities. After several years filling in a variety of positions in community relations, sales, and operations, he has spent the past five years as the Tournament Director, welcoming more than 200,000 fans to the event annually and helping generate over $20 million in charitable giving.
Victoria Neamonitis, BBA/BS 2012
Neamonitis, a 2012 McCormack graduate, is currently an Associate Director of Sports Strategy at Optimum Sports—a division of Omnicom Media Group. Neamonitis joined Optimum Sports in New York City immediately after graduation; she manages relationships with AT&T, Barclays, and Under Armour. With a focus on sports marketing and media, she advises clients on their overarching sports sponsorship strategy and execution across various properties, from College Football to Golf. While at UMass, Neamonitis was a Mark. H. McCormack Department of Sport Management Ambassador and a member of the UMass Association of Student Sport Managers; she was also active with Isenberg Women in Business. Today, Neamonitis is excited to have recently joined the McCormack Young Alumni Advisory Council (MYAAC). She proudly hails from Westwood, Mass., and currently resides in New York City with her husband Chris.
Caitlyn Prandato, MS 2010
Caitlyn Young Prandato re-joined Harvard Athletics in the fall of 2010 following a year-long internship with the department's operations group. Prandato assumed the title of Travel and Operations Coordinator upon her return. Prandato received a degree in finance and marketing from Boston College in 2008 and was a four-year member of the field hockey team. After graduating from B.C., she earned a master's degree in sport management from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2009. Prandato and her husband John reside in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Andrew Sherwin, BS 2009
Andrew Sherwin is the Senior Director of Business Intelligence & Operations at the Boston Celtics, where he oversees the team’s ticketing, CRM, and data warehouse solutions, providing support to the ticket sales, member experience, finance, sponsorship activation, and marketing departments. Prior to joining the Celtics in 2009, Sherwin had interned with the organization twice, in, 2007 and 2008, in the Ticket Operations & Service department. In his current role, Andrew continues to advance the ticketing and analytics capabilities of both the Celtics and Maine Red Claws.
Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award
Since 1993, the Department of Sport Management has awarded the Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award in honor of Dr. VanderZwaag’s unwavering dedication and commitment to the department. Honorees are alumni who display professional excellence, outstanding achievement in the sports industry, and dedication to the McCormack Department of Sport Management:
Catherine Carlson, MS 1998
Carlson is the Senior Vice President, Revenue and Strategy for the Philadelphia Eagles. She is responsible for driving revenue for the team primarily through new sponsorship, media, and premium opportunities. Carlson also spent 11 seasons working for the Orlando Magic. As SVP of Corporate Partnerships and Premium Activation, she was responsible for driving revenue for the Magic, affiliated properties, and events, while also leading efforts to grow the Magic’s corporate sponsor base. Prior to joining the Magic, Carlson worked at Walt Disney World for 11 years, where she held various roles, including Manager of Alliance Development, developing corporate partnerships within the theme parks. Carlson also currently serves as an Independent Board Member for USA Cricket.
Ben Cherington, MS 1997
Ben Cherington was named General Manager of the Pirates on November 18, 2019, thus becoming the 13th G.M. in the history of the club. In his role, Ben is responsible for the entire baseball operations department, which includes overseeing the Major League club as well as scouting and player development. The 2020 season marks Cherington’s 22nd in Major League Baseball. Prior to joining the Pirates, Cherington served the Toronto Blue Jays as Vice President of Baseball Operations, a position he held since September 14, 2016. Cherington held the position of Executive Vice President/General Manager of the Boston Red Sox from October 2011 until August 2015. For his efforts in 2013, Cherington was named MLB’s Executive of the Year by both The Sporting News and the Boston chapter of the BBWAA. Cherington began his professional baseball career with the Cleveland Indians as an advance scout in 1998. After playing four years of varsity baseball at Amherst, he spent a year as an assistant coach for his alma mater while working toward his master’s degree at UMass. Cherington completed Harvard Business School’s Program for Leadership Development in 2009. Ben has completed the Boston, New York and Disney Marathons.
Daryl Jasper, BS 1993
Jasper was promoted to vice president in April 2017 to provide senior oversight to select university partners within Learfield’s East Region. He previously served four years as General Manager for Learfield’s Rhody Sports Properties, representing the URI Rhody Rams. He has also spent five years serving as Executive Director-Business Development for the Thomas M. Ryan Center and URI Athletics. Jasper also spent 14 years inside minor league baseball, with roles including Vice President-Business Operations for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Double-A affiliate for MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays) and Assistant General Manager for The Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A affiliate for MLB’s Boston Red Sox).
During Lenfest’s tenure, Westfield has added varsity women’s lacrosse, men’s ice hockey, and men’s and women’s golf to its sport offerings. Lenfest has also led fundraising efforts that have helped Westfield State establish its hockey team, improve its baseball and softball fields, and rename its track, creating endowed funds for track, hockey, and cross country, as well as starting the Owl Club annual and corporate giving programs and Owl Club golf tournament to support athletics.
Lenfest is a graduate of the sport management program at UMass Amherst and earned his MBA from American International College, where he also served as assistant athletic director and assistant women’s basketball coach. Before beginning his career in college athletics, Lenfest worked for ten years in professional baseball as an assistant general manager in the New York Mets system, with stops in Pittsfield, Mass. and Kingsport, Tenn.
About the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management
The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the few sport management programs housed within a business school: the Isenberg School of Management. U.S. News & World Report ranks Isenberg as a top public undergraduate business school in New England, and Isenberg’s online MBA is ranked #3 in the world by the Financial Times (2019). The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management is one of the oldest such programs in the world, and the program’s network includes more than 2,500 sport industry alumni, featuring leaders and innovators within every segment of the commercial sports industry. The department has one of the top undergraduate programs in the country, and its graduate program—consisting of master’s (MS) level as well as dual-degree (MBA/MS) concentrations—is currently ranked #1 in the world by one of the industry’s leading publications, SportBusiness.
For more information, visit the McCormack Department's program page at: