Welcome to the H.O.S.T. Application System Roundtable

Thank you all for agreeing to provide your time and insight to the H.O.S.T. (Helping Organize Sports Tourism) Application System Roundtable.

We realize that every community has their individual approach to managing events that matches their unique needs for success. While we don't aim to change these approaches, we do want H.O.S.T. to help augment them with an insightful, consistent and actionable approach to collecting data in order to drive efficiency and performance.

The need to continue to grow sports tourism and capitalize on this incredibly active segment of our industry is paramount. The intention of the H.O.S.T. Application System is to provide cities with affordable technology that is designed to help create and identify successful events year over year. H.O.S.T. will also drive maximum economic benifit to all business sectors, an impact that can be easily calculated and reported on.

Let’s work together to bring to market a truly industry forward solution.

Sincerely,
Jason Parker

Roundtable Member Updates

(this section will be updated weekly)

Thank you for participating in our inaugural call last week.

We will be publishing our second release on the H.O.S.T. Application site (https://eventconnect.io/host/#updates) by end of day tomorrow. The link will be located within the RESOURCES column of the agenda. Please review this release and provide feedback by answering the corresponding questions. We don’t expect this to take more than 5 minutes of your time.  

The deadline to submit answers to last week's questions is tomorrow by noon. Use this link to submit your answers - https://start.eventconnect.io/host-roundtable-release-one-eventconnect

Review and feedback agenda

This is the official agenda for our roundtable structure. On the days reviews are released you'll be able to find a link to the portion of the application we're looking to gather feedback on. The link will send you to a page with relevant screen shots and at most 5 questions to answer based on those screens. You'll also be able to review the notes for each conference call once the data has been captured, analyzed and condensed.
Be sure to check in regularly for updates.

Date Time Activity Resources
Week 1
Thursday, July 11th 11:00 am EST Conference Call First review
Week 2
Tuesday, July 16th TBA Review release
Thursday, July 18th TBA Conference Call
Week 3
Tuesday, July 23rd TBA Review release
Thursday, July 25th TBA Conference Call
Week 4
Tuesday, July 30th TBA Review release
Thursday, August 1st TBA Conference Call
Week 5
Tuesday, August 6th TBA Review release
Thursday, August 8th TBA Conference Call
Week 6
Tuesday, August 13th TBA Review release
Thursday, August 15th TBA Conference Call
Week 7
Tuesday, August 20th TBA Review release
Thursday, August 23th TBA Conference Call
Week 8
Tuesday, August 27th TBA Review release
Thursday, August 30th TBA Conference Call

The Roundtable Members

Al Kidd - President & CEO with Sports Events & Tourism Association

Al Kidd is the President & CEO of the Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA). He joined Sports ETA in April 2017, bringing more than 35 years of advertising, sales, marketing, venture capital investing, risk management, executive leadership and non-profit experience to his role with the association. ... Kidd manages the strategic and financial direction at Sports ETA, while overseeing events, education, marketing and communications, membership, and sponsorship. Since joining Sports ETA, Kidd has repositioned and rebranded the association establishing a more inclusive brand to lead the sports events and tourism industry and its membership. He has also implemented a new strategic plan, 2020 Vision, to advance the future of sports tourism. Kidd serves on the board of directors for USA Fencing, and the International Association of Event Hosts (IAEH).

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Jonathan Paris - Executive Director with Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce

Jonathan got his start in sports tourism in 1999 at the Massachusetts Sports Partnership in Boston. For 13 years, the last 6 as the Executive Director ... ,he worked to attract and support world class sporting events and meetings to the cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Notable events included the NCAA Div. I Women’s Final Four, the NCAA Lacrosse Championships, the US Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials, the US Figure Skating National Championships, the Dew Tour action sports tour, and the US Olympic Committee Board of Directors Meetings to name just a few. Additionally, Jonathan worked hard to create opportunities for the youth of Massachusetts through the events MSP attracted. Prior to joining Visit Myrtle Beach, Jonathan served as Director of Events at Austin Junior Volleyball in Austin, Texas. In this role, he organized and executed convention center-based USA Volleyball sanctioned girls and boys club volleyball tournaments, including the Mizuno Lone Star Classic National Qualifier in Dallas, one of the largest USA Volleyball sanctioned events in the country with over 1,800 teams on two 3-day weekends. Growing up in Cartersville Virginia, Jonathan attended Hampden-Sydney College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1996. Following a year working for the Goochland, Virginia County Parks & Recreation Department, Jonathan earned a Master of Science in Sport Management from Georgia Southern University. Jonathan and his wife Sarah have three children, Isabella, Stevie, and Charlie and a corgi, Georgie.

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Mike Price - Executive Director with Great Lansing Sprots Authority

Mike Price is the Executive Director of the Greater Lansing Sports Authority (GLSA), an organization he helped found in 2005. The GLSA is the leading voice for sport tourism in the Capital region ... and strives to generate economic impact through sport, while also improving the quality of life for area residents. The GLSA has also been recognized as a best practice sports commission, having received numerous recognitions from the National Association of Sports Commissions, including being recognized as “Sports Commission of the Year”. Mike is the co-founder of the statewide sport co-op, Pure Michigan Sports and serves as lead coordinator. The initiative was launched in 2006 and has been coordinated out of the GLSA offices since inception. Pure Michigan Sports consists of 14 member cities across Michigan, who leverage the award winning “Pure Michigan” campaign to raise the profile of Michigan as a sport tourism destination. Mike is dedicated to growing sport in the community and has taken an active role in volunteering for organizations that positively impact youth and their ability to participate in sport. Mike is the Chair of the CASE Cares Foundation and an active board member of the Miracle League of mid-Michigan. These two organizations were instrumental in the creation of the CASE Cares Miracle Field and programming that allows children of ALL abilities the opportunity to play Miracle League baseball. He has the pleasure of serving as Vice Chair/Chair-Elect of the National Association of Sports Commissions board of directors, and numerous other boards and commissions. Mike’s passion for sports can also be seen in his personal life. If he isn’t working to bring an event to the region, you can probably find him volunteering at an event, coaching, watching his kids play sports, playing in a league or two of his own…or if all else fails, he is likely yelling at his TV while watching sports.

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Bonny Bernat - Sr. Sports and Events Sales Manager with Visit Salem-Winston

Bonny, a native of Massachusetts, relocated to North Carolina in 2007 where she worked with a destination management company in Charlotte serving the motorsports industry. In 2009, she joined the staff at Visit Winston-Salem as the Sports and Events Sales Manager ... and since then, the sports team has grown to include a second full-time sports sales manager and through their efforts, the city is positioned as a premier sports destination. While the team works on a local level to grow existing events, the concentration of their efforts are focused on increasing the number of state, regional and national competitions that are held in the destination annually. Visit Winston-Salem has had the privilege of working with some of the top sports organizations in the industry including (but not limited to) USA Track & Field, USA Ultimate, USA Cycling, NCAA, USA BMX, NJCAA, NIRSA, US Youth Soccer, US Club Soccer, and US Lacrosse. Bonny graduated with a business degree from Worcester State University and has been a member of NASC since 2007. She earned her CSEE in 2013, currently serves on the Executive Committee for the North Carolina Sports Association (sportsnc), and has more than 15 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industries.

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Rick Hatcher - Executive Director with Treasure Coast Sports Commission

Rick Hatcher serves as the Executive Director of the Treasure Coast Sports Commission and is a recognized leader in the Sports Tourism Industry with over 20 years of experience with Sports Commissions ... and the Convention and Visitors Bureaus. As the Executive Director of the Treasure Coast Sports Commission, he oversees the marketing, promoting and recruiting of sporting events that enhance the economic impact and growth for Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties in Central Eastern Florida. Rick has served as Chairman of the National Association of Sports Commission (NASC) as well as serving two terms on the NASC Board of Directors. He is a standing member of the NASC Leadership Council and on the NASC Hall of Fame Selection Committee. He is a graduate of the Certified Sports Events Executive (CSEE) program. As an experienced leader in the sports tourism industry, he has also served on the National Congress of States, the Florida Sports Foundation, Connect Sports Executive Advisory Board and the Florida Sports Hall of Fame. Prior to being named the Executive of the Treasure Coast Sports Commission, he was Director of Business Development for PSA Sports & Event Partners, Executive Director of Lexington Area Sports Authority, Executive Director of the Bluegrass State Games and Executive Director of the Tallahassee Sports Council. Before moving into the sports tourism industry, Rick was a college baseball coach at Florida State University, University of Tennessee, Georgia Tech and the University of South Carolina. He played three years at Florida State University (1979, 1980, 1981) followed by playing in the Atlanta Braves (1981, 1982, 1983). Rick is a graduate of Florida State University with a B.S. Degree in Education.

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Ryan Strickland - Director Business Development / Marketing with Treasure Coast Sports Commission

Ryan Strickland, a Florida native, is a results-oriented leader with a diverse business background. A former athlete at St. Leo University, Ryan earned his Bachelor and Master Degrees from this institution. ... A standing member of the Sports ETA Education Committee plus currently enrolled in the Certified Sports Events Executive (CSEE) Program. As an employee of the Treasure Coast Sports Commission, PlayTreasureCoastFlorida.com, Mr. Strickland spearheads marketing, business development and financials for the organization. Ryan has produced measurable results in the recruitment and retention of sports events that enhance the economic impact and growth for Indian River, St Lucie and Martin Counties in Florida.

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Jason Sands - Director of Sports with Visit Fort Worth

During four years as executive director of the Evansville (Indiana) Sports Corp., he managed and secured such events as the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Elite Eight and National Championship ... in 2014 and 2015, NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Midwest Regionals during 2014-2016, and the 10th Annual U.S. Figure Skating National Theater on Ice Competition earlier this year. A graduate of Indiana University, Sands was accredited as a certified sports event executive by the National Association of Sports Commissions and served on the founding board of directors of Sports Indiana. He also spent time as the director of sponsorship and marketing for the EVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour and as the director of sports development at the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority. Sands continues to build from the strong base Fort Worth Sports Marketing already has in place, which includes hosting the 2015 and 2016 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships. The group was also instrumental in bringing the 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 Women’s Gymnastics National Championship and 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament first and second rounds to the new Dickies Arena, which is scheduled to open in 2019.

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Scott Hofmann - Senior Manager of Sports Operations with Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Scott joined the WCCVB as an intern in the summer of 2007, returned as a part-time staff member in 2008, and became a full-time employee in November, 2009. Scott assists all of the annual sporting events ... affiliated with the WCCVB, and is heavily involved in the event operations for the events owned by the WCCVB. Scott helps to research, create, plan and run events, and works with the area hotels and other partners in Warren County as well. Scott received his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati in 2005 and earned a master’s degree in Education and Sport Administration from Xavier University in 2007. Scott earned the designation of Certified Sports Event Executive in 2014. Scott currently resides in South Lebanon, Ohio with his wife and son.

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Adam Ashton - Sports Development Manager with Experience Kissimmee & KissimmeeSports

Adam received his degree in Television Production from the University of Florida. After working in television for a few years, he decided to go back to get his Masters degree and pursue a career in Sports Business. ... After graduating from the DeVos Sports Business Management program at the University of Central Florida, Adam started an internship at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Adam then spent time at the Central Florida Sports Commission, as well as the Lake County (FL) Tourism Office as a Sports Development Coordinator with both organizations. Adam now serves as the Sports Development Manager for the Kissimmee Sports Commission, a role he has held for 2.5 years. Adam currently live in Winter Garden, Florida with his wife Christina and his four year old son Keegan.

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