minor league, major value

 

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ryan cook

Co-Owner, Gresham GreyWolves

Assistant Athletic Director, Seattle University

Ryan Cook is currently a member of the Gresham GreyWolves ownership team, as well as an assistant athletic director at Seattle University. Cook has more than a decade of pro sports experience including two years where he served as the general manager and Vice President of the High Desert Mavericks in the California League. His time in professional sports has also included stints with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Hornets and Sacramento Kings. With both the Hornets and the Clippers, Cook set new records for monthly revenues for ticket sales and new business development. Cook also has pro baseball experience, having worked for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

 

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eric edelstein

President, Reno Aces and Reno 1868 FC

Eric Edelstein is currently the President for the Reno Aces, Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Reno 1868 FC, the Division Two professional soccer franchise and top affiliate of the San Jose Earthquakes. With real estate magnate Herb Simon as managing partner, he supervises all business, baseball, and soccer operations of the franchises at Greater Nevada Field in Reno.

In his first three seasons at the helm, the Aces have achieved franchise records in the important revenue streams of sponsorship sales and group events.  In addition, the Aces have launched a significant non-baseball events plan, with a haunted house, ice rink, and numerous other plans set to expand use of Greater Nevada Field into the future.  Last March, Edelstein announced a landmark naming rights agreement, signing a 15 year deal with Greater Nevada Credit Union to put the first ever name on Reno’s downtown venue.

In September 2015, the United Soccer League awarded Reno an expansion franchise to begin play in 2017 at Greater Nevada Field.  Greater Nevada Field made its soccer debut in May 2016 in successfully hosting Liverpool’s U21 club before over 6500 fans.  The soccer story continued with the announcement that Reno 1868 FC would form the second “hybrid” affiliation in American professional soccer, signing on as the top affiliate of the San Jose Earthquakes.

Edelstein, 38, joined the aces in June, 2013, after 10 years with the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, working in Wichita and Northwest Arkansas under the ownership of Rich Products Corporation. Prior to the 2008 Naturals inaugural season, Edelstein orchestrated the relocation to Northwest Arkansas by overseeing the construction of the ballpark and launch of the franchise. Before moving to Wichita, Edelstein served as General Manager of the Jamestown Jammers in Jamestown, NY.  The team’s parent club, the Florida Marlins, won the World Series in 2003, earning Edelstein a World Series ring.


While with Rich Products, ownership sponsored the Bedlington Terriers Football Club in Northern England, giving Edelstein an opportunity to spend two months consulting with the club during the fall of 2011.  He advised on all areas of the operation including event presentation, sales and marketing, and organizational structure.  In the fall of 2014, Edelstein continued consulting internationally with the Durham County Cricket Club in Northern England.
  
A native of Cleveland, OH, Edelstein earned a degree in sport organization management and a minor in marketing from Bowling Green State University.  He started his career in professional baseball in high school as an intern for his hometown team, the Cleveland Indians.  Over the course of his career, Edelstein has filled many rolls for several professional sports teams including the Buffalo Bisons and the Cleveland Lumberjacks Professional Hockey Club.

 

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dave kaval (moderator)

President, Oakland Athletics

On Nov. 17, 2016, David Kaval was named the seventh president in the history of the Oakland Athletics. He replaced Michael Crowley, who has served as club president since Sept. 28, 1998.

Kaval currently serves as the president of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, a position he has held since October 2010. He oversees the business and soccer sides of the franchise and represents the club on the Major League Soccer Board of Governors. He will continue to serve in this capacity as he transitions to his new role with the Athletics.

During his time with the Quakes, Kaval has led a transformation of the organization both on and off the pitch, elevating the stature and awareness of the club. It began with the Quakes winning the 2012 Supporters' Shield, which is awarded to the MLS team with the best regular season record, and culminated in the opening of Avaya Stadium—the Quakes' $100M privately financed soccer stadium—on March 22, 2015.

Since its opening, the 18,000-seat soccer-specific stadium has received numerous awards, including the Silicon Valley Business Times Structure Award and the Product Innovation Award from the Stadium Business Awards in Barcelona. The Quakes have sold out every home MLS match since the stadium opened and boast a season ticket base of 13,000 fans, with an additional 4,000 on the wait list.

The stadium also has played host to world-class events such as USA Rugby matches, the Women's NCAA College Cup, Mexican soccer matches, the MLS All-Star Game, and friendly matches with Manchester United and Club America.

In addition to events at Avaya Stadium, Kaval spearheaded the creation of one of the Bay Area's signature annual sporting events at Stanford Stadium. The Earthquakes play the LA Galaxy every summer at Stanford in the California Clásico, an event that features a world-class halftime show and the largest Fourth of July fireworks display in the Bay Area. The event has sold out with 50,000 fans for the past five years.

Kaval developed the innovative $20M naming rights partnership with Avaya, which helped create the world's first cloud-enabled stadium and some of the fastest wifi speeds of any sports venue open today.

In an effort to improve communication with fans and community stakeholders, Kaval launched a weekly blog on SJEarthquakes.com, started a twitter feed at @QuakesPrez, and initiated weekly office hours.

Prior to joining the Earthquakes, Kaval founded the independent Golden Baseball League (GBL) in 2003. Memorable GBL alumni include Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco, Daniel Nava, Jose Lima, and Mark Prior. Kaval has also spent time in the Office of the President of the United States in Washington, D.C., where he worked on the National Security budget as part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

He serves on a number of boards, including the San Jose Sports Authority, San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the Bay Area Council, and Rocketship Education. Additionally, he serves on the National Governing Board of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) and is a member of San Jose Rotary and the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).

In 2000, Kaval co-authored a book entitled "The Summer that Saved Baseball," which highlighted a tour of all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in the summer of 1998. He is also a lecturer in management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) where he teaches sports management.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Kaval earned a B.A. with honors in International Relations and an M.B.A. from Stanford University. He is a long-time resident of Menlo Park and lives there with his wife and two daughters.

 

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chris murphy

President, Santa Cruz Warriors

Chris is in his second season as President of the Santa Cruz Warriors. In this role, Murphy oversees all operational aspects of the Warriors Development League franchise from a business standpoint. He comes to Santa Cruz after spending 10 years with the Golden State Warriors, performing a variety of roles on the ticketing side of the business. He began his career with the Warriors in June 2005 as a group sales account executive, and most recently served as the team’s Senior Director of Group Sales. Murphy also serves on the NBA D-League’s Team Leadership Council, where he collaborates with other league leaders to offer recommendations in connection with all matters involving the NBA D-League.

A graduate of LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York, Murphy currently resides in Santa Cruz with his wife, KJ, son Connor, daughter Taylor, and dog Boots. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, golfing, and being outdoors.

 

Ari Segal

COO, Arizona Coyotes

Segal joins the Coyotes from the Anaheim Ducks’ organization where he served both as President of Business Operations for Anaheim’s San Diego-based American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, and Special Assistant to Ducks’ CEO Michael Schulman. Segal was a consultant to Schulman for the last three years, advising on a range of special projects including preparations for the new AHL club. Under Segal’s leadership, the Gulls finished second in attendance in the entire AHL during their inaugural season. Segal also recently worked with the NHL in New York in the league’s broadcast media strategy group, evaluating league and club broadcast rights and distribution deals.

Previously, Segal was an associate with McKinsey & Company in the firm’s sports practice, advising clients on business and performance strategy and operations with a focus on maximizing player performance through improved care and development (2011 & 2014).

Segal received his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar, and his JD from Stanford Law School in 2013. He worked in private equity with CCMP Capital Advisors from 2007-09 and in investment banking with Lehman Brothers from 2005-07. Segal graduated from the University of Virginia with distinction in 2005.