Sport Management Advisory Board
Manager-Guest Services, Colorado Rockies
*MSU Denver Alum
In 2018, Brian, 41, is entering his 24th year with the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club and his 15th season in his current role as Manager – Guest Services. Schneringer spent the three previous years as Supervisor – Guest Services. He was Coordinator-Promotions and Special Events (2000 – 2001), an Operations Assistant (1997 – 1999), and a Guest Relations Representative (1995 – 1996).
In his current position within the Ballpark Operations Department, Brian manages two departments that consist of 300 part-time seasonal game-day employees. The areas cover all Coors Field’s Gate and Restricted Area Operations as well as the Coors Field Operations Center.
A Colorado native, Brian attended Wheat Ridge High School and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Metropolitan State University of Denver, in 1999. Born September 28, 1976, Brian and his wife, Katie reside in Arvada. They have two boys, Charles, and Thomas.
Vice President of Operations, Forward Progress Athletics Consulting
Maricela brings youth, intercollegiate, and Olympic sports experience to her role at Forward Progress where she focuses most her time on Leadership and Development training for student-athletes, coaches and staff in collegiate athletic departments.
Previously the Coordinator of Student-Athlete Development at the NCAA national office, she focused her work on creating impactful programming for student-athletes through leadership conferences, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee support, and NCAA Youth Clinics operations and curriculum creation.
Prior to her time at the NCAA, she served as Event Operations Manager for the United States Soccer Federation, where she was responsible for logistical operations and negotiations for Men's and Women's National Team Events in the United States.
Maricela holds a Bachelor's degree in History from University of California, San Diego, where she was a three-time national champion and team captain for the UCSD Triton women's soccer program. She was vice-chair of the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and recipient of both the SEARS/NACDA Director's Cup Scholarship and NCAA Women's Enhancement Program Scholarship. Maricela also holds a M.S. in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Maricela's commitment to youth leadership and student development continues as she is a National Trainer for the sports-based youth development organization Up2Us. She also serves on the Metropolitan State University of Denver Sport Management Program Advisory Board and periodically teaches as an adjunct professor on campus.
Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing, MSU Denver Athletics
John Kietzmann will begin his seventh year at Metro State in 2017-18 as the assistant athletic director for marketing. He has been instrumental in the fundraising efforts for the new outdoor athletics complex that broke ground in Spring 2013. The $16 million project is set to be completed by winter of 2014-15.
Kietzmann's marketing efforts were instrumental in the men's basketball team setting its season attendance record in 2013-14, as well as securing $1 million naming rights for the The Regency Athletic Complex at MSU Denver, the new outdoor athletics complex. He also designed the new floor in the Auraria Event Center, home to the Roadrunners basketball and volleyball teams.
He joined the Roadrunners during the fall of 2011 after five years in the athletics department at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D., where he spent his last two years as assistant athletic director. At Metro State, he oversees marketing, promotions and special events, along with media relations.
Kietzmann began his time at BHSU as the director of athletic development, supervising and coordinating all marketing promotions and creating new marketing strategies for the Yellow Jackets. He oversaw all aspects of fundraising for athletics at BHSU, and continued the same responsibilities when accepting the position of assistant athletic director in 2009. After the promotion, he added the responsibilities of media relations, sports information and special event planning to his duties. He also has experience as a sports broadcast producer, working for KIIX Sports Radio, overseeing live broadcasts of the Colorado Rockies, Denver Broncos and other professional, collegiate and high school athletic events.
Kietzmann is a Colorado native, graduating from Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins in 1997. He and his wife, Elise (Klima), have a daughter, Emily. Kietzmann graduated from CSU with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 2001. He holds a Master’s from the Colorado State Global and is working on completing his doctorate from Creighton.
Owner, 3D Sports Agency
Adrian Ross left Colorado State University as the 5th all-time sacks leader graduating with a degree in Animal Science. Playing all linebacker positions for the Cincinnati Bengals for 6 years, Adrian showed he was one of the hardest hitters and leaders in the NFL. As an adult with years of life experiences and lessons behind him, Adrian Ross is determined to pass this knowledge on to the next generations and arm them with the tools they need to surpass all of the obstacles that lay in their own paths.
As owner of 3D Sports & Entertainment, Adrian now helps future athletes reach their own dreams both on and off the field, and teaches them integrity in the process. In 2013, Adrian became a NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor. Fulfilling a short time dream to become an NFL agent, Adrian is poised to help players to achieve their longtime dream of NFL success. Adrian Ross currently represents Tyrunn Walker a defensive tackle on the New Orleans Saints.
In 2000, Adrian Ross founded the Maddbacker Foundation. The MaddBacker Foundation opens doors through education and athletics to empower, enrich and inspire our young people through programs in literacy, academic achievement and workshops in leadership. Believing that dreams are for those who sleep, Adrian Ross’ support of our youth and sports legends in the making will help to create in them the same passion he has for his own future and cause them to wake up to see all of the possibilities before them and make their own dreams a reality.
Director of Guest Relations, Sports Authority Field at Mile High / Denver Broncos
Patrick begins his 13th season working for the Denver Broncos as the Director of Guest Relations. In his current position, he oversees 450 staff members for Denver Broncos home football games, Denver Outlaws lacrosse games, and many other events held at the stadium. The Guest Relations staff covers all areas of stadium from ushers to ticket takers to concierge desks and information kiosks.
Patrick grew up in Great Bend, Kansas and joined the US Army as a Military Policeman following high school. He was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, serving with the 503rd MP Company, 3rd Armored Division (Spearhead), and with the 555th MP Company from Ft. Lee, Virginia. Once he left active duty, he entered the US Army Reserve working with the 346th Military Police Company, Escort Guard, out of Hutchinson, KS, and the 530th Military Police Battalion in Omaha, NE. Both units were Enemy Prisoner of War transporting and detaining units. As a Master Sergeant, Patrick retired in 2005 after completing four deployments including Kuwait/Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Iraq.
He received his B.A. from Wichita State University in Sports Administration with a minor in Marketing. Before his current position, he was the Assistant Security Manager and the Guest Relations Senior Manager for Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Patrick resides in Thornton, CO, with his wife, Christina, and their 15-year-old quadruplet boys, Parker, Peyton, Camden and Christian. Pat loves to spend time with his family and attempting to play golf.
Patrick received his Certified Venue Professional (CVP) certification from the International Association of Venue Managers at their annual conference in 2017.
Managing Partner, Gomez Howard Group
*MSU Denver Alum
Jeff Howard is a MSU Denver alum and currently serves as Managing Partner of the Gomez Howard Group, an integrated marketing and communications firm he runs with his wife Gerri. The Gomez Howard Group focuses on connecting the dots for local and national organizations, with a particular emphasis on supporting nonprofit initiatives.
Howard previously worked at the University of Denver as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations. Prior to his role at the University of Denver, Howard served on the Communications Division leadership team and directed the Education and Outreach, Community Relations and Career Services departments at the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). Howard also previously served as Managing Director for Public and Media Relations at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), media relations assistant for the Denver Broncos and sports producer for KWGN-TV in Denver.
Howard has previously served as an adjunct professor at MSU Denver and the University of Denver teaching classes focused on sport governance, sport issues and sport industry operations. In addition, Howard continues to speak on subjects relating to the Olympic Ideals and Values, and was selected as a presenter for an international symposium on "Olympic Values in the 21st Century" prior to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Howard received his bachelor's degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver and his master's degree from Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (Lyon, France) in sports management. He currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Colorado Golf Association and is also a member of the Colorado Association of Black Journalists.
General Manager and Alternate Governor, Colorado Mammoth
Though only in his first season as the General Manager and Alternate Governor of the Colorado Mammoth, Dan Cary has been an important figure in building the Mammoth into one of the most successful franchises in the National Lacrosse League (NLL).
Carey joined the Colorado Mammoth’s front office as Director of Player Personnel on October 20, 2015 after serving as the team’s Head Eastern Scout. A fan-favorite during his playing days, Carey was the Mammoth’s first-round selection in the 2005 NLL Entry Draft. He was a member of the 2006 NLL All-Rookie Team and won the Champion’s Cup in his first pro season. Carey was a three-time all-star (2006-2008) and won the league’s Sportsmanship Award in 2008. That year, he co-founded the Mammoth’s Sticks for Schools program and curriculum that taught fundamentals to elementary school students. A national champion at the collegiate level (Herkimer County Community College, 2003) and in Canada, winning the Mann Cup with the Peterborough Lakers in 2004, 2006 and 2007, Carey won a world championship with Team Canada in the 2007 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship.
Along with his lacrosse experience, Dan was a history teacher and varsity lacrosse coach at the renowned school, The Hill Academy, for two years, having earned bachelor’s degrees in history and education.
Dan and his wife, Lisa, reside in the Denver area. They have two children: their daughter, Nina, and their son Kelson. Dan is an avid hockey player, keeping up his skills by playing weekly. He is also a devoted Pearl Jam fan, and is a member of the Ten Club.
Executive Director, USA Fencing
Kris joined USA Fencing in June 2011 as the director of member services and was named as USA Fencing's executive director in 2013. During Ekeren’s tenure, the organization has enjoyed success on many fronts including strong athlete performance on the international stage, financial stability and strong membership growth.
Previously, Kris was the vice president of national programs for the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Denver. While at NSCD, she also served as the national events / programs manager.
She also enjoyed a long tenure with Apex Recreation District, as the Youth Sports Director, Director of Youth Services and Apex Center Manager. Prior to relocating to Colorado, she began her career with the YMCA as the Aquatic and Youth Sports Director and later worked for the City of Oklahoma City as the athletic and aquatics manager.
Kris has a BBA in Finance and a MS in Sports Management from the University of Oklahoma. She holds her National “C” Coaching License and National Youth License from the US Soccer Federation.
An active volunteer in the community, she has served as a board member for YMCA Camp Shady Brook.
Dean M. Ekeren
Director of National Events, USA Swimming
Dean Ekeren has served as the National Events Director for USA Swimming since 2000. In his position, he is responsible for organizing all National and International competitions held in the U.S., where he maintains a high level of accountability to hosts, athletes, coaches, and volunteers around the country. Mr. Ekeren has been directly involved in the planning, construction, and operation of several major venues and made-for-television events. Sports presentation, event promotions, broadcasts, and team services all fall under his supervision. His marketing roles include event sponsor activations, communications, and relations for one of the most successful governing bodies in Olympic sports.
Prior to coming to USA Swimming, Mr. Ekeren worked in university and community recreation, and served as a consultant on facility design, sport and recreational programming, and risk management. He has also been a university instructor and coached all levels of competitive swimming.
Ekeren received Bachelor’s Degrees in Biology and Animal Science from South Dakota State University where he also competed on the varsity swim team, a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from Oklahoma State University, and a Ph.D. in Sport Administration from The University of Northern Colorado. Ekeren also serves on the Board of Directors for USA Taekwondo.
Executive Director, Denver Sports Commission
Matthew Payne serves as the executive director of the Denver Sports Commission, an affiliate of VISIT DENVER, The Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he is responsible for attracting new regional, national and international sporting events to The Mile High City. Payne also secures sports-related business opportunities for Denver that generate economic impact, engage the community and support Denver’s brand as an active, healthy city. He works closely with the governing bodies of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and international federations to recruit and secure events for the city.
Most recently, Payne was instrumental in securing the next round of NCAA championship events to Denver and the Gold Cup soccer match to Sports Authority Field. He has played a role in a number of high profile national events for Denver including MLS All-Star Game, NHL Stadium Series, and NCAA Division II Spring Festival. His office will also play a lead role in uncovering the potential for Denver to be a host city in future FIFA World Cups and Olympic Games.
Payne was formerly with the Austin Sports Commission where his primary duties included overseeing the agency's efforts to recruit, retain and grow sports and athletic events throughout the Greater Austin area. Payne helped establish the commission under the larger umbrella of the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, Austin's official destination marketing organization.
Prior to his work in sports tourism, Payne was director of national sales for Global Entertainment Marketing, a Phoenix-based company engaged in sports management, event center development, facility/venue management and ticketing. He also worked with the first minor league professional hockey franchise in Austin, the Austin Ice Bats, where he served in several capacities for the startup franchise, including general manager.
Facilities Director, Gold Crown Foundation
*MSU Denver Alum
After graduating from MSU Denver in Spring 2014, Dillon secured an entry-level position with The Gold Crown Foundation. The Gold Crown Foundation is a local nonprofit youth sports and community enrichment organization. The Gold Crown Foundation runs the largest basketball and volleyball leagues, tournaments, and camps in the state of Colorado and surrounding areas. They also have free drop-in after school clubhouse programs where students can enhance their creativity, under the supervision of mentors, in various ways including to, but not limited to music production, robotics, 3D printing, animation, art, coding, and computer animated design. Gold Crown can coordinate and staff events that reach over 500,000 people a year.
Dillon has been involved in designing various environmental sustainability projects that were adopted by the Gold Crown Foundation. Working closely with other staff members, Dillon has helped implement a successful recycling program, a carbon reduction program, and has replaced over 1000 cfl bulbs with LED lighting. These projects did not go unnoticed as Dillon, and The Gold Crown Foundation were awarded the “Community Sustainability Award” from the City of Lakewood and Mayor Adam Paul. In spring 2017, Dillon was nominated by his peers for the inaugural MSU Denver “10 under 10 awards”. This award goes out to ten people that have graduated from MSU Denver in the last ten years, who have achieved professional success, given back to the community, and continue to stay involved in MSU Denver. In December 2017, Dillon was named Facilities Director for the Gold Crown Foundation and now oversees multiple multi-million dollar facilities including The Gold Crown Field House, Coca-Cola All Star Park, and the Edgewater Teen Tech Center.
On a personal level, Dillon likes to stay actively engaged in all local pro and college sports teams. His hobbies include golfing, fly fishing, and snowboarding. Dillon is very passionate about traveling, meeting new people, and learning different customs.