Mike Gordon President of Business Operations
Mike Gordon is in his eighth season as the Wolves president of business operations after joining the organization as vice president of partnerships in February 2009.
The 2015-16 season marked the fifth time in six years the Wolves increased their revenue and the team perennially ranks among the top AHL franchises in sponsorships and ticket sales.
During Gordon’s tenure, the front office won the 2010 President’s Award given annually to one American Hockey League organization to reward excellence in all areas off the ice. The Wolves won Sponsorship Sales Department of the Year awards in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 and were recognized for excellence in community service in 2012 and fan experience in 2013.
Gordon received the James C. Hendy Memorial Award, which honors the executive who has made the most outstanding contribution to the AHL, following the 2012-13 season. He currently serves as the head of the league’s sales and marketing committee.
Prior to joining the Wolves, Gordon served as the vice president of sales for the Arena Football League’s Chicago Rush and oversaw all of the team’s corporate sponsorship initiatives. Under Gordon’s direction, the Rush ranked among the AFL’s top three teams in corporate sponsorship revenue for five consecutive years (2004-08). In addition to his sponsorship duties, he oversaw ticket sales during his first three seasons with the Rush. Attendance increased 56 percent during that time and the franchise drew its first sellout crowd. During his tenure, the Rush won the AFL Commissioner’s award for Organization of the Year three times.
The 47-year-old Gordon also spent seven years in the athletic department at DePaul University. He concluded his run at the Lincoln Park school as Assistant Athletic Director for External Relations, where he oversaw the licensing, marketing, ticket sales, and sponsorships for the athletic department. In addition to his departmental duties, he taught undergraduate classes in sports marketing.
A graduate of Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., Gordon received his MBA in Marketing at DePaul. He also performed consulting work for the Chicago Blackhawks, the 1994 World Cup, and several minor league baseball teams.
Gordon and his wife, Susan, have a daughter, Katie, and a son, Alex, and live in Arlington Heights, where he coaches various youth sports. He serves as President of the Arlington Heights Park District Foundation and sits on the DePaul University Marketing Advisory Board.
Courtney Mahoney Sr. Vice President of Operations
Courtney Mahoney is in her 22nd season with the Wolves and eighth as the senior vice president of operations.
The Western Springs native and Lyons Township High School graduate joined the Wolves’ community relations department in 1996 and moved into the leadership role before the 1997-98 season. She assumed control of game operations prior to the 2000-01 season before being named director of operations in 2004.
The 42-year-old Mahoney, who earned the AHL’s Ken McKenzie Award in 2009 for outstanding promotion of the team, has spearheaded some of the club’s most successful community endeavors, including the Read to Succeed and Adopt-A-Dog programs. Under her supervision, more than $4 million has been raised for Chicago Wolves Charities.
Mahoney and her staff were honored with the AHL Community Service Award for their community relations efforts during the 2011-12 season. The following year, Mahoney and the team earned the AHL’s award for providing the most outstanding fan experience in the Western Conference.
A 1996 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Mahoney resides in Chicago with her dog, Mick.
Jon Sata Sr. Vice President, Partnerships & Business Development
Jon Sata is in his second full season as senior vice president of partnerships and business development. Prior to being elevated to his current role in December 2016, Sata spent six seasons as the vice president of partnerships. The Purdue graduate came to the Wolves after one season as sponsorship executive for the Professional Bull Riders (PBR).
Before that, the 39-year-old worked as director of corporate partnerships for NASCAR’s Phoenix International Raceway and director of national sales/regional sales manager for Live Nation Motor Sports (currently Feld Entertainment).
Under Sata’s direction, the Wolves have won the American Hockey League’s Sponsorship Sales Department of the Year award three times (2010-11, 2011-12 and 2014-15).
Sata and his wife, Sarah, reside in Elmhurst with their two sons, Justin and Jeremy, daughter, Sonya, and dog, Chile.
Kevin Dooley Sr. Executive Director of Ticket Sales
Kevin Dooley, who joined the Wolves in January 2011 as E-Business Specialist, is in his fifth season as the team’s Senior Executive Director of Ticket Sales.
Before joining the Wolves, Kevin served as corporate partnerships manager for the Lake County Fielders, consulted for Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid, and got his start in the sports industry as an account executive for the Chicago Rush arena football team.
Prior to his transition to sports, Dooley served as business development analyst for NorthShore University HealthSystem. Dooley is a University of Dayton alum and received his Master’s of Sports Administration from Northwestern University in 2012.
He resides in the north suburbs with his wife and their daughter.
Lindsey Willhite Director of Public Relations
Lindsey Willhite is in his seventh season as the Wolves’ director of public relations.
Prior to joining the organization, the 50-year-old spent 22 years as a Daily Herald sports writer, where he covered everything from high school sports to the pros. He focused on college football and basketball, but helped with the paper’s coverage of the Bears, the 2005 World Series champion White Sox and the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.
The Champaign native was graduated from Illinois State University, where he earned a B.S. degree in Finance. In his spare time, he serves as the parent volunteer president of the Maverick Swim Club. Willhite, his wife, Christie, and their children — Kellie, Katie, and Michael — live in Naperville.
Dana Wildman Executive Assistant
Dana Wildman joined the Wolves in August 2012 as the executive assistant.
Prior to joining the organization, the California native spent two years working as a personal trainer at Midtown Athletic Club in Bannockburn where her duties included helping twins Liz and Marie Canavan prepare for “The Amazing Race.”
The Eastern Illinois University graduate enjoys working out and lives in Lake Forest with her two sons.
Eric Zavilla Executive Director of Tickets Sales & Retention
Eric Zavilla is in his 19th season with the Wolves and serves as the team’s executive director of ticket sale and retention. The 43-year-old Palatine native joined the club as a ticket sales representative in 1999. He rose through the ranks as account executive, senior account executive, season ticket sales manager, director of season ticket sales, executive director of ticket sales and services and executive director of season ticket sales and retention.
A 1999 graduate of the University of Kansas, Zavilla entered the hockey business as an intern with the International Hockey League’s Kansas City Blades while in college.
Zavilla and his family live in the northwest suburbs.
Jackie Schroeder Sr. Director of Ticket Retention & Services
Jackie Schroeder is in her 14th season with the Wolves and third as the senior director of ticket retention and services.
The 35-year-old Bloomingdale native joined the organization as a ticket sales and services assistant in September 2004. She served as ticket sales and services manager before assuming her current role in June 2015.
Prior to joining the Wolves, the Ball State University graduate worked in the stadium/event operations of the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona and spent time in the game operations department of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Schroeder and her husband, Nate, have a daughter, Zoey, and live in the northwest suburbs.
Stefanie Evans Sr. Director, Program Development
Stefanie Evans is in her 12th season with the Wolves and second as senior director of program development.
The Illinois State University graduate joined the organization in December 2006 as an account executive and assumed a role as director of program development prior to the 2011-12 season.
She has earned the American Hockey League’s award for the Western Conference’s Top Group Sales Executive each of the last four seasons – and has finished among the top three each of the last six seasons.
Steve Winner e-Business Specialist
Steve Winner is in his fifth season as the team’s e-business specialist.
Prior to becoming a part of the Wolves front office, he worked for 23 years in Allstate Insurance’s IT department. He also worked for Electronic Golf Organizer for two years as a project manager and Jaci’s Cookies for three years in the company’s marketing, development and quality control departments.
The Elgin native was graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. degree in Computer Science.
He lives in Hoffman Estates with his wife, Kelly. They have two grown children, Victoria and Joe.
Rob Newburg Youth Hockey Coordinator
Rob Newburg is in his sixth season as the team’s youth hockey coordinator. He serves as the team’s primary liaison to local rinks and clubs.
During his first stint with the Wolves, he worked in the group sales and youth hockey departments from 2002-05.
The Chicago native graduated from DePaul with a degree in human developmental psychology.
He spent four years with the Chicago Steel (USHL) as the youth hockey director and currently serves as a director for a youth hockey club in the western suburbs.
Anthony Krzyzak Sales Development Manager
Anthony Krzyzak is in his first year as sales development manager and eighth season with the Wolves overall.
He joined the organization in October 2010 as a ticket sales intern and worked his way up to senior account executive in June 2015 and sales development manager in January 2017.
A 2010 graduate of the University of Illinois, Krzyzak entered sports business as a sales and marketing intern for the Western Golf Association.
The 29-year-old lives in Chicago.
Leslie Metcalf B2B & Group Event Specialist
Leslie Metcalf is entering her second full season with the Wolves after joining the organization in January 2016.
Her breadth of sales experience includes corporate, student life, tourism and youth development throughout the Chicago area.
Mike Czopek Sales Development Manager
Mike Czopek joined the Wolves in August 2013 as an inside sales representative in the ticket sales department. Czopek was promoted to account representative in 2014, account executive in August 2015 and sales development manager in January 2017.
The Arlington Heights native is a Xavier University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. While at Xavier, he captained Xavier’s club volleyball team and served as Xavier’s Club Sports Executive Board President for two years.
Before the Wolves, he also spent time as a fan services representative with the Chicago Bears and completed internships while in school with the Sears Centre Arena, the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones, U.S. Bank Arena and Cincinnati Public Schools.
Pawel Sienko Senior Account Executive
Pawel Sienko joined the Wolves in August 2013 as an inside sales representative. He received a promotion to senior account executive in October 2017.
The 29-year-old native of Poland was graduated from Ball State University, where he majored in Sport Administration and minored in Marketing.
Prior to joining the organization, he spent two years working for the ABA’s Indiana Diesels.
In his spare time, the Lake Zurich resident enjoys playing basketball.
John Brooks Group Account Executive
John Brooks joined the Wolves organization as an inside sales representative in August 2014, was promoted to account representative in June 2015 and became a group account executive prior to the start of the 2016-17 season.
The South Holland native sold tickets for the Bloomington Thunder and Peoria Rivermen in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) while completing his bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Illinois State University.
He served as the president and captain of ISU’s roller hockey team during his junior and senior years.
Dan Velarde Group Account Executive
Dan Velarde joined the Wolves as a group account executive in January 2017.
Prior to joining the organization, Velarde spent time with StubHub, the Chicago Cougars (USPHL) and the Chicago Mustangs (MASL).
The Lombard native is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.
Prior to his full-time position with the Wolves, the 30-year-old was a member of the Spirit Team and assisted the game operations department at Wolves home games.
Brian Cyganek Account Representative
Brian Cyganek began his tenure with the Wolves in October 2016.
The 25-year-old account representative came to the Wolves from International Sports Management where he was an account executive.
In 2015, Cyganek graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Marketing/Management and a Business minor.
A competitive two-sport athlete growing up, the Illinois native now enjoys both basketball and baseball recreationally. He has also had the opportunity to play basketball with Marcus Jordan, son of six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan, in the Rising Stars All-Star Game as part of Joy of the Game.
Katherine Damisch Marketing Coordinator
Katherine Damisch joined the Wolves in May 2016 as marketing coordinator.
The 28-year-old Chicago native received a B.A. in Theatre from Denison University in 2011 and graduated with a master’s degree in Sports Administration at Northwestern University in June 2017.
Along her path to the Wolves, Katherine earned experience at St. Joseph Services, Bredemann Ford and the Collaboraction Theatre Company.
Her skills as a pianist and a singer have enabled her to travel the world. She has performed in 40-plus countries across four continents.
Damisch and her husband, Kevin, reside in Glenview.
Adam Goldberg Group Events & Youth Sports Executive
Adam Goldberg joined the Wolves in June 2015 as an inside sales representative. In April 2016, he earned a promotion to group sales and youth sports representative and then in August 2017 he was elevated to group events and youth sports executive.
Prior to his Wolves hire, the 2014 graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst worked for the Springfield Falcons (AHL) in game night operations and in hockey operations for the UMass men’s hockey team.
The Chicago native played varsity hockey for Deerfield High School and serves as a squirt coach for the Highland Park Falcons.
During a marketing stint at V8 Supercars in Australia, he took advantage of the opportunity to skydive in Australia, scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef and bungee-jump in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Joseph Swintek Account Representative
Joseph Swintek joined the Wolves in June 2016 as an inside sales representative and earned a promotion to account representative in May 2017. Soon after, he segued to a group account representative.
The Orland Park native graduated from Illinois State University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing.
The 27-year-old has served as the head coach of Lincoln-Way Central High School’s girls junior varsity volleyball team and as a financial representative for AIG in Downers Grove.
Michelle Alcazar Group Account Executive
Michelle Alcazar joined the Wolves in July 2017 as an inside sales representative before being promoted to Group Account Executive in October.
The Deerfield native came to the organization after graduating in June 2017 from DePaul University, where she double majored in Marketing and Sports Management.
While attending DePaul, the 22-year-old worked as a ticket representative in the athletic department and spent time as a fan services representative for the Chicago Bears. Alcazar served as a consultant for the American Hockey League’s San Diego Gulls to develop a marketing campaign focused on leveraging local partnerships and increasing ticket sales.
In her spare time, Alcazar enjoys exploring Chicago’s many neighborhoods, hiking and playing roller hockey.
Brian Franklin Inside Sales Representative
Brian Franklin joined the Wolves organization in July 2017 as an inside sales representative.
The La Grange native graduated from Seton Hall University in 2016 with a B.S. in Sport Management and Finance. Between graduation and the Wolves, Franklin spent seven months as a marketing analyst for Ticket Monster.
The 23-year-old enjoys traveling and attended the 2012 Olympics while in London.
Hunter Tickel Inside Sales Representative
Hunter Tickel came to the Wolves in August 2017 as an inside sales representative.
The Naperville native previously worked as an account executive for the Chicago Mustangs (MASL).
In 2012, the 26-year-old graduated from the University of Cincinnati where he majored in Journalism and minored Public Relations. Tickel was a member of the Cincinnati men’s club soccer team that earned a regional championship during his freshman year.
Tickel is an avid soccer fan and roots for Chelsea F.C. In college during a month-long study abroad to South Africa, Tickel seized the opportunity to attend three FIFA Wold Cup games.
Now residing in Old Irving Park, Tickel spends his free time training for the next Chicago Triathlon.
Eric Rivard Ticket Coordinator
Eric Rivard joined the Wolves in September 2016 as ticket coordinator.
The Traverse City, Michigan, native moved to Chicago following his graduation from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s of science in Geography.
During his time at ASU, Rivard played two full seasons and part of a third with ASU men’s ice hockey team. As a freshman, he helped the Sun Devils capture the 2014 American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I Men’s National Championship.
Growing up on the east side of Lake Michigan and now residing on the west side, Rivard enjoys sailing. He has been both a sailing instructor and lifeguard.
Rivard is also a foodie who enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Kendall Hutchinson Ticket Sales and Services Coordinator
Kendall Hutchinson is entering his first full season with the Wolves after being hired as ticket sales and services coordinator in January 2017.
The Oak Park native attended the University of Missouri and graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management – with an emphasis on sports venue management – in 2014.
Prior to joining the Wolves full time, Hutchinson functioned as a game-night staff member for the ticket sales department.
The 26-year-old has also worked ticket operations for both the Chicago Bears and Cubs. Additionally, he worked stadium operations with the Normal Cornbelters (FL) baseball team.
Greg Sprott Director, Partnerships
Greg Sprott is in his seventh season with the Wolves and second as director of partnerships.
The Wolves have been recognized as the AHL Sponsorship Sales Department of the Year three times during his tenure. Prior to joining the Wolves, Greg gained valuable experience with corporate partnerships working at Canlan Ice Sports, the Quad City River Bandits and General Motors.
Greg, his wife, Ashley, and their 2-year-old son, Blake, reside in Glenview.
Doug Ferguson Sales Executive, Partnerships
Doug Ferguson joined the Wolves in June 2016 as a partnerships sales executive. The Mount Vernon, Illinois, native has been a part of several businesses, including a Fortune 500 company, in a development capacity.
The Chicago resident holds a master’s degree in Sports Administration from Northwestern University as well as a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Southern Illinois University.
In his spare time, he runs and bikes along Chicago’s lakefront. He has run in three Chicago Marathons.
Timothy Weaver Sr. Manager, Partnerships & Media Sales
Timothy Weaver joined the Wolves organization in December 2016 as the Senior Manager of Partnerships and Media Sales. He brings considerable experience and expertise to his role as he worked three seasons with the Chicago Fire Soccer Club and 15 years in the broadcasting industry in Chicago for CBS Radio Group, Newsweb Radio Group and ESPN Audio and Digital Networks.
The DePaul graduate (bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications) began his career in professional sports with the Fort Wayne Wizards, where he did everything from selling programs to washing uniforms to executing on-field promotions for the Class A Midwest League team.
The Fort Wayne, Indiana, native lives in Chicago’s Independence Park neighborhood with his wife and two children. He roots for the Cubs, Dallas Cowboys and Indiana Pacers when he’s not busy skiing, fishing, hunting or camping. And if you think you saw him on “The Jerry Springer Show” that one day, you’re right.
Amy Bernstein Client Services Manager, Partnerships
Amy Bernstein joined the Wolves in February 2015 as client service coordinator in the partnerships department and was elevated to client services manager in January 2017.
Prior to becoming part of the team, she spent four years at Northwestern University as an account executive, sales and services.
The Chicago resident also worked as a ticket representative for the Bulls (NBA).
The Illinois State University graduate enjoys traveling and includes Italy, Hawaii and Las Vegas among her favorite destinations.
Jasmine Grotto Media Relations Coordinator
Jasmine Grotto is entering her second season with the Wolves after joining the organization as media relations coordinator in August 2016.
Previously, Grotto spent two years with USA Hockey where she served as the main media contact for several U.S. national teams, including the Junior Select Team. She spent the 2015-16 season with the National Team Development Program in Plymouth, Michigan.
The Alpena, Michigan, native also worked for the NFL’s Detroit Lions in corporate communications and community relations, as well as for MLBAM as a real-time correspondent at Detroit Tigers’ home games.
She graduated from Wayne State University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations with honors.
Whitneigh Kinne Social Media Coordinator
Whitneigh Kinne is heading into her second season with the Wolves as social media coordinator.
A graduate of the University of Maine, Kinne came to Chicago after serving as the digital marketing and media relations coordinator for the Portland Pirates (AHL). Kinne also spent time with Portland during the 2012-13 campaign as a communications intern.
Prior to her second stint with the Pirates, the Maine native produced broadcasts and served as the digital media editor for WCSH 6, Portland’s NBC affiliate. Kinne has also held roles as an NHL blogger for Sports Illustrated, an arena reporter for U.S. College Hockey Online and a sports reporter/color analyst for WMEB-FM.
Dan Harris Creative Services Director
Dan Harris is in his 10th season with the Wolves after joining the club in September 2008 as a game operations intern. He has earned a series of promotions during his tenure, including a move to creative services director in July 2017.
Prior to working for the Wolves, the 30-year-old graduate of Washington and Lee University served as the marketing intern for the Chicago Sky.
The Florida native lives in Chicago with his wife, Ashley. They are expecting their first child in October.
Joe Muting Game Operations Assistant
Joe Muting is entering his second season with the Wolves as game operations assistant. In his role, Muting aids both the game operations and community relations departments with a primary focus on coordinating appearances for Wolves mascot, Skates.
Prior to joining the organization, Muting spent two years with the Peoria Rivermen (SPHL) where he worked in both game operations and ticket sales. He was a key contributor in promoting and selling out Riverman home games during the club’s 2016 playoff run.
Muting is a proud graduate of Bradley University where he earned a B.S. in Sports Communications with a minor in Social Media Marketing.
Raised in the Chicago suburbs, Muting is an avid golfer.
Imran Javed Digital Content Manager
Imran Javed is in his 12th season with the Wolves after joining the team in May 2005.
Prior to joining the organization, the 41-year-old served as a package and print designer for Adam’s Apple and Republic Tobacco.
The Chicago native graduated from Pratt Institute in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Design.
Javed and his wife, Jessie, live in Chicago.
Troy Mueller Senior Graphic Designer
Troy Mueller is in his sixth season with the Wolves as a graphic designer.
He possesses a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Robert Morris University.
Prior to joining the Wolves, the 30-year-old Las Vegas native held internships with both IT Supplies and Upstaging Lighting and Trucking.
Joshua Villanueva Graphic Designer
Joshua Villanueva joined the Chicago Wolves in September 2016 as a graphic design intern and earned a full-time position as a graphic designer in July 2017.
Prior to entering the workforce full time, Villanueva attended DeVry University and earned a B.S. in Multimedia Design and Development.
A sports enthusiast, Villanueva has always dreamed of working in professional sports and gaining the opportunity to work for a Chicago team is among his greatest professional accomplishments in his young career.
Growing up in Chicago – and spending summers in Puerto Rico – Villanueva played a variety of sports: basketball, volleyball, hockey and soccer. In addition, he played baseball for 12 years before having to give up his passion due to injury. He is also a green belt in judo.
Athleticism runs in Villanueva’s family as he is related to former Chicago Cubs left-handed relief pitcher Guillermo “Willie” Hernandez. Hernandez was just the third player to win the Cy Young Award, MVP Award and World Series in the same season when he completed the feat during the 1984 campaign with the Detroit Tigers.
Ron Storto Executive Television Producer
Ron Storto enters his 13th season with the Wolves and 12th as the organization’s executive television producer.
The River Forest native oversees the team’s television packages. The Wolves broadcast the majority of their regular-season games, including all 38 contests at Allstate Arena.
Prior to joining the Wolves, Storto spent 12 years on Chicago White Sox and Chicago Blackhawks broadcasts as he worked his way up from graphics to executive producer. A graduate of Oak Park-River Forest High School and Columbia College in Chicago, Storto joined the industry with SportsVision in 1986 and stayed with the station during its transition to SportsChannel, Fox Sports Channel, Fox SportsNet and Comcast.
The 55-year-old Storto resides in Chicago.
Cameron Most Producer
Cameron Most is entering his third season with the Wolves. Prior to joining the organization in October 2015, Most worked for a small sports photography company and freelanced.
The Wheaton native graduated from Northern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree of Media Studies in 2014.
An audiophile, Most has a large record collection and will listen to it any chance he gets.
Stephen Shaw Production Assistant
Stephen Shaw joined the Wolves in August 2017 as a production assistant.
Prior to joining the organization, the 26-year-old spent nearly two years with the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) and began his career at WROC-TV News 8 in Rochester, New York.
Shaw graduated from SUNY Brockport in 2014 and earned a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism.
The West Seneca, New York, native considers himself a big movie buff and has watched all 23 James Bonds films (about 48 hours) consecutively.