Speaker Series

Sport and Recreation Business Events


Speaker Series

The Sport and Recreation Business program hosts virtual several Speaker Series featuring sport industry professionals from across the country and covering a wide variety of topics.

The purpose of this series is to educate, inspire and engage our students, the UAF community and the public on sport and recreation topics. 


Careers on the Business Side of Hunting

Panelists for this session:
  • Dr. Steve Adair - chief scientist, Ducks Unlimited
  • McKenzie Mitchell - big game guide, pilot, flight instructor and entrepreneur
  • Kurt Racicot - founder, owner and lead designer, Stone Glacier

Sustainability in Outdoor Recreation

Panelists for this session:
  • Danielle Stickman - Alaska Deputy Director, The Wilderness Society
  • Emily Sullivan - Arctic Program Manager, Northern Alaska Environmental Center

Careers on the Business Side of Aviation

Panelists for this session:
  • Elle Bardsley - Beech 1900 First Officer, Ace Air Cargo
  • David Bishko - 20+ years combined in the airlines industry
  • Glen Graham - Flight Control Supervisor, Everts Air Cargo
  • Mikaela Young - Fire Boss Pilot, Dauntless Air

Product Development in Outdoor Recreation

Panelists for this session:
  • Anastasia Allison - founder, Kula Cloth
  • Mason Strehl - marketing manager, Zenbivy; commercial photographer; owner, Arete Designs


Ticket Sales and Service in Professional Sports

Panelist for this session:
  • Aaron Lampkin, vice president of ticket sales and service for the soccer team Seattle Sounders FC

Entrepreneurship in Outdoor Recreation

Panelists for this session:
  • Sally Andersen, owner and business manager of Arctic Wild
  • Annie Hopper, owner of Lodge at Black Rapids
  • Danielle Tirrell, owner of Coyote Air Taxi

Corporate Partnerships in Professional Sport

Panelists for this session:
  • Michelle Gulino, senior director of corporate partnership for the San Diego National Women's Soccer League
  • Dr. Peggy Keiper, associate professor and director of the Sport and Recreation Business program

Balancing Profession & Passion in Outdoor Recreation

Panelists for this session:
  • Sarah Histand - mental health-informed adventure fitness trainer and owner of Mind and Mountain
  • Klara Maisch - artist, instructor and guide
  • Joanna Young - glaciologist and director of Inspiring Girls Alaska


Rookie Chalk Talk: Early Career Panel

Panelists for this session:

  • Shannon Flaherty — Senior Account Coordinator, Sportfive

  • Will Quinn — Manager, Business Development, Baylor Bear Sports Properties

  • Brenden Zarrinnam — Field Market Solutions Specialist, Learfield IMG College

Business of College Athletics Fundraising

Panelists for this session:

  • Andrew Bauschelt — associate director of athletic development, major gifts, Rutgers University
  • Immanuel Kerr-Brown — associate director of development, Penn State University
  • Nick Smith — assistant athletic director for major gifts, associate director of development, Miami University

Tokyo Olympics 2021

Panelists for this session:

  • Tim Ambruso — Associate director, events and logistics, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee
  • Carol Callan — Women’s national team director, USA Basketball
  • Paul Florence — Senior vice president, strategy and operations, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee


Business and Careers in Esports

Panelists for this session:

  • Jennifer Estipona —Manager of Talent Sourcing, Activision Blizzard

  • Manny Lorras — Senior Director, Team Marketing and Business Operations, National Basketball Association

  • John Spiher — Vice President of Partnerships, Dignitas

Alaska Esports Scene

Panelists for this session:
  • Heath Day –  education program manager, GCI

  • Mike Juell – esports coordinator, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Tackling Stigmas, Stereotypes, and Myths

Panelists for this session:
  • Cricket Carlson – head of community, social, public and influencer relations at Kindly Beast
  • Brian “Nacho” Traynor – manager of marketing and team operations for Hornets Venom GT

Coaching Esports

Panelists for this session:
  • Steven “Flubby” Coronel – head coach, Vancouver Titans
  • Ali “Pew” Anwar – assistant coach, Vancouver Titans
  • Joey “Nubzy” DiGiacomo – head coach, Seattle Surge


First Impressions and Building a Meaningful Network

Panelists for this session:

  • Brett Baur, Vice President, Global Partnerships, Monumental Sports and Entertainment
  • Solly Fulp Executive Vice President, Learfield IMG College
  • Michelle Gulino, Manager of Corporate Sponsorship, Dallas Cowboys
  • Mark Koski, Chief Marketing Officer, National Federation of State High School Associations
  • Chris Parker, President and CEO, NJCAA

Sport for Social Change

Panelists for this session:

  • Jordan Budget, Associate Manager, Media Partnerships, National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • Lauren Dwyer, Basketball Administration Lead, Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
  • Mike Metcalf, co-founder of DECK Leadership, author of “12 Second Culture,” and NASCAR pit crew coach for Chip Ganassi Racing
  • Shaun Peet, co-founder of DECK Leadership, author of “12 Second Culture,” and NASCAR pit crew coach for Chip Ganassi Racing

Storytelling Using Data and Analytics

Panelists for this session:

  • Melissa Koop, Senior Analyst, Business Intelligence, Phoenix Suns (NBA)
  • Josh Schayer, Corporate Sales Business Analyst, Oilers Entertainment Group (NHL)
  • Chris Thompson, Director, CRM and Analytics, Portland Timbers (MLS) 
  • Dr. Cait Wilson, Senior Research Manager, YouGov

The Landscape of Esports

Panelists for this session:

  • Justin Baldwin, Senior Manager of Partnerships, 4FRONT
  • Ashley Chalk, Vice President of Partnerships, Complexity
  • John Spiher, Vice President of Partnerships, Dignitas




Esports Summit


2022 Esport & Gaming Summit

Friday, March 25, 2022


The University of Alaska Fairbanks hosted its second Esport & Gaming Summit on Friday, March 25, 2022. This free event was open to students, faculty, staff and community members, and offered virtual panel sessions by industry experts and UAF departments. The event was sponsored by GCI.

Recordings of each of the online panels may be viewed below or on the YouTube playlist for the event.


ONLINE PANEL 1: Female Representation in Gaming

Moderator: Peggy Keiper

  • Court "FrozenFlygone" - Games Done Quick/Frame Fatales
  • Leonie Leonard - GameHERS



ONLINE PANEL 2: Current State of Education in Esport

Moderator: Amanda Langhorst

  • Katrina Adkins - SHI International Corp. 
  • Heath Day - GCI
  • Jeff White - National Junior College Athletic Association



ONLINE KEY NOTE PANEL: Mental Health and Gaming

Moderator: Shayna Smith

  • Kelli Dunlap - Take This!
  • Kim Frost - UAF
  • Mike Juell - UAF
  • John Spiher - Dignitas


Hybrid Community Game Night

During the game night, in-person participants attempted to conquer a summit in "The Climb 2" on the Oculus Quest 2, participated in casual gaming and watched the Valorant team in action. Online attendees had the opportunity to play Jackbox games, which are easy to learn even for first-time players.




Jared Lees
The Sport and Recreation Business Speaker Series is an outstanding opportunity to learn about the career paths of professionals inside the Sport and Entertainment industry. My favorite part is receiving networking tips, while also being in an active networking environment with the chance to get to know the excellent panelists who participate in the series.

Jared Lees, Class of 2020
BBA in Business Administration
concentration in Sport management