Senior Director, Olympic Training Centers at the United States Olympic Committee
Aron is the Senior Director of the U.S. Olympic Training Centers, which includes campuses in Colorado Springs, CO and Lake Placid, NY. The Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center rests on a 35-acre complex and has sport venues for fencing, gymnastics, judo, modern pentathlon, shooting, swimming, boxing, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling. The Lake Placid Olympic Training Center focuses on winter sports, including biathlon, bobsled, skeleton, figure skating, hockey, luge, skiing, snowboarding and speedskating. The U.S. Olympic Training Centers provide world class sports medicine, sport science, housing, dining, training facilities and other services. Prior to the USOC, Aron served in several positions at USA Track & Field. He was responsible for coordinating many aspects of USATF national teams including registration, team processing, travel, security, housing, uniform distribution, communications, and passport and visa applications. Additionally, Aron oversaw on-site management of coaches, managers and medical staff, for a variety of international competitions from youth teams to Olympic and World Championship teams, throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East. Finally, Aron was a member of the USA National Bobsled Team. During this time, he competed in World Cup and World Championship competitions in the USA, Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland. Aron received his BA in Secondary Education from the University of Akron, where he competed in the decathlon on the track and field team, and he received an MBA from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
Senior Associate Athletic Director, Marketing & Branding at the University of South Carolina
Eric Nichols serves as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Marketing and Branding/Chief Marketing Officer at the University of South Carolina. Nichols oversees Marketing, Digital and Social Media, and the University band and spirit programs as well as serving as the primary liaison for licensing, merchandise sales, and outsourced entities including IMG for multimedia rights and IMG/Learfield Ticket Solutions for outbound sales. Additionally, he serves as the secondary sport administrator for men's and women's soccer. Nichols came to Carolina following a ten-year stint at Vanderbilt University, where he served as the athletic department's Director of Marketing and Promotions from 2004-2008. Nichols had been at Vanderbilt since 1998, starting as an assistant director of facilities but quickly working his way upward as his talents were recognized. He was director of game operations from 2000- 2002 before being promoted to director of online services, a position he held for two years. His outstanding work with the department's official Web site led to his promotion to Director of Marketing in 2004. Nichols served on the Vanderbilt athletic department's senior administrative team and the University's Executive communications council, and was an adjunct professor at both Belmont University's and University of South Carolina's graduate programs. He is a graduate of Leadership Vanderbilt, a member of the American Marketing Association and the United Way of Middle Tennessee Marketing Committee, has completed an Executive Leadership Class at Vanderbilt's Owen School of Business, and served on the NACMA Board of Directors from 2009-2016 and was the 2015 NACMA president. Nichols also currently serves on the NCAA Men's Soccer committee. He has a bachelor's and a master's degree from the University of Tennessee Martin, where he also spent time as a graduate assistant coach for women's volleyball. Eric and his wife Christina have a daughter, Grace.
Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean of the Wall College of Business at Coastal Carolina University
Mark Mitchell currently serves as Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean of the Wall College of Business at Coastal Carolina University. He earned his doctoral degree in Marketing at Mississippi State University in 1993. Over the last 25 years, he has worked at three different institutions in South Carolina: Francis Marion University (1 year); USC Upstate (11 years), and Coastal Carolina University (13 years). Mark currently serves as the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) for Coastal Carolina University. In that role, he works to enhance the student-athlete experience within the Sun Belt Conference and the broader NCAA. Mark’s recent research has focused on athletic-related topics, including NCAA exempt basketball tournaments, the transfer of hospitality practices to athletics marketing, sports fantasy camps, in-stadium alcohol sales at collegiate sporting events, athletic ticketing strategies and others. Prior to joining academia, he worked in the Institutional Foodservice and Vending Supply industry. Mark is originally from western Pennsylvania though his work has taken him to the Midwest (Chicago, IL) and the American South (Mississippi and South Carolina). Earlier in his academic career, Mark did nine years of sports broadcasting on radio in the Upstate. While he enjoyed that period, he left the broadcast booth with the arrival of his children. Now, he’s a fan at the ballpark, one of his favorite places.
President, Charleston Tennis LLC
Bob Moran is a native of Walden, NY and a 1993 graduate of Elon University. Bob currently resides in Charleston, SC, on Daniel Island. He has been an integral part of the Volvo Car Open tennis tournament since 1999, starting in the sponsorship sales department. In 2003, he was named National Sales Manager before quickly taking over the position of Business Development Director in 2004. In 2007, Moran was appointed President, responsible for the overall operations of the tennis tournament, concert venue and tennis center. The Volvo Car Open is the largest women's only professional tennis event in North America. Volvo Car Stadium annually hosts multiple concerts each summer featuring acts like Jimmy Buffett, Zac Brown Band, Darius Rucker and Chris Stapleton. The Charleston Tennis team has also managed AVP Professional Beach Volleyball on their grounds, as well as the Web.com Tour Championship at the Daniel Island Club from 2009 - 2011. Bob currently represents the "Americas" on the WTA's (Women's Tennis Association) Global Tournament Council and is a board member for WTA Charities.
Simon T. Bailey
Former Walt Disney Executive & Thought Leader
Simon is one of America's top 10 most-booked corporate and association speakers on change, leadership, and customer experience. He's worked with over 1,500 organizations in 45 different countries. As an innovator, educator, executive advisor, and author, he shapes the lives of men and women around the world. Prior to founding his company, Simon held the role of Sales Director for the world-renowned Disney Institute and worked in the hospitality and tourism industry for 20 years. His strategies drove the acquisition of an Orlando-based healthcare system and catapulted a hospitality company to a #1 ranking in customer service on Expedia.com. Simon emboldens individuals to impact the world by sharpening natural talents. Outside of his learning and development programs for organizations, Simon's consumer-facing Lynda.com courses powered by LinkedIn have been viewed by more than 500,000 people in 100 countries.
Chief Creative Officer, Nancy Harhut & Associates
Nancy Harhut is passionate about the impact of behavioral science on marketing. An Online Marketing Institute Top 40 Digital Strategist, Social Top 50 email marketing leader, and the winner of numerous International ECHO awards for marketing effectiveness, she has overseen integrated campaigns for clients such as AT&T, Sheraton, Dell, Nationwide, American Express, TripAdvisor for Business, Smugglers’ Notch, Boston Harbor Hotel, Four Seasons and more. Harhut is known for her interesting and actionable insights that focus on applying behavioral science to marketing. A sought-after, top-ranked speaker, she's wowed audiences with high-energy, example-jammed sessions in Moscow, Stockholm, Sydney, London, and all over the US -- including sessions at SXSW. Follow her on twitter at @nharhut for topical insights, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chief Troublemaker, Marketing and Innovation Expert
Dustin Garis is world-renowned brand innovator, consistently voted “the #1 event speaker.” Throughout his disruptive career at Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble, Garis has become known as the “chief troublemaker” for his innovative approach to brand-building, customer experience and change leadership. Garis earned the title of “Indiana Jones of Marketing” when he embarked on a two-year global expedition to more than 50 countries across six continents to uncover the secret to building life-changing brands. As other testaments to his untraditional approach to innovation, Garis has been known to begin his meetings with opera singers, convert an elevator into his office, bucket bathe in rural India, eat blindfolded, travel through the office by Segway, ride an 1,800-pound bull in a rodeo, and craft other experiments that keep HR awake at night. “Dustin Garis is not only a 'Chief Troublemaker,’ he is also a dream speaker to collaborate with. He’s an asset to any program that that seeks a true visionary, a creative spirit and an innovative force that entertains and excites a room. I program events with hundreds of speakers and he stands above them all — inspiring me and making my job fun.” — VP of Programming, NATPE
Associate Athletic Director, External Affairs and Revenue at Clemson University
Match serves as the associate athletic director for external affairs and revenue for the Clemson University Athletic Department. A native of Arlington, Ohio, Match oversees communications, creative solutions, marketing, licensing, game operations, game management, total campus marketing, tickets, and video services, including the new ACC-ESPN Network, as well as overseeing the new Clemson-Nike sideline agreement. Throughout his career as a collegiate administrator at the University of Virginia and Clemson, he has run numerous post-season bowl games, NCAA Basketball Tournaments, and College Baseball World Series events. Match led a team which developed a seat equity plan for college football stadiums that many athletic department have used as the model to generate significant annual revenue stream. Match also led the charge in a transformation (one of which many colleges have followed) in the communications department at Clemson Athletics, changing from an old-school newspaper sports information department to ad agency style digital communications department with the philosophy “that Clemson recruits 365 days a year, whether it’s a student, student athlete, fan, or a potential fan.” Match earned his undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University and his master’s degree from Clemson University.
Place Brand Strategist
Steve Chandler is an emerging thought leader and strategist on the topic of place branding and marketing. His energetic and engaging presentation style creates a personal and entertaining audience experience. Did we mention Steve has a lot of energy? Steve is a career marketing man with more than two decades of experience in strategic planning and brand development for local, regional and national brands. His experience emphasis is connected to the hospitality industry and place marketing, where Steve has worked with more than 80 communities in 26 states. Steve entered the world of marketing and branding through stints at an international branding agency and a few of the southern U.S. premier ad agencies. Steve’s experience in the branding of communities began when he was assigned to be President of a national destination branding consulting firm, where he helped craft and manage the process of community branding for numerous destinations, cities, and communities. His “digital make-over” occurred in 2009. Steve frequently speaks on the topics of place branding, online brand building and digital strategy. He has been designated the industry professor on “Destination Branding” for the Southeast Tourism Society’s annual Marketing College.