Founder + CEO
Jon has over 20 years of direct experience in the sports tourism industry having held senior leadership roles with three different sports commissions; Phoenix, Tulsa, and Denver. Schmieder brings a wealth of experience in sports tourism and economic development having also served in lead staff positions for the Senior Olympic Games and Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading.
Schmieder twice served as Chairman of the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) and was on the organization’s Executive Committee for six years. While Schmieder served as the President of the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission, the NASC chose the organization as the 2012 Large Market Sports Commission of the Year.
Schmieder was named the 2012 CEO of the Year by the Phoenix Chapter of the Organization of Non-Profit Executives. In 2016, Connect Sports honored Schmieder as an industry “Game Changer”.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Arizona. He also holds a master’s degree in higher education leadership from Northern Arizona University.
Caroline’s career experience includes sports management roles across collegiate, professional, and the sports tourism industry. Caroline started her career working for the University of Tennessee in event management and athletic administration enabling events across 14 sports and exploring strategic initiatives. While at Tennessee, Caroline assisted in the development and execution of the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol, the world’s largest football game in history.
Caroline also worked for the Seattle Sports Commission focused on acquiring and hosting major events. She most recently worked in marketing for the Seattle Seahawks focused on market research, data analytics, and the NFL Voice of the Fan.
Caroline holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Business Administration from Seattle University.
Eric has 20 + years of experience in sports marketing, including leadership positions with Eat Sleep Breathe Lacrosse, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and Golf Course Superintendent Assoc. of America (GCSAA). Eric brings with him a deep knowledge of the nonprofit and sports tourism industries through the lens of Rights Holders, National Governing bodies, Sports Commissions, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, and Local Organizing Committees.
Eric has served on various boards nationally and locally including the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Executive Committee, USOPC (United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee) Multi-sport Organization Committee and was instrumental in the formation of the Lacrosse Association of Kansas City. He has been a featured speaker and panel guest at various conferences and institutions regarding sports and event management.
He is a graduate of Missouri State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and resides in St. Louis, Missouri.
Cole served as the manager of Olympic & Paralympic Training Center sport business development for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee from 2016-2020. In this position, McKeel was in charge of generating outside revenue for the Olympic & Paralympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs, Colo. and Lake Placid, N.Y. Prior to his role with the USOPC, McKeel worked as the marketing and media assistant and diversity and inclusion champion for USA Bobsled & Skeleton. In this role, McKeel was responsible for the company’s partnerships with BMW and Under Armour.
DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIPS
McKeel serves as the Vice President of GoEmpire Group, a professional basketball athlete representation firm in Chicago. In this role, McKeel is responsible for international operations, including client recruiting and relations, as well as ensuring the continued satisfaction of GoEmpire clients. In addition, McKeel is an adjunct professor for the sport and recreation management program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
McKeel was the head manager for the basketball team at the University of Louisville, where he graduated with honors with a bachelor degree in sport administration and minors in business administration, finance and marketing. Upon graduation, McKeel furthered his education at UofL, earning a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance.