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Living Sport: Kalamazoo College Event Gathers Nationally-Renowned Sports Entrepreneurs

CONTACT: Jim Van Sweden, 269.337.7291

April 6, 2010

[KALAMAZOO, Mich.] A Kalamazoo College liberal arts student is likely to know Sun Tzu and the CEOs and coaches who cite The Art of War in business management and sports. Whether such broad liberal arts learning is an advantage when it comes to making a living in the business of sports will be among the subjects of a panel discussion titled “Careers in Sports Business.” The event features six prominent panelists (some available for media interviews) and occurs Monday, April 19, at 7 PM in Dewing Hall Room 103.

A quarter of “K” students participate in intercollegiate athletics, and the school’s economics and business major is among its three most popular. Panelists will share their pathways to their current positions; discuss present and future business opportunities in sports management; explore the importance of mentorship and networking for gaining a foothold in the business of athletics; speculate on counterfactual “what-ifs” in their careers; and provide key advice for soon-to-be graduates seeking careers that connect their interests in sports and business.

Panelists, half of whom are Kalamazoo College alumni, include Charles Tucker (Class of 1956), president and CEO of The Sports Network; Storm T. Kirschenbaum, president of Metis Sports Management; Kathy DeBoer, executive director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association; Timon Corwin (Class of 1986), United States Tennis Association senior director of junior and collegiate competition; Kurt David, bestselling sports author and transition consultant for professional and Olympic athletes; and Jeff Pellegrom (Class of 1988), executive vice president and chief financial officer of Minnesota Sports and Entertainment.

Timon Corwin is an eight-time All-American in singles and doubles with the Kalamazoo College men’s team (1983-86). He led the 1986 squad to a NCAA Division III team championship title. He completed a post-graduate fellowship in Bonn, Germany, in 1987 and earned his law degree (Marquette University School of Law) in 1992. He was head coach for the Kalamazoo College men’s tennis team from 1993 to 2007, and his teams finished third or higher in the nation six times. He was named Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year (1997) and Midwest Regional Coach of the Year (1999). Today he is senior director for the junior and collegiate competition for United States Tennis Association Player Development. This year he also will direct the U.S. Open Junior Championships and the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.

Kurt A. David is the bestselling author of From Glory Days, a book that chronicles the transition of 20 professional athletes from their playing days to life after sports. David graduated (B.A., Elementary Education) from Saginaw Valley State University and earned a M.A. (counseling) from Central Michigan University. He played professional basketball in Europe. He has appeared on radio and television and in a number of articles. He is a nationally certified sports counselor who works with professional and Olympic athletes as they transition to life outside of sports. He is the host and producer of From Glory Days television program.

Kathy DeBoer has been executive director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association since 2006, and during her tenure AVCA membership has grown by 36 percent and annual convention attendance has increased by nearly 30 percent. Prior to AVCA she spent 23 years in intercollegiate athletics, 18 of them at University of Kentucky as head volleyball coach and senior associate athletic director. She holds a B.A. (Humanities, Michigan State University) and M.B.A. (University of Kentucky). She’s a nationally known public speaker on the impact of gender in competitive behavior in business and sports settings and the author of Gender and Competition: How Men and Women Approach Work and Play Differently.

Sports attorney Storm Kirschenbaum formed Metis Sports Management, LLC, in 2007. The firm represents and markets professional football and baseball players (Kirschenbaum himself has represented nearly 100 professional athletes). Kirschenbaum won a scholarship from then number-one-ranked University of Florida, where he played with David Eckstein (San Diego Padres), Brad Wilkerson (Boston Red Sox), Mark Ellis (Oakland Athletics), and Josh Fogg (Colorado Rockies). He played his final two collegiate seasons at Division I Long Island University-C.W. Post. He holds a B.A. (political science, magna cum laude) and a J.D. (University of Detroit Mercy School of Law). At Mercy he was president of the Entertainment and Sports Law Society. He served three years as vice president of Integrity Sports Player Representation, Inc., and co-founded the Michigan Boxing Hall of Fame. He is a board member of the Inner City Exposure Foundation.

Jeff Pellegrom serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Minnesota Sports and Entertainment (MSE), which owns and controls the Minnesota Wild Hockey Club and the Houston Aeros Hockey Club.  MSE also manages all events at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Pellegrom oversees the finance, human resources, information technology and legal departments for the company.  He graduated from Kalamazoo College (magna cum laude) with degrees in economics and mathematics.  He worked for the Brookings Institution, 3M, Holderbank, and SC Johnson, before taking a position 2 years ago with MSE.  He is married to fellow Kalamazoo College graduate Mary Kruger Pellegrom (Class of 1988), and they have four children.

The Bronx born and reared Charles Tucker, a.k.a. Mickey Charles, is the founder of The Sports Network, the world’s largest independently owned supplier of sports scores and information, with more than 2,000 outlets in the world. He launched that business 27 years ago from his kitchen, and like all great athletes, has never rested on his laurels. Today TSN is expanding geographically (into China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Algeria, among others) and technologically (complementing its saturation of websites by expanding to the mobile phone). He developed his competitive fire on the “city game’s” New York asphalt courts (where “no autopsy, no foul” was the rule). He transferred to Kalamazoo College from Columbia University and played for two seasons on the Hornet basketball team. He was named team captain his senior season, and led that squad to a 14-9 record and a second place finish in the MIAA conference. He earned his law degree (Brooklyn Law School) and began a career as a sports columnist for several newspapers and magazines (including the Philadelphia Inquirer), as a television sports talk-show host (for CBS and later ESPN), as a college English Professor (St. Joseph College in Philadelphia) and then, in 1983, as the founder of a sports scores telephone service that evolved into TSN. He is a popular public speaker who was once offered a contract as an opening-act stand-up comedian.

Founded in Kalamazoo in 1833, Kalamazoo College (www.kzoo.edu) is a nationally recognized liberal arts college and the creator of the “K-Plan” that emphasizes rigorous scholarship, learning by practice, and both international and intercultural engagement.

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