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UGA Alumni Sports Industry Council

UGA Alumni Sports Industry Logo

The UGA Alumni Sports Industry Council is an external advisory board that serves the student population in the UGA Sport Management and Policy program. The Council is a group of sport industry veterans that foster important links between the program and the sports business community. The Council provides student support in the areas of professional mentoring, and internship and employment placement. The Council also provides a number of services to the program including guest lecturing and scholarship support.

Listen to a 33N83W Podcast about the Council

Chair: Michael Cheney

  • Current: Director of Partnerships / Rakuten
  • Previous Experience: Coca-Cola, Visa, Symantec

Michael Cheney provides proven leadership in developing business strategy, developing and negotiating comprehensive commercial agreements, developing integrated marketing plans and building cross functional teams while creating value for internal and external relationships. Mr. Cheney has developed partnership marketing and sponsorship strategies and activation plans for Coca-Cola, Sprite, PowerAde, Evian, Visa, Symantec, Norton, BMW, and Wyndham, among others. He has negotiated with the IOC, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB Media, and multiple sports teams across all major US Sports, the US Open, Pebble Beach, IMG College and many more.

Chip Caray

  • Current: Play-by-Play Announcer / Atlanta Braves & Fox Sports South
  • Previous Experience: Orlando Magic, Orlando SunRays, TBS, WGN, Chicago Cubs

Chip is a nationally recognized sports broadcasting veteran and current play-by-play announcer for the Atlanta Braves on Fox Sports South. Chip previously served in a similar capacity for Braves games broadcast on TBS Sports. He has called postseason and World Series games on FOX as well as national games on TBS. Previous to his time in Atlanta, Chip was the play-by-play announcer for Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs broadcasts.

Sarah Davis

  • Current: Senior Vice President of Account Services / MELT
  • PreviousExperience: Atlanta Dream, Coca-Cola

Sarah Davis has extensive event and account service experience working with both brands and properties across sports and entertainment. Ms. Davis is widely known for her creativity, execution, and leadership, especially in the sports marketing space. At MELT, Ms. Davis manages and oversees MELT’s full roster of clients, events, experiential programs, and brand initiatives. She had the opportunity to work locally in Atlanta to help launch the Atlanta Dream franchise, though her accounts and activities have taken her around the world.

Brian Doud

  • Current: CMO / Thompson Tractor Company
  • Previous Experience: Caterpillar, Synovus Financial, Lawler Ballard Van Durand Agency, Coca Cola

Brian Doud is the exclusive distributor of Caterpillar Equipment in Alabama and NW Florida, and the largest distributor of Hyundai Forklift Equipment in Georgia. He is responsible for the strategic planning for customer strategy, communication process and execution, advertising, and all other marketing and promotion-related functions for more than 20 brands and product lines. Mr. Doud provides world-class counsel on sponsorship marketing and marketing services which include college sports, video games, theme parks and spectacular signage.

Becca Elliott

  • Current: Director, Digital & Fan Experience at Seattle Kraken

Becca Elliott leads mobile app creation and digital innovation for the Seattle Kraken. Overseeing the design and product teams, she is responsible for identifying areas of the fan experience that can be improved with technology and strategizing digital content innovations that will engage fans more fully. As the product lead, Becca serves as the interface between the fans, executive teams, and the software engineers building the digital solutions offered to Kraken fans.

Susan Goodenow

  • Current: Vice President of Marketing and Communications / Chicago Bulls
  • Previous Experience: Boston Red Sox, MLB Office of Commissioner, American Red Cross

Susan Goodenow is responsible for developing and managing the team’s branding strategy and marketing efforts, coordinating and integrating all team communication, and directing the team’s community outreach efforts. Susan oversees broadcasting, BullsTV, community relations, corporate communications, creative services, digital, entertainment, marketing, and public & media relations and also works closely with Chicago Bulls Charities.

Bryan Johnston

  • Current: Managing Partner / Adjacency Partners
  • Previous Experience: GoPro, Nike, UFC, Adidas-Salomon

Bryan Johnston is a proven executive leader with world class product development, global brand marketing, digital and social strategies, and sales & distribution expertise.

David Koonin

  • Current: Agent / Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Sports
  • Previous: UGA Athletic Association, MELT, CSE

David Koonin is a sports media agent at CAA, managing all commercial aspects of his clients’ professional careers. Mr. Koonin’s roster of over 40 clients includes some of the biggest names in sports and media today, including ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dan Orlovsky, Westwood One’s Pat McAfee, Turner Sports’ Grant Hill and Allie LaForce, and FOX’s Reggie Bush. He also represents numerous Georgia Bulldogs on television, including ESPN’s Maria Taylor and David Pollack. Before working at Creative Artists Agency, Mr. Koonin helped negotiate and manage numerous corporate partnerships, including Coca-Cola’s NCAA corporate champion designation and Kia’s sponsorship of the Southeastern Conference.

Tameka Rish

  • Current: Vice President of Corporate Partnerships – Atlanta Mercedes-Benz Stadium Sports and Entertainment
  • Previous Experience: Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, Octagon, Houston Texans

Tameka Rish leads the consulting team that develops and maintains corporate partnerships for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta Falcons, and Atlanta United. This includes managing numerous experiential events, activating promotional nights, television, radio, print, and digital advertising, custom experiences, game day activations, hospitality and signage build-outs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Vince Thompson

  • Current: Founder, Chairman, CEO / MELT Atlanta

Vince Thompson was named one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Most Admired CEOs.” He is an award-winning brand builder and one of the country’s top sports marketers. He found MELT and has grown the company into one of the nation’s largest sports/culinary/entertainment marketing agencies. MELT represents the Coca-Cola Company and has activations for the Final Four and ESPN’s College GameDay. MELT works with major sports properties such as COPA, FIFA, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHRA, PGA and the Olympics.

Percy Vaughn

  • Current: Vice President / Kia Motors America; Chairman / Chick-Fil-A Bowl Board; Board of Trustees / Chick-fil-A Corporation
  • Previous: Ford, Hyundai

In 1995, Percy Vaughn opened the Southern Region for Kia Motors America where he was the Executive Director, and now serves as the Vice President of the Southern Region. Mr. Vaughn also serves as the Board Chairman for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. He oversees the Board of Trustees and Board of Directors which manages the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge Charity Golf Tournament, and the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award. In recognition of his contributions, Mr. Vaughn was inducted into the 2018 class of the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Hall of Fame. Mr. Vaughn was also named the 2013 Father of Year by the American Diabetes Association and was awarded the Martin Luther King Unity Award in 2018.

Scott Williams

  • Current: Senior Director of Multi-media Sales / SEC Network
  • Previous Experience: ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears

Scott Williams is a successful media executive for ESPN’s SEC Network. He was a member of the 1980 UGA Football National Championship team.

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