The Foundation

THE LAND

Welcome to Cleveland

CULTURE

Strong Work Ethic | Passion for your Craft | Openness to Learning | Leadership | Positive Attitude

The Foundation is an elite Inside Sales program that serves as a platform to launch your career in sports. While in this program you will receive all the tools needed to have a long successful career in sports and develop a skill set that will make you one of the sharpest salespeople in our industry. The Cavaliers organization has a reputation of producing some of the strongest leaders in sports.

THE 5 CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR CULTURE

PASSION FOR YOUR CRAFT

Obsessed with getting better everyday at what you do.

POSITIVE ATTITUDE

The biggest controllable, we can’t always control the outcome but we can control how we react to it.

STRONG WORK ETHIC

Continuously giving maximum effort while always holding yourself to the highest standard.

OPENNESS TO LEARNING

Positively responds to training while continually seeking out constructive feedback to get better.

LEADERSHIP

It doesn’t take a title to be a leader, lead by example by always doing the right thing.

MISSION, VISION, VALUE

LEADERSHIP

Meet our Cavs Ticket Sales Leadership Team

KYLE KAMINSKI

MANAGER, THE FOUNDATION
KYLEK-HEADSHOT

First Job

Account Executive, Organizational Business Development – Cleveland Cavaliers

What is the best part about working for the Cavs?

Hands down the people. We have the best team members that are all working together for a common goal. We want to be the best in the business and make each other better every single day.

Joseph Perez

Manager, The Foundation
joseph

First Job

Inside Sales Representative, New York Mets

What advice would you give your younger self?

Continue to work at your craft – being better today than I was yesterday.

ANGELO HRONIS

Director, Business Development
Angelo Hronis

First Job

Account Executive, Organizational Business Development – Cleveland Cavaliers

What is the best part about working for the Cavs?

The people. Everybody in the organization are genuinely good people. They push you to be the best version of yourself while bringing positive energy every day!

Shelly Cayette

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT & CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER
Shelly

First Job

Promotions Associate at Harrah’s Casino

What is your advice for incoming industry professionals?

Clearly understand the expectations of you on the job and work every day to make sure you are moving the needle to meet that expectation or goal. In addition, make sure people know who you are! Work hard, but relationships are what build long lasting careers. Start early ensuring people know who you are and understanding how you can help them; genuine relationships are the most successful.

Josh Lins

Vice President, Ticket Sales & Service
josh

First Job

Account Executive, Organizational Business Development – Cleveland Cavaliers

What is the best advice you’ve received in your sports career?

Anyone can work hard for a day, but consistency is what will separate you. If you strive to “win the day” every single day, you will be great

Aj Bondi

Vice President, Premium Development
aj

First Job

Corporate Partnership Seasonal Assistant – Cleveland Cavaliers

Why is The Foundation important to you and/or the ticket sales team?

When you look at who has come through the Foundation, what they have done and where they have gone (whether it be here or to other organizations) it’s incredible. If you were to take that away, finding success would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

MELA SCHLESINGER

DIRECTOR, REVENUE OPERATIONS & SPECIAL PROJECTS
mela

First Job

Inside Sales Account Executive – Cleveland Cavaliers

What is the best part about working for the Cavs?

I love how open and supportive this organization is. If you have a question, want to pick someone’s brain, or just simply learn more about what they do – everyone is willing to lend a hand. I’ve learned so much about other parts of our business simply by asking to tell me more.

DOUG WISLINSKI

SENIOR DIRECTOR, GROUP & MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
doug

First Job

Inside Sales Representative – New York Knicks/Rangers

What is the best advice you've received in your sports career?

In your career there will be things you can and cannot control. You can always control your attitude and effort.

AUSTIN COOK

DIRECTOR, PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Austin Cook

First Job

Seasonal Account Executive, Organizational Business Development – Cleveland Cavaliers

Why is The Foundation important to you and/or the ticket sales team?

The Foundation is important to me because it taught me many impactful lessons in such a short period of time. Lessons that I still reflect on and apply to this very day.

It also introduced me to some of my closest friends and the time spent growing together in the Foundation certainly played a role in the strength of those friendships.

Jordyn Kovolyan

SENIOR MANAGER, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Jordyn Kovolyan1

First Job

Account Executive, Organizational Business Development – Cleveland Cavaliers

What is your advice for incoming industry professionals?

Start early! Connect with as many people as possible and ask as many questions as you can think of. The more you know coming into the industry, the more prepared you will be. Everyone in the industry has been through it themselves, and are willing to lend a helping hand to those who reach out!

JENNIFER LABRANCHE

MANAGER, MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Jennifer LaBanche

First Job

Game Night Staff, Membership Service at Washington Capitals

What is your advice for incoming industry professionals?

Keep a level head! Sports has a lot of highs and lows, and it’s so important not to get too high with the highs or too low with the lows. There are a lot of things in this industry that you cannot control, but you can always control your attitude and effort – results will follow!

SAM BERMAN

MANAGER, PREMIUM DEVELOPMENT
SAMB-HEADSHOT

First Job

Account Executive, Organizational Business Development – Cleveland Cavaliers

What is the best part about working for the Cavs?

Working in the sports & entertainment industry allows you to be present for some pretty unique events, that most people don’t get access to on a regular basis. Being able to attend events like the NBA All-Star Weekend, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, & NCAA Championships are things I will be able to tell people about for years to come!

KIERSTEN GREEN

MANAGER, GROUP SALES
KIERSTENG-HEADSHOT

First Job

Game Night Staff, Membership Service at Washington Capitals

Why is The Foundation important to you and/or the ticket sales team?

The Foundation is important to me because it equipped me with the tools to be a successful sales rep and now a new leader. The amount of leaders who are “home grown” is a testament to the quality of the program we have here, and also to the leaders who are at the forefront of leading this program.

CAREER PATH

Learn how others have moved through the ranks of the organization.

MELA SCHLESINGER

DIRECTOR, REVENUE OPERATIONS & SPECIAL PROJECTS
mela

VIEW MELA'S CAREER PATH

Previous Position: Director of Sales & Service Operations

Previous Position: Senior Manager Membership Development

Previous Position: Manager Sales & Service Operations

Previous Position: Sr. Membership Development Specialist

1st Position: Membership Development Specialist

GRANT HESSELBART

SENIOR DIRECTOR, Ticket Sales & Service, Cleveland Charge
grant

VIEW GRANT'S CAREER PATH

Previous Position: Sr. Manager #TheFoundation

Previous Position: Manager #TheFoundation

Previous Position: Sr. Business Development Specialist

Previous Position: Monsters Business Development Specialist

Jordyn Kovolyan

SENIOR MANAGER, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Jordyn Kovolyan1

VIEW JORDYN'S CAREER PATH

Previous Position: Manager, Premium Hospitality Development

Previous Position: Membership Development Specialist

1st Position: Jr. Membership Development Specialist

Cavs Front Office Hall of Fame

The group of individuals below are amongst the finest in the sports industry. Below are a few examples of leaders who’ve come through our Foundation program:

Matthew Kalister

Vice President of Franchise Operations – Cleveland Monsters & Canton Charge

Previous Position: Sales Consultant

Dan Rosenthal

Vice President of Sales – Elevate Sports Ventures

Previous Position: Account Executive

Mela Schlesinger

Director of Sales & Service Operations – Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Position: Account Executive

Ashley Galbraith

Director of Membership Services – Los Angeles Dodgers

Previous Position: Account Executive

David Aitken

Director of Ticket Sales – Rochester Americans

Previous Position: Account Executive

Grant Hesselbart

Senior Director, Ticket Sales & Service – Cleveland Charge

Previous Position: Account Executive

Madison Curl

Director, Sales for LPGA Marathon Classic – PGA Tour

Previous Position: Account Executive

Michael Drobnick

Director of Member Services – Philadelphia 76ers

Previous Position: Account Executive

Jessica Fisher

Director of Group Experiences – Franchise Properties

Previous Position: Account Executive

Dan Purdy

General Manager – Learfield IMG College Ticket Solutions

Previous Position: Account Executive

Brett Wallace

Regional Manager –Learfield IMG College Ticket Solutions

Previous Position: Account Executive

Dan Maret

Senior Premium Services Manager – Crypto.com Arena/AEG

Previous Position: Account Executive

Dave Leutwyler

Sales Manager – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Previous Position: Account Executive

Erin Simmons

Manager, Sales Development – Milwaukee Bucks

Previous Position: Account Executive

Kathleen Coyle (Waddell)

Senior Manager Premium Sales – Minnesota Vikings

Previous Position: Account Executive

Scott Gordon

Senior Manager of Sales & Operations – The Players and TPC Sawgrass

Previous Position: Account Executive

Austin Cook

Sr. Manager of Premium Hospitality Development – Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Position: Account Executive

David Koné

Senior Manager, Organizational Business Development – Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Position: Account Executive

Chris Schons

Manager, Organizational Business Development – Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Position: Account Executive

Angelo Hronis

Director, Business Development – Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Position: Account Executive

Jordyn Kovolyan

Manager of Business Development – Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Position: Account Executive

Zach Harvey

Premium Sales Manager – Crypto.com Arena/AEG

Previous Position: BDS

Meka White Morris

EVP, Chief of Business Officer – Minnesota Twins

Previous Position: Account Executive

Leaders who’ve had their pathway’s cross with the Cavs Front Office in the past or are currently with the Cavs Front office:

Nic Barlage

CEO, Rock Entertainment Group – Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Position: Manager of Premium Sales

Chad Estis

President – Legends

Previous Position: Vice President of Ticket Sales & Service

Brad Sims

President – New York City Football Club

Previous Position: Chief Revenue Officer

Dionna Widder

Chief Revenue Officer – Houston Dynamo

Previous Position: Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service

Pam Frasco

Vice President of Marketing and Communications – Cleveland Monsters

Previous Position: Sales Intern

Paul Bee

Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service – Milwaukee Bucks

Previous Position: Account Executive

Todd Fleming

Vice President & GM – Legends

Previous Position: Sales Executive

Troy Tutt

Vice President of Partnerships – Ticket Manager

Previous Position: Account Executive

Doug Dawson

Vice President of Ticket Sales & Service – Dallas Cowboys

Previous Position: Director of Sales

Carl Manteau

Senior Director of Group Sales – Chicago Blackhawks

Previous Position: Group Sales Specialist

Doug Roberts

Senior Director of Premium Sales & Events – Benz Stadium & Atlanta Falcons

Previous Position: Account Executive

Jordan Cannon

Senior Director of Ticket Sales – New York City Football Club

Previous Position: Manager

Matt Fahr

Director of Engagement Center at Legends & The Ohio State University – Legends

Previous Position: Night Sales Manager

Ryan Caler

Director of Organizational Business Development and Client Retention

Previous Position: Account Executive

Alyssa Keen

Manager Premium Hospitality Development – Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous Position: Account Executive

Jaclyn Urda

Senior Marketing Manager – 76ers

Previous Position: Night Sales

Joe Hamlin

Manager, Partnership Strategy – Cleveland Browns

Previous Position: BDS

Nick Batista

Manager of Premium Sales – New Orlean Saints & Pelicans

Previous Position: Night Sales

Spencer Ambrosius

Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service – Detroit Redwings

Previous Position: Manager of Inside Sales

Robert Minter

Vice President of Business Ops for Pegula Sports & Entertainment– Rochester Americans

Previous Position: Account Executive

Joel Adams

Vice President of Premium Sales at Inglewood Basketball & Entertainment Center – LA Clippers

Previous Position: Manager of Inside Sales

Taylor Laurer

Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service – Washington Football Team

Previous Position: Account Executive

Mike Tomon

President of North American Sports Properties – Legends

Previous Position: Sales Consultant

John Fisher

Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales and Marketing – Arizona Diamondbacks

Previous Position: Director of Group Sales

Mark Schoppe

Manager of Corporate Partnerships – The Superlative Group

Previous Position: Account Executive

Nicholas Long

Director of Retail Ops – Orlando Magic

Previous Position: Account Executive

Eric Clouse

Chief Commercial Officer – Haslam Sports Group

Previous Position: Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service

Mike Ostrowski

President, Cleveland Monsters Hockey/COO, Franchise Operations – Cleveland Monsters

Previous Position: Sales Executive

Regis Bane

Executive Director of Ticketing Technology and Ticket Operations – Detroit Lions

Previous Position: Account Executive

Steve Korey

Director of Sales – Top Golf Cleveland

Previous Position: Account Executive

Wes Warne

Director of Ticket Sales and Career Advancement – Milwaukee Bucks

Previous Position: Account Executive

Bob Wunderlich

Director of Membership Sales – Denver Nuggets

Previous Position: Account Executive

Bryan Ralston

Manager Group Sales – Miami Heat

Previous Position: Telesales Representative

Ade Ayodele

Manager of Partnership Development – Charlotte Hornets

Previous Position: Inside Sales Consultant

FAMILY OF COMPANIES

Obsessed with Finding a Better Way, For Our Clients, for Our Communities, and for Our Team Members

DAN GILBERT

Founder and Chairman, Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures

Chairman, 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavalier

Dan Gilbert is Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest mortgage lender. He is also Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity for his portfolio of business and real estate investments, and Chairman of the Cleveland Cavaliers. For the past four consecutive years, the Cleveland Cavaliers have made appearances in the NBA Finals, and in 2016 won the NBA championship. Rock Ventures and its more than 100 affiliated companies across the country employ more than 30,000 team members, including more than 17,000 in Detroit’s urban core.
Dan is also an active investor in tech, sports-related and consumer direct companies. Dan is a Founder and Principal of Detroit Venture Partners (DVP), a venture capital firm that funds startup and early-stage technology companies and a Founding Partner of Detroit-based private equity group Rockbridge Growth Equity.
Dan began moving his Family of Companies to Detroit’s central business district in 2010 in an effort to help lead the transformation of a great American city. In 2011, Dan co-founded Detroit-based Bedrock, a full-service real estate firm specializing in acquiring, leasing, financing, and managing commercial and residential space. Since its founding, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested and committed more than $5.6 billion to acquiring and developing more than 100 properties, including new construction of ground up developments in downtown Detroit and Cleveland, totaling more than 18 million square feet.
Dan serves on the boards of the Cleveland Clinic and the Children’s Tumor Foundation. In 2015, Dan and Jennifer Gilbert established the Gilbert Family Foundation and in 2017, formed ‘NF Forward’ to fund cutting-edge research dedicated to finding a cure for neurofibromatosis (NF). Dan earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from Wayne State University.

NIC BARLAGE

CEO, ROCK ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

Nic Barlage is CEO of Rock Entertainment Group, the umbrella entity of the teams and venues that are part of Cleveland Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert’s Rock Family of Companies. It includes the NBA Cavaliers, the AHL Cleveland Monsters, the NBA G League Cleveland Charge and Cavs Legion of the NBA 2K League; and the operation of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Legion Lair Lit by TCP home of Cavs Legion in Cleveland and Cleveland Clinic Courts – the Cavaliers’ training and development center in Independence, Ohio. 
Barlage joined the Cavaliers in 2017 as President. In this role, he oversaw over 500 full-time team members throughout the business operation of the Cavaliers, who have the second largest workforce in the NBA behind the New York Knicks. He also played a core leadership role in the day-to day planning, design and construction of the newly-transformed Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, which opened before the start of the Cavaliers 2019-20 season. 
Prior to joining the Cavaliers, Barlage was the Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer for the Phoenix Suns, where he oversaw the team’s premium and ticket sales, and marketing efforts. He began serving his stint with the Suns during the 2013-14 season. 
Barlage was part of the Cavaliers organization for five seasons where he was most recently Vice President of Sales and Service before departing for Phoenix in 2014. Prior to his tenure in Cleveland, Barlage spent one season with the Suns and two seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats specializing in suite and premium seating. Barlage’s influence extends across the entire Cleveland community, holding positions on the advisory boards of the Cleveland Sports Commission, American Red Cross, Cleveland Clinic Pediatrics Leadership Council and the local Boys & Girls Club. 
Barlage graduated from Saint John’s University (Minn.) in May of 2006, where he majored in Psychology. He and his wife, Traci, have two daughters, Brooklyn and Kennedy. 

JOIN THE FOUNDATION

If you are interested in learning more about The Foundation, please reach out to Kyle Kaminski at kkaminski@cavs.com and Joseph Perez at jperez@cavs.com.