Department of Human Performance and Sport
Sport Management Advisory Board
The MSU Denver Sport Management Advisory board provides insight for the SM academic cirriculum and provides students with opportunities to network and advance their careers. The following Advisory Board members are accomplished experts in their fields and provide valuable insight that ensures the degree requirements are rigourus and appropriate for entry-level positions in the sport management field.
Vice President, Premium Client Services
Kronke Sports & Entertainment
As the VP of Premium Client Services, Kelsey is responisble for overseeing all premium spaces and clients at both the Ball Arena and Dick's Sporting Goods Park specifically for the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Mammout, and all 3rd party events and concerts. Kelsey's history working with the Nuggets, Houston Rockets, and the Toyota Center makes her a valuable member of the SM Advisory Board.
A native of Lubbock, Texas, Kelsey received both her undergraduate degree in Marketing and her masters degree in Sports Management at Baylor University where she played volleyball for the Baylor Bears.
Assistant Director of Facilities
Gold Crown Foundation
*MSU Denver Alumni
Dillon oversees multiple multi-million dollar facilties including The Gold Crown Field House, Coca-Cola All Star Park, and the Edgewater Team Tech Center. In his tenure at the Gold Crown Foundation, Dillon has been involved in designing various enviornmental sustainability projects. Dillon assisted in implementing a successful recycling program, a carbon reduction program, and has replaced over 1,000 cfl bulbs with LED lighting. These efforts yielded the Gold Crown Foundation's Community Sustainability Award from the City of Lakewood.
Dillon's hobbies include golfing, fly fishing, snowboarding, traveling, meeting new people, and learning different customs.
Dean Ekeren, Ph.D.
National Events Director
Dean Ekeren has served as the National Events Director for USA Swimming since 2000, where he is responsible for organizing all National and International competitions held in the U.S., including U.S. Olympic Trials, World Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships. Dr. Ekeren has been directly involved in the planning, construction, and operation of several major venues and made-for-television events. Sports presentation, event promotions, broadcasts, and team services all fall under his supervision. His marketing roles include event sponsor activations, communications, and relations for one of the most successful governing bodies in Olympic sports.
Dr. Ekeren swam competitively and was the team captain at South Dakota State University. He stays active by participating in a variety of outdoor activities and he holds 2nd Dan (Kukkiown) in Taekwondo. Dr. Ekeren resides in Littleton, CO with his wife and two children.
Kris Ekeren joined USA Fencing in June of 2011 as a veteran of the sports industry with 20 years of experience working with non-profit and government organizations. Ekeren also has a wealth of experience in the parks and recreation realm, previously holding roles as the youth sports director and Apex Center Manager with the Apex Park and Recreation District in Arvada, Colo. as well as the athlete and aquatics manager for the City of Oklahoma City.
Ekeren earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in sports management from OU.
Gomez Howard Group
*MSU Denver Alumni
Jeff currently serves as Managing Partner of the Gomez Howard Group, an integrated marketing and communications firm he runs with his wife Gerri. The Gomez Howard Group focuses on connecting the dots for local and national organizations, with a particular emphasis on supporting nonprofit initiatives. Howard previously worked at the University of Denver as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations. Prior to his role at the University of Denver, Howard served on the Communications Division leadership team and directed the Education and Outreach, Community Relations and Career Services departments at the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). Howard also previously served as Managing Director for Public and Media Relations at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), media relations assistant for the Denver Broncos and sports producer for KWGN-TV in Denver.
Associate Director of Athletics for Marketing and Promotions/External Relations
MSU Denver Athletics
John oversees marketing, promotions and special events, along with media relations, and all public-facing aspects of MSU Denver Athletics fall under his jurisdiction. He was named vice chairman of the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics in June, 2019. The mission of the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics is to provide leadership and assistance to the association in its efforts to provide equitable opportunities, fair treatment and respect for all women in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics.
Kietzmann graduated from Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins in 1997 and from Colorado State with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 2001. He holds a master’s degree and is currently working on his doctorate in interdisciplinary leadership from Creighton.
Denver Sports Commission
Matthew Payne serves as the executive director of the Denver Sports Commission, an affiliate of VISIT DENVER, The Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he is responsible for attracting new regional, national and international sporting events to The Mile High City. Payne also secures sports-related business opportunities for Denver that generate economic impact, engage the community and support Denver’s brand as an active, healthy city. He works closely with the governing bodies of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and international federations to recruit and secure events for the city.
Prior to his work in sports tourism, Payne was director of national sales for Global Entertainment Marketing, a Phoenix-based company engaged in sports management, event center development, facility/venue management and ticketing. He also worked with the first minor league professional hockey franchise in Austin, the Austin Ice Bats, where he served in several capacities for the startup franchise, including general manager
3D Sports Agency
Playing all linebacker positions for the Cincinnati Bengals for 6 years, Adrian showed he was one of the hardest hitters and leaders in the NFL. As an adult with years of life experiences and lessons behind him, Adrian Ross is determined to pass this knowledge on to the next generations and arm them with the tools they need to surpass all of the obstacles that lay in their own paths. As owner of 3D Sports & Entertainment, Adrian now helps future athletes reach their own dreams both on and off the field, and teaches them integrity in the process.
Adrian Ross founded the Maddbacker Foundation. The MaddBacker Foundation opens doors through education and athletics to empower, enrich and inspire our young people through programs in literacy, academic achievement and workshops in leadership. Ross’ support of our youth and sports legends in the making will help to create in them the same passion he has for his own future and cause them to wake up to see all of the possibilities before them and make their own dreams a reality.
Manager - Guest Services
*MSU Denver Alumni
In his current position within the Ballpark Operations Department, Brian manages two departments that consist of 300 part-time seasonal game-day employees. The areas cover all Coors Field’s Gate and Restricted Area Operations as well as the Coors Field Operations Center.
A Colorado native, Brian attended Wheat Ridge High School and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Metropolitan State University of Denver, in 1999. Born September 28, 1976, Brian and his wife, Katie reside in Arvada. They have two boys, Charles, and Thomas.
Vice President of Operations
Forward Progress Athletics Consulting
Maricela brings youth, intercollegiate, and Olympic sports experience to her role at Forward Progress where she focuses most her time on Leadership and Development training for student-athletes, coaches and staff in collegiate athletic departments. Previously the Coordinator of Student-Athlete Development at the NCAA national office, she focused her work on creating impactful programming for student-athletes through leadership conferences, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee support, and NCAA Youth Clinics operations and curriculum creation.
Maricela's commitment to youth leadership and student development continues as she is a National Trainer for the sports-based youth development organization Up2Us.
Assistant Director of Facilities
Gold Crown Foundation
*MSU Denver Alumni
Alyssa helps oversee three Gold Crown Facilities including the Gold Crown Field House (six basketball courts / eight volleyball courts), Keli McGregor Field at Coca-Cola All Star Park (Baseball and softball fields), and the Clubhouse Enrichment Center at Edgewater. In her role, Alyssa is responsible for facility and risk management, including day to day event coordination, scheduling, invoicing, game day operations, maintence, and managing a team of part time employees.
Before the Gold Crown Foundation, Alyssa was a second-team All RMAC volleyball player for MSU Denver, who finished in the Sweet Sixteen (2016) and second round of the NCAA D2 tournament (2017). Alyssa is a Denver native who enjoys hiking, playing volleyball, and continuing to support both MSU Denver’s athletic and academic programs.
Patrick Tetrick, CVP
Director of Guest Relations
In his current position, Patrick oversees 400+ staff members for Denver Broncos home football games, Denver Outlaws lacrosse games, and many other events held at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium. The Guest Relations staff covers all areas of stadium from ushers to ticket takers to concierge desks and information kiosks. Patrick received his Certified Venue Professional (CVP) certification from the International Association of Venue Managers at their annual conference in 2017 and is the Chair of the GuestX Committee and on the Stadium Committee for IAVM.
Patrick grew up in Great Bend, Kansas and joined the US Army as a Military Policeman following high school. He was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, serving with the 503rd MP Company, 3rd Armored Division (Spearhead), and with the 555th MP Company from Ft. Lee, Virginia. Once he left active duty, he entered the US Army Reserve working with the 346th Military Police Company, Escort Guard, out of Hutchinson, KS, and the 530th Military Police Battalion in Omaha, NE. Both units were Enemy Prisoner of War transporting and detaining units. As a Master Sergeant, Patrick retired in 2005 after completing four deployments including Kuwait/Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Iraq.
Patrick received his B.A. from Wichita State University in Sports Administration with a minor in Marketing. Before his current position, he was the Assistant Security Manager and the Guest Relations Senior Manager for Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Patrick resides in Thornton, CO, with his wife, Christina, and their 16-year-old quadruplet boys, Parker, Peyton, Camden and Christian. Pat loves to spend time with his family and attempting to play golf.