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CWU to Host Free Northwest Sport Management Summit on November 17

Northwest Sport Management Summit graphic

The Northwest Sport Management Summit will be held in the SURC on November 17.


Aspiring sport management professionals and those interested in learning more about how sport and athletic organizations operate behind the scenes are invited to attend the third annual Northwest Sport Management Summit on November 17.

The free event, hosted by the Northwest Center for Sport (NWCS), will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union and Recreation Center on the Central Washington University campus. This year’s theme is “Strategy and Storytelling in Sport” and tickets are available at EventBrite.com.

“This year, we’re going to focus on effective strategic communication and how professionals in sport utilize data analytics use data in the sport industry,” said NWCS director Dr. Sean Dahlin, who also serves as an assistant professor in the CWU Department of Sport and Movement Studies. “We have terrific guest speakers lined up and we’re excited for our students to get to know them.”

A full slate of industry professionals from across the Northwest, and as far away as Michigan and New York, will speak at the Summit, which gives participants an opportunity to interact with professionals who have gained a foothold in the industry. Participants also will learn about the array of career opportunities that are available in the sport management field, including sales and marketing, facilities, analytics, player development, event management, recreation management, sport coaching and more.

This year’s keynote speaker is Amanda Ruller, an assistant running backs coach for the Seattle Seahawks and a recipient of the Bill Walsh Diversity in Coaching Fellowship Award. Before joining the Seahawks, she was as assistant running backs coach with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. She also was one of the first women to coach football at the U Sports level, serving as the running backs coach and strength and conditioning coach at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

“Amanda has been breaking barriers in the football coaching industry and continues to do so,” Dahlin said of Ruller, a former football player who went on to become a successful football coach, sports broadcaster, gameday host, and podcaster. “Anyone interested in this profession will want to hear her story.”

Among the other highly anticipated panelists is CWU alumna Liz McCloskey (’04), who started her career in customer service for the Seattle Mariners and has held a variety of sales positions with the club. She is now the director of sales development and group events, where she leads two strategic sales teams, including the Group Events branch, a division she helped launch in 2008. Today, she helps bring in millions of dollars in additional sales every year by drawing niche communities to the ballpark for exclusive events and experiences.

Other speakers at the November 17 Summit include:

  • Tim Booth: Longtime sportswriter/editor with The Associated Press and a CWU alumnus
  • Epiphany Clark: Associate AD at Michigan State University and former CWU development officer
  • Stacy Jo Rost: Co-host of KIRO 710 AM sports radio program “Bump and Stacy” and Seattle Seahawks pregame show
  • Matt Newman: Director of Recreation, University of Washington
  • Tanner Swanson: Quality Control Coach/Director of Catching, New York Yankees and CWU alumnus
  • Aaron Lampkin: Senior Director of Strategy/Ticketing/Premium Seating, National Hockey League
  • Emily Gustafson: Marketing Data Analyst, Seattle Seahawks 
  • Laura Dahlby Nicolai: Associate AD of Compliance, Central Washington University  
  • Brandon Harmon: Associate Head Coach, Baseball, Gonzaga University 
  • Abe Silvestri: Senior Director of Team Operations, San Francisco Giants and CWU alumnus

The NWCS’s mission is to provide networking opportunities, professional development and to connect students with the sport industry. In the past, they have hosted guest speakers from the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Sounders, PGA Tour, ROOT Sports and more. 

The center also hosts an annual student trip that features visits to career fairs and touring sport venues to give undergraduate and graduate sports management students positive experiences and networking opportunities.

Media Contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs, David.Leder@cwu.edu, 509-963-1518