Sports Celebrities, Executives Speaking to FAU Summer Classes

By paul owers | 5/27/2020

FOX Sports college football reporter and host Jenny Taft is one of more than a dozen media personalities and sports executives speaking virtually to two classes this summer in Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business.

Jenny Taft
Jenny Taft, FOX college football reporter and host

Taft, who also moderates FS1’s “Skip & Shannon: Undisputed,” is scheduled to speak on Thursday, June 25 to the College’s Managing the Sports Enterprise class. Jonathan D. Mariner, former chief financial officer for Major League Baseball, the Miami Marlins and the Florida Panthers, also is scheduled to speak to the class in June. Former ESPN trivia czar Howie Schwab will address students on Thursday, May 28.

James Riordan, Ph.D., director of FAU’s MBA Sport Management program, has organized the executive and celebrity presentations in recent years to augment classroom instruction.

“This supports our mission of offering practitioner-based education,” he said. “This gives the students motivation, hearing from people that they’ve seen working in the industry.”

Lee Zeidman, president of STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater and the L.A. LIVE sports, residential and entertainment district, is among five speakers addressing The Management of Sport, Entertainment, Convention Facilities and Events class in June and July. Zeidman oversees event operations and production and the day-to-day support for the STAPLES Center’s tenants, which include the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. 

The complete speakers’ schedule: 

Managing the Sports Enterprise class

May 28: Howie Schwab, former ESPN personality

June 4: Anthony Hilliard, CEO of The Sterling Group

June 11: Jonathan D. Mariner, former MLB, Florida Panthers and Miami Marlins CFO

June 18: Katerina Perez, Florida Panthers vice president of corporate partnerships  

June 25: Jenny Taft, reporter for FOX Sports  

July 2: George Linley, executive director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission

July 9: Eugene Shen, Miami Dolphins director of football personnel analytics  

July 16: Michael Graffin, FAU associate director for development in FAU Athletics

July 23: Joey Brander, First Serve Partners president/managing partner  

 The Management of Sport, Entertainment, Convention Facilities and Events class 

June 13: Lee Zeidman, STAPLES Center executive  

June 27: Sam Coghill, Miami Dolphins vice president of stadium operations  

 David Reuss, concert production and arena management executive

July 11: Antony Bonavita, Cleveland Cavaliers executive vice president for venue operations

 Hugh Gallagher, Los Angeles Dodgers director of food and beverage