The Team

The players that help make it happen.

It’s truly a team effort to create an incredible experience and successful championship event that fans rave about. The following players are some of the leadership, board members, and staff that make it all possible.

Board Leadership

Brad Wright, Co-Chair

Brad Wright’s years of experience in real estate development, entitlement, finance, law and public financing districts gives him a unique skill set that he now uses to find creative solutions for Wright Company clients. His real estate development and finance expertise ranges from mixed-use commercial developments to publicly owned professional sports facilities.

Wright was previously vice president and general counsel for SunCor Development Company, the real estate development subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (NYSE: PNW), and vice president and associate general counsel for the Apollo Group (NASDAQ: APOL). He is a two-term governor’s appointee and past chairman of the board for the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority. Wright is also the past chairman of WESTMARC and currently serves on the Greater Phoenix Economic Council board of directors.

Wright graduated from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis with his Juris Doctorate degree in 1991, and from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in accounting in 1998. He began his legal career in private practice, first in Missouri then in Arizona in 1994, specializing in complex litigation and professional negligence matters.

Win Holden, Co-Chair

Named one of Arizona’s Most Admired CEOs by the Phoenix Business Journal in 2012, Win Holden has served as publisher of Arizona Highways for 14 years.

Before joining the iconic publication, Holden was editor-in-chief of PHOENIX Magazine and executive vice president and general manager of Phillips-Ramsey Advertising & Public Relations. He was a 2007 inductee into the Arizona Tourism Hall of Fame and is active in many charitable and community organizations, including the Fiesta Bowl, where he served as chairman of the board.

Holden is chairman of the board of the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and immediate past-president of the Endowment Board of the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Sherry Henry, Vice Chair

Sherry Henry is the director of the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT). She oversees marketing efforts that promote Arizona as a world-class, premier destination to global visitors, increasing statewide economic benefits from the travel and tourism industry.

Prior to joining AOT, she was the manager of hospitality marketing for the Fiesta Bowl and executive director of the Arizona Tourism Alliance. A Fiesta Bowl volunteer for 30 years, she became the first woman president of a major bowl game in 1994. Henry’s long history of service in the tourism industry includes more than 20 years as general manager of the Fiesta Inn.

Board Members

David Anderson, CEO, Off Madison Ave

Judy Bernas, Associate Vice President, University of Arizona

Michael Bidwill, President, Arizona Cardinals

Tim Burns, President, Burns Shields

Mark DeWane, Sr. Vice President, RBC Wealth Management

David Farca, President, ToH Design Studio

Glenn Hamer, President, Arizona Chamber of Commerce

Mike Hecomovich, President, Global Marketing Services

Debbie Johnson, President, Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association

Michael Kennedy, Co-Founder, Gallagher & Kennedy

Derek Kerr, CFO, American Airlines,

Jeff Lowe, Arizona Market President, MidFirst Bank

Dan Mahoney, Partner, Snell & Wilmer

Andy McCain, CFO, Hensley Beverage Company

Jeff Meyer, AZSTA Board Chair,

Don Meyers, Fiesta Bowl Founder and Attorney-At-Law,

Mike Martin, Director, Economic Development, APS

Deborah Ostreicher, Deputy Aviation Director, Phoenix Sky Harbor

Sheryl Palmer, President, Taylor Morrison

Steve Roman, Partner, First Strategic

Landon Stone, COO, DeMark Analytics

Karrin Taylor, Executive Vice President, DMB Associates, Inc.

Gregg Tryhus, President, Grayhawk Development

Sandra Watson, President, Arizona Commerce Authority

Matt Winter, Board Chair, Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors,

John Zidich, Publisher, Arizona Republic

Ellie Ziegler, Ellie Ziegler Foundation,

Staff Members

Tom Sadler, President, Chief Executive Officer

Tom Sadler joined the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority as president and CEO in June of 2008. The majority of his professional career was spent as a Division 1 collegiate athletics administrator: 20 years at Arizona State University and three years at University of Hawaii.

Sadler holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and a master’s in public administration from Arizona State University.

Mike Nealy, Executive Vice President

A Minnesota native, Mike Nealy’s career in sports spans more than a decade. He was named executive director of the Fiesta Bowl on May 5, 2014 and oversees the community organization that operates the Fiesta Bowl and the Cactus Bowl.

Prior to working with the Fiesta Bowl, he spent eight years with the Phoenix Coyotes where he served as president and chief operating officer. Nealy also spent four seasons with the Minnesota Wild where his responsibilities included strategic planning and finance, as well as leading the Wild’s 501(c)(3) charitable activities.

In 2012, he was named Sports Business Leader of the Year by Minnesota State University for demonstrating outstanding business, academic, and visionary leadership through effective management of his organization.

Stephanie Jarvis, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

The former general counsel and chief compliance officer at Fiesta Bowl, Stephanie Jarvis helped lead the effort to bring the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship to Arizona.

Jarvis came to the Fiesta Bowl from the Indianapolis-based Horizon League, where she served as associate commissioner and general counsel. She ran the Horizon League’s compliance program to help member institutions understand and comply with NCAA regulations, and she oversaw numerous conference championships. During her time at the Horizon League, Jarvis assisted with several NCAA men’s and women’s basketball Final Fours in Indianapolis.

Jarvis graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in French language and literature, and earned her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Bruce Skinner, Senior Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer

The President of Bruce Skinner and Associates, Bruce Skinner is a highly regarded consultant to the business and special events industries.

He served as the executive director of the Fiesta Bowl from 1980-1990, signing a landmark agreement with Sunkist Growers to serve as title sponsor. That partnership enabled the Fiesta Bowl to stage the first national championship game in Arizona history – No. 2 Penn State’s 14-10 upset of top-ranked Miami, widely considered the precursor to the modern college football championship game.

Skinner is the author of the book, “The Complete Guide to Selling Event Sponsorship,” published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. of New York. He is the founder of the highly successful P.F. Chang’s Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Phoenix (2004), and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons and Half Marathons in Seattle (2009) and Portland, Oregon (2012). He also helped start the Rock ‘n’ Roll 10 du Carnaval in Nice, France (2012).

Ken Van Winkle, General Counsel

Kenneth Van Winkle is Lewis Roca Rothgerber's managing partner. He is a member of the firm's real estate transactional group and focuses his practice on real estate leasing; real estate equity and debt financing; and real estate sales and acquisitions.

Some of Van Winkle’s other accomplishments include having an AV/Preeminent Attorney rating with Martindale-Hubbell, being listed in the 2006–2015 editions of The Best Lawyers in America© in the category of Real Estate Law, and in the 2003–2014 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers in the category of Real Estate Law. He has also been selected to the 2011 edition of Arizona's Finest Lawyers and is also included in the April 2010 edition of AZ Business' Top Lawyers, in the category of Construction & Real Estate Law.

In the area of Real Estate leasing, Van Winkle represents several restaurant chains in connection with their leasing agreements, licensure issues and disputes on a local, regional and national scale. Current and prior restaurant clients include P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Paul Martin's American Grill, Wildfish and Eddie V's, Z'Tejas and Peter Piper Pizza.

In addition to other memberships and affiliations, Van Winkle serves as legal counsel for the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, and board member and chair of audit committee for Arizona State University. He also has a Juris Doctor from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and graduated magna cum laude from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

Curt Krizan, Vice President & CFO

Originally from Minnesota, Curt Krizan began his career in sports in 2011 when he joined the Fiesta Bowl as chief financial officer. Krizan has spent the last four years as the CFO for the Fiesta Bowl Organization, overseeing both the Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl games. During this span, he also became a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, a graduate of the Valley Leadership group, and most recently, the CFO of the Arizona Organizing Committee for the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

Prior to working with the Fiesta Bowl, he spent three years with KPMG as a senior auditor. He then spent five years as a market controller for CBS Radio-Minneapolis, and four years with Education Minnesota, where he served as chief financial officer.

Krizan graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a bachelor of business administration in accountancy and completed an International Business Study Abroad program at the Southern Denmark School of Business.

Joe Hickey, Vice President, Partnerships & Activation

As a 20-year veteran in the sports business and entertainment industry, Joe Hickey comes to the Arizona Organizing Committee from the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, where he led the Partnership Sales & Activation Department. Prior to the Super Bowl, Hickey worked in leadership roles with various professional sports and collegiate properties, including the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Nationals, Arizona Coyotes, Arizona Cardinals, and Arizona State University. Hickey is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

Devney Preuss, Vice President, Activation & Special Events

Preuss joins the Arizona Organizing Committee after leading the development and execution of Verizon Super Bowl Central for the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. The multi-day festival in downtown Phoenix was the epicenter for Super Bowl fans, media and sponsor activities, and showcased the new urban, vibrant downtown Phoenix that has been built up since the last Super Bowl in 2008. Preuss also lent her extensive sponsorship activation and measurement experience to the partnership sales and activation team, which was responsible for the $30 million fundraising goal of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.

Preuss joined the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee after spending nine years with the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury. Under her most recent role as senior director of marketing partnerships activation, Preuss was responsible for the day-to-day management of the activation managers and support staff, as well as activating several key marketing partnerships. She was also responsible for overseeing the research and measurement reporting critical to partnership renewals, and assisting in new business acquisition.

Preuss is from Rockford, Mich. and graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in organizational studies and psychology.

Kyle Hedstrom, Senior Manager, Partnerships and Activation

One of the original members of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Hedstrom worked on the Partnerships and Activation team. As program manager, he worked to develop and customize sales materials, negotiate partnership agreements, and manage sponsorship activation. In only two years the host committee successfully achieved their $30M fundraising goal necessary to host Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona.

Hedstrom graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in economics, and pursued a career in public accounting and consulting in California before moving to Arizona.

Melissa Ascher, Special Projects Coordinator

Melissa Ascher joins the Arizona Organizing Committee after previously serving as the ticket operations intern at the Fiesta Bowl. Ascher is originally from Meriden, Connecticut, and graduated in 2013 from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in finance, sports management, and global business. While on campus, Ascher worked for Arizona Athletics in the marketing and the ticket office. During the summer of 2012, Ascher completed an internship in premium sales with the New York Mets.