2022 SVG Teams Summit

Speakers

Ed Abis, Never.no, Managing Director

Ed Abis is the managing director of Never.no, developers of cloud-based data display platform, Bee-On. Supporting production teams with the tools to deliver data-driven graphics live to air, Never.no work with global broadcasters, sports properties, brands, and content creators to connect audiences through engaging formats.

As the marketing and communications manager for English Premier League’s Burnley FC, Abis started to develop his strong commercial and content strategy skills. Using that experience, he has successfully delivered expansive partnership deals with global rights holders and brands over the years, while working for Nike, ITV, Manchester United, and Perform (now DAZN),

Entering his seventh year at Never.no, his role has evolved from commercial director to general manager, and now managing director, overseeing the company’s operations and strategy for growth in the global market.

Blair Berry, Charlotte FC, Digital & Social Media Manager

Blair Berry attended East Carolina University, majoring in journalism. She has always had a knack for storytelling and sports. In the early stages of her career, Berry had plans to pursue sports broadcasting until she opened her eyes to the world of sports social media. She enjoys the challenge of telling stories in a more short and concise way.

Berry comes from a diverse background working in the NBA with the Washington Wizards, the NFL social lab, and now the 2022 MLS Expansion Team Charlotte FC.

Brandon Costa, SVG, Director of Digital

Brandon Costa covers the sports video production industry with a focus on live streaming, over-the-top (OTT), social media, and other digital distribution technologies and platforms. He also directs SVG’s internal digital strategies launching the company’s video outfit, ‘SVG On Demand,’ designing and overseeing its mobile application, ‘SVG Mobile,’ and serving as executive producer and host of The SVG Podcast. Costa serves as program director of networking events serving the SVG College and SVG Digital communities. Prior to his time at SVG, Costa spent five years producing digital content for MLB Advanced Media.

Jason Dachman, SVG, Chief Editor

Jason Dachman oversees all aspects of SVG’s North American editorial operations, including the thrice-weekly SVG Insider newsletter and SVG’s annual print publications. A member of the SVG team since 2009, Dachman also serves as program director for SVG’s RSN Summit, Sports Content Management Forum, Sports Graphics Forum, and TranSPORT event. Prior to joining SVG, he spent three years covering local sports for The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, MA, and two years on the production staff of SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s The Ron & Fez Show. Dachman began his career in the Sports Information Department at Northeastern University in Boston, where he also earned a B.A. in media communications and cinema studies.

Amber Del Rio, Chicago Sky, Video Producer

Amber Del Rio is the video producer for the WNBA Chicago Sky. In this role, she is responsible for creating video content to be used on social media, in-arena video boards, broadcast commercials, and various marketing campaigns. As the lead of the video team, Del Rio plans and executes all video shoots, edits footage based on platform distribution, and works with other department leads to ensure final videos reflect visions and goals.

In addition to the Chicago Sky, Del Rio’s professional experience includes wedding videography, corporate vlogs, and high school sports. She previously held positions with the USHL Chicago Steel and Purdue University Hall of Music Productions.

Del Rio graduated from Purdue University with a B.A. in film and video studies and a minor in communication.

Mike DesRoches, Sony, National Account Organization – Sports West & New Media

Always up for engaging in meaningful conversations relative to the customer’s product and solution needs, Mike DesRoches has been an active part of Sony’s broadcast and production division for over 26 years. While you can sometimes find him contributing with his customers behind the camera, he’s truly one of those people more than happy to dig in and get his hands dirty on a project and add value as a trusted partner.  Functioning in a national accounts role supporting many new media companies, DesRoches is mainly responsible for all sports business development relationships (teams, venues, RSNs, etc.) West of the Mississippi and Wisconsin for Sony’s core hardware products, as well as their new addition Nevion, and has nationwide coverage relative to their software solutions, such as Ci media cloud services. In previous capacities, DesRoches was leaned on heavily by many of the major production companies during the transition to HD in the role of a post-production advocate and compression “demystifier.” During the more recent moves to incorporate/utilize HD HFR, 4K, and HDR for higher end storytelling, he’s actively engaged with Sony’s partners to facilitate those educational and deployment processes.

Stosh Durbacz, Fujifilm/Fujinon, National Sales Manager, Optical Devices

Stosh Durbacz currently holds the position of national sales manager for Fujifilm’s Broadcast and Cinema Optics business in North America. Additionally, Durbacz is a very active participant in various industry organizations. He is a long time SMPTE-Toronto Chapter board manager, the chair of the PERG Association, and a vendor representative on the IMAGO Technical Committee. Durbacz actively engages with the industry in an effort to provide strong value to partners through his experience and relationships.

Robert Erickson, Grass Valley, Strategic Account Manager, Sports and Venues

A member of the Grass Valley team since 2008, Robert Erickson has more than 19 years of experience in the broadcast and IT markets with previous roles covering systems engineering, television station management, broadcast network design, and RF transmission systems. Throughout his career, his focus has been on designing and maintaining infrastructure and playout systems based on new and emerging technologies for both existing and greenfield broadcast facilities.

In his current role, Erickson is a participant in the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) and advocates for proper implementation of current and emerging broadcast standards on live production equipment. He spends much of his time engaging with customers to educate them on emerging IP technologies and trains internal staff on how IP technology drives different system designs. Erickson also designs and manages IP POC (proof of concept) systems for customers worldwide, testing and implementing solutions based on a diverse product line that includes cameras, servers, routers, multiviewers, various processing nodes, and VM-based software solutions.

Erickson is an active participant and frequent presenter in many of the major industry associations including the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), Society of Television Engineers (STE), Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers (SMPTE), and Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA).

Janel Fleming, LiveU, Director of Sales and Sales Group Manager, Sports

As the director of sports sales, Janel Fleming is responsible for driving the strategy for LiveU’s Sports Group. She has been integral in bringing LiveU Sports solutions to professional teams, sports associations, and production companies, allowing them to create more unique live content and increase fan engagement. Throughout her career, Fleming has worked with broadcasters, producers, and distributors of sports, entertainment, and news seeking reliable and robust backhaul video services. She is a graduate of Florida State University where she received her Bachelor of Science in business management.

Kristian Hernández, SVG, Associate Editor and Social Media Manager; SVG Teams Summit Program Director

Kristian Hernandez handles day-to-day construction of the SVG Insider newsletter, oversees all social media content distribution, and covers various sports technology topics for Sports Video Group. In addition, he is the program director for the annual SVG Venue Summit and the Teams Summit.

Before joining SVG, Hernandez served as co-founder of CHC-TV, the first student-run television studio at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA. While at CHC, Hernandez produced a daily sports show named “On the Hill with Hernandez” — covering all men’s and women’s athletics for the college. Also, Hernandez spearheaded the college’s newspaper, “The Griffin”, as its sports editor. Hernandez graduated with a B.A. in communications. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he currently lives in Queens, NY.

Sue Jo, Los Angeles Dodgers, Social Media Director

Sue Jo is the director of social media at the Los Angeles Dodgers. This will be her seventh season covering the team, with time included from her days at Major League Baseball. Prior to joining the club side, Jo was employed by MLB as an in-game social media coordinator for the Dodgers. There, she helped club staff with in-game coverage on social. Before joining the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Jo worked as a social media ambassador with the Chicago White Sox, covering home games and helping the social team in the Sox Social Lounge.

Prior to joining sports, Jo worked at NBC Chicago as a content producer and news writer. She worked for the morning and weekend news shows by writing copy and editing video for on-air. In 2015, Jo and her team won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement for News Programming.

Ken Kerschbaumer, SVG, Co-Executive Director, Editorial

Ken Kerschbaumer is co-executive director of editorial services for the Sports Video Group and SVG Europe. He was a co-founder of SVG along with Paul Gallo and Marty Porter in 2005 and has been writing about how sports networks and leagues use video and audio technology to deliver a quality TV experience since 1991. Kerschbaumer began his career in 1991 at Television Broadcast magazine before joining Cahners where he was founding editor of Digital Broadcasting magazine. In 2000, he joined Broadcasting & Cable magazine as senior editor of technology where he covered all aspects of broadcasting, cable, and internet content creation and distribution.

Sharif Khan, Dalet Digital Media Systems, Presales Solution Architect, West Coast U.S. & Canada

Sharif Khan is the presales solution architect for the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada with Dalet Digital Media Systems. Khan joined Dalet Digital Media Systems during a time when the industry was going through many changes with the introduction of cloud platforms, more evolved artificial intelligence platforms, and machine learning in media distribution workflows. He works closely with Dalet’s customers to design solutions that integrate enterprise media asset management with existing production toolsets and utilize artificial intelligence, automated supply chains, and virtual infrastructure in private/public cloud platforms.

Khan was born a natural technophile and has always been an early adopter starting at a young age. He always wanted the newest technology designed to make everyday tasks easier and more efficient, whether it be through re-purposing existing technology or designing something new. Khan started his career with the U.S. Navy in Nuclear Power. Shortly after getting bored with that, he went back to school to switch directions and get back into a tech focus within in the media industry. Khan was always amused and amazed working for Technicolor testing and implementing new tech around storage, asset management, and automation to create more efficient and less error prone workflows for the digital media supply chain. After Technicolor, he joined SDI Media Group to get more involved in localization and reduce the digital content distribution time to global markets. He was able to make many improvements utilizing supply chain automation and, at that time, experimental artificial intelligence platforms.

Besides asset management and distribution, Khan also has a well-developed appetite for new camera tech, 3-D home entertainment, color, and audio. As a hobby, he works with drone technology experimenting with new automated flight patterns and aerial shot choreography making sure that the camera always keeps the subject perfectly in the shot using facial and object recognition on-board while capturing high quality 4K HDR video in various speeds.

Ricky Mast, Atlanta Braves, Digital Media Content Manager

Ricky Mast is the digital content manager for the 2021 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves. Mast serves as the team’s social media voice across all platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube. He is also the producer and co-host of the official team podcast, Behind the Braves.

Prior to his current role with the Braves, Mast served as senior in-game coordinator for Major League Baseball for six seasons, hosted a local sports talk radio show and sports TV segments in his native state of Virginia, served as a writer for Topps’ digital MLB and NFL apps, and was a cast member of the 2012 MLB FanCave where he wrote and performed content pieces that were featured on Fox, MLB Network, and ESPN.

Perry Mattern, New York Jets, Manager of Social Media

Perry Mattern is currently in his third season as part of the Jets social media team. Before that, he spent two seasons with the Washington Football Team as part of their content department.

Originally from Harrisburg, PA, Mattern earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in communication studies from Shippensburg University. He originally was a play-by-play baseball broadcaster for the Harrisburg Senators (AA affiliate for the Washington Nationals) before joining Washington’s content department and developing an affinity for social media.

Kyle Millen, Cleveland Browns, Director, Scoreboard Operations

As the director of scoreboard operations for the Haslam Sports Group, Kyle Millen is responsible for the in-game production of all Cleveland Browns (NFL), Columbus Crew (MLS), and stadium events across three venues: FirstEnergy Stadium, Lower.com Field, and Historic Crew Stadium. In this role, Millen leads a production and engineering team which is responsible for content creation, scripting, strategy, staffing, technology, and event execution. His team works to maximize the fan experience and home field advantage while also developing and executing revenue strategies that align with fan experience goals.

Chris Pinkert, St. Louis Blues, Senior Director, Digital Content

Chris Pinkert joined the St. Louis Blues as their website coordinator in September of 2007. He managed the team website and helped oversee the creation and development of the team’s social media platforms. Pinkert began traveling with the team seven years ago in a full-time content development role. He still travels, but in his new/current position of senior director of digital content, he has a team of three others that are responsible for the team’s website and all of their social media platforms.

Pinkert has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri – Columbia (Class of 2006).

Jennifer Pransky, Angel City FC, Head of Content

Jennifer Pransky is the head of content at Angel City Football Club (ACFC), where she oversees the strategy, conception, and execution of all video, audio, and graphical content. Pransky’s content team services the creative needs across all departments; including partnerships, marketing, ticketing, community, and social media. 

Before coming to ACFC, Pransky started a volunteer content team – Creatives 4 Biden – that produced graphics and videos to support the presidential candidate, other Democrats down the ballot, and non-partisan Get Out The Vote initiatives. Following the election, the group became Creatives 4 Democracy, with the goal of inspiring all Americans to become active in our democracy. 

Before Creatives 4 Democracy, Pransky worked at Fox Sports, where she oversaw video and storytelling content for large-scale and special events across national, regional, and digital platforms and broadcasts. During her 19-year tenure at Fox, Pransky produced content for the Super Bowl, World Series, FIFA World Cup, Daytona 500, MLS Cup, Concacaf Gold Cup, MLB All-Star Game, and more. 

Jeremy Strootman, Quantum, Business Development Manager

Jeremy Strootman has been a media workflow consultant for 20 years with the sole mission to increase efficiency and productivity. From ingest to archive, his understanding of the challenges that content creators face has provided value to hundreds of media professionals across North America. Getting his start in storage and archiving, Strootman quickly understood that asset management, media processing, and automation are as important as the story his customers are telling.

Bill Thompson, Signiant, Director of Platform Management

Bill Thompson is the director of platform management for Signiant. An industry veteran with extensive experience working with production and post-production enterprises, Thompson has specialized in audio/video monitoring, measurement, content storage, video workflows, media transcoding, and more at a wide range of organizations.

Andrew Wilkinson, Winnipeg Jets, Director of Digital

Andrew Wilkinson has worked for the Winnipeg Jets / True North Sports + Entertainment (TNSE) since 2011 when the Jets returned to Winnipeg. He is a strategic thinker who is passionate about engaging with fans through digital media and exploring new and innovative technology to grow the team’s fanbase and build revenue opportunities. Wilkinson currently oversees TNSE’s portfolio of over 18 web properties, over 50 social media accounts, and multiple email marketing brands, as well as the Winnipeg Jets mobile app and emerging mobile fan experiences. Most recently he has led the Jets’ efforts in launching their inaugural NFT collection in December of 2021.

Wilkinson graduated from the University of Manitoba with a commerce degree and double majors in marketing / finance.

Chris Wilson, MediaKind, Director of Market Development, Sports

Chris Wilson is an experienced sales and business development executive with over 20 years of experience in the media and entertainment technology sector. He has held various commercial and training roles at Dolby, Twickenham Film Studios, and MediaKind. Currently, Wilson heads up the sports portfolio at MediaKind, specifically focused on the areas of streaming and direct-to-consumer platforms. It’s an engaging and innovative industry to operate in and he is passionate about the technology, what it can achieve for an audience, and also helping MediaKind’s customers build the foundation for future streaming services.

Wilson has a B.Sc.(Hons) in media technology which he received from Solent University.

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