SportsTravel publisher Timothy Schneider has been named to the inaugural class of the National Association of Sports Commissions Hall of Fame, along with five other sports-event industry veterans: Hill Carrow, Kevin Gray, Jack Hughes, Diane McGraw and Don Schumacher.
The Hall of Fame inductees will be recognized for their achievements at the 2017 NASC Sports Event Symposium, March 27–30, in Sacramento, California. The inaugural class of inductees was selected by the organization’s Leadership Council, comprising the past chairmen of NASC.
“It is a tremendous honor to be named to the inaugural class of NASC’s Hall of Fame,” said Schneider, who founded SportsTravel in 1997. “The honor is even greater given that the other members of the inaugural class all played such key roles in the founding of NASC and the growth of the sports-event industry.”
Schneider was the first publisher to establish a magazine dedicated to the sports-event industry and launched the TEAMS Conference & Expo, which has established itself as one of the leading business development opportunities in the sports industry. He served two terms on the board of directors for NASC in its early years and has served a variety of roles in the travel industry, including past chairman of the Destination & Travel Foundation and board member for both DMAI and the U.S. Travel Association.
“Hill Carrow and Don Schumacher have been members of the SportsTravel Editorial Advisory Board from its inception and Diane McGraw was the first advertiser in SportsTravel when we launched the magazine,” Schneider said. “Jack Hughes and Kevin Gray were also strong supporters of SportsTravel and TEAMS. It is an honor to be inducted into NASC’s Hall of Fame alongside these long-time friends and partners.”
Carrow is a founder of NASC and the North Carolina Sports Association as well as the founder of North Carolina Amateur Sports and its first executive director. He served as chair for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 2011 and 2015, US. Olympic Trials in Table Tennis in 2012 and 2016 and is a founder and CEO of USA Masters Games.
Gray also was a founding member of NASC and was the first paid associate of the Greater Kansas City (Missouri) Sports Commission & Foundation. Over the 22 years leading the KC Sports Commission until his death in 2011, the KC Sports Commission grew from one full-time employee to 10 and now includes 14 employees. Since 1990, the KC Sports Commission has helped generate in excess of $700 million in estimated economic impact. Gray also was instrumental in helping secure the Kansas Speedway in 2000.
For 29 years, Hughes was the owner of Event Service and Organization Professionals (ESOP) and was a sports, festival, convention and tourism consultant for cities and sports commissions throughout the United States. His notable contributions were transferring the U.S. and North American Hot Air Balloon Championships to Baton Rouge; coordinating the U.S. Olympic Festival Torch Run relays in Louisiana, Texas, and North Carolina; and the World University Games Torch Run in New York. He was also the venue director for archery and cycling at the U.S. Paralympic games in Atlanta and executive director of the Gainesville Sports Commission. Hughes died in 2014.
McGraw was the first executive director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress and also was the first president of the Orlando Area (Florida) Sports Commission, known today as the Central Florida Sports Commission. She was the first president of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission, and later went on to lead the Greater Louisville (Kentucky) Sports Commission. She later served as head of sports tourism for the state of Pennsylvania. McGraw was also the first woman to serve as chair of the NASC board of directors.
Schumacher is the only executive director NASC has had. He was one of the group’s co-founders and has grown the association to nearly 800 member organizations. Before NASC, he was president of Riverfront Coliseum (now U.S. Bank Arena) and hosted the World Figure Skating Championships and the men’s NCAA Midwest Regional Finals. He also served as head of the Greater Cincinnati Sports & Events Commission, attracting the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the NCAA Women’s Final Four, the NCAA Frozen Four hockey championship, women’s gymnastics and major skating events. Schumacher will step down from his role following the symposium in Sacramento.