Movers & Shakers
Aspire Announces Leadership Promotions to Further Enhance Client Support
July 23, 2021
ATLANTA, GA – Aspire is thrilled to announce the promotion of several members of their headquarters staff. These promotions come on the heels of more than a dozen new partners in 2021 alone and represent Aspire’s commitment to strategy, development, and operational excellence. Collectively, the promoted team combines over 120 years of professional experience.
“Career development and internal promotion have always been central to Aspire’s DNA,” said Aspire CEO, Bill Fagan. “These latest promotions of many of our senior leaders at our Headquarters reflect those values of internal development and also showcase the level of talent our partners are supported by each day. We take pride in our unprecedented leader retention. I’m thrilled to continue leading this talented management team as the sport industry roars back in 2021 and beyond.”
Valerie Wilkinson has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Business Operations. In this role, she will continue to be responsible for overseeing Aspire’s Finance, Compliance, Human Resources, and Administrative functions.
Tony Garrett has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Fan Relationship Management and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). In this role, Tony will continue to work with partner management, maximizing revenue generation, and employee career development. He will continue to ensure The Aspire Group’s systems, structures, and best practices are executed at the highest level. In addition to these responsibilities, Tony will begin overseeing The Aspire Group’s Diversity working groups, Social Justice Forums, and all initiatives focused on making The Aspire Group the most diverse, equitable, and inclusive place to work in our industry.
Chad Cardinal has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Strategy & Operations. He will be responsible for the following strategic business units; Strategy, Analytics, and Marketing, while having direct involvement in the firm’s Fan Relationship Management and legal verticals. Chad joined The Aspire Group in 2015 and has become known for staff retention, long-term thinking, and a relationship-driven approach towards creating win-win situations.
A.J. Smith has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Client Development. He is responsible for acquiring new partnerships to Aspire client base as well as expanding current initiatives for existing partnerships. A.J. is charged with diagnosing the needs of current and potential client partners to provide them with a comprehensive recommendation for optimal operation. A.J., originally from Tampa, FL became a member of the Aspire family in October of 2009 at Aspire’s Georgia Tech Fan Relationship Management Center (FRMC). During his time at the Georgia Tech FRMC, he was promoted four times. Following his tenure at the Georgia Tech FRMC, A.J. acted as Director at the Florida International University FRMC until transitioning into his current role in October 2014.
Jack Luce was promoted to Vice President of SAM (Strategy, Analytics, and Marketing). In this position, He oversees each of the three individual departments while also facilitating collaboration between them alongside Chad Cardinal. Using these interdepartmental synergies, SAM delivers actionable insights to Aspire’s partners while also supporting ticket sales and service consultants with fan research, intelligent marketing, and campaign analytics.
Patty Spielman has been promoted to Vice President of Payroll and Benefits. Her primary responsibilities are managing the semi-monthly payroll process and administering all the benefit plans offered to Aspire employees. Her additional responsibilities fall under the business operations function. These include expense reimbursement, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and financial reporting. She is also the resident subject matter expert with ADP, Aspire’s system of record.
Justin Morelli was promoted to Regional Director of Sales and Service. Justin is focused on partner and employee achievements, staff professional development, and revenue generation for the University of Toledo, Ball State, Indiana State, Cleveland State, and Eastern Michigan. Justin joined Aspire in January 2016 and has been the Director of the Toledo FRMC since February 2019, where he oversees a staff responsible for Ticket Sales and Service, Ticket Operations, and Database Marketing.