Sports Commission Board of Directors

The Spokane Sports Commission is led by a 14-person board comprised of leaders in the community-each dedicated to the future of sports in our region.


Spokane Sports Staff

The behind-the-scenes dream team.

Talent. Experience. Style. It’s what today’s best teams are made of — including the one behind the Spokane Sports Commission. We’re local with global experience. We’re passionate about ensuring every sporting event we host is the best it can be. And we’re always one step ahead with innovative thinking and ideas that turn ordinary into out-of-this-world.


Eric Sawyer, President / CEO

509-742-9371, Email

Head Hauncho. El Capitan. The Big Cheese. No matter what you call him, Eric is a guy passionate about sports with a 20+ year history as President of the Sports Commission. Eric works behind the scenes to support his staff and ensure the resources they need to host the very best events. He is responsible for the overall management and operation of the Spokane Sports Commission while ensuring compliance with board policies, directives, and budget controls.


Barb Anzivino, Office Manager

509-456-5812, Email

Barb has the not-so-easy task of keeping the office running smooth as well as managing and administering the Sports Commission's policies, financials, and budgets. On top of that, she writes the all the checks, so she is a popular person around here.


Ashley Blake, Director of Sports Development

509-893-5449, Email

In addition to researching the latest sports trends and future events, Ashley does much of the legwork that results in bringing new events to our community. Her mind for details and her effective communication style, guarantees a seamless event from start to finish. On top of that, she is out recruiting and training our great group of interns and volunteers.


Paul Christiansen, Director of Event Services

509-363-2682, Email

No event would happen without Paul. Master of all logistics, Paul provides event coordination, management, and technical support to all events. As a long-time Spokane resident, true sports enthusiast, and with years of professional event planning experience, Paul brings the know-how to get the job done.


Cherié Gwinn, Sports Development Manager

509-363-6824, Email

Cherié tackles any challenge head on. With an accomplished history in developing and planning outdoor events for Washington State Parks, along with her passion for growing community sports, she is a welcomed addition to the Sports Development Team. An outdoor enthusiast by nature, Cherié enjoys an array of activities ranging from trail running, backpacking and kayaking. A former State 'B' Champion in both basketball and volleyball as well as a 24-year veteran in Spokane Hoopfest makes her a force on the courts and in a strategy meeting.


Dana Haynes, Public Relations/Media

509-990-5611, Email

Media is in Dana’s blood. She still loves to dig up a good story. After 20 years in the local television industry, Dana now pours her energy into generating media for Spokane’s sporting events. She works side by side with event organizers to highlight the colorful stories that will draw media to a sporting event. What might be a tiny detail to you, is a big story idea to Dana. She loves to generate a flurry of media coverage to ensure successful events.


Anna Henry, Sports Development Research

509-742-9389, Email

Part of the sports development team, Anna uncovers emerging sports trends and helps match future events with our region's capabilities. As a former collegiate cross country and track runner, she brings her passion for sports and love of competition to the team. Anna came back to Spokane after college in the Sunshine State, and is enjoying getting to be a part of making an impact on the local sports community.


Jodi Kayler, Vice President of Marketing & Communications

509-742-9396, Email

Jodi develops and manages strategies for all marketing, communications, and public relations for the Sports Commission and our clients' events. As a former Creative Director for large nationwide brands, combined with a love for anything sports, Jodi has the ability to help take any size of event to the next level.


Sammie Ragan, Marketing & Event Manager

509-363-6825, Email

As a proud EWU Eagle, Sammie brings moxie to the team with her outgoing personality and passion for sports. Her organizational skills and attention to detail are second to none, making multi-faceted marketing projects go off without a hitch. Her ability to roll out unbeatable game plan, keeps sports events on track and the fans coming back for more.

Cajer Neely

Board Chair, 2019–2021



Board Members

Rustin L. Hall, AIA


Barb Richey

Treasurer, Eastern Washington University

Alexis Alexander

Avista Corp

Catherine Brazil

University of Washington

Lynnelle Caudill

The Davenport Hotel & Tower

Stephanie Curran

Spokane Public Facilities District

Jeff Geldien

Gonzaga University



Rustin L. Hall, AIA

ALSC Architects

Brandon Haugen

Kalispel Development Company

Herb Rotchford

Spokane Public Schools

Rita Santillanes

Best Western Peppertree Inns

Brooke Baker Spink

Baker Construction

Bryn West

River Park Square

Cajer Neely, Spokane Sports Board Chair


Internship Opportunities

The Spokane Sports Commission provides internship opportunities for highly motivated individuals interested in a career in sport management or event planning. Interns working at Spokane Sports Commission take on key responsibilities and play an integral role in the planning and administration of sporting events. We accept resumes on a continuous basis and can work with individuals to create an internship experience that meets their interests and schedule restraints. Individuals interested in an Internship with the Spokane Sports Commission should contact Ashley Blake. Learn about volunteer opportunities.


Thank you to our community partners.

About Spokane Sports Commission

Sports don't just entertain. They improve communities. They drive economies. And no other organization brings sports events to the Inland Northwest like the Spokane Sports Commission. We are a nonprofit coalition of regional government; business and volunteers committed to recruiting and developing sports events. With these events come tourism dollars, entertainment and media attention attracting sports fans from around the world. Business wins. Kids win. Fans win, our region wins.

714 N Iron Bridge Way, Suite 202 | Spokane, WA 99202
509.456.5812  |

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