Alumni Profiles

Kyle Kwaske '16

Ambitious Alumni, Kyle Kwaske, graduated from Aquinas College in 2016 with a degree in Business Administration and Sport Management with a concentration in Marketing.  From his start at Aquinas, Kyle was determined to pursue a career in the Sport Industry.  In order to stand out to future potential employers, Kyle set a goal to obtain at least five jobs and/or internships in the Sport Industry by the time he graduated.  With the help of his natural drive and hard work ethic, he accomplished this goal.

“I would attribute a lot of the blessings I’ve received from getting out there and doing internships.  At the end of the day it’s all about experience and who knows who you are.”

Kyle’s first internship began the summer before his junior year working with the Houston Texans NFL Team.  After gaining experience with the Texans, Kyle landed not one, but two internships his junior year at Aquinas.  The first internship was with the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame, ending the first semester of his junior year.  The second internship was with an NBA minor league system called the Grand Rapids Drive, lasting the entire school year.  In between his junior and senior year, he interned at Global Partnerships through the NBA.  Kyle continued his involvement with the NBA throughout his senior year, returning to the Grand Rapids Drive, this time working a full time paid internship. 

Kyle credits a lot of his recent success to his time working with the Grand Rapids Drive.  Through his experience with the Drive, he was able to meet many amazing people, two of which worked for the NBA.  Through these connections, Kyle was informed of the NBA Associate Program, the entry level position that leads to working with the NBA post-graduation.  After applying and undergoing rigorous interviewing the winter of his senior year, Kyle earned a spot in the NBA Associate Program.  With this success, he moved to New York City, New York in August 2016 and started working in his current position September of that same year.  

The NBA Associate Program position is a two-year long job in which participants rotate four times in six-month periods working in various departments within the NBA.  Through this program, Kyle has been able to meet and work with many great people, immensely expanding his network.  He is nearing the end of his two-year duration in the Associate Program and will be permanently placed into a department September of 2018.  Once in his new position, Kyle is sure to continue cultivating the skills he has gained from his past internships, thereby further growing in the success he has had working with the NBA. 

Ankita Bhatia '15

Ankita Bhatia, a double major in Sports Management and Business, has had great success upon graduation. A transfer from Eastern Michigan University, 

Bhatia graduated from Aquinas in 2015. She then went on to work with the Detroit Pistons in an internship involving sales, marketing, finances, and Human Resources. 

Bhatia's internship with the Pistons gave her the opportunity to work with Google. She began in Michigan, but was quickly transferred to Google Headquarters in California, where she has been for 12 months. During her time there, Bhatia has been the recipient of the New Business Associate Award for Q1 2016. 'After winning that award, I realized that I was really passionate about what I was doing, and spending time which ultimately resulted in a lot of success.'

Sam Connell '13

graduate headshot Sam graduated from Aquinas in December of 2013 with a Sport Management/Business Administration Degree. Shortly thereafter he moved to Fort Wayne, IN and began an internship with the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A Affiliate of the San Diego Padres). At the completion of my internship, he was offered jobs with five different teams all over the country and chose to move to Peoria, IL and work for the Peoria Chiefs before ultimately moving back to Grand Rapids to work in the front office for the West Michigan Whitecaps. He is entering his third season as a Ticket Sales Consultant for the Whitecaps where he focuses on selling ticket packages and group outing experiences to some of the top companies in West Michigan.

James T. Hogan '11

graduate headshot

After being heavily involved in Sports Management at Aquinas, Alumnus James T. Hogan has recently been appointed as the athletic director for Allendale Public Schools. Read all about his time at Aquinas here.

Anthony Lamerato '05

Anthony Lamerato graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and sports management. He was recently honored with on a spot in DBusiness magazine’s Detroit 30 under 30 list. This list honors the most successful and cutting edge executives in the Metro Detroit area. He currently works as the director of sales for the WXYZ channel 7 and WMYD channel 20 overseeing all sales of TV advertising. He and his team sell to many major business clients such as Chrysler, Ford and Sam Bernstein Law Firm. In an interview, Lamerato enthusiastically stated “you name it we sell it.” Lamerato is a perfect example of someone who values higher education and is able to use what he learned in college and through working to propel his career and make a difference in the business world.


AQ Alumni Sport & Fitness Network

Sport

Alexander (Zander) Atwood '14
Ticket Sales
University of Purdue Athletic Department

David Baldwin '09
Senior Director, Membership Development and Group Sales
Miami Dolphins

Mike Craven
Operations Manager 
West Michigan Whitecaps

Cory Garneau '11
Sr. Consultant, Premium Membership Services
Atlanta Hawks

Alec Gignac '17
Account Executive
Dubuque Fighting Saints
 
Mike Kalchik '11
Director, Ticket Operations
Lancaster Barnstormers

Casey McDonald '13
Game/Events Manager 
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Taelor Sanders '13
Project Manager & Sports Director
RMG Technologies

Brandon Scherzer '16
Community Affairs Coordinator
Detroit Tigers

Elmer Straub '94
Vice President of Event Booking 
Amalie Arena

Jacob Thayer '08
Senior Account Executive
IMG: University of Michigan Athletics
 

Coaching

Matt Bocian '05
Teacher, Baseball Coach & Events Coordinator 
Traverse City West HS

John Conlon, M. Ed. '02 
Varsity Head Coach 
East Kentwood Soccer
Director of Coaching
Kentwood Soccer Club
Vice President
Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Assoc.
Kentwoodps.org

Dean Cooper '99 
Head Coach 
Idaho Stampede

Careena Demull-Hillard '10
Softball Coach
St. Claire Community College

Brett Dyke '86
Teacher & Head Basketball Coach 
Jenison HS 

Joe Emmanuele
Administrator & Baseball Coach
Stevenson HS 

Jonathan Goei
Basketball Coach 
Davenport University 

Corey Gross '09
Baseball Coach
North Carolina Central University

Bob Jones
Assistant Principal & Baseball Coach
Airport HS

Dave Joppie '88
Hitting Coach
Pawtucket (Triple AAA- Boston Red Sox affiliate) Former Manager Kane County Cougars
College basketball official in off-season

Chris Lamange '94
Baseball Coach
East Grand Rapids HS 
Big Ten football official

Beth Launiere '85
E-mail: blauniere@huntsman.utah.edu 
Head Volleyball Coach
University of Utah
President
American Volleyball Coaches Association

Juston Miller '03
Administrator & Baseball Coach
Lowell HS 

John Dolce '77
Administrator & Coach
Forest Hills Northern High School

Jeff Jayson
Teacher & Coach
Romeo High School

Ryan Robats
Principal
Grandville High School

Tom Enslen '85
Superintendent
Thornapple-Kellogg Public Schools

 

Chris Overbeek '80
Teacher, Administrator & Baseball Coach
Tri County HS

Pat O'Dell '02
Tennis Coach
North Marion HS

Brian Osborn '03
Teacher, Administrator & Baseball Coach
Corunna HS

Dino Paganelli '90
Assistant Superintendent
Wyoming Rogers HS
Official 
NFL

Andy Postema '98
Baseball Coach
Serving Him Through Sports

Joe Powers '12
Basketball Coach
Aquinas College

Kevin Tidey
Admissions & Head Baseball Coach
Davenport University - GR

Ryan Vellanti
Teacher & Baseball Coach
Lakeview HS 

Shawn Veenstra '07
Teacher & Baseball Coach
Wyoming Park HS

Larry Ward '80
Teacher
Wayland HS 

Jeff Wierenga
Teacher & Coach
Forest Hills Northern HS

John Wojciakowski '99
Cross Country & Track and Field Coach
Northview High School

Michael Wojciakowski '97
Cross Country & Track and Field Coach
Sports Information Director
Aquinas College

Jim Orlowski
Teacher & Coach
Wayland Public Schools

Kyle Kracht
Teacher & Coach
Battle Creek Lakeview High School

Bernard Varnesdel
Coach & Dean of Students/Athletics
Wyoming High School

Brett Dyke
Teacher & Coach
Jenison High School

Joseph Curcuru
Coach & Athletic Supervisor
Forest Hills Northern High School

Fitness/Health

Jaclyn Braspenninx '07 
Fitness Specialist & Healthy IU Manager
National Academy of Sports Medicine - Certified Personal Trainer
IU Health

Carlee Chapman '10
Fitness Team Leader
MVP Sports Clubs

Jason Epplett '99
Director
Spring Lake Community Fitness and Aquatics Center

Nick Grady '14
Lead Sport Program Specialist
YMCA

Adam Jauregui '02 
Group Training Coordinator
Lifetime Fitness

Shandy Longcore '02
Director of Operations
MVP Athletic Club - Rockford

Anne-Marie Shumaker '12
Multi-Site Director and Sports Specialist 
Lowell YMCA

Mitch Spelde '13
Fitness manager 
Snap Fitness

Devin Tarrant '10
Co-Owner & Managing Partner 
Applied Fitness Solutions

Audrey VanderKamp '06 
Life Coach
Lifetime Fitness

Athletics

Shannyn Fasbender '93
Athletic Director East Grand Rapids Middle School
Athletic Supervisor East Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation

Bryan Rizzo '90
Athletic Director
Madonna University
 

Katy VanCuren
Assistant Principal
Rockford HS
 

Other sport related careers

Jaclyn (Jackie) Reedy '13
Catalog & Corporate Sales Manager
Kentucky Derby Museum

Tom Sadler
CEO & President
The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority

 Do you belong on this list? If you'd like to be highlighted on the AQ Alumni Sport and Fitness Network, please send an e-mail request to hak001@aquinas.edu and include the following information: name, graduation date, title, company and web site, and contact information (optional)