OUR TEAM

John Prutch

Chairman

Prior to Club Nine Sports, John was the co-founder of Prometheus Capital, where he managed several middle market consumer-related businesses. He has been successful in the turnaround of companies through cost-cutting and aggressive sales and marketing. John accomplished these turnarounds by selling divisions and subsidiaries, acquiring companies, negotiating licensing agreements, negotiating long term contracts, moving domestic production to overseas, renegotiating new labor agreements and raising fresh capital in the form of both equity and debt.

Prior to Prometheus Capital, he was founder and Managing Director for Merchant Capital Group (Mercap), a Chicago based boutique merchant bank providing advisory services, merger and acquisition services and direct investments as principal in a number of consumer-oriented businesses including General American Door, LSJ Sportswear and Rapco International. John managed Mercap for ten years and was non-executive chairman of the companies that Mercap invested in as a principal. Prior to founding Mercap, John was Vice President of Equities Northwest, Inc. (ENI), which was sold to Oppenheimer & Company in 1982. ENI was the premiere source of venture capital and project financing to the energy industry in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. John progressed to Vice President in charge of their Chicago office. ENI raised over $100,000,000 per year in equity, with Chicago being the largest producing office.

Over the course of his career, John has served on the Board of Directors of numerous companies, both public and private. John attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa and majored in Political Science. He currently resides in Palatine, Illinois with his wife, Debbie.

JoSH Prutch

CEO

Joshua is a co-founder of Club Nine Sports and leads the distressed practice through identifying opportunities and partners to successfully turn-around troubled companies. Outside the distressed practice, Joshua assists in managing the due diligence process, identifying capital through financial institutions and strategic alliances, while creating strategic alternatives for the firm’s engaged clients.

Prior to Club Nine, Josh spent 7 years in a fortune 500 company in the supply chain management industry. He held several positions within the company ranging from Analyst to Project Manager to Department Head. Under Joshua’s lead, the company successfully designed, created, went to market, and supported two Windows based technologies. The first to market grew to controlling $35mm in revenue by year 4 and the second received the “Innovation of the Year – 2006” award presented by the USPS within 2 weeks of its press release. This opportunity allowed Josh to gain insight into the world of entrepreneurs, where he developed an in-depth understanding in their specific business needs and concerns. Both applications, produced revenues while eliminating substantial costs.

Joshua received his business degree in Supply Chain Management from Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. He currently resides in Holland, Michigan with his wife and three children.

SAMANTHA Prutch

CMO

With an extensive career in executive brand building, Samantha has helped build some of the most notable & recognizable retail brands worldwide including Abercrombie & Fitch, abercrombie, Hollister, Ruehl, Gilly Hicks and Aviator Nation. Her executive leadership role within the Abercrombie & Fitch family of brands allowed her to collaborate with some of the leading creative and marketing minds worldwide. She’s played a key role in creating iconic retail brand experiences, campaigns and brand environments. She brings her passion, leadership and experience to each project; driven to create & deliver distinctive, individualized and meaningful brand experiences, she brings excellence to every endeavor. Samantha earned her Bachelor of Arts & Science Degree in Interior Architecture & Design from Bowling Green State University and calls sunny Manhattan Beach, California home.

JIM THOMPSON

CFO

JT is a founding partner of Club Nine and Prometheus Capital. He is an active hands-on contributor in participating ventures. He has served entrepreneurs throughout his 25+ year career with direct participation in real estate development and redevelopment, golf course construction and operations, electronics distribution, aviation, and financial services ventures. These projects and others have included procurement of governmental incentives, executing related monetization strategies and fulfilling reporting requirements. In addition, he has been involved in the development of custom enterprise resource planning and site-based project management solutions. His approach is founded on the belief that every industry is a service industry. He plays an active role in the due diligence, structuring, and valuation processes of the firm. JT holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in with Business Administration an emphasis on Accounting from Hillsdale College. On Fall Friday nights, you can find Coach Thompson on the sidelines coaching High School football in West Michigan where he resides with his wife and family.

LANDON ADAMS, Ed.D.

Analytics Specialist

Landon specializes in market research, analytics, strategy, and business plan development. As a lifelong sports fan, Landon was always drawn to the management and marketing side of the game. He was an Account Executive at Gameday Promotions for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, and the Assistant Director of Marketing and Public Relations with the Helena Brewers, rookie league affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Throughout his career, he’s led social media management, the hiring and management of gameday staff, internal and external sales initiatives, press box management, ticket packages, sponsorship and promotion, group sales, suite sales, and fundraising. He is the Market Analytics and Outreach specialist for NISA’s Expansion Division, guiding several groups through NISA’s expansion process. Landon also currently serves as the Vice President for Student Life at Cottey College. He has a B.S.B.A. in Marketing and Management with a minor in Sociology from Missouri Southern State University, a M.B.A. from Adams State University, and a doctoral degree from Lindenwood University in Higher Education Administration.

Alexa Doebler

Project Support

Alexa comes to Club 9 Sports with a background that touches on various aspects of project management and execution. Having created her own small start-up business in the visual arts world, wearing many hats has become a skill that allows her to take on various stages of projects within the company. Committed to the big picture while focusing on the small details is her biggest strength as she assists and supports various efforts within the company. Alexa earned her Masters Degree in Education and has used her understanding of learning and growth within the business realm to enhance the forward progress of new initiatives.

JESSE FREEMAN

Analyst

Jesse comes to Club Nine with a sponsorship sales background working with some of the world’s most iconic sports properties. As a detail-oriented rising sports executive, he has consistently demonstrated tangible results for the organizations he has worked with. Jesse began his career at BSE Global, the parent company of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, and then progressed to the sponsorship team at Fenway Sports Management, where he helped develop partnerships for their prestigious group of properties including the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, and Roush Fenway Racing. Most recently Jesse has worked with widely recognizable brands on integrated sponsorship platforms for the AVP Beach Volleyball Tour and at Relevant Sports Group, which hosts the International Champions Cup. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a proud Badger.

AMBER HOWARD, PHD

Design Specialist

For almost twenty years, Amber’s made a career in Design, Research, and Economic Development. She utilizes design research to capture a holistic perspective of an opportunity as well as the psychology of stakeholders involved. She uses the findings to tell an authentic brand story and create engaging experiences. Over her career, she has presented at national and international events, facilitated workshops, hosted conferences, and lead design teams. Amber co-founded a Design and Neuroscience Research Institute, built conceptual frameworks for the Department of Education, led the re-branding of cities and regions, and designed for a variety of brands. She was a professor of Design at North Carolina State University for ten years, where she developed curriculum for interaction design and design research. She currently co-owns and operates a sports entertainment venue in New England. Amber received her doctoral and masters degree from NC State University. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Arts from Otis College of Art and Design. When she’s not working on projects, you may find her trekking remote locations or playing outside with inquisitive kids.

STEVE JOHNSON

Communications Specialist

Steve Johnson learned to craft messages and tell stories over more than 25 years as a senior agency leader, corporate communications executive, and reporter. He’s worked spectrum of communications practices, as well as diversity & inclusion.

Early in his career, while managing regional public and government affairs for Amoco Corp., he launched their NASCAR team. Over twelve years as an agency lead for the US Army, he launched a Professional Bull Riding team and jumped out of an airplane with the Golden Knights. He has executed crisis communications coaching for TransUnion on five continents. Every summer he provides communications guidance to MBAs in Dow Chemical’s summer program. And at the beginning of his career, he regularly chatted up Andre Dawson and Harry Caray as a Chicago Cubs media relations intern.

His current focus is providing executive coaching and counsel, developing and executing full strategic communications architecture, and running traditional and social media executions. He also is a speaker and mentor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, as well as Chicago incubators 1871 and the Polsky Exchange. Steve earned his bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while achieving a minor in history.

Bill Levitt

Operations Specialist

Bill is a consistent peak performer and executive leader with advanced skills in strategic planning, resource allocation, management, sourcing, production development, and sales. He has a solid business acumen combined with strong employee and customer relations and talent for revitalizing, building and developing teams to achieve impressive revenue within highly competitive markets/industries. In 1999, he took over Mocean, a specialty uniform and supply company, where he served as the President—responsible for day-to-day operations and growth—and later purchased the company in 2014. Prior to his involvement with Mocean, Bill was instrumental in the turnaround of Big Ball Sports, a Houston based sports apparel company, and Umbro USA, a well-known brand in the soccer industry. Prior to that he was Executive Vice President of Ocean Pacific, a lifestyle surf brand. Bill was instrumental in building Ocean Pacific from approximately $20.0 MM to $275.0 MM over a 15-year period. Bill is based in Dana Point, California.

VICKY LYNCH, MBA

Sr. Project Manager

Vicky is a sports executive with an expansive scope of experience ranging from strategy to revenue generation to operations. She’s a consistent producer of impactful results for blue chip properties and brands. She created comprehensive sports strategy for the Illinois Lottery, which involved identifying and negotiating partnerships with NHL, MLB, NBA, MLS and minor league teams. For Real Madrid v Inter Milan in St. Louis, she managed all aspects of marketing, resulting in an attendance of 54,184—the largest crowd to watch a soccer game in the state of Missouri. On behalf of the St. Louis Blues, Vicky conducted an overall analysis of the business operations of its AHL minor league team, the Peoria Rivermen. She led account team in winning Event Marketer Silver Ex Award for “Best Activation of a Sports Sponsorship” for AT&T’s Mexican National Soccer Team partnership. She also acted as the event producer for over 200 professional soccer matches, including 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final in front of 90,185 fans at Rose Bowl and 17.3 million viewers on ABC. Vicky earned her MBA in Football Industries at the University of Liverpool in Liverpool, England. She currently resides in Chicago.

FRED MATTHES

Operations Specialist

Fred Matthes joins Club 9 Sports and NISA with over 26 years in Professional Soccer and 32 years in Professional Sports experience in the United States, specializing in business operations in the areas of Ticket Sales & Service, Fan Engagement, Venue Consulting and Grass Roots promotions..

Matthes was part of Major League Soccer in D.C. United’s front office from the league’s outset in 1995 where their ticketing and service departments were named in several seasons as winners of MLS Ticketing Awards, and have continually been regarded as one of the elite organizations in Major League Soccer. His tenure with the Club lasted for 17 seasons until 2012.

Matthes also helped in the outset of Women’s Professional Soccer while assisting the Washington Freedom of the WUSA as they played their early years at RFK Stadium, and later in Germantown, MD as part of the WPS. He also volunteered as the new Washington Spirit began play in the current NWSL for a season.

Matthes has also been directly involved with the ticketing sales & operations of almost every other major soccer event staged in the Washington, D.C. area over the past 25 years including 1994 USA World Cup, 1996 Atlanta Olympics, US World Cup Qualifiers (’98, ’02,’06), CONCACAF Champions Cup Finals (’97, ’98), CONCACAF Champions league matches (’05, ’06, ’07, ’08), the Inter-America Cup Final (’98), The US Open Cup Final (’96, ’08), MLS Cups (’97, ’00, ’07), MLS All Star Game (’02, ’04), Women’s World Cup (’99, ’03), Women’s Washington Freedom matches in WUSA & WPS leagues, and US Men’s & Women’s National Team, Gold Cup and other International friendlies at RFK Stadium & FedExField.

A California native growing up in Cupertino, CA, Matthes graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1983 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications where he was also a goalkeeper with UCLA’s Varsity soccer team for three seasons playing under head coaches Steve Gay and the late Sigi Schmid.

Joseph Molloy

Operations Specialist

Joe was the Owner, Managing General Partner, VP and Chief Administrative Officer of the New York Yankees from 1992-1995. MLB owners have unanimously approved him as Owner and Managing General Partner of New York Yankees Limited Partnership. He was responsible for the selection of Derek Jeter in 1992 MLB Draft and hiring Joe Torre as NYY manager. Joe oversaw and directed the planning and $30mm development of Legends Field, now known as George M. Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees state-of-the-art Spring Training facility. He holds a Bachelor of Business Arts with Education focus from St. Leo University and Master of Education Leadership and administration from National Louis University.

PATTY O’CONNOR, MBA

Operations Specialist

Patty specializes in launching products through all steps in the Global Supply Chain from concept to consumer. She has developed, sourced and managed thousands of products for iconic Apparel, Sports and Gifting brands including Levi’s®, Volkl®, Sergio Tacchini® and RedEnvelope®. She has managed development, production and licensing deals in 24 countries within Asia, Central America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and has partnered with many factories in the USA. In her spare time, she can be found hiking ocean cliffs, in a yoga class, or practicing the ukulele and guitar for her neighborhood band. Patty earned an MBA with Honors from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing/International Business with a Spanish Minor from Santa Clara University.

SIMON ROSE, MBA

Client Services, Pro Sports

Simon’s approach to business is focused on achieving goals and developing a positive environment. He is experienced in converting business ideas into successful ventures by creating strategic roadmaps that involve hands-on implementation every step of the way. His areas of expertise are Sports Business, Growth Strategies, Organization Dynamics, and Talent Development. He recently finished a role as an Adjunct Professor at the highest ranked MBA program in Ecuador and besides teaching, Simon has been part of launching and growing businesses in the last decade with some highlights being a professional soccer league, over 100 start-ups, one of the earliest resorts to be certified LEED Platinum, and the management of a consulting firm that does specialized work with Fortune 500 clients.

CARRIE TAYLOR

Project Manager

Carrie is a Master’s graduate in Sports Administration from Wayne State University and a former University of Michigan Division I college athlete. She has over 32 years in leadership in coaching and program management with experience in higher education, youth and professional sports. Including, key experience in coaching, managing talent, leadership, event management, volunteer recruitment, fundraising, culture creation, strategic planning, podcasting, writing and start ups. Skillful in firsts, Carrie was the first female to be a professional men’s soccer assistant coach with San Diego Loyal of the USL, first head coach of a Men’s Division III Soccer program at Mt. St. Joseph University and member of the first Women’s Varsity Soccer team at the University of Michigan. She holds an USSF A license, National Youth License and DOC Certificate.

She worked on the bid for MLS to San Diego and helped grow SD Loyal from inception. Taylor’s current involvements include being a Technical Consultant for the Jamaican Women’s National Soccer Team, a Board Member of Women in Soccer, Host of the Women Talking Soccer Podcast, Vice President of the Reggae Girlz Foundation, Board Member of the Graced by Grit Foundation and an Advisory Board Member for FC Austin Elite.

A native of Flint, Michigan, Carrie now resides in San Diego, CA. When not working or advocating for women, she can be found running, hiking or reading.