GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday announced four executive-level promotions, naming Tim Gortsema as senior vice president of business operations, Jon Beilstein as vice president of ticket sales and game operations, Lance Hartman as vice president of corporate sales and marketing, and Bob Kaser as vice president of community relations and broadcasting.
Gortsema, 38, becomes just the second person to direct the Griffins’ business operations since their founding in 1995. He succeeds Bob Sack, who left the organization in December to join local law firm McShane & Bowie as chief operating officer.
An original member of the team’s staff, Gortsema had served as vice president of finance and administration for both the Griffins and Grand Rapids Rampage over the last 12 years. In this new role, he will oversee all of the business-related activities of the Griffins and DP Fox Sports, including sales and marketing, media relations, community relations, arena advertising and Griff's IceHouse. Gortsema will also continue his guidance of the team’s financial, accounting, ticketing and administrative affairs.
Gortsema received his bachelor’s degree from Hope College in Holland, and later earned his MBA from Western Michigan University. Prior to joining DP Fox in 1995, he was a manager in the audit department at Deloitte & Touche, LLP. He and his wife, Suzanne, have three children, Danielle, Justin and Madelyn.
All three vice presidents are long-term directors who will be taking on enhanced responsibilities in their newly created positions.
Beilstein, 49, originally joined the Griffins as director of ticket sales in 2001. While continuing to direct the Griffins’ group, season and mini-plan ticket sales efforts, Beilstein will also be responsible for game operations, including the planning and execution of theme nights and the entire game night experience.
The director of sales and business operations for the Capital Centre Pride in Lansing prior to joining the Griffins, Beilstein brings more than 22 years of sales and marketing experience to his new position. A graduate of Judson University in Elgin, Ill., he and his wife, Debbie, have one son, Brad.
Hartman, 37, began his Griffins tenure in 2003 as director of corporate sales. An Ohio University graduate, he will continue to oversee all facets of the Griffins’ corporate sales efforts, including the servicing of existing sponsorship accounts and the prospecting and acquisition of new corporate partners. In addition, he will now direct the team’s advertising efforts and marketing initiatives.
From 2002-03, Hartman served as executive director of the Farmers Charity Classic, a PGA Champions Tour golf tournament that was held in Grand Rapids, after working for the PGA Tour from 1995-2002. He and his wife, Kathleen, have three children, Jane, Charlie and Maggie.
The 47-year-old Kaser, honored last week with his fifth Broadcast Excellence Award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, joined the Griffins as executive director of broadcasting in 2000. He added supervision of the Griffins’ extensive community relations efforts to his responsibilities in 2002 and was named president of the Griffins Youth Foundation in June 2006.
A Kalamazoo native who grew up in Flint, Kaser spent 10 seasons (1990-2000) as director of communications and broadcasting for the IHL’s Kansas City Blades, and he’s become one of most revered broadcasters in hockey during his 28 seasons behind the microphone. He and his wife, Rosalie, have two sons, Charlie and Sam.