“The strength of the team is each individual member.
The strength of each member is the team.”
– Phil Jackson
The strength of each member is the team.”
Olecki uses the lessons he learned as a former student-athlete playing offensive line at Morehead State University in his professional career. The genesis of Trenches, Olecki brings those traits to the workplace every day by not being afraid to do the dirty work while making sure his clients and partners are the all-stars, in the spotlight, getting all the accolades.
Before starting Trenches Sports and Entertainment, Brad was part of the founding leadership team that developed, designed, funded, built and managed the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, GA. As the Chief Revenue Officer, Olecki lead the efforts to raise the funds to build and operate the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience. A true public/private partnership, the Hall was almost entirely funded by corporate sponsorships, foundation gifts, and individual donors. He was responsible for developing corporate partnerships for the Hall, strategizing and implementing the philanthropic, grassroots and membership strategy as well as unique marketing programs and special event strategy, while managing group ticket and event sales.
Prior to joining the Hall and Trenches, Olecki worked in managerial roles for ISP Sports (now IMG College), the Atlanta Spirit and Action Sports Media. He specializes in strategic sales planning and team leading, relationship building, philanthropic fundraising, creative partnership development and execution along with partnership negotiation. Managing strong relationships with a wide range of premier corporations, foundations, and individuals, Brad has been instrumental in creating and implementing sports, entertainment and cause marketing programs on their behalf. These experiences have allowed him to develop a unique skill set having been a full-time employee at the property level and worked with several outsourced consultants and sales agents. It was this experience that gave him the idea to start Trenches and fill a specific need for similar properties.
A long time Atlanta resident, Olecki attended Morehead State University where he received his bachelor’s in Business Administration and was the Team Captain and All-American on the Eagles’ football team. He sits on the Board of Directors for Curing Kids Cancer and Silverton Foundation as well as assisting with several Metro Atlanta Boy Scouts’ initiatives including the Peach of an Athlete Role Model Banquet and Sporting Clays event. Olecki lives in Smyrna with his wife, Margaret Anne and two boys Benjamin (5) and Andrew (4).
Walk-up song: Back in Black – AC DC
Personal Motto: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and lead a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Most Memorable Sports Moment: 1994 Opening Day at the Jake
What Actor/actress would play you Eric Stonestreet
Most Admired Business Leader: Billy Payne
Larry Jones – Senior Vice President of Sales
Larry is an accomplished marketing and sales management professional with a 16-year track record of success in sales, service, and activation related to the Sports and Entertainment industries. Larry leads all of Trenches sales efforts across each property clients.
Prior to joining Trenches, Jones handled Athlete and Artist Sponsorship conversations for CSE and their internal startup, ARMA music. Before his time at CSE, Jones was one of the sales leaders for WME/IMG College’s regional and national sales team. Through his positions, his focus has been on matching brands with the right assets to achieve their marketing goals. He brought the Kia deal to the Atlanta Hawks, renewed the naming rights agreement for Aaron’s at Lakewood and brought Schwan’s a nationwide college football promotion that over-delivered on every objective. He is a strong leader and team member with experience in live event/sports marketing, including generating revenue for NBA, NHL, concerts & festivals, special events, multi-purpose venues, and numerous NCAA Properties. Jones is an analytical thinker and problem-solver able to assess situations and overcome challenges through hard work, resourcefulness, and negotiation, consistently exceeding sales goals year after year.
A graduate of the University of Richmond, Larry lives in Atlanta, with his wife Emily and sons, Sam (8) and Hank (4).
Walk up song Crazy Train: Ozzy Osbourne
Personal Motto: “Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Most Memorable Sports Moment: 2131
Who would play you in a movie: Jason Statham
Most Admired Business Leader: Arthur Blank
Anne Gaskins – Corporate Partnership Manager
A recent graduate from Clemson University, Anne earned a B.S. in Marketing with an emphasis in Brand Communications. Her past experience with CAA Sports, Crawford Strategy, Post No Bills, and AB Inbev makes her a valuable asset to the team.
Walk up song: Trumpets- Jason Derulo
Personal Motto: “Behind me is infinite power, before me is endless possibility around me is boundless opportunity”- Stella Stuart
Most Memorable Sports Moment: Clemson winning 2016 National Championship
Who would play you in a movie: Jennifer Lawrence
Most Admired Business Leader: Sara Blakely
Whitener Company Partners
Gordon Whitener – Partner
Gordon Whitener built his executive career on a unique ability to construct highly successful teams and inspire results-driven leadership. Now, Gordon taps into his extensive network of resources and executive skills to help position companies for growth. Gordon brings 30 years of sports media marketing experience and a proven track record in constructing highly successful teams and inspiring result-driven leadership.
Gordon served as the chairman and CEO of SportsMyx Holdings, LLC (SportsMyx), which owned Action Sports Media until late 2009. Before that, he was president and CEO of Host Communications, one of the nation’s leading providers of affinity, multimedia, promotional and event management services to universities, athletic conferences, associations and corporations. He also served as president and CEO of Interface Americas, the global leader in commercial carpet manufacturing.
Brett Thomason – Partner
Brett Thomason is the principal and chief operating officer for The Whitener Company, co-founder and principal for Whitener Entertainment Group, the chief operating officer for MANDT VR, and the President of Brands2Fans. Brett began his career at Cydcor, where he established and managed one of the nation’s leading business and residential sales and marketing teams for Fortune 500 companies. He has also founded multiple ventures including First Step Advertising, which spearheaded online menu, ordering, and delivery services, and Pioneer Social, which leveraged social media development to increase companies’ profitability.
In 2012, Brett founded Thomason Consulting and Thomason Acquisition & Investment. He also co-founded Tennessee Innovative, a consulting venture firm specializing in identifying proprietary IP from Oak Ridge National Labs and other national labs in the United States. While managing these entities, Brett served on an elite sales team at Lakewood Capital Group, where he was a repeat member of the Multi-Million Dollar Sales Club from 2011-2015.
In 2016, Brett was an executive producer on the feature film “Dog Years,” starring Burt Reynolds, which has been accepted at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
Lawton Logan – Partner
Lawton Logan is a Principal and Chief Revenue Officer for The Whitener Company, responsible for aligning and optimizing the company, while overseeing revenue generation processes. Before joining The Whitener Company, Lawton was the chief revenue and marketing officer of Silver Chalice, a digital sports media company incubated out of the Chicago White Sox organization. Prior to Silver Chalice, Lawton held the position of senior vice president, U.S. business development, for IMG. He was responsible for development activities across IMG’s businesses in North America including: fashion, tennis, golf, talent and media, as well as all sponsorship sales, marketing and strategic partnerships for IMG College. Before joining IMG, Lawton worked at Triple Crown Media/Host Communications where he was an officer of the company, and instrumental in the turnaround of the business and eventual sale to IMG Worldwide. Before Host Communications, Lawton had a successful career at WSB Sports Marketing, a division of Cox Broadcasting in Atlanta, where he developed and sold sports marketing programs and promotional extensions for the radio broadcasts of the University of Georgia, Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks.