Expertise: Sports Management and Athletic Operations
A career sports executive, Shannon James Ealy possesses 25 years of experience in sports administration. Diverse experience in leadership, day-to-day operations, revenue generation, fiscal management, external affairs, internal operations, facilities management, and event operations are his hallmarks. Ealy formed Outsource Sports Management, a sports marketing and event management company, after the national pandemic to assist sports, entertainment, and tourism organizations with outsourcing services expertise due to the significant elimination of positions and rising personnel costs.
Ealy served as the director of athletics and recreation at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and served as a member of the university’s leadership team. Under his direction, competitive success improved for both men’s and women’s sports and the overall grade point average improved for student athletes. In addition, the department completed its first facility master plan, oversaw completion of a $15 million expansion to the recreation center, hired three head coaches, and increased department revenues.
For eight years, Ealy held leadership positions within the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) athletics department and led day-to-day operations, oversaw a $30 million annual operating budget, managed external and internal administrative units, and supervised the sports of football, men’s basketball, softball, and baseball. He successfully served as interim director of athletics during a controversial and tumultuous time in program history and provided leadership, stability, and confidence after the university eliminated football, bowling and rifle. Under his direction, Ealy assisted with getting all three sports programs reinstated within six months.
Prior to joining UAB Athletics, Ealy served the Bruno Event Team as vice president of the Alabama Sports Foundation, where he led all efforts to produce large-scale sporting events such as the SEC Baseball Tournament, SEC Gymnastics Championship, Magic City Classic, SWAC Football Championship, US Olympic Marathon Trials, US Soccer Matches, Pro Beach Volleyball, and the Brett Favre Celebrity Softball Game. Concurrently, he provided consulting services to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex to assist with the planning, programming, and support for a downtown Birmingham stadium, entertainment district and lodging accommodations as president of Birmingham Sports Ventures.
Ealy started his career in Birmingham with the Southeastern Conference where he was responsible for ticket sales and operations, marketing, and event operations for conference championships. Prior to the SEC Office, he was a marketing assistant with the University of Florida athletic department.
Ealy obtained his master’s in sports administration and facility management from Ohio University. He earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and was a football student-athlete.
Ealy has three children – Alyssa, Brian and Caitlin.
Expertise: Human Resources & Finance
Erin joined the Hoover Met Complex team in June 2018. Before coming aboard, she had extensive involvement in customer service as well as 10+ years of diverse management experience. Erin works on a variety of projects with the Hoover Met Complex management staff and manages ‘Hoover Climbing & Adventure’, too.
Erin graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Since then she has worked with numerous community outreach programs, charity organizations, and event planning projects such as the YMCA, Birmingham Museum of Art, and the Cahaba River Society; to name a few.
Born and raised in Birmingham, Erin remains active in her community and continues to teach at Alabama Dance Academy located in Hoover. She has a passion for music which she shares with her husband who is a local and regional artist. In her free time, you can usually catch her at one of his shows!
Expertise: Office Management & Administration
Facility Operatons Manager
Expertise: Facility Operations & Event Management
Tucker became a part of the Hoover Met Complex team as our Facility Operations Manager in November 2020. The previous three years he served as a Recreation Leader for Montgomery (AL) County Parks and Recreation. His experience also includes event management, campus recreation, and youth sports programming. His role at the Hoover Met Complex is to lead a strong operations team to provide our patrons and clients with the best experience the Hoover Met has to offer.
Tucker earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Auburn University in 2014 and earned his Master of Science in Sports and Fitness Management in 2016 from Troy University.
Tucker lives in Calera, AL and enjoys working out, playing golf, camping, and going to Smith Lake. His loyalty also lies with anything Auburn and cheering on the Tigers any time he can. Tucker is happily married and the two have a lab named Ace.
Facility Operations Coordinator
Expertise: Facility Operations
Ethan came to the Hoover Met Complex in January 2020 as a Facility Operations team member. After one year he was promoted to Facility Operations Coordinator. Prior to working at the Hoover Met Complex, Ethan worked for the Mobile BayBears, a Minor League baseball team in Mobile, Alabama, as their Clubhouse Manager.
Ethan graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2018, earning a Bachelors of Science in Sports and Recreation Management. During his four years of college, he was a student manager for the baseball and men’s basketball teams, as well as an intern with the athletic department focusing on event and facility operations.
Ethan lives in Bessemer with his wife, Taylor, and their dog, Link. He enjoys playing disc golf, card games, and running in his free time.
Facility Operations Coordinator
Expertise: Facility Operations
Austin came to the Hoover Met Complex in September of 2021 as a Facility Operations Coordinator. Prior to working at the Hoover Met Complex, Austin worked for the Athletic Department at Jacksonville State University under the Director of Athletic Operations, and previously as a University Recreation Supervisor at the Jacksonville State Rec Center.
Austin graduated from Jacksonville State University in July of 2020, earning a Bachelors of Science in Sports Management with a minor in Marketing. During his years in college, he assisting in hosting many athletic events such as the AHSAA Northeast Basketball Regional, OVC Volleyball Tournament, and many more.
Austin lives in Gardendale with his wife, Grace, and their chocolate lab, Bentley. When not at work Austin enjoys watching football, playing with his dog, and spending time with his wife.
Food & Beverage
Food & Beverage Manager
Expertise: Food & Beverage/Catering
JD was born in the heart of the Magic City and raised in the Hoover/Vestavia area, and is huge on family and good food. He began his career working for his father’s business at Remon’s Clothier. Remon’s has been in the Birmingham, AL area for over 40 years. After learning the art of catering to the needs of his father’s clients, he found his life-long passion of hospitality in the restaurant industry.
In his free time JD enjoys giving back to his community. On April 27, 2011 Tuscaloosa, AL was hit with 62 devastating tornados. JD along with his father and Remon’s staff traveled with supplies to aid tornado victims. He also teamed up with his cousins, owners of Full Moon BBQ, to help feed Alabama Power Disaster Relief linemen. JD’s proudest achievement was being asked to lead the Food Bank effort for the Jefferson County Unified Command Center, providing food and water to local schools and housing communities during the Covid-19 shut down in March, 2020.
Danforah says “this passion has to come from the heart, because it’s not a job, but a way of life. It takes unique, heartfelt individuals who love a crazy and intense atmosphere to thrive in the restaurant industry, and in an environment like this.” Danforah feels very fortunate to be a part of the SFC family, and to live in an incredible community like Hoover.
Food & Beverage Coordinator
Expertise: Food & Beverage
Sales, Sponsorships, & Marketing
Expertise: Sponsorship & Event Sales
Lisa brings an extensive amount of experience in sports, including corporate sponsorships, management, guest engagement, and marketing to the Hoover Met Complex team. She spent the majority of her career with the NBA’s Orlando Magic in a variety of sales management and leadership positions. Her role expanded to include the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation and a team from the (IHL) International Hockey League/Solar Bears, and (WNBA) Women’s National Basketball Association/Miracle. As part of the launch team, Lisa helped bring women’s pro basketball and minor league hockey to Central Florida.
Lisa earned her Bachelor of Science from Troy University, double majoring in Public Relations/Advertising and Broadcast Journalism.
Lisa has strong ties to the University of Alabama through her daughters: Lauren, a 2019 graduate and Lindsey, a junior. Lisa lives in Hoover and is active in the community, enjoying hiking, boating, and attending various SEC sporting events throughout the region. A former collegiate tennis player, she is involved in leagues and tournaments throughout the state.
Indoor Event Manager
Expertise: Event Operations &
Harry brings 30 years of experience in the sports and hospitality industry with established relationships in the sports and tourism industries. His background in sports was developed by serving as Manager, Corporate Marketing and Consumer Products for USA Hockey, Regional Event Director for Triple Crown Sports, Hockey Operations Manager for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics Organizing Committee, Special Events Sales Manager for Hidden Valley Resort, and Event Coordinator for Resort Sports.
Harry has also held the following positions within the tourism and hospitality industry: Director of Sports & Athletic Sales for BookMyGroup, and Sports Sales Manager for various Hilton and Radisson properties. His passion is helping develop young business professionals in the sports business industry. Harry serves on the Advisory board for the Sport Management Program at Robert Morris University.
Harry earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Sport Management from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.
Born and raised in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Harry is loyal to his Pittsburgh sports teams. Since relocating to Birmingham in 2013, Harry is involved in the local community by serving on a committee for the Southern Amateur Hockey Association and Eucharist Minister at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church. Harry is happily married and enjoys spending time with his son and daughter.
Outdoor Event Manager
Expertise: Sport Management & Account Development
Will brings an extensive amount of experience in sports, account development and youth sports development to the HMC team. He has over 15 years of experience in both the youth and professional sports industry, as well as in account development. He has established relationships around the southeastern sports community, having served as a Sports Coordinator for YMCA associations across the Southeast. In addition, Will has also held positions as a youth sports coach and official, as well as being a college sports broadcaster
Will graduated from Auburn University and UAB.
Born and raised in Alabama, Will is loyal to anything involving the Auburn Tigers as well as the Atlanta Braves and New Orleans Saints. When he is not cheering on his favorite teams, he enjoys spending time at the gym, coaching, and hanging out with his wife and two kids.
Hoover Met Stadium – Event Management
Expertise: Event Management
Michael Pepper was born and raised in rural Mississippi and graduated from Mississippi State University. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Fitness Management and a Master’s degree in Sports Administration. Michael’s journey in the sports business has taken him from various positions in minor league baseball to his current role with the Hoover Met Complex.
Michael has been with the City of Hoover for five years and enjoys overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Hoover Met as well as planning and coordinating all the events that are booked at the Finley Center.
Michael and his wife, Hailey, have two daughters and live in nearby Vestavia. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, hunting, and being outdoors.
Expertise: Event Management
James has been with the City of Hoover for five years. His role with the City is overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Hoover Met Stadium. Prior to joining the City of Hoover, he was on staff with the Birmingham Barons for 13 seasons. During his time with the Barons, he served in multiple roles that included stadium and baseball event operations.
James is a graduate of Ohio University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management and Communications. He and his wife, Julia, live in Birmingham with their daughter. When he is not at the Met, he can be found on softball fields coaching and cheering on his daughter’s team.
HOOVER MET COMPLEX SUPPORT STAFF
The Hoover Met Complex would be impossible to run without the help of our outstanding staff members. From the people who greet you as you walk through our doors, to the facility staff who keep the fields and courts in excellent condition, our management and support staff work together as a dream team. The Hoover Met Complex staff is comprised of a family of dedicated, passionate people who work together to make the Hoover Met Complex the most outstanding sports facility in central Alabama.