NPF News



New President and CEO of the Women’s Pro Softball League Announced

Denver, Colo. - December 10, 2001 — Jay Cowles, Chairman of the Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL), announced today that John D. Carroll is stepping down as CEO and Commissioner, and that he will be succeeded by Richard A. Levine as President and CEO.

"The WPSL has benefited enormously from John Carroll’s leadership over the past four years, particularly in the areas of strategic relationships and staff development." Cowles said. "As the WPSL prepares to conclude a restructuring in the next 60-90 days, which will lay the groundwork for a league relaunch in 2003, John and the Cowles family concluded that this was the right time to make a transition in leadership."

"Leading the WPSL for the past four years has been one of the greatest highlights of my professional career of 32 years." Carroll commented. "I am grateful to the Cowles family for the opportunity, and continue to be enthusiastic about the future for the game of women’s fastpitch softball. I have been seeking time to focus on my serious health problems and other personal interests. This is the perfect time for me to make a transition. I am delighted that Rich Levine has agreed to take the reins."

Levine added, "Under John Carroll’s leadership the WPSL has undertaken a new strategic direction which will propel us forward as a truly national league in eight markets in 2003. The WPSL has great prospects for giving fastpitch athletes, coaches and fans the chance to enjoy the highest quality play, year-in and year-out. I’m proud to be a part of that."

"Rich Levine has demonstrated during his past two years of executive leadership at WPSL that he has all the ingredients to be a great leader as we relaunch the league. He has had responsibility in virtually all areas of our operations, and has done a tremendous job bringing together a new group of team operators and investors in the league. " Cowles said.

John D. Carroll has been the Commissioner of the WPSL since 1997. From January to November, 1997, Carroll was the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Del Wilbur Associates. Carroll was the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of USA Volleyball (national governing body for amateur volleyball) from January, 1992, to December, 1996. Prior to 1992, Carroll was the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of ProServ, the world’s number two sports marketing agency. In 1972, Carroll founded and was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Capitol Sports, Inc. ("CSI"), a marketing and television firm credited with being the pioneer in event marketing exclusively for corporate America. CSA marketed such noteworthy world class events as the 1980 Winter Olympics, the U.S Open Tennis Championships, the Tour de France, the NYC Marathon, the Super Bowl, the Federation Cup and World Cup Skiing. In that Capacity, he has worked with the majority of the top 50 Fortune companies. Carroll also spent a total of nine years with DuPont and Uniroyal as a marketing executive.

Richard A. Levine has been the Executive Vice President, Marketing and Operations of the WPSL since 1999. Levine served as President of Event Management Group from 1995 to 1999. He has managed the marketing and operations of events on behalf of USA Volleyball, the World Pro Ski Tour and the LPGA. From 1991 through 1995, Levine served as General Manager and General Counsel for World Cup ’94 Marketing - the highly successful soccer world championship held in 1994 for the first time in the U.S. As a World Cup Officer, Levine assisted in the development and launch of Major League Soccer, and later served as the first General Manager of the MLS franchise Colorado Rapids, directing the launch of their inaugural season. Levine is an attorney admitted to practice in California, Washington, D.C. and Colorado.

John Cowles III (Jay) has been Chairman and Treasurer of the WPSL since 1994. From 1993 to March, 1998, he was Chairman of Cowles Media Company, a newspaper, magazine and information services company headquartered in Minneapolis. Prior to that, Cowles was Vice President of Sentinel Publishing, Inc., and Director of Strategic Planning for Cowles Media, and held positions in the DBS, cable television, and commercial printing industries.

The WPSL has adopted an expansion plan to propel the league into eight markets in 2003. The WPSL expansion plan takes into consideration the need to re-shape the league to accommodate the addition of local owner/operators and new strategic partners vital to future growth and success.
Owner groups representing eight markets are now on track to finalize contracts and other arrangements necessary to announce their addition to the league in early 2002. The WPSL is also in continuing dialog with several other potential owner groups from numerous additional cities.

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