May 15, 2014

DEKALB, Ill. -- Under the direction of NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier, the NIU External Relations and Convocation Center staffs have been reshaped with four additions as John Faso, Tim Rice, Chris Radford and James Ericson have joined the NIU Athletics Department this year.

Faso comes to NIU as Director of the Convocation Center, Ericson was added as Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing, Rice was named Assistant Athletic Director for Annual Giving and Radford, the newest addition, will serve as Assistant Athletic Director for Operations of the Convocation Center, dealing extensively with tickets.

Along with the four additions, two current staff members have shifted roles as Eric Schultz will now serve as Associate Director of the Convocation Center and Cliff Bottigliero has been promoted to a new position as NIU's Director of Premium Sales.

"This is an outstanding group of individuals who understand the `speed of the game' and will play an important role in taking NIU Athletics and the NIU Convocation Center forward," Frazier said. "We have a lot of things we need to get accomplished in both areas and this group, along with the senior staff and the rest of our leadership team, is playing a pivotal role. We are getting after it and will not stop."

Faso comes to NIU after working as the Director of Operations and Events at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena in Jamestown, N.Y. He began his career in Greensboro, N.C., where he was an event manager and manager of hockey operations at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.

From Greensboro, Faso moved on to the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, working as an event manager before earning a promotion to Director of Event Services. While with the Sabres, Faso played a key role in the opening of Marine Midland Arena (now First Niagara Center) and also managed events such as the Stanley Cup Finals, NHL Entry Draft, NCAA Frozen Four and NCAA Basketball Regionals.

A graduate of Niagara University in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Faso also spent time as the General Manager of the Conference Center Niagara Falls and with the Adams Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo.

Ericson, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, comes to NIU following six years in event management at Ohio State University, where he worked with numerous sports including football and men's and women's basketball. Ericson was responsible for managing the 2009 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships as well as the 2012 and 2013 NCAA Rifle Championship.

After graduating from the University of Iowa in 2000, Ericson interned in the Iowa Athletic Department before joining Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC), an event management/staffing company, working for CSC in Miami, Fla., and Atlanta, Ga. In 2005, Ericson moved on to Wichita State University where he served as the Director of Event Management for two years before moving on to Ohio State.

Rice joined NIU from San Jose State University, where he spent two years as the Development Coordinator for the Spartan Foundation, which raised more than $1.3 million annually. During his time at SJSU, the Spartan Foundation membership grew by 45 percent.

As a graduate assistant in the Office of Athletics Development at the University of California, Berkeley, from 2008-10, Rice worked with the Bear Backers annual giving program, coordinating donor events and working with the Endowment Seating Program for Memorial Stadium.

A native of Seaford, N.Y., Rice earned his bachelor's degree in public relations from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., in 2008. While at Grand Valley, Rice worked as a marketing assistant and served as the director of the GVSU Laker Nation, the official student section of Laker Athletics. He earned his master's degree in sport management from the University of San Francisco in 2010.

Radford most recently worked as Assistant Athletic Director of Ticketing Operations and Sales at Ohio University. In four years at Ohio, Radford oversaw all ticketing operations for Ohio's six ticketed sports. During his time in Athens, Radford helped Ohio increase football season ticket sales by 42 percent and men's basketball season ticket sales by 51 percent. He managed ticket and donor seating operations for three bowl games and two NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament appearances.

Prior to Ohio, Radford served as the Director of Ticketing Operations at UNC Wilmington for two years, overseeing five ticketed sports for the Seahawks.

Radford played football collegiately at the University of Richmond, earning his degree in business management in 2006. He went on to earn his master's degree in exercise and sports science from East Carolina in 2007.

Radford, Rice, Ericson, Bottigliero and their staffs are hard at work this spring with NIU's season ticket renewal deadline quickly approaching on May 30 and the Huskie Athletic Fund annual donor drive. NIU football season tickets are on sale now for just $110 for all five 2014 home games, beginning Thursday, Aug. 28 versus Presbyterian. Order online today at, or call NIU Athletics at 815-753-7225 (PACK). In addition, the Huskie Athletic Fund has launched a new website at with complete information on new donor benefits, parking and more.

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