This page came from the Wayback Machine (archive.org) snapshot of this website after it first launched in 2007. The content on this page shows the short bios for each of the original league officials and the first team owners.
Ron Baron, President & CEO
Ron has more than 20 years experience in sports law and marketing. He founded The Center for Sports Law and Risk Management, Inc., in Dallas in 1988, and has counseled numerous clients in the sports industry on sports law and team-related operational strategies. Ron’s client roster includes Major League Baseball and National Football League teams, key collegiate athletics programs as well as operators of stadiums and arenas. He is the co-author of “From the Gym to the Jury” a national bi-monthly newsletter. Ron formerly served as an Adjunct Professor of Sports Law at the University of Houston Law Center and his law school alma mater The Delaware Law School of Widener University. He was also named to a task force on behalf of the United States Olympic Committee. In 1994, Ron founded Sports Fantasy Tours & Events; providing customized sports marketing programs for Fortune 500 corporations, media and trade association clientele. As CBL founder, Ron is responsible for making the CBL vision a reality—so that kids of all ages can cheer for their hometown baseball team just like he did growing up in New York City.
Bob Ibach, League Operations & Communications Director
Bob has three decades of experience in sports journalism, public and media relations, sports marketing, promotions, and publications management. A graduate of University of Maryland, he spent the first decade of his career as a journalist (Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Journal and CBS-radio affiliates). From 1981-89, Bob served as the director of public relations/publications for the Chicago Cubs; then founded his own consulting company headquartered in Chicago. Bob is the author of “Caught In The Net,” an investigative first-person expose on cheating in college basketball now being made into a movie; “Cub Fan Mania” and “The Comeback Kids,” as well as co-author with Dan Schlossberg and Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton of “Making Airwaves: 60 Years at Milo’s Microphone.” Bob handles league-related operations as well as media and public relations for the CBL.
Jay Johnstone, Team Relations Director
A former Major Leaguer, Jay played for 20 years with eight different teams starting in 1966 with the California Angels where he won American League Rookie of the year. He played on eight divisional winning teams and earned two World Series rings. Known as a trickster on and off the field, Jay wrote about his escapades in three hilarious books; has hosted TV shows, videos, and was a radio broadcaster for the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies. He travels the country as a speaker at corporate and social events and participates in baseball clinics, fantasy camps and charity gatherings; while also running his sports collectible company headquartered in greater Los Angeles. For the CBL, Jay focuses on team relations and community outreach.
Laura Kath, Marketing Director
A Michigan State University Hospitality Business School alumna now residing in Santa Barbara County, California, Laura has been an enthusiastic sports spectator since she discovered she could yell spiritedly and not offend other fans. She has attended hundreds of professional and collegiate baseball, basketball, hockey and football games as well as Masters golf tournaments. Professionally, she savors “unlocking the mysteries of marketing” for business owners and entrepreneurs. Laura has had her own consulting business since 1989 and has served as the Marketing/Tour Director of Sports Fantasy Tours & Events since 1994. She is a former radio announcer and author of 16 non-fiction books including the travel guide “Fun with the Family in Southern California”. For the CBL, Laura coordinates marketing materials, graphics and promotions.
CBL TEAMS & CITIES
FRANCHISE OWNER PROFILES
Sara Kelm, President, Lewisville Lizards Professional Baseball, Inc.
Sara has more than ten years experience in sales and marketing since studying Kinesiology at the University Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She founded her own consulting company headquartered in Sarasota, Florida in 2004 with a successful record of accomplishment in developing new markets to establish industry presence. She is currently a Florida real estate executive known as a people-oriented leader with a reputation within the industry for integrity, dependability and exceptional customer service. Sara is an active volleyball player and an outdoors and sports enthusiast who often competes in triathlons. She is the first woman owner in the CBL. She looks forward to a long-term winning relationship with the City of Lewisville, Texas and the Denton County community and providing a family-friendly affordable baseball experience for fans of all ages
Larry Faulkner, Owner, Blue Thunder/Tarrant County Professional Baseball, LLC
Born in Baltimore in 1948, Larry attended high school at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, starred on the baseball and basketball teams and was scouted by the St. Louis Cardinals. An injury ended his baseball plans but he always wondered what he might have accomplished in the pros. Larry graduated from the University of Maryland, joined the Internal Revenue Service in a demanding, high-profile finance career that took him to posts in Dallas and back to Washington, DC. While in Dallas, Larry and his wife Pam founded the North Texas Chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation and went on to serve for many years as volunteers at the national level. Having retired from the IRS in January 2007 after a 36-year filled with noteworthy firsts, (he pioneered the ability for Federal taxes to be paid by credit card); Larry and Pam reside in Virginia nearby family and friends. Larry follows baseball closely and is glad to be associated with his favorite childhood sport. He is now the majority owner of the CBL team in Tarrant County Texas.
Mike Pede, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, Toros Baseball Club, LLC The Bay Area Toros are excited to bring professional baseball to southeast Texas with a local ownership team of business leaders from League City, Kemah, Seabrook and Clear Lake areas. The Bay Area Toros named Mike Pede as GM and COO on January 1, 2007 to his post,. Mike brings over 20 years of athletic administration experience to his position of General Manager and COO. Pede served as Associate Athletic Director at Rice University, working closely with head baseball coach Wayne Graham, for 13 years. With extensive experience in sponsorships, group ticketing, promotions and external affairs, Pede will bring his 2003 Rice Baseball National Championship mentality to the Toros. The Owls were in the top 15 in attendance in the country every year since 2000 and the Bay Area Toros look to do the same in their inaugural 2007 season.
Ron Baron, President & General Manager, Texas Heat
The Texas Heat is a regional travel team owned by CBL president and CEO Ron Baron. An attorney specializing in sports law, Baron is the founder of the Center for Sports Law & Risk Management, Sports Fantasy Tours & Events; and the co-author of the popular newsletter “From the Gym to the Jury”. Growing up in New York City, he credits family outings to baseball games as the spark that lit the flame of the CBL and his ownership of the Texas Heat for the team’s inaugural season.