The ECHL on Wednesday announced that Toledo Walleye President & CEO Joe Napoli has been selected by the ECHL Board of Governors as the 2014-15 recipient of the ECHL Executive of the Year award.
Napoli, who also won the award in 2012-13, joins Steve Chapman and Matthew Riley, as the only two-time winners of the Executive of the Year award since it was introduced in 1993.
Toledo set a new club record in attendance during the 2014-15 season drawing 231,847 fans during the regular season and adding 64,899 during the Kelly Cup Playoffs, including a team record 8,300 fans for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against South Carolina. Winterfest, a 10-day outdoor hockey festival held at Fifth Third Field, created an economic impact of over $10 million for Toledo and the surrounding area. Napoli also hired Derek Lalonde as the Walleye head coach, who helped to spearhead an ECHL-record 58-point improvement over the 2013-14 season on his way to earning ECHL Coach of the Year honors.
In addition to serving as president and CEO of the Walleye, Napoli also is president and CEO of the Toledo Mud Hens professional baseball team. Before coming to Toledo, he worked for the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association, the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball, the Canton-Akron Indians and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company. A member of the development team for the Huntington Center, Napoli is responsible for the management and day-to-day operation of both the Walleye and Mud Hens. Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Napoli graduated Cum Laude from St. John’s University with a bachelor’s degree in management.
ECHL Executive Of The Year Winners
|2015||Joe Napoli||Toledo Walleye|
|2014||Matthew Riley||Bakersfield Condors|
|2011||Dan Chapman||Stockton Thunder|
|2010||Kristin Ropp||Cincinnati Cyclones|
|2009||Gordon Kaye||Reading Royals|
|2008||Darren Abbott||South Carolina Stingrays|
|2007||Matthew Riley||Bakersfield Condors|
|2006||Steve Chapman||Gwinnett Gladiators|
|2005||Steve Chapman||Gwinnett Gladiators|
|2004||Terry Parks||Alaska Aces|
|2003||John Butler||Peoria Rivermen|
|2002||Matt Loughran||Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies|
|2001||Craig Brush||Florida Everblades|
|2000||Brian McKenna||Trenton Titans|
|1999||Carl Scheer||Greenville Grrrowl|
|1998||Charles Felix||Pensacola IcePilots|
|1997||David Paitson||Columbus Chill|
|1996||Dave Berryman||Louisiana IceGators|
|1995||Harry Feuerstein/Craig Laughlin||Richmond Renegades|
|1994||John Gagnon/Pierre Paiement||Roanoke Express|
|1993||Larry Kish||Wheeling Thunderbirds|