Napoli named 2014-15 ECHL Executive of the Year

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
2013 Joe Napoli
Toledo Walleye
2012 Justin Kemp
Ontario Reign
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