Midwest Classic announces new management team

December 06, 2013

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas -- The Kansas City Crusaders are excited to announce a new management team for the event. The new Executive Director for the Midwest Classic is Howie Olson. In addition to the Executive Director, Mark Laverentz has been hired as the Director of Sponsorships.

Olson has called Kansas City home since 1987 and brings a unique set of skills to the tournament. As a graduate of the Blue Valley school district, Olson has a significant tie to the Midwest Classic host city of Overland Park. Olson increased his affinity for the area and built upon his skills while he earned an undergraduate degree at Washington University and a Masters at the University of Kansas. 

Olson has a successful background in corporate and non-profit settings, and his experiences encompass sports marketing and corporate events. The businesses where Olson has worked include Sprint, EMBARQ, Special Olympics, The Kansas City Blades, The Kansas City Wizards and the United Way. According to Matt Henderson, Chairman of the Board for the Kansas City Crusaders, “Howie is the perfect person to run the Midwest Classic and Kansas City Crusaders. He loves the city and is passionate about sports and charities.” 

Similar to Olson, Laverentz shares KC roots and has great experience working with charities and economic development initiatives. Laverentz is a graduate of Kansas State University and he spent many years working with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.  

The PGA TOUR’s Web.com Tour is 100 percent behind Olson, Laverentz and the Midwest Classic. Recently the Kansas City Crusaders and the Web.com Tour signed a new three-year contract extension. Bill Calfee, President of the Web.com Tour said, “The Web.com Tour is very excited to see the progress being made by the Midwest Classic.” Calfee added, “The Kansas City Crusaders have done a great job growing the Midwest Classic, and the Web.com Tour is excited about the future with Howie Olson as Executive Director and Mark Laverentz leading the sales effort.” 

Olson and Laverentz have already started their new positions. They are currently at the Web.com Tour Tournament Directors Annual Meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. According to Olson, “Mark and I are really looking forward to working with the Web.com Tour and the Kansas City Crusaders to drive economic value and to support non-profits in the area by leading the Midwest Classic.”