Sam Stark has a somewhat unique relationship with Florida Citrus Sports. You see, he started his career as an intern and later an employee of FCS. Now, some 20 years later, he’s the President of Moxe – an Orlando-based strategic marketing agency – and he’s back with Florida Citrus Sports, but this time as a member.
Stark credits a great deal of his success to his experience with Florida Citrus Sports. He started his career in sports marketing and later served as executive director of the Central Florida Sports Commission and was the founding Executive Director of the Chicago Sports Commission.
“I spent the first five years of my career at FCS,” Stark said. “That experience gave me the opportunity to enjoy many work experiences because of the skills I learned and the relationships I developed.”
It also gave him the desire to be involved with FCS as a member now that he has returned to the area.
“The organization means a lot to me personally because I worked there,” he said. “But the mission (of FCS) is so meaningful and the events and opportunities are truly one-of-a-kind in Central Florida.”
Stark was a colleague of current FCS executive director Steve Hogan, recently-retired Senior Director of Conference Relations and Hospitality Carol Monroe and current Chief Customer Officer Shannon Clark. Stark said his personal relationships with those three – and all his former co-workers – are a point of pride for him.
In fact, he gushes when he talks about Hogan. Of course, one might expect that when you realize Stark was the one who actually hired Hogan in his first role at FCS.
“I am proud to say I hired Steve when I was Director of Events and Operations at FCS,” Stark said. “The guy is a tireless workhorse and has such a passion for the organization, the mission and the entire community. I hope he and the team get continued recognition for their efforts, even though I know they don’t do it for that.”
While his personal relationships and connections make Stark proud, he says seeing Florida Citrus Sports’ sustained success – especially its recent success – has been equally rewarding.
“For a long time, I knew that an upgraded stadium would fundamentally change Central Florida from an event, sports tourism and economic development standpoint,” Stark said. “The renovations were critical. The results speak for themselves and Steve Hogan deserves so much credit for persisting and insisting in the stadium renovations. Chuck Rohe deserves credit for expanding the stadium and that led to World Cup, Olympic Soccer, NFL exhibition games and the Big Ten and SEC contracts. But Steve is taking it to a whole new level.”
Passion from members like Stark, combined with the drive and determination of the FCS staff, means the organization will continue that upward trajectory for a long time to come.