Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Missouri Monsters Announced Senior Front Office Management

The Missouri Monsters of the Ultimate Indoor Football League have announced their senior management team with the addition of two well-known local media personalities.
Howard Balzer, a long-time fixture in the St. Louis market has been named Senior Vice President of Operations, while Jeff Vernetti will be Senior Vice President of Marketing.
The announcement was made by club owner owner Andrew Haines. "We are thrilled to have Jeff and Howard as part of the Monsters Senior Management team. Their experience and contacts in the community will be a big reason why the Monsters are successful."
Balzer is in his 36th year covering professional football as a writer, editor and broadcaster. Currently, in addition to his work with The Sports Xchange, Balzer is the senior editor for Lindy's pro football magazine, a position he has held since 1992; and a talk-show host for SiriusXM NFL Radio and KFNS Radio. He is also one of 44 voting members on the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.
Balzer is also no stranger to indoor football. In 1986, while with The Sporting News, he wrote the first published story on the sport after a demonstration game in Rockford, Ill. Balzer did national broadcasts for Arena Football from 1988-91 and was part of the television broadcast team for several years for the St. Charles-based River City Rage and Renegades. He was also the public relations director for the Arena Football League in 1993.
A 1974 graduate of Hofstra University, Balzer was the sports information director at the school while a student and after graduation worked as director of public relations for the National Wheelchair Athletic Association, director of public relations and promotions for the Long Island Tomahawks of the National Lacrosse League and director of public relations for the Continental Basketball Association.
In the community, Balzer is currently a board member for Athletes & Entertainers Circle of Influence and has hosted the unique Celebrity Karaoke event for seven years that has raised funds for local charities. He was also on the original board for the Ronald McDonald House in St. Louis and was a longtime committee member for the Gateway Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
"This will be a unique challenge and one I am very excited about," Balzer said. "I have always been interested in team operations and look forward to helping create a championship organization with the Monsters."
Vernetti joined the KFNS staff in August of 2007 and has worked in radio in a number of on-air roles. He has hosted the daily talk show "The Sports Edge" on both 590 the Fan and Sports Radio 1380 and worked for two years on 1380 ESPN. He and Balzer currently co-host "The Sports Edge" each day on KFNS from 2-3 p.m.
In addition to his hosting duties, he has covered a number of major events, from the World Series to NCAA Championship games to the MLB All-Star Game. He has covered five Super Bowls as a host and reporter and traveled with the Rams in both 2006 and 2008.
He has done regular play-by-play work, serving as the voice for the Indoor Football League team the RiverCity Rage for two seasons, where he was nominated for broadcaster of the year both seasons. In addition, he has handled the call of numerous Missouri Valley Conference tournament games, high school football and basketball, collegiate basketball and baseball, and minor league baseball.
Vernetti is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University and spent five years in marketing before returning to radio in St. Louis.
He owns and operates two Balls n Strikes baseball training centers in the St. Louis area, one in Westport and one in Fenton.

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