Operations and Business Development
John M. Wack leads ESM, overseeing business operations and development. John has management, sales, real estate development, start-up, and finance experience. He owned and managed a data center equipment installation company and was a top sales performer for the manufacturer. He co-founded and raised approximately $1 million for a technology real estate company. For the last 13 years, he has led ESM, writing the business plans for two ground-up projects and three expansions, attracting financing, managing construction and directing the operations teams in the four locations.
He has been active in the lacrosse community, playing in high school, for Dartmouth College, and for various clubs for the last 33 years. The English Lacrosse Union in Bath, England and the Melbourne Cricket Club in Australia have employed him as a player and coach. He has been associated with the Washington DC Lacrosse club for the past 33 years and currently plays for their Super Grand Masters team. He coached boys’ lacrosse for the Spotsylvania County Lacrosse Club and also served as their Boys Commissioner. He coaches girls’ lacrosse at James Monroe High School. He served as chairman of the Executive Committee of the Friends of the Rappahannock, a non-profit environmental advocacy, restoration and education group.
John earned a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College in 1985, and an M.A.L.S. from St. John’s College in Annapolis.
Human Resources and Finance
Courtney Davis works as the Vice President of Human Resources and Finance for ESM, overseeing training, policies and procedures and financial processes for ESM facilities.
A native of Virginia Beach, VA, Courtney moved to Maryland after college where she cheered six seasons for the NFL Baltimore Ravens. Simultaneously, Courtney worked on growing her career in the human resources field. She has an extensive background in HR, working in the senior living and hospitality arenas for more than 10 years. In July 2010, Courtney joined the Eastern Sports Management team as the Director of Human Resources and Finance for the Virginia Beach Field House. She quickly demonstrated her leadership role and was promoted to Assistant General Manager in August 2011. During her time at VBFH, she successfully ran the Internship Program and helped to develop the program in the other ESM facilities. Courtney was promoted to her current role with ESM in Fall 2015.
Courtney graduated from Radford University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
Leigh Davenport is the Vice President of Youth Programming for ESM. She has been a part of the sports world throughout the course of her life, starting basketball at age 5 and softball at age 7. Leigh continued to play through every level of school through college. After college, she began working for Chesapeake Parks and Recreation as a Recreational Specialist, focusing on Recreation Center programming and camps. She was promoted to Recreation Specialist II allowing her to function as a Director of a Chesapeake Community Center, focusing on Recreation Center operations, finances, employee development, programming and budget projections. Leigh advanced her career to Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation where she worked for ten years. From there, Leigh joined the Virginia Beach Field House as a Sports Director. In only two-and-half years Leigh was promoted to Assistant General Manager – Director of Leagues to her current title of General Manager. The sports industry and Parks and Recreation have always been an integral part of Leigh’s life. She transitioned to her position at ESM in the Fall of 2017.
Leigh completed her undergraduate degree in Recreation and Leisure Management at Virginia Wesleyan College and her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Andy Ballard has 17 years of expertise in facility operations, strategic planning, staff management, marketing, branding, expense controls, and business evaluation. Andy also specializes in growing and rehabilitation of businesses. As part of his 10 years with the YMCA, he took YMCA Camp Silver Beach from 800 campers to over 2,000 campers. Andy helped open the Virginia Beach Field House, the largest indoor facility under ESM, and reached $3 million in the first year.
Andy is a graduate of Liberty University, one of the nation’s first accredited sport management programs. Andy has 17 years of experience of running sports facilities that are non-profit, for profit, start-ups and rehabilitations. His ability to manage and motivate people effectively allowed him to advance to the VP position within 3 years with the company.
Andy’s life has been greatly impacted by sports. He has played basketball, baseball and football at various levels. He has coached baseball and basketball at the high school level and was a part of the 2004 VISAA Division III State Championship in baseball. This was the same year he was awarded teacher of the year at Alliance Christian Schools.
Andy has a career commitment to serving communities through sports. Sports have been a critical piece of Andy’s growth and development as a child and he credits sports with providing much needed structure and distraction from negative influences. Andy hopes to continue passing on these healthy lifestyle habits in the most important part of his life, his family.