Feb. 24, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; -
After a three-year stint as the executive director of the Nittany Lion Club, Joe Battista has accepted a position in the Division of Development and Alumni Relations as a director of major gifts for the Smeal College of Business. He will work with business graduates and businesses throughout the country and serve on the Center for Sports Business and Research Board of Advisors.
"I'm confident that Joe will bring the same passion to his new position that he has brought to his work with the Nittany Lion Club," said Dave Lieb, associate vice president for development. "This is an opportunity for Joe to take on new challenges while reconnecting with his own roots as an alumnus of the Smeal College of Business."
Battista, an original member of the Lion Ambassadors, graduated with a degree in Marketing in 1983. He spent three years as an assistant marketing director with the Pittsburgh Penguins before embarking on a career as a hockey coach, camp director, and sports administrator. After positions at Kent State and Culver Academy, Battista spent nineteen years at the helm of the Penn State Icers and led them to six American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) national championships.
As head of the Nittany Lion Club, Battista helped to guide the largest membership-based booster organization in the NCAA. During his tenure, the Nittany Lion Club reached record levels of membership and revenues, with more than 22,000 members contributing over $13 million annually. Battista instituted many new initiatives designed to improve communication and customer service.
"I will miss my daily interaction with Nittany Lion Club members and Penn State's athletes and coaches, and I will continue to be an ardent supporter of our teams and the Nittany Lion Club," said Battista. "I am very excited, however, to continue my professional development by making this step from annual giving to major gifts, and I will be proud to represent the Smeal College of Business."
Battista will begin his new duties on March 16. John Nitardy will serve as the interim director of the Nittany Lion Club until the position is filled on a permanent basis. "We are very grateful to John for accepting these new responsibilities," said Tim Curley, Penn State Director of Athletics. "Members of the Nittany Lion Club can look forward to the same level of attention and service that they have come to expect during Joe's time as director."
Curley also offered his thanks to Battista for twenty-two years of service to Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. "As a former student-athlete and coach, Joe has been able to speak from the heart about why it's important to support our program," said Curley. "His loyalty and enthusiasm have been inspiring to countless Penn State fans, and I know that in his new role, he will continue to inspire support for the University as a whole."