Our people are the core of Starfire. It is their spirit, drive, dedication and passion that create the world-class environment you have come to expect.
Ben Oliver, General Manager
Ben is in charge of, well, everything. From IT to construction management to dispute resolution, Ben is our go-to guy. We really should call him the Starfire Fireman, because he spends most of his day putting them out (metaphorically of course, though if a real fire broke out, he’d probably be there with a hose). When he is not busy keeping Starfire running smoothly, Ben enjoys kicking back with a cold adult beverage and a few games of darts. If you see him around, say hi—and then laugh at his funny Kiwi accent.
Teddy Mitalas, Director of Business Development & Tournaments
Most of us just call him Mr. Soccer, which is appropriate considering he is all about soccer and the kids. When he’s not busy running tournaments here at Starfire, he spends his time coaching two High School teams and his BU-16 at Northwest Nationals. Lately, however, Teddy has been taking a few minutes a day to admire himself in the mirror adorned with his Golden Scarf. He also enjoys family life with his three children and wife Cindy (who is also a terrific Starfire Beer Garden bartender, by the way). When you see him, give him a shout out: “What’s goin’ on Mr. Soccer”?
Micah Pigott, Director of Program Operations
Micah was born to work in soccer operations–especially in Seattle. Having grown up in Pennsylvania and attaining a Finance degree in Virginia, anyone could have guessed that he’d be working at Starfire. When he’s not sarcastically making fun of himself, you can normally find Micah charging around our outdoor fields, and making sure that our leagues, tournaments, and everything else are running smoothly. Outside of his work at Starfire, Micah enjoys playing soccer…at Starfire. He manages to escape from the campus sometimes, and when he does he likes to cook, play with his dog, and compete in triathlons or running events.
Chanie Sandman, Director of Marketing
Chanie can usually be found in front of her computer, alternating between windows of colorful imagery, lines of code, and lists of soccer news articles for potential social media fodder. If you see her around the campus she will likely be behind the lens of a camera, attempting to capture those special moments created everyday at Starfire. In her off time she enjoys riding the slopes of Alpental, vegging out on her couch and hitting up the Magnuson dog park with her furry child, Cooper.
Sean Englin, Director of Finance & HR
Sean has a history with the Starfire Sports campus. He grew up close by and first visited the park back in the 70’s during his father’s softball days and played soccer on the original fields. Sean is in charge of financial reporting and human resources. In his spare time, Sean enjoys golfing, restoring his old car and fun road trip with his family.
Phil Hancock, Director of Facilities & Fields
Phil is Starfire’s resident multi-tool and is in charge of keeping the Starfire campus in top form. With a background in maintaining golf courses, Phil is right at home with Starfire’s 54 acres. From fixing leaky faucets to making sure all our fields are meticulously groomed, Phil has us covered. When he’s not running around Starfire, jumping from task to task, Phil likes golfing, snowboarding, and attending concerts and sporting events (like Sounders FC games, of course!). When you see him say hi, and tell him to smile!
Phil Hancock, Director of Facilities & Fields
Kelley Talbot, Campus Resource Manager
Kelley has been called the Chaos Manager of Starfire Sports. From practices and games to parties and events, she makes sure all i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Kelley is a true Seattle native who is fueled by mochas and enjoys olive oil popcorn, road trips and training her cat how to improve his penalty kicks with soccer ball toys–even if she is more of a DAWG fan.
Kayla Habryle, HR & Accounting Specialist
Kayla operates under two general premises: life requires unlimited sarcasm and lattes; except on Monday, when that order is reversed. At Starfire she helps us hire great people, counts our pennies, and if we’re nice to her, she includes us in payroll! She and her hubby have two “rugrats” that despite her admitted slightly crazy personality, are pretty cool kids. According to her frequent flyer account and car odometer, she’s a dedicated soccer/fastpitch mom – which explains what consumes most of her time away from Starfire. She’s active in the youth athletic community and is usually with camera in hand at their sporting events! If she seems relaxed and unseasonably tan, it’s likely because she spent some of those flyer miles and escaped with her family to their getaway in Mexico, for what she calls “mandatory attitude adjustment” time!
Kevin Clark, Assistant Director of Program Operations
Kevin comes to Starfire as an all-around utility player. With a background in soccer, event, and facility operations management, he brings a wide, if not peculiar, array of experiences to the job (ask him about the time he spent consulting on a human resources study for the Welsh Assembly Government, for example). Kevin can often be found wandering around the campus making sure everything is in top order while ensuring the little details have been properly looked after. When he’s not on site for a tournament or special event, Kevin enjoys writing about and reporting on soccer happenings throughout the world. He’ll also never say no to a good game of cribbage.
Steven Dahl, Manager
Steven grew up playing and refereeing soccer in the area, and comes from what can only be described as a “soccer family.” With his dad being a youth coach for the better part of 20 years, a mom active in Washington State women’s leagues, and grandparents formally on the board of directors of local soccer clubs, soccer is in his blood. When not at Starfire, Steven enjoys being kept up all hours of the night by his new son, Elliott, making outlandish and ill-conceived bets with coworkers, spending time at the family cabin in Snoqualmie, and taking Elliott to the park to make sure all of the ducks in the pond are behaving themselves.
Zach Zielinski, Assistant Tournament Director and Event Coordinator
Zach started playing soccer at just three years of age and instantly engulfed the beautiful game into his everyday life. With family playing legacies to live up to he started his own path to success with his Shredders youth team and played for John F. Kennedy High School. Now for us he is usually found every hour during a sunny summer weekend running our Youth Tournaments or working on his finesse laser goal shooting skills. There is a high probability that he is the loudest and craziest fan at a Sounders game, living his passion while sporting his Zielinski #17 jersey. On and off the field Zach has always and will always belong to The World’s Game.