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, President and CEO
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). In addition to keeping Starfire running smoothly, Ben dedicates a great deal of time to the local community, serving on the LTAC board, Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority Advisory Committee, and the Tukwila Branding Advisory Committee. The rest of Ben’s time is spent enjoying the company of his wife Sarah, and son Cooper. If you see him around, say hi—and then laugh at his funny Kiwi accent.
Pam Dunning, Assistant General Manager & Director of Finance
Pam’s primary responsibility at Starfire is to oversee the Finance and HR areas and to handle any other tasks and details that Ben throws her way. When she’s not designing new ways of analyzing the business, she can be found walking around the campus rain or shine. An avid runner, she competes in half marathons and loves hiking, cycling and travelling to tropical locations with her husband.
Micah Pigott, Director of Programs & Tournaments
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.
Steven Dahl, Director of Operations
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.
Mike Dianovsky, Ph.D., Director of STEM Education & Outreach Development
Mike is a recent transplant to the Seattle area from the Midwest. He has a passion for helping kids learn everything about STEM. Mike is usually found in his office creating new STEM activities for the Starfire STEM Academy, which really means he gets to tinker with LEGOs and exciting new education technologies. When not at Starfire, Mike enjoys hiking the many trails of the Pacific Northwest with his three pups, and playing softball and dodgeball.
Sean Englin, Director of Events & Projects
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 special events and projects. In his spare time, Sean enjoys golfing, restoring his old car and fun road trip with his family.
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 traveling, home projects, and exploring the city with her husband, toddler, and mutt.
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!
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.
Conner Hall, Youth Programs Coordinator
Conner started at Starfire when he was 16 years old as a Indoor Referee. He slowly transitioned into other positions with us and just after graduating High School Conner joined the Army Reserves out of JBLM. After completing training, Conner returned to Starfire and continued coaching our Youth Programs, and eventually moved his way up to Youth Programs Coordinator. While not at work, you can find Conner hanging out with his two children, buying property, or riding his Polaris Slingshot!
Zach Zielinski, Tournaments & Special Events Manager
Zach is from the Seattle area and has worked for Starfire in numerous capacities over his seven total years with the company. You can usually find Zach setting up and managing our special events and tournaments to make sure that all components are in working order. During his few years away from the Seattle area, Zach lived in Orlando and spent his time working for the surrounding major theme park companies performing both on stage and behind the scenes. In Florida, Zach met his girlfriend Holly and when moving to the northwest they decided to road trip across the country! It is rare for Zach to not have a soccer ball at his feet, as he continues to make strides to finding some old form on the pitch.
Veronica Hernandez, League & Campus Manager
Veronica eats, breathes, lives Starfire. When not on the clock, she can most likely be found on campus getting fit at Catz or balling out on the pitch. During the brief periods Veronica is not at Starfire, she enjoys watching movies, taking naps, and hiking the Washington wilderness to get those steps in for her fitbit. She also has a cat named Felix.