John Fanta – Vice President, Green Bay Bullfrogs & Wisconsin Rapids Rafters
Fanta, the 2016 Northwoods League Executive of the Year, is in the midst of his 12th season in the Northwoods League. In July of 2018, he was promoted to Vice President, Green Bay Bullfrogs & Wisconsin Rapids Rafters after serving five seasons as General Manager of the Rafters. Under his leadership, he oversaw a 2017 Rafters team that broke 35 team and league records, becoming the first team in the Northwoods League’s 24 year history to win 52 games in a season. In 2016, his team tied or broke 21 franchise records on the field, culminating in a Northwoods League Summer Collegiate World Series Championship. In his time in the Northwoods League Fanta oversaw the largest crowd in Rafters history, two Northwoods League All-Star Games and was named the 2014 Big Top Baseball Executive of the Year.
Fanta joined Big Top Baseball and the Rafters as Assistant GM prior to the team’s inaugural season in 2010, after spending two summers as the ticket sales intern for the La Crosse Loggers. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Sport Management and Business Administration. During college he spent two years and as intern in the Viterbo University athletics department where he assisted the athletics director in event management for multiple sports. Fanta is a native of Viroqua, Wisconsin and currently resides in Ashwaubenon. Throughout the years he has been involved in the community as a member of the Noon and Sunrise Rotary Clubs, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Sports Commission and was honored by Daily Tribune Media as one of Wisconsin Rapids’ People of the Year in both 2015 and 2016. His hobbies include running, fishing, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying Brewers, Packers, Bucks, and Badgers games.
Sieeria Vieaux – General Manager
Vieaux is entering her fifth season with the Bullfrogs and third season as the General Manager. Prior to becoming GM, Vieaux spent 2016 as the Corporate Accounts Manager. Vieaux started her career in baseball as an intern with the Lakeshore Chinooks of the Northwoods League in 2013. She then worked as a Director of Fan Participation at Carroll University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. Vieaux is originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin. In her free time, Vieaux
Austin Hansen – Assistant General Manager
Hansen is entering his first season with the Bullfrogs as Assistant General Manager. He spent the past four seasons with the Madison Mallards, most recently serving as Group Accounts Manager. In his new role with Green Bay, Hansen will be responsible for working with groups looking to plan an outing at Capital Credit Union Park, managing the inside sales team, constructing the team roster, and assisting with general oversight of all areas of the day-to-day operation.
Hansen attended Marian University where he graduated with BS degrees in Sport Management and Marketing. During his time with Marian he was a pitcher on the baseball team and worked on campus as a tour guide.
Brian Kuklinski – Corporate Advertising Manager
Kuklinski has spent the last 20 years in the radio industry, with the last eight specializing in advertising sales. He spent the past five seasons announcing home games for the Bullfrogs, as well as being the radio play-by-play voice of the Green Bay Phoenix Men’s Basketball Team. Kuklinski came from Woodward Radio Group where his focus was developing strategic integrated marketing campaigns to help the business growth of clients. Kuklinski is originally from Oshkosh and even attended UW-Oshkosh. Currently he resides in Green Bay with his wife, Jamie and their twin sons Trevor and Jonah.
Dannon Anderson – Corporate Accounts Manager
Anderson is entering his first season with the Bullfrogs, joining the team as Corporate Account Manager. He spent the summer of 2016 interning with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters as Concessions/Operations Intern before graduating from Loras College. After graduation, Anderson spent a year with the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer as a Group Sales Account Executive. Outside of work, he enjoys watching sports, spending time outside and reading.
Big Top Baseball Staff
Steve Schmitt- Lead Owner
Schmitt, who also owns The Shoe Box in Black Earth, Wisconsin, is driven by a passion for the game. His extraordinary attention to customer service has become the trademark of all his businesses, which also include the Madison Mallards, Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, Kenosha Baseball and Rookies Food and Spirits. A die-hard St. Louis Cardinals Fan, Schmitt lives in Stoughton,Wisconsin and has four daughters along with eight grandchildren.
Vern Stenman – Co-Owner/President
Stenman, a two-time Northwoods League Executive of the Year, is the President of the Madison Mallards, Wisconsin Rapids Rafters and Kenosha Baseball. His innovative promotional ideas and steady vision have contributed to his team’s record-breaking attendance over the past 13 years. Prior to Madison, the St. Cloud, Minnesota native, worked for the St. Cloud River Bats before taking a position with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. Stenman, a Minnesota Twins Fan, and wife Kallie have two children, daughter Chloe Mae, 6, and son Bode Axel, 2.
Conor Caloia – Co-Owner/Chief Operating Officer
As the COO of Big Top Baseball and along with President Vern Stenman, Caloia oversees the Madison Mallards, Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, Kenosha Kingfish and Green Bay Bullfrogs of the Northwoods League, Breese Stevens Field and Festival Foods Shake the Lake. Caloia is entering his 12th season with the organization after starting as a public relations intern for the Mallards in 2003.
After serving as the Mallards Assistant General Manager for two seasons, Caloia relocated to Denver to work as the Director of Marketing of the Western Athletic Conference. Following his stint with the WAC, Caloia served as the Director of Operations for the Wilmington Sharks of the Coastal Plains League. Under his leadership the Sharks hosted the 2009 CPL All-Star Game and were named the 2009 CPL Organization of the Year.
He returned to Madison in December of 2009 as General Manager of the Mallards and was named the Northwoods League Executive of the Year in 2011. Caloia was involved in the founding of the Kenosha Kingfish (2013), acquisition of the Green Bay Bullfrogs (2013), the creation of Festival Food Shake the Lake (2015) and the re-birth of Breese Stevens Field (2016).
In addition to his responsibilities with Big Top Baseball, Caloia is on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.
He received his undergraduate degree from of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Journalism and a focus on Strategic Communication and his M.B.A. from the UW-Madison. He lives on the near west side of Madison with his wife Rachel, daughter Ella, and son Keegan. He is originally from St. Charles, Ill.
Liz Kern – Vice President
Liz Kern started working for the Madison Mallards in 2004 as a game day employee. She was invited back each season after that and continued to expand her roles until she took on a full time position in 2007. In 2007 she became the Customer Service and Box Office Manager. In 2010 Liz was promoted to General Manager of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, making her the first female GM in Northwoods League history. After four successful and fun seasons in Wis Rapids, Liz moved to Green Bay to be the GM for the fourth team to be added to the newly named Big Top Baseball. In 2016, after 11 years with the organization, Liz moved back to Madison and is now the Vice President of Big Top Baseball. In this new role, she works primarily with HR, payroll and special events. Liz has been part of some spectacular events in BTB history including: June 4, 2004 when the Mallards drew over 10,000 fans to the game that evening; June 6, 2010 – the inaugural game for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters; May 31, 2014 – the inaugural game for the Kenosha Kingfish; and August 6, 2015 – the highest attended game in Green Bay Bullfrogs franchise history featuring Mike McCarthy as a guest, as well as many more events along the way. Liz enjoys seeing fans enjoying the ballpark from the minute they get to the ballpark until they leave.
Dave Cumber- Host Family Coordinator