ECHL STAFF DIRECTORY
Ryan Crelin enters his sixth season as ECHL Commissioner during the 2023-24 Season. He is just the fourth person to fill the position in the League’s history.
Crelin was named Chief Operating Officer of the ECHL on May 1, 2017, and in that role, oversaw all day-to-day business operations of the League. Crelin enters his 14th season with the ECHL after initially beginning his tenure as intern during the 2005-06 season.
During his time with the League, Crelin has been responsible for the overall operations of the League focusing on financial initiatives, Leaguewide partnerships/contracts, and signature League showcase events such as the annual All-Star Game and Marketing Meetings. In addition, he also has worked closely with teams on Leaguewide risk management, ticket sales/corporate sponsorship revenue generation, arena-lease negotiations, and budgeting/operations within the scope of the ECHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, NHL/AHL Affiliation Agreements and overall business model. Crelin led the marketing initiative in the ECHL/GEICO relationship creating the first of its kind blue-painted and branded goal posts, and secured the partnership with EA Sports for the inclusion of the ECHL in the NHL video game series.
Crelin earned his M.B.A. with a concentration in finance & taxation at Rutgers University in May 2010 after being awarded his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in sport management & marketing from Seton Hall University in May 2006. At Seton Hall, he also served as president of the Sport Management Student Association, was a member of the National Business Honor Society and played ice hockey for the Pirates. Prior to joining the ECHL, Crelin worked for a Public Accountant near his hometown of Middletown, New Jersey and currently resides in Belford, New Jersey with his wife and family.
Patrick J. Kelly
Patrick J. Kelly was named Commissioner Emeritus of the ECHL following the 1995-96 season, after serving as Commissioner for the first eight seasons of the ECHL.
Kelly celebrates his 71st season in hockey in 2023-24 having begun his career with the St. Catherine Tee Pees of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in 1953. He played professionally for the Trois Rivieres Lions in the Quebec League, the Troy Bruins of the International Hockey League and the Greensboro Generals, Jersey Devils and Clinton Comets of the Eastern Hockey League. He helped Crowland capture the 1948-49 Bantam B Championship of Ontario, beating Peterborough in the finals.
He began his coaching career in the Eastern Hockey League, serving as player/head coach beginning with the Jersey Devils in 1964-65 and continuing with the Clinton (New York) Comets from 1965-73. Clinton was 151-39-28 and won three straight regular season and postseason titles from 1967-68 through 1969-70. In 1967-68, the Comets finished with a 57-5-10 record, making them the only professional team in history to lose only five games or less in a season, and in 1969-70, Kelly was named Minor League Coach of the Year by The Hockey News. Kelly served as head coach and general manager for Charlotte in the Southern Hockey League from 1973-76 guiding the Checkers to a 136-68-12 record, two regular season titles and two postseason titles while earning Coach of the Year honors in the SHL twice.
He coached the Colorado Rockies in the National Hockey League in 1977-78 and is the only coach in history to lead the Rockies into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Following coaching stops in the AHL, Kelly went to Peoria in the IHL where he led the Rivermen to the Turner Cup in his first season behind the bench in 1984-85. He recorded his 800th career win on January 4, 1987 and was inducted into the Peoria Sports Hall of Fame in February of 1990. Kelly was inducted into the Roanoke Hall of Fame and the Sports Hall of Fame in his hometown of Welland, Ontario in 1998, in March of 2002 he became the first inductee into the Greensboro Hockey Hall of Fame when the Generals retired his uniform number (5). He was also part of the first class of inductees into the Charlotte Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008 and in June 2010, he was inducted into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame.
Patrick and his wife, June, reside in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Joe Ernst enters his 33rd season with the ECHL and his sixth season as Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations after spending the previous eight seasons as Vice President of Hockey Operations. Ernst, who worked 16 seasons as an on-ice official in the ECHL, the American Hockey League and the International Hockey League, is responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations of the League’s Hockey Operations Department and Officiating Department. He is also in charge of player supplemental discipline, and working with the ECHL Equipment Managers, Trainers and Game Operations staffs on all League-related details.
Ernst was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame as the first inductee in the Referee/Linesman category in 2011.
He was a member of the National Hockey League officials training program for seven years and worked three NHL preseason games. He is the only ECHL referee with more than 1,000 regular season games, refereeing 1,061 regular-season games and over 200 postseason games, including three Riley Cups (1993-95) and six Kelly Cups (2002-07). He was selected to work as the referee for the ECHL All-Star Game in 1999 in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Dan Lynch is in his sixth season as the League's Vice President of Business Operations.
Lynch is responsible for the overall business operations of the League focusing on finance, budgeting/operations, human resources, revenue generation and member team operations.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Lynch joined the ECHL with eight years of experience in finance, sales and operations. He spent five years working for the Manchester Monarchs, the American Hockey League Affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. He held several positions within the organization and was most recently the Vice President of Business Operations for the Monarchs. During his time with the team he also worked to transition the Monarchs to the ECHL for the start of the 2015-16 season.
Lynch attended Ithaca College, where he received his bachelor's degree in business and was a member of the baseball team.
Dan Petrino is in his eighth season with the ECHL.
Petrino is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the ECHL Hockey Operations Department including the organization and release of team rosters, salary cap, player background and immigration matters while also overseeing all transactions and ongoing relations with the PHPA and other leagues and assisting in the creation of the yearly ECHL playing schedule.
Prior to joining the ECHL, Petrino spent three years with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, including the last year as the conference’s Assistant Commissioner for Championships. He was responsible for the supervision of in-season and postseason competition for several MAAC sports as well as overseeing officiating operations within his assigned sports.
He joined the MAAC staff in August 2013 after graduation from Rider University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and minors in the business of sports and communications. While at Rider, he worked in the school’s athletic department, primarily in event and facility operations. He also was part of Rider’s club baseball team, serving as vice president and president of the program.
Todd Corliss is in his 21st season as Director of Finance for the ECHL and is responsible for the accounting, budgeting and financial reporting for the league. In addition, he is responsible for the annual ECHL Financial Project as well as auditing for salary cap compliance.
He was Chief Financial Officer for the Long Beach Ice Dogs from 2002-06 and was responsible for the daily financial matters, including accounting, budgeting, general administration and workman’s compensation as well as managing the merchandise, web site design and player immigration. He was chief financial officer for the Texas Wildcatters from 2002-06 while serving in a similar capacity for the Johnstown Chiefs from 2003-05.
Corliss graduated from the University of Massachusetts where he received dual bachelor’s degrees in finance and sport management. He and his wife, Amy, have four children, Grace, Ian and Connor and Shannon.
Joe Babik is in his 14th season with the ECHL.
Babik is responsible for the day-to-day communications efforts of the ECHL, including writing of press releases; oversight of the official League website, ECHL.com; managing the League's social media channels; assisting in the layout and design of ECHL printed publications, including the Official Guide and Record Book as well as ongoing contact with ECHL member teams and regional and national media outlets.
Babik joined the League office in March 2010 with seven seasons of experience in minor league hockey, including six in the ECHL. He began his career as the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations with the Pee Dee Pride from 2001-05, while serving in the same capacity for the Fresno Falcons from 2006-08. He was part of the radio broadcast crew for the 2004 ECHL All-Star Game in Peoria, Illinois, and following the 2007-08 season, was named as the National Conference recipient of the ECHL Broadcaster of the Year Award. Babik also served a season as the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Adirondack Frostbite of the United Hockey League in 2005-06.
The Johnstown, Pennsylvania native received his Bachelor’s Degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University in 2001. While at Syracuse, Babik served as both a public relations and broadcast intern with the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch from 1998-2001.
In 2023, the ECHL's annual Media/PR Director of the Year Award was named in his honor.
He and his wife, Cristen, have two sons, Elijah and Landon.
Natalie Bernstein was promoted to Vice President of Marketing and Licensing in September 2023.
Bernstein had served as the League’s Director of Licensing and Events since the 2021-22 season after previously serving as Office & Marketing Manager for the previous three seasons. Bernstein joined the League Office in February 2015 as the Executive/Marketing Assistant.
She is responsible for managing the ECHL Licensing Program, consisting of more than 50 national and local licensees, executing leaguewide sponsorship programs and marketing initiatives, as well as leading efforts on League-hosted events including the annual ECHL Hockey Summer Meetings and All-Star Classic
Originally from Ashburn, Virginia, Bernstein earned her M.B.A. with a concentration in analytics and strategic management at Villanova University in June 2020 after graduating from James Madison University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in sport and recreation management and a minor in business. While at JMU, she worked in the school’s athletics’ department for two years, assisting the Athletic Events and Facilities departments with game days and special events. Bernstein completed an internship with the marketing department of the National Football League’s Washington Redskins, where she assisted with sponsorship activation and community outreach programs.
Riley Yerkovich enters his second season as the ECHL's Manager of Officiating.
Yerkovich is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the League’s Officiating Department including oversight of on-ice officials, administration of rules and directives, travel and administration of officials, communications with the National Hockey League and American Hockey League on ECHL officials, and the ECHL Rule Book.
Prior to joining the League staff, Yerkovich spent three-plus seasons as an ECHL referee, and was selected to work the 2022 ECHL All-Star Classic in Jacksonville and the 2022 Kelly Cup Finals. The Wyoming native also worked games in the AHL and for the IIHF. He was a member of USA Hockey’s Officiating Development Program since 2015, and refereed the 2018 and 2019 NAHL Top Prospects Tournaments and the 2019 NAHL Robertson Cup Final. Yerkovich attended the NHL Officiating Exposure Combine in 2019 and worked the 2019 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament and the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Tara Schwinn enters her third season with the ECHL in 2023-24, and her first as the Manager of Marketing and Team Business Services. She spent her first two seasons as the League's Office Manager/Marketing Assistant.
Schwinn assists the marketing department on licensing, sponsorship program coordination and planning for League-hosted events, while also being responsible for compiling and distributing internal League reports, administering the sales consulting and training program for Member Teams, and coordinating the ECHL Ticket Sales Management University curriculum, amongst various other tasks provided by the League’s Team Services Department.
She joined the ECHL after completing her Master’s Degree in Global Sports Business at Rutgers University. Schwinn has previous experience with Rutgers Athletics, the United States Amateur Baseball League, PGA of America - NJ Section and Monmouth Race Track. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management from Rutgers.
Amanda Arrowsmith joined the ECHL as Manager of Social & Digital Media in August 2023.
Arrowsmith is responsible for assisting with the implementation of the ECHL digital and social media platforms, creating and designing graphic and video content to fulfill digital strategies, as well as assisting with the League’s streaming service and managing the ECHL’s social pages.
She joined the ECHL after serving as the Assistant Director/Sports Facilities Manager for Brighton Area Schools /Brighton Area Recreation Connection Athletics in Brighton, Michigan. Arrowsmith earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management, with a minor in Marketing, from Central Michigan University in December 2022. While in college, she was the Social Media Manager for Central Michigan’s Men’s DII Club Hockey Team.