Sky Blue FC won the WPS Championship in 2009.
Gioia DiFlumeri Promoted to Position of General Manager
Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) announced on Wednesday a reorganization of its front office, with Director of Operations Gioia DiFlumeri being promoted to the position of General Manager. Chief Financial Officer Mary Smoot will also assume an expanded role with the team, while head coach and Technical Director Jim Gabarra will handle all soccer operations and player personnel decisions.
“I am ecstatic that Gioia will take over the position of General Manager because she is a very accomplished person in this sport,” Sky Blue FC President Thomas Hofstetter commented. “She has done a great job with operations here, and I have all the confidence in the world that she is the right person to take this organization to the next level.”
Before joining Sky Blue FC as its Director of Operations, DiFlumeri built an extensive resume in the sports industry, particularly within the game of soccer. After graduating from Caldwell College in northern New Jersey, she immediately began her professional career with the Women’s Sports Foundation in Long Island. She then served as the Venue Manager at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, for the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which the U.S. Women’s National Team won in dramatic fashion. After working with Event Transportation Associates in California, she then became the Team Operations Manager for the New York Power of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), managing the team’s financial and operations department. WUSA shut down in 2003, and DiFlumeri then became the Finance and Operations Manager for the non-profit Newark Renaissance House in New Jersey. After some time had passed, the lure of soccer pulled her back, and she became the Director of Operations for the New Jersey Ironmen of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) in 2007. She remained with the Ironmen for both seasons that it competed before coming on board with Sky Blue FC.
“I am excited to receive this promotion, and I look forward to a great upcoming season in 2011,” DiFlumeri stated. “I would also like to thank Thomas Hofstetter and my predecessor, Gerry Marrone, for entrusting me with the responsibilities that come with being General Manager. There is a strong tradition that has been built here with our organization, and I will do everything in my power to make sure the game of women’s soccer will prosper in New Jersey for many years to come.”
The promotion of DiFlumeri comes after Marrone, who served as General Manager of Sky Blue FC during its first two seasons, formally announced that he would be stepping down to join Pierce Promotions, an Omnicron Group Company. He will assume the role of Executive Vice President for Pierce Promotions, beginning on January 3rd, 2011.
“Pierce is one of the top experiential marketing agencies in the world,” Marrone remarked. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I felt I had to take. It is very hard to leave the players, the staff and especially this ownership group. I have the utmost respect for the Sky Blue FC owners Thomas Hofstetter, Steve Temares and Phil Murphy. They have demonstrated long-term commitment to the league and the players. I will never forget the past two years and have already purchased my 2011 season tickets.”
Marrone has played a pivotal role in the successes that Sky Blue FC has experienced over its first two years of operation, both on and off the field. The team reached the pinnacle of success in 2009, when it captured the first-ever WPS Championship by defeating the Los Angeles Sol, 1-0, in the league final.
“Gerry joined us at a time when we really needed direction, and he instantly provided great leadership to our company,” Hofstetter reflected. “He was instrumental in our championship year, and he has firmly established a strong foundation over his two years with us. He will certainly be missed, but we wish him all the best. He was presented with a great opportunity, and we support him. I am fully certain that he will very successful in his new position.”
One final announcement that Sky Blue FC announced today was the renewal of a contract with Resolution Sports through the 2011 season, which is the firm that handles the communication and media relations work for the organization. Resolution Sports took over the communication responsibilities for the team in September of 2009.
Season tickets for Sky Blue FC are available now and start as low as $99. All fans who wish to secure their place for the 2011 campaign can do so now by calling 888-SBFC-TIX, and anyone who purchases season tickets before December 21st will be entered into a raffle to win a shopping trip with Sky Blue FC midfielder Heather O’Reilly. The team also offers flex ticket packages that start with as little as four games, and those can also be purchased today by calling 888-SBFC-TIX or by logging onto www.SkyBlueFC.com.