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Headfirst Named Washington Business Journal 2017 Best Places to Work

Washington Business Journal 2017 Best Places to Work

Brendan Sullivan

Founder & President

Brendan Sullivan

College Stanford University ’96

High School St. Albans ’93
Washington Post First Team All-Met ’92-’93

Experience Five years San Diego Padres (AAA)
2004 National Double-Goal Coach of The Year

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Brendan was a four-year varsity player at St. Albans School (’93) where he was three-time All-Interstate Athletic Conference; two-time Washington Post First Team All-Met [’92-’93], and the 1993 Gatorade Circle of Champions Player of the Year for Washington, D.C. He attended Stanford University, graduating in 1996. While a member of the Cardinal, Brendan participated in three NCAA regional tournaments and the 1995 College World Series, leading the team in saves and appearances during his sophomore season.

Also in 1995 Brendan was selected Reliever of the Year in the Cape Cod Summer League. Drafted in the 26th round in 1996, Brendan signed with the San Diego Padres. He played minor league baseball for five years and was promoted to the Triple-A Las Vegas Stars his last two seasons.

Brendan is the Founder and President of Headfirst Camps, and he directs Headfirst’s Honor Roll Camps. In 2004, Brendan was named a National Double-Goal Coach of The Year award winner, presented by the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA). In 2007, the Headfirst Gamers baseball program was named Organization of the Year by the Washington, D.C. Home Plate Club.

Check out Brendan and Headfirst Sports featured on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace

Quick Facts

Joe Graziano

Chief Operations Officer & General Counsel

Joe Graziano

College Georgetown University, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Georgetown University, JD, Magna Cum Laude, Order of the Coif
National University of Ireland, Galway, LLM, First Honors

High School Chaminade, ‘02, Two-Time All-CHSAA

Experience Former Player, Georgetown University
Former Headfirst Honor Roll Camper & Coach
Associate, Jones Day

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Joey was the starting third baseman at Georgetown after spending his freshman year at Davidson and was a four time Big East Academic All-Star. After being a Rhodes Scholar Finalist and Mitchell Scholar, Joey graduated from Georgetown Law School in 2011.

Joey moved to the Dominican Republic upon graduation to operate the non-profit Beisbol y Libros, which uses baseball to incentivize literacy for children. Prior to joining The Headfirst Companies, Joey was an associate in the Washington, DC office of the international law firm, Jones Day and at The World Bank Group. His practice focused on complex civil and criminal litigation.

Joey serves as our General Counsel and COO. He is dedicated to developing high potential in the over 11,500 campers The Headfirst Companies host every year.

Quick Facts

Ted Sullivan


Ted Sullivan

College Duke University, Cum Laude, ’99
Harvard Business School, MBA

High School St. Albans ’95
Two-Time All-Interstate Athletic Conference

Experience Two years Cleveland Indians minor leagues (Single-A)
CEO, GameChanger Media

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Ted was a two-time All-Interstate Athletic Conference selection at St. Albans in Washington D.C as a pitcher and third baseman. He attended Duke University, where he was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Academic Team each of his four years there. In 1999, Ted earned Duke’s Fireman of the Year Award, given to the team’s best relief pitcher.

Ted graduated Cum Laude in 1999 and was drafted in the 37th round by the Cleveland Indians that June. He spent his first professional season with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the New York Penn League (short season single-A). After reaching High-A (Kingston), Ted was released by the Indians in October of 2000 and retired after two years of professional baseball.

In 2001, Ted transitioned to a part-time management role for Headfirst and moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he was a Managing Director for Fins Denim, LLC. After three years at Fins, Ted attended Harvard Business School, graduating in June of 2006. He then moved to New York City, taking a Business Development and Marketing role at Rave Wireless, Inc.

Today Ted is the CEO of GameChanger Media, Inc. The company’s product, GameChanger, offers a suite of mobile applications and online tools that collect and distribute real-time play-by-play content for youth, high school and college baseball and basketball teams.

Quick Facts

Drew Hedman

Manager, Honor Roll Camps

Drew Hedman

College Pomona College ’09
Division III National Player of the Year
Two-time All-American

Experience Four Years Boston Red Sox (AA)
Assistant Coach, Vanderbilt University (2014 National Champions)
Washington Nationals, Baseball Operations

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Drew played at Pomona College (Claremont, CA) where he was a two-time All-American, the 2009 National Player of the Year, three time All-SCIAC and is ranked third all-time in Division III homeruns (63). Upon graduating in 2009 with a degree in Politics, Philosophy & Economics with an Econ focus, he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox. Over the course of four seasons in the Red Sox organization, Drew played first base and outfield up to the AA level.

Upon finishing his playing career, Drew joined the coaching staff at Vanderbilt University for the 2013-2014 season as an assistant coach. While at Vanderbilt, the Commodores won the program’s first NCAA National Championship, with Drew coaching first basemen, outfielders and hitters.

After Vanderbilt’s 2014 National Championship season, Drew transitioned to the professional front office with the Washington Nationals. As a member of the baseball operations department, he worked on everything from scouting operations, the amateur draft, minor league roster management, and the daily operations of the major league team.

Drew started at Headfirst at the beginning of 2015 as the Manager of Honor Roll Camps.

Quick Facts

Max McKenna

Senior Associate, Customer Experience

Max McKenna

College Amherst College, ’11

Experience Former Player at Amherst College
2011 NESCAC All-Conference & All-Academic
History Instructor and Head Baseball Coach at The Masters School
Teaching Fellow and Assistant Baseball Coach at Phillips-Andover Academy

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Max was a four-year contributor at Amherst College as a pitcher, first as a closer and then a weekend conference starter during his junior and senior seasons. His senior year, Max led the NESCAC in shutouts, and earned NESCAC All-Conference and All-Academic honors, as well as Capital One Academic All-District.

After graduating in 2011, Max went into teaching as a Teaching Fellow in History & Social Sciences, assistant baseball coach, and dorm parent at Phillips-Andover Academy. Continuing his teaching career, he moved to The Masters School outside New York City, in 2012 to serve as a History Instructor, head baseball coach, and dorm parent.

Max re-joined the full-time Headfirst Honor Roll team in 2014 after teaching and coaching in independent schools for three years. Previously, Max served as the Honor Roll Camps intern in the summers of 2010 and 2011 while studying and playing at Amherst College.

Quick Facts

Additional Senior Staff

Matt Whiteside

Matt Whiteside St. Louis, MO

  • Owner, All-Star Performance & Director, St. Louis Gamers
  • 17-Year Professional Career, parts of 10 seasons in MLB (Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Toronto Blue Jays)

Honor Roll Camps Attended: 50

Most Influential Coach: My high school basketball coach, Lennis McFerrin. An amazing disciplinarian and defensive genius who reinforced the work ethics my parents had instilled in me.

Favorite Honor Roll Camp Memory: Successful field prep in Virginia after a thunderstorm!

Favorite 10 minutes of Honor Roll Camp: Sometime on Day 2 after the pitching rotations are set when I get to spend time in the bullpen teaching and working with individual pitchers.

Why you travel to join the Headfirst team at camp: Helping kids achieve their dreams is enriching; and getting to do it alongside great friends is even better.

Best piece of advice to ballplayer preparing for his first Honor Roll Camp: Make the most of every minute and opportunity because someone is watching even when you think no one is.

Roc Murray

Roc Murray Rocklin, CA

  • Head Baseball Coach & Mathematics Teacher, Rocklin High School
  • Associate Scout, Cleveland Indians

Honor Roll Camps Attended: 16

Most Influential Coach: My father, Bud Murray. He made the game simple, forced players to take responsibility for their actions, and taught us to never give up.

Favorite Honor Roll Camp Memory: In Virginia in 2007, we had to get the fields ready for play despite rain overnight. Somehow we were able to fix the fields, and then put in a marathon day. Great teamwork.

Favorite 10 minutes of Honor Roll Camp: During the Offensive Showcase, when I get to do some teaching.

Why you travel to join the Headfirst team at camp: I believe in what you Headfirst is about. Headfirst cares about people and changes lives.

Best piece of advice to ballplayer preparing for his first Honor Roll Camp: Have fun.

Jason Larocque

Jason Larocque Washington, DC

  • Middle School Director, St. John’s Prep School
  • Former Head Baseball Coach, 6th Grade Lead Teacher & Dean of Students, St. Albans School
  • Former Player & Captain, Harvard University; Former Coach, Amherst College & Georgetown University
  • Former Bullpen Catcher, Boston Red Sox

Honor Roll Camps Attended: 43

Most Influential Coach: Bill Blood, my stepfather, an avid reader. He showed me that we never can learn too much. We owe it to our players to have up-to-date knowledge and resources.

Favorite 10 minutes of Honor Roll Camp: Having a private conversation with a well-mannered or competitive pitcher as I umpire.

Why you travel to join the Headfirst team at camp: The people — all-star staff and families

Best piece of advice to ballplayer preparing for his first Honor Roll Camp: Don’t compare yourself to others; compare yourself to your best self.

Additional Senior Staff, Continued

Corey Mercer

Corey Mercer Keller, TX

  • Head Baseball Coach, Northlake College
  • Former Player, UNC-Asheville, Northlake College

Honor Roll Camps Attended: 34

Most Influential Coach: My father. He taught me that I was going to be a professional. Maybe not a professional baseball player, but I was going to be a professional at something, so I needed to learn to conduct myself like one on and off the field.

Favorite Honor Roll Camp Memory: Discussing infield play with Roc Murray in front of a group of infielders at the Northeast Honor Roll Camp. We were all learning and getting better.

Favorite 10 minutes of Honor Roll Camp: The five minutes before camp starts, and any 5 minutes after the first round of games. Seeing nervousness and uncertainty turn to relaxation and the realization of the opportunities in front of them is priceless!

Why you travel to join the Headfirst team at camp: Anytime I can be around great baseball guys that have forgotten more about baseball than I will ever learn, I will do it! I learn more than the kids… Watching those sponges soak up the knowledge, and helping them pursue their dreams of being a student-athlete is very fulfilling as well.

Best piece of advice to ballplayer preparing for his first Honor Roll Camp: Enjoy the moment and focus on ‘controlling the controllables.’ The rest will take care of itself.

Andy Bradley

Andy Bradley Washington, DC

  • Head Baseball Coach, Gonzaga College High School (DC)
  • Director, Bradley Baseball Academy
  • Former Player, West Virginia U., Montgomery College, Prince George’s CC

Honor Roll Camps Attended: 14

Most Influential Coach: My father. Growing up as the son of a college coach was pivotal to my decision to pursue coaching baseball professionally. Taking batting practice, fielding ground balls or a simple game of catch with my father will always be my happiest memories on the diamond.

Favorite Honor Roll Camp Memory: Hearing Sully’s talk for the first time!

Favorite 10 minutes of Honor Roll Camp: Right after the showcase on the first day, when the players begin to relax and get to know one another. It is great to see those bonds being formed over such a short period of time.

Why you travel to join the Headfirst team at camp: The environment that Sully, Bram and the Headfirst crew cultivate amongst the staff, ballplayers and families makes attending Honor Roll Camp a no-brainer for me. I would attend a camp every week of the year if offered the chance.

Best piece of advice to ballplayer preparing for his first Honor Roll Camp: Not a single camper in the history of Honor Roll Camp has ever had a flawless two days. If you make a mistake or something doesn’t go your way, don’t dwell on it. Move onto the next moment.

Mike Skrapits

Mike Skrapits Port Chester, NY

  • Director of Baseball & Softball Travel Teams, ProSwing Athletic Facility
  • Former Head Baseball Coach, Regis High School, New York City

Honor Roll Camps Attended: 14

Most Influential Coach: My dad. He showed me the importance of hard work and family. He worked his tail off six days a week and spent every second of his free time with me and my brother in the backyard or on the field. Never missed one of our games in 23 years.

Favorite 10 minutes of Honor Roll Camp: Game 3 pregame. Two games in the books, two more to go, and a bunch of relaxed, hungry ballplayers ready to get after it.

Why you travel to join the Headfirst team at camp: The strong sense of camaraderie within our team, and the opportunity to work alongside some of the best baseball minds in the country.

Best piece of advice to ballplayer preparing for his first Honor Roll Camp: Take a deep breath, give maximum effort and enjoy the experience!

Additional Senior Staff, Continued

Gabe Chodak

Gabe Chodak Rochester, NY

  • Assistant Director of Advancement for Athletics, University of Rochester
  • CEO, Konar Konsulting, LLC

Honor Roll Camps Attended: 20

Most Influential Coach: Joe Reina at the University of Rochester: Coach Reina saw something in me as a baseball player that I did not see in myself and was patient enough to teach me over the course of 4 years how to find that.

Favorite 10 minutes of Honor Roll Camp: The introduction of the college coaches on the morning of Day 1. Seeing representatives from the top academic schools across the country standing in front of the best student-athletes in the country is a pretty remarkable sight.

Why you travel to join the Headfirst team at camp: The Headfirst Team is comprised of the most knowledgeable and effective coaches across the country. I walk away from every camp knowing more about baseball and instruction. Also, the frozen candy bars we keep in the tower are worth a flight!

Best piece of advice to ballplayer preparing for his first Honor Roll Camp: Come into camp with an open mind. The most prestigious name on the front of a jersey may not be the best fit for you as a college baseball player. Get to know the coaches, their programs and most importantly their schools to decide what the best opportunity is for you.

Steve Devine

Steve Devine Fort Wayne, IN

  • Director at New Wave Holdings, Inc.
  • Indiana Institute of Technology Hall of Fame

Honor Roll Camps Attended: 25

Most Influential Coach: My college baseball coach and friend, Lance Hershberger. He is a very hard working and tough coach who pushed me and my teammates to expect more from ourselves, challenge one another and compete every day at practice and games, and endure to have the possibility of success.

Favorite 10 minutes of Honor Roll Camp: After the completion of a game and a coach and player get an opportunity to talk one on one with each another. It is great to watch their connection and see a players confidence and demeanor change.

Why you travel to join the Headfirst team at camp: I enjoy spending time with the players and families and assisting in their college aspirations and I love the opportunity to learn the game and be alongside great friends and coaches.

Best piece of advice to ballplayer preparing for his first Honor Roll Camp: Respect the game of baseball, trust in your abilities to compete against others, and cherish these days.

Sam Mulroy

Sam Mulroy Washington, DC

  • Director of Upper School Admissions, Maret School
  • Former Player in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim System

Honor Roll Camps Attended: 9 (including 1 as a player)

Most Influential Coach: My high school coach, Antoine Williams. He taught me so much about what it means to compete, having confidence in yourself, and paying attention to the little things.

Favorite 10 minutes of Honor Roll Camp: During offensive showcase, when I get to talk to the group that is resting about what it means to be a student-athlete in college, and answering questions they have about that lifestyle and the recruiting process.

Why you travel to join the Headfirst team at camp: It’s a great group of baseball guys, from the red shirts to the college coaches. There aren’t many other places where so many like-minded people gather. It’s fun to be part of that atmosphere.

Best piece of advice to ballplayer preparing for his first Honor Roll Camp: Stay within yourself. A lot of times in baseball if you try to do more you end up with less.

This was the first camp of many that my son attended to which we had direct contact with the coaches. For my son to have the ability to get immediate feedback on his performance and things to do to improve his skills far exceeded what I expected to happen at this camp. This is not the typical camp, it is exceptional! Father of 2012 Southeast Honor Roll Camper
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