Mark Frankenfeld is in his eighth full year as Commissioner and President of the North American Hockey League and his 17th overall. As commissioner, his responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day operations and all business aspects of the league, including but not limited to expansion, marketing initiatives, rules & regulations and player development.
During Frankenfeld's eight-year tenure, the NAHL has stabilized into one of only two non-tuition-based premier developmental junior leagues in the country. During that span the league has not only grown, but expanded into markets that were once considered off limits for junior hockey. One of the biggest trends that has occurred under Frankenfeld's watch is NAHL teams emerging in former minor league hockey markets and becoming successful and stable.
Frankenfeld has laid the foundation for continued success, expanding the footprint of the league to 24 teams representing 11 states, allowing the league to continue to grow and truly become America's only 'National League' when it comes to junior hockey.
Frankenfeld, a member of USA Hockey's Junior Council, is also the driving force behind the NAHL Showcase, which celebrates its 12th anniversary this season, the creation of the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament and the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL), which is made up of 32 Midget Major and Minor teams that compete at the Tier I youth level.
Four years ago, Frankenfeld played a vital role of the acquisition of the Central States Hockey League, which was redeveloped in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL). Frankenfeld has now grown the NA3HL to 31 teams that now compete at the Tier III Junior level, which includes a new division in the Northwest and an expanded division in the South.
All take advantage of the unique vertical exposure model set forth by Frankenfeld, in which players are showcased in a series of unique league-wide events designed to bring everyone together under one roof several times a season for enhanced exposure of players at all levels to junior and college scouts.
Prior to assuming his role as commissioner, the Wright State University graduate served as the league's director of hockey operations.
Behind the bench in the NAHL, Frankenfeld was the head coach of the Dayton Gems during the 2003-04 season and spent four seasons as assistant coach and assistant general manager for the Texas Tornado from 1999-03. He was also an assistant coach with the Cleveland Jr. Barons for one season. Prior to working in the NAHL, Frankenfeld gained valuable experience in the collegiate ranks, spending four years as an assistant coach with Miami University (NCHC) and one as an assistant with Buffalo State University (SUNYAC). Frankenfeld has also coached at the high school and Midget AAA levels, as well as at USA Hockey Select Festivals, giving him more than 20 years of coaching experience.
Frankenfeld resides in Frisco, Texas with his wife, Kira. Frankenfeld has a son, Brody, and two daughters, Charlee and Bella.
Denny Scanlon is in his sixth season as Vice-President of Hockey Operations for the North American Hockey League.
Scanlon oversees NAHL compliance to all league and USA Hockey rules and regulations, all foreign and domestic transactions, player registration and league discipline.
Additionally, Scanlon serves as the Vice-President of Hockey Operations for both the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) and as Vice-President of Hockey Operations for NA3HL (NA3HL).
Scanlon has vast experience at all levels of hockey, including the National Hockey League (NHL), where he served as an amateur scout for the New York Islanders from 2008-11. Prior to joining the Islanders, Scanlon spent five years as a member of the Minnesota Wild's hockey operations department from 2000-2005.
From 2006 thru 2009 Scanlon worked for the Minneapolis law firm of Holmes and Associates, where he practiced in the areas of Real Estate and Municipal Law.
Scanlon graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 2000 and earned his Law Degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2006. Scanlon currently resides in Plano, Texas.
Alex Kyrias is in his fifth season as Director of Communications and Sales for the North American Hockey League. Kyrias oversees all marketing, public and media relations for the NAHL, NA3HL and NAPHL, as well as, all league-wide broadcasting, corporate partnership, equipment supplier and sales initiatives. Kyrias can be heard on various league-wide broadcasting initiatives including NAHL weekly highlight show, the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, NAHL TV and the annual NAHL Draft.
Prior to the NAHL, Kyrias spent three years working in professional hockey. In 2007-08, Kyrias worked for the Augusta Lynx of the ECHL as the Director of Public and Media relations and play-by-play voice before joining the Iowa Stars and Iowa Chops the next season as the American Hockey League (AHL) team's Vice-President of communications and play-by-play broadcaster. In 2009-10, Kyrias served as the Vice-President of sales and marketing of the then International Hockey League's (IHL) Quad City Mallards.
No stranger to the NAHL, Kyrias served as the Director of Communications and radio play-by-play voice for the Texas Tornado from 2002-07, where he called the 2005 NAHL All-Star Game and three consecutive NAHL Robertson Cup National Championship Games.
Kyrias holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology-Sports Communications from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where is also was a goaltender on the hockey team.
He and his wife, Dory, reside in Flower Mound, Texas, along with their daughter Dorothy.
Fraser Ritchie is in his seventh year with the North American Hockey League with his role as Director of Hockey Administration.
Ritchie oversees league logistics, scheduling, operations and daily support for member organizations and league operations. He also oversees the tracking and accuracy of all statistics and standings for the NAHL, NAPHL and NA3HL as the Pointstreak administrator.
Ritchie has served on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Junior Hockey Association and the Allen High School Hockey Club, Advisor to the AT&T Metroplex High School Hockey League and served as President of the North Texas Hockey League for three years. In 2006-07, Ritchie was named the Volunteer of the Year for Youth Hockey by the Dallas Stars.
Away from the rink, the former minor league hockey player spent 38 years with Nortel Networks, specializing in engineering sales support, project management of large multi-million dollar programs and customer service.
He and his wife, Michelle, reside in Allen, Texas.
Craig Barnett enters his third season as Director of Player Personnel. A former professional hockey player with 20 years of coaching and administration experience at the NCAA I, II, and III level, Barnett oversees league-wide scouting efforts in the NAHL, NA3HL and NAPHL, including directing the Event Scouting System. Barnett's experience and relationships in the college hockey world provides a unique perspective to coaches and players in the NAHL family of leagues looking to gain opportunities at the next level.
A native of Oakville, Ontario, Barnett played college hockey at Plattsburgh (NY) State University in which he was a member of the 1987 NCAA Championship team. He was also named to their all-decade team (1985-1994) and was the university's Student-Athlete of the year in 1989.
Barnett then played professionally in the New York Ranger organization for two years before entering the coaching ranks. Barnett started the hockey program at the University of Findlay (OH) in 1995 and took that program from club status to the NCAA I level as a charter member of the CHA (College Hockey America).
In 2002, Barnett became the Hockey Director and Assistant Athletic Director at Lake Forest Academy, a prestigious boarding school on the north shore of Chicago. Barnett then became the Director of Athletics at Becker College in Worcester, MA where he was instrumental in starting their NCAA III hockey, football and lacrosse programs. Two years later, Barnett landed the Director of Athletics position at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA where he was responsible for 24 NCAA II varsity sports as well as their 2 NCAA I hockey programs.
In addition, Barnett is also the Commissioner of the American Lacrosse Conference, a league who has won seven of the past nine NCAA I Championships, as well as a Family Advisor with Cardinal Sports Management. Craig resides in Erie, Pennsylvania with his wife Andrea and three children, Olivia, Braeden and Jace.
Shannon Smith is in her first year with the North American Hockey League and joins the staff as the Coordinator of Finance and Administration. Smith will also serve as the Event Coordinator and will handle league merchandising.
Prior to joining the NAHL in 2014, Smith spent four years with the NAHL’s Texas Tornado serving as the team’s Director of Business Operations from 2009-13.
Smith is originally from Vinita, Oklahoma. Prior to working for the Tornado, she spent twelve years with Skyview Satellite Networks where she served at the Director of Contract Services, managing commercial inventory in twenty-five programming products, including MLB, MRN, NBA, NFL and NHL radio broadcasts as well as two State News Radio Networks.
Smith graduated Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies. She has four children, Zachary, Madison, Hunter and Garrett and resides in Flower Mound, Texas.
Blake MacNicol is in his first year with the North American Hockey League as Coordinator of Hockey Operations.
MacNicol has spent the past three years working in sales, as well as, coaching youth hockey in the Dallas area.
MacNicol is no stranger to the landscape of the NAHL. He played for the Cleveland Barons of the NAHL during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.
This past season, MacNicol was the goalie coach for the 18U and 16U Texas Tornado teams of the NAPHL. He also served as an assistant coach for the Tornado 16U team as well.
MacNicol played college hockey for the University of Alabama-Huntsville where he was named to the 2007 CHA All-Tournament Team and received an honorable mention NCAA Player of the Month award that season.
He graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management and a minor in Business Administration.
He resides in Dallas, Texas.
Chris Sywassink is in his first season as Coordinator of Marketing and Events for the North American Hockey League. Sywassink oversees the development of league marketing materials for the NAHL, NA3HL, and NAPHL, as well as, graphic and web design collateral, video production, editing and development, management of social media outlets and NA3HL/NAPHL equipment sales.
Prior to the NAHL, Sywassink spent his time as a graphic designer for Living Magazine in 2013 and a photographer for Vail Resorts in 2012-13. Prior to those, he was a Brand Ambassador for Core Power during his senior year of college.
Sywassink graduated from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2012 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications and in 2014 he received a Graduate Certificate in Marketing from Southern Methodist University.
When he’s not in the office he enjoys playing hockey, staying active, being outside and spending time with his dog cooper.
He currently resides in Dallas, Texas.
Chris Allman is in his third season as Director of Officiating for the NAHL and NA3HL. Allman's main responsibilities will include supervising, evaluating and coordinating all the officials within the NAHL and NA3HL.
Allman is no stranger to officiating or the supervisory role at the league level. In the four years previous to working in the NAHL, Allman was the Director of Officiating for the Atlantic Metropolitan Hockey League (AMHL), a Tier III junior league. His responsibilities included educating and developing on ice officials through evaluations and observation.
Allman has a wide array of experience on the ice as an official where for 10 years he has worked professionally in the AHL, ECHL, CHL and SPHL as a referee or linesman. He also has on-ice experience at both the NAHL and USHL levels.
Allman graduated from Eastern Michigan University and currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Marc Faucette is in his first season in heading up the NAHL Department of Player Safety. Faucette was an on-ice official in the National Hockey League (NHL) for 17 seasons and officiated close to 1,000 NHL regular season and Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Faucette is currently a Supervisor of Officials for the USA Hockey Officiating Development Program and will work alongside NAHL Coordinator of Officials, Chris Allman during the 2014-15 season.
Faucette was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and played both high school and Division II college hockey in the area. He began officiating at the age of 20, drawing on the influence of his father who worked as a linesman in the American Hockey League, including assignments to the Calder Cup Finals.
In 1985, he was hired full-time by the NHL as a referee and before his career ended, he had officiated 912 regular season games as well as numerous playoff assignments, including the NHL Conference Finals. Faucette also skated as a referee at the 1984 Olympic Games in Sarajevo and the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. He was assigned to officiate the 1996 NHL All-Star Game in Boston and the International Ice Hockey Federation's first World Cup of Hockey that same year.
Faucette currently resides in Florida and also serves in a similar role with the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL).