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Reports: Blazers Lay Off Three Longtime Front Office Executives

The Portland Trail Blazers have reportedly laid off three longtime executives.

Blazers Courtside

Jason Quick of The Oregonian reports on Twitter that the Portland Trail Blazers, under new president Chris McGowan, have laid off three front office executives.

Three Blazers executives let go today: CFO Gregg Olson; Sr. VP of ticketing & marketing Michele Daterman; and Sr. VP of HR Traci Reandeau

Update: Quick reports McGowan's quote.

"I am committed to designing an effective, efficient organization. After analysis and observation, I decided that I needed to make changes to develop my executive team and streamline management layers that are excessive when compared to other sports franchises,'' McGowan said. "Terminating employees is a difficult decision, but necessary to better position the Trail Blazers for future growth and success.''

Chris Haynes of reports the same.

The Portland Trail Blazers have laid off Gregg Olson (Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer), Traci Reandeau (Senior Vice President, human resources), and Michelle Daterman (Senior Vice President, tickets and marketing) has learned.

Olson was entering his 10th season with team. Reandeau has been with the Trail Blazers organization since 1994 guiding the human resources function. Daterman was entering her 18th season with the Trail Blazers.

The Blazers listed 15 people with "Vice President" in their title in this year's media guide. Four of the 15 are now gone.

I noted last week that this is a scary time for Blazers employees following the resignations of former president Larry Miller and former COO Sarah Mensah.

This management overhaul represents a time of uncertainty for Blazers employees. In addition to Miller and Mensah, the Blazers recently announced the resignation of top lawyer, Mike Fennell, in October and Senior VP J.E. Isaac resigned in June 2011. The new leadership team, Olshey and McGowan, has no previous ties to the city or organization, the roster is in a rebuilding cycle, tickets are being made available at steep discounts through endless promotions and on secondary websites, and McGowan has made no secret of his close relationship with Vulcan and his desire to improve the franchise's bottom line. Add it up, and it's an unsettling combination.

Update: John Canzano of The Oregonian weighs in on the layoffs with a lengthy column.

The Blazers strive to win basketball games, sell tickets and sponsorships and make money. But what the Blazers have been a perfect example of is how to stay out of rhythm as a business and basketball team. After observing the franchise over time, what you realize is that the front-office employees won't be around long, neither will the players, and in the end all that's left is loyal fans and the media charged with writing the post-mortem on the careers of executives.


Maybe Allen realizes he needs to stick with this group. Maybe he doesn't. But ultimately, if we're still talking about a revolving front office in 2022, what we're really talking about is more of the same for a franchise that desperately deserves so much better.

Here are the 2012-13 media guide biographies for all three.

Gregg Olson

Executive Vice President Gregg Olson continues in his role as Chief Financial Officer for a 10th NBA season. Named CFO of the Year in the large private business category by Portland Business Journal in 2009, Olson directs day-to-day activities for the Trail Blazers' finance department, and has instituted solid financial budgeting and reporting systems allowing for more effective business management.

He oversees all human resource functions and activities, and manages negotiations of all employee benefits programs. Additionally, he directs all areas of risk management. Olson also serves as the contract administrator for operation of the Rose Quarter, collaborating with AEG Facilities on operations of both the Rose Garden and Veterans Memorial Coliseum, as well as participating in matters related to the refurbishment of the Coliseum. He is also a primary contact for Rose Quarter development matters.

During 2009, Olson taught a course in sports finance in the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon. Before joining the Trail Blazers organization, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the National Hockey League's San Jose Sharks. He also served as alternate governor for the Cleveland Barons, then the Sharks' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League, and as a member of the NHL's insurance committee. Olson began his sports management career in 1985 as director of finance for the Cleveland Indians. Promoted to vice president of finance in 1987, he was with the Cleveland organization for ten years and was part of the team that helped plan and develop Jacobs Field (now Progressive Field). Olson currently serves on the boards of Junior Achievement and Playworks, and is treasurer of the newly formed make it better foundation. In 1988, he was honored as an "Outstanding Young Man of America." Raised in Akron, Ohio, Olson graduated magna cum laude from Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio in 1982 with a degree in business administration and accounting. Gregg and his wife, Karen, are the proud parents of Nicholas and Alyssa, and reside in Portland.

Michele Daterman

Entering her 18th season with the Trail Blazers, Michele Daterman oversees all of ticket sales, ticket service, ticket operations, marketing and retail for the Trail Blazers. Daterman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Communications from the University of Portland and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Oregon. She sits on the Board of Directors for SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) and is also a volunteer reader with SMART and a volunteer mentor with her high school alma mater, St. Mary's Academy. As a travel enthusiast, her favorite experiences include trips to Italy, Spain and France. Daterman resides in Portland with her husband David, who was part of the management team during design and construction of the Rose Garden Arena.

Traci Reandeau

Senior Vice President Traci Reandeau has guided the human resources function at the Trail Blazers since 1994. Reandeau graduated from the University of Portland and moved cross-country to Berlin, N.H., to begin her career for James Rivers Corporation. Her career with James River took her south to Louisiana and then to Alabama. The chance of employment with the Trail Blazers provided an opportunity for her to return to her native Oregon roots and work for the team she followed and supported in her youth. Reandeau is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources and is a member of the national and local Society of Human Resources Managers. An active advocate for youth and education, she has volunteered as a reader for SMART for more than 10 years and serves on the board for Albina Head Start and as the Board President for Open Meadow Alternative Schools. Reandeau was a member of the inaugural class of Leadership Portland in 2003. In August 2007, Morton's Steakhouse awarded her the Woman of Spirit award for her work in the community, and she was a finalist in 2011 for the Portland Business Journal's HR Leadership Awards. She was featured again by the Portland Business Journal in 2012 as a Top Human Resources Executive. Reandeau enjoys traveling, cooking, wine tasting, and Oregon's many outdoor activities.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter