Hermes was founded in 1981 and has built a reputation as Northeast Ohio's premier race management group. Throughout the Greater Cleveland and Columbus areas, Hermes has produced and managed programs on behalf of the Cleveland Indians, the Cleveland CAVS, the Cleveland Browns, FOX Sports Net, the "Race for the Cure" in Cleveland, Columbus, Baltimore, Madison, Milwaukee, Knoxville, West Palm Beach, Chicago, and North Carolina. Additionally, as event manager of the 1999 AAU Junior Olympic Games, Hermes oversaw more than 25 events at over 40 different venues throughout Northeast Ohio.
Hermes is named for the winged-footed messenger god of classical mythology.
We are a company that emphasizes teamwork- the link between event sponsors and participants. That's just part of the "Home Team Advantage": Hermes commitment to Northeast Ohio's athletes, organizations and business community.
Neal Neroni is president of Hermes and has been a partner with the organization since 1993. Neroni has worked on hundreds of events in the Northern Ohio area since his graduation from Bowling Green state University in 1988. He began his sports management career as an intern for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Later, he joined the Cleveland Indians as an account executive. From 1989 to 1993, he worked in sports and operations for the Ohio Sports Festival, which was the first statewide amateur sports "State Games" in Ohio, assuming the director's position in 1991. From 1993 until 1999, he was the director of Sports and Operations for the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, helping to bring several events to the city and guiding their management.
Nick Swingos is the finance manager at Hermes handling all accounting for the company. He is responsible for the company's technological advancements, computerized chip timing, and websites and also heads up the division responsible for managing the popular Susan G. Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the 16 Race for the Cures across the country managed by Hermes. Nick is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Joe Neroni is responsible for sponsorship sales and new business development for Hermes Sports & Events. Prior to Hermes, Joe started his career in 1981 and held a number of sales and management positions in the advertising division of The Plain Dealer. His responsibilities included developing strategic plans, product improvement / development, co-promotion, association partnerships, sales, and support staff. Joe is a graduate of The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.
Matt Peters serves as Hermes’ Sport and Social Manager. He is responsible for the planning and operations of all Sport and Social leagues, tournaments and social events. He also coordinates efforts on Hermes' “Social Series” road races which include the Pigskin Classic, Sombrero Shuffle, Ragin’ Cajun Run and the Santa Shuffle. Before joining Hermes in 2010, Matt served as intern for Hermes Sports & Events. He is a graduate of Cleveland State University with a B.A. in Communications.
Elyse Underwood serves as Hermes’ Race Manager. Prior to joining the Hermes team in 2011, she was an intern for the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and the Akron Aeros. Elyse is a 2010 graduate of the University of Mount Union with a degree in Sport Business, where she was a member of the tennis team.
Brian Palsa manages the Cleveland Corporate Challenge. Prior to stepping into this role, he acted as one of Hermes’ Race Managers where he was responsible for the planning and operations of 35 of Hermes' road races. Before joining Hermes in 2011, Brian worked as the Stadium Operations Assistant for the Hickory Crawdads, Single A affiliate for the Texas Rangers in Hickory, North Carolina. Brian received 3 varsity letters at Baldwin-Wallace College while playing on the varsity football team. Brian graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College in 2009 with a degree in Sports Management.
Easter, along with Lawhun, started Hermes Race Systems in 1981. At that time, the first race of the organization was the First Turkey Trot which was held in the Metroparks and had 600 runners. He was President of the Cleveland West Roadrunners from 1979-1981, and President of the Athletic Congress in 1984. Gary was Chairman of the Long Distance Running Division of the Athletic Congress from 1982-1984. He has completed 22 marathons, and is married with two children. Gary is currently a police officer in Lakewood, OH.
Lawhun, along with Easter, started Hermes Race Systems in 1981. Lawhun now serves as Hermes Logistics Manager and handles all race course management. He also travels around the country working with the Race for the Cure series to raise money for breast cancer research. Lawhun graduated from Ohio University where he ran track and cross country. Prior to Hermes, Lawhun coached cross country at St. Joes Academy and completed 10 marathons.
Wilson serves as Hermes' Database Specialist and Timing Technician as well as all Financial management for the Race for the Cure series. A graduate of of Bowling Green State University where he played 4 years of club hockey and earned a degree in Sports Management, Wilson joined the Hermes Team in 2009. Prior to joining Hermes, Wilson served as student intern.
Corey graduated from the University of Charleston (WV) in 2009 with degrees in Athletic and Business Administration. While there he was the captain of the men's Golden Eagle cross country and track teams. In 2011 he received his M.S. in Sport Administration from the University of Louisville. Prior to joining Hermes, he worked in sales with Gameops.com and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Kayla Kelly serves as one of our Race Managers. She graduated from the University of Mount Union in December of 2012 with a degree in Sport Business. Kayla served as an intern for Hermes until joining the management team in 2013.