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Five New Members Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees

Five New Members Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees

08/14/2018
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Five new members were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees at its recent annual meeting. Joining the Hall’s board are: Brian J. Barker, founder & chairman of AFS Logistics, and a Limited Partner in the Atlanta Falcons; Brian S. Belden, vice president sales & marketing, The Belden Brick Company; James A. Porter, publisher of The Canton Repository and GateHouse Ohio Media; John A. Sirpilla, founder, Encourage LLC; Robert A. Zmudka, senior vice president and chief commercial officer Rail North America, GATX. Barker and Zmudka had served on the Hall of Fame’s Advisory Board.

“On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, we are pleased to welcome five individuals who bring enormous talent, great leadership and vision to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” stated Randy Hunt, the Hall’s chairman of the board. “We look forward to their contributions at a time when the Hall is positioned for significant growth built around its important mission and its focus on values learned from this great game.”

Several longstanding members of the Hall of Fame’s board will shift to emeritus status including former Board chairmen John L. Muhlbach, Jr. and Thomas W. Schervish, Sr. effective at the recent annual meeting. Also transitioning to emeritus status are William H. Belden, Jr. and Ronald W. Dougherty at the end of this year.

“John and Tom established the foundation of the Hall which has enabled us to continue to grow our programs and national outreach,” Hunt added. “Without their leadership, the Hall would not be the number one sports museum in the country.”

Barker founded AFS Logistics in Shreveport, La. in 1982 and today the company is an industry leading, multi-modal logistics solutions provider with offices across the country. Under Barker’s direction and vision, AFS Logistics has grown to more than 250 employees in 12 states and assembling a list of more than 2,500 clients. Over the years, AFS Logistics has acquired many competitors establishing footprints in the major metropolitan areas across the United States. In 2012, Barker became a Limited Partner in the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons franchise.

Currently residing in Park City, Utah with his wife Kathi, the couple support several local community efforts. They also enjoy traveling, camping, the mountains and all the activities that come with the area such as skiing and hiking. Most of all, the Barkers enjoy spending time with their two grandchildren.

Belden is a graduate of Canton Central Catholic High School and The University of Akron with a Bachelor's Degree in Business and Organizational Communications. He joined The Belden Brick Company in 1997 and in his current role, he is responsible for all sales territories and manages over 300 distributor accounts in addition to all marketing and advertising initiatives. As a fifth-generation member of the Belden family to work in the family business, he continues with the promotion and sales of Belden Brick products throughout the United States and Canada.

Belden is a member of several local boards. He and his wife Joanna D. Belden are the parents of four children. He enjoys spending time playing golf, attending his children’s sports activities and traveling.

Porter, who joined The Repository 31 years ago, was named Publisher of The Repository and GateHouse Ohio Media in September 2013 and now oversees management of The Repository, The (Massillon) Independent, The Alliance Review, Friday Night Ohio, The Suburbanite and Jackson Suburbanite and their related digital products. Under his leadership, The Repository has been recognized as the top newspaper in Ohio each of the past three years. During his career, Porter has been recognized as one of Presstime Magazine’s “20 Under 40” and won an International Newspaper Marketing Association (INMA) award for best overall marketing results. He serves on a number of other boards including the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, ArtsInStark, and United Way of Greater Stark County.

Porter resides in Jackson Township (Ohio) with his wife, Sarah, and four daughters.

Sirpilla leads Encourage LLC that has various holdings in industries including population health management, employee benefits, medical device and genetic testing, insurance and consulting, fashion and interior design, senior living communities, plastics manufacturing, residential and commercial development projects in Ohio and Chicago. He was the President of the family-owned Sirpilla R.V. Center, Inc. before it was acquired by Camping World in 2003. He became part of the executive team and served as President of Camping World Accessory Stores, a 140-store nationwide retail chain and was promoted in 2012 to Chief Business Development Officer for the parent company, Camping World and Good Sam. He retired from the company in 2017.

He has been married to his college sweetheart, Susan for over 27 years, and has three children.

Zmudka leads the sales and customer service organizations for GATX Corporation where he has served in a number of increasingly responsible commercial roles over the past three decades.

GATX Corporation strives to be recognized as the finest railcar leasing company in the world by its customers, its shareholders, its employees and the communities where it operates. As the leading global railcar lessor, GATX has been providing quality railcars and services to its customers for 120 years. GATX has been headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, since its founding in 1898.

Zmudka earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Illinois State University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Dominican University.

He lives in Winnetka, Illinois with his wife Irene and daughter.

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