Ownership of the Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A South) has been expanded, with Jason Freier, Managing Owner, increasing his share and a group of local business leaders and team employees joining ownership or expanding their own shares.
The new investors join current investors Casey Hammontree, who is increasing his investment; Joseph Wingfield; William Stribling; and a group affiliated with Lamp Post Group, including Ted Alling, Steve Cox, Allan Davis, Chad Eichelberger, Barry Large, Shelly Prevost, Ronald Ramsey, and Tiffanie Robinson. Freier retains the largest share of ownership after increasing his investment. In conjunction with the new owners joining the team, all interest belonging to former minority owner John Woods has been divested.
“We are thrilled to welcome this incredibly strong and impressive group of local investors to the team,” Freier said via press release. “As we looked toward the future, we knew it was important to further solidify strong local support, and we are confident this ownership group has the skills, expertise, and passion to ensure the Lookouts remain a treasured part of the greater Chattanooga community.”
“The Lookouts are a special part of the Chattanooga community,” John Foy, Chairman, CEO, and Owner of Noon LLC, and Chairman of Noon Management LLC, said via press release. “Strong, steady leadership is important as the team charts its future in our city, and I could not be more excited to come alongside the excellent leaders they have assembled to help ensure the Lookouts remain in Chattanooga for decades to come.”
“Marion and I are thrilled to join the ownership group,” Tom Griscom, Founding Partner and Chief Strategist of Q Strategies, said via press release. “We have been fans for many years and are excited about the opportunities ahead for the Lookouts as we reimagine and solidify the future for the team here in Chattanooga.”
“This is an exciting day for Chattanooga and for the Lookouts,” Wade Hinton, CEO and Founder of Hinton & Company, said via press release. “I am thrilled to join the ownership group and am eager to help this organization be even more sustainable and prosperous moving forward.”
“Candy and I welcomed the opportunity to show our support for the Lookouts in a real, tangible way,” Bryan Johnson said via press release. “This team is an important part of our community, and we look forward to many years of success ahead.”
“There’s no question that we all want to see professional baseball continue in Chattanooga,” Bill Kilbride, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, said via press release. “By assembling this group of local leaders, Jason is doubling down on his commitment to this community. Mary and I could not be more excited to join the ownership group. The future is bright for the Lookouts in Chattanooga.”
New additions to the ownership group include:
John Foy is the Chairman, CEO and owner of Noon LLC, and Chairman of Noon Management LLC, an investment company headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Upon his retirement from CBL where he served as CFO, John formed a group of companies under Noon LLC, specializing in various industries including business strategy and consulting, wealth management, capital investing, real estate development and health care.
Tom Griscom is Founding Partner and Chief Strategist of Chattanooga-based Q Strategies. Griscom previously served as Executive Editor and Publisher of the Chattanooga Times Free Press and has extensive experience in crisis management, government relations, and media relations. His experience includes service as Director of Communications for President Ronald Reagan and Press Secretary for Senator Howard Baker.
Wade Hinton is CEO and Founder of Hinton & Company, a Chattanooga-based firm focused on helping organizations creating a more inclusive workplace. Wade previously served as City Attorney for the City of Chattanooga, Deputy General Counsel at Volkswagen, and Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity at Unum.
Bryan Johnson serves as Chief of Staff at U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc. Johnson most recently held the role of Hamilton County Schools Superintendent. During his four-year tenure, he was named the top superintendent in the state of Tennessee and was one of four finalists for the top superintendent in the entire nation in 2021.
Bill Kilbride serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority. A long-time Chattanooga resident, Kilbride most recently was the President and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. He previously served as the President of the Home Division of Mohawk Industries after earlier holding positions with both Dean Witter Reynolds Financial Services and the New York Stock Exchange. Kilbride is active in the Chattanooga community and serves on the board of several non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Travis Lytle serves as Senior Vice President, Director of Community Development and Community Reinvestment Act Officer at SmartBank. He is a graduate of Leadership Chattanooga, the Young American Professional Leaders class at Harvard University and has almost 20 years of banking experience. Lytle is currently a board member for Co-Lab of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. He also served as Commissioner of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority and is a member of the UTC Chancellor Multicultural Advisory Council.
Todd Phillips serves as the President and Co-Founder of Noon Management and continues in his role as the founder of Wealth Preservation Advisors. He is a financial professional with more than 16 years of investment experience and works to grow companies under Noon Management in various industries including business strategy and consulting, wealth management, capital investing, real estate development and health care.
James Wingard is the President and CEO of Wingard Quality Supply, a second-generation minority-owned company. WQS is headquartered in Chattanooga, TN. WQS specializes in large volume tire and wheel assembly, warehousing, logistics management and procurement for the world’s largest automotive companies, including Volkswagen and Toyota. To date, WQS has assembled over 30 million tires.
Three senior Lookouts’ executives are also joining the team’s ownership group.
Rich Mozingo is the President of the Chattanooga Lookouts and has worked in professional baseball for more than 27 years. Rich is in his second stint in Chattanooga—first with the Lookouts from 1993-1999 and returning as President in 2011. Mozingo serves on the boards of numerous local groups, including Chattanooga Goodwill, the Cherokee Area Council of Chattanooga Boy Scouts, and the Chattanooga Rotary.
Andrew Zito is the Vice President of the Chattanooga Lookouts. Andrew began as an intern with the team in 2012. Andrew is a graduate of Leadership Chattanooga, the past-president of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce North Chattanooga Council, an Advisory Board member and past-Chair of the Emerging Leaders group of the United Way, and a member of the Friends of the Festival Board.
Jennifer Crum is a manager for the Chattanooga Lookouts, overseeing accounting and retail functions as well as working with ticket partners. Crum is a member of the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute, the board of the United Way Emerging Leaders and has served as Vice-President and Secretary for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Southside Council. She has also received multiple awards for her conservation work, including from the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts and the Hamilton County Soil Conservation district.
Photo courtesy Chattanooga Lookouts.