Keynote Speakers

Dave X at burn pile square

Dave X, Fire Arts Safety Team Manager
(Burning Man)

Dave X manages all things burning at Burning Man in Black Rock City. He holds several certifications for fuel management, is a licensed Pyrotechnic Operator, and has worked on fireworks displays for major event clients, including the Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, and the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary Celebration.

In 1992, Dave was lured to the Black Rock Desert where he knew he had seen the future — which was made of wood, and stood tall and proud on the desert floor before igniting in a blaze of fire. In 1999, after several years of creating large-scale fire installations, he realized that the use of fire and fuel had grown to a tipping point. He saw the time had come to either self-regulate its use or face outside regulation, and thus he became the most combustible manager on the playa. His current licensing includes: LP Gas certificates from the Nevada LP Gas Association, Federal Explosive Possessor Handler, and California licensed Pyrotechnic Operator.

Dana square

Dana Wagner, Director of Live Events and Operational Efficiency
(Kalamazoo Growlers & Donut & Beer Festival)

Dana is in her second season with the Northwoods League as Director of Live Events and Operational Efficiency for the Kalamazoo Growlers and Battle Creek Bombers. Dana came to the area for school, going to Kalamazoo College to pursue medicine and came out with a BA in business and studio art. She got into event coordinating with her first job at Gazelle Sports organizing running events and training programs, followed by planning beer, wine and food festivals with national and local entertainment while at Townsquare Media Southwest Michigan. With more than 8 years of event experience, Dana has a passion for fine tuned logistics, creative brainstorming, and bringing together vendors, sponsors, attendees and staff in a fun community environment.

Brian Headshot sq

Brian Colopy, Managing Partner
(Kalamazoo Growlers, Battle Creek Bombers & Donut & Beer Festival)

Over the years, Brian has been a part of the Northwoods League Championship (2011), the 2nd largest single season attendance increase in league history, the largest win increase in a single season (27 games) and Organization of the Year (2016). Brian is known for his unique ideas such as Ballpark Digest's 2014 Promotion of the Year, "Salute to Selfie" Night, the Emoji Jersey, and the "Twinkie Dog" that made a television appearance on Good Morning America. During his playing days, Brian played collegiately for Ohio University before pursing his professional career with the Chilicothe Paints of the Frontier League. After his baseball career, Brian received a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters in Sports Administration from Ohio University. During that time, Brian served as the Assistant General Manager or the Southern Ohio Copperheads Baseball. Brian also spent two seasons working for the Ripken Baseball group in the front office of the Augusta GreenJackets and Aberdeen Ironbirds.