Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Fire Founding General Manager and longtime President Peter Wilt has joined Chicago NASL to lead efforts to return a professional soccer team to the city of Chicago with a North American Soccer League club.
Wilt has earned six championship rings and record business growth for professional soccer teams in four different American soccer leagues. He has launched five professional soccer teams and managed two others during his career. Most recently Wilt led Indy Eleven as they became the first professional soccer team in the United States to sell out every home game in its inaugural season. Indy Eleven became entrenched in the local sports landscape and led the NASL with more than 10,000 fans per game across its first two seasons.
Wilt is most well known as the founding General Manager and long time President of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, where his teams set attendance and corporate sponsorship records while earning an MLS Cup; a Supporters Shield; Eastern, Central and Western Conference crowns and four U.S. Open Cup Championships under his leadership. He has worked for more than 35 years in professional sports, a career that includes four years in professional hockey and the last 28 years in professional soccer.
Wilt is a member of the Illinois Soccer Hall of Fame, the Marian Central Athletic Hall of Fame, the Farnese Hall of Fame and the Chicago Fire’s Ring of Fire. In 1998, Wilt was named MLS’ Executive of the Year and Northwest Herald Sportsman of the Year. He was named the Naperville Person of the Year by the Daily Herald in 2002. Wilt and his wife Ann are graduates of Marquette University.
President of Administration
John Cummins is an experienced entrepreneur and attorney who develops intellectual property driven companies in sports, entertainment, social media, and IT. He is a Managing Director at Club 9 Sports, Inc. and founded the law firm of Cummins & Associates, Ltd. in Chicago. He concentrates his practice in business advising, financing, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property protection. He has represented clients varying from Fortune 500 companies, shareholders of public and private corporations, to emerging companies and entrepreneurs.
Cummins is a part-owner, Director, and former President of BOOM! Studios (and Archaia Entertainment, Ltd.), an award winning comic book and graphic novel publisher and media rights holder in Los Angeles which has success in partnering in film & television. Cummins is a former owner (with Mr. Wilt) and General Counsel for the Chicago Red Stars in its predecessor league, Women’s Professional Soccer. Cummins is also the past-Chairman of the Expansion & Ownership Committee for Women’s Professional Soccer.
Cummins shares the distinction of being the first four-year letter winner in Men’s NCAA Division I soccer at DePaul University. He is formerly the Chairman of the Athletics Advisory Council for DePaul Athletics. Cummins received his B.A. and J.D. from DePaul University and currently is Past President of the DePaul University Alumni Association, Past Chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the DePaul University College of Law and formerly Co-Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul University. In past years, Cummins was awarded the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award by the DePaul University College of Law and also the Rev. John T. Richardson, C.M. Award for outstanding contributions to DePaul University Athletics.
Media Relations Consultant
Jeff Crandall entered his 10th year working in soccer-related media in 2016.
A native of Northville, Michigan, Crandall first began working as a Media Relations Coordinator for the Premier Development League’s Michigan Bucks, watching the club make make a North American Finals appearance in 2007 and win the league’s Regular Season Championship in 2008 before joining the United Soccer League office as Public Relations Assistant the following year.
Crandall is best known for his five years with the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, where he worked to create an engaging supporter experience, overseeing digital content, social media, broadcasts and assisting in public relations as the club’s Senior Content Manager.
Having earned a BA in Communications from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, over the past year Crandall has utilized his expertise in soccer digital media to consult with the U.S. Soccer Federation, working with the U.S. Men’s National Team and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, MLS clubs New York Red Bulls, LA Galaxy and D.C. United, MLSsoccer.com and the NASL’s Indy Eleven.
Business and Project Development Manager
Erin Buchanan is responsible for marketing, communications, client relations, and business & project development efforts within the company. She is a business and transaction development specialist. Erin prepares development presentation materials for meetings with investors, sponsors, and other key stakeholders. Erin actively engages in the planning and coordination of all marketing events for the company.
After leaving a 10 year career in education as a teacher and administrator, she joined the private sector eager to use her strong language and interpersonal skills and problem solving expertise in a more fast-paced industry. Erin earned her Master’s degree from the University of South Florida and Bachelor’s degree from DePaul University both in English Education. She is also currently working on her project management certification.