The Chattanooga Lookouts on Wednesday announced the team has welcomed several additional local investors to its ownership group. They 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. Jason Freier, managing owner of the Chattanooga Lookouts, has also increased his investment and remains the team’s largest owner. In conjunction with the new owners joining the team, all interest belonging to former minority owner John Woods has been divested.
Mr. Freier also said there is a high priority on replacing the current AT&T Field on Hawk Hill.
He said, “We know the existing facility here has challenges for both fans and players. Major League Baseball has made clear that AT&T Field falls short of its standards and that to preserve affiliated baseball in Chattanooga long term, we’re going to need to radically improve the facility situation. That is going to be our biggest challenge moving forward.”
“We are thrilled to welcome this incredibly strong and impressive group of local investors to the team,” said Mr. Freier. “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,” said John Foy, chairman, CEO, and owner of Noon LLC, and chairman of Noon Management LLC. “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,” said Tom Griscom, founding partner and chief strategist of Q Strategies. “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,” said Wade Hinton, CEO and founder of Hinton & Company. “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,” said Bryan Johnson. “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,” said Bill Kilbride, chairman of the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority. “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. Upon his retirement from CBL where he served as CFO, he 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. Mr. 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. He 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. Mr. 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, Mr. 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. Mr. 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. Mr. 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. 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. He is in his second stint in Chattanooga—first with the Lookouts from 1993-1999 and returning as president in 2011. He 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. He began as an intern with the team in 2012. He 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. She 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.