Ralph H. Hansen / President and CEO
Ralph Hansen's experience in racing dates all the way back to 1967 when he first became friends with Anton "Tony" Hulman, the owner of The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Upon graduating from Indiana State University in 1970, Ralph went to work during the racing season at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as an assistant to Tony Hulman. From 1970 to 1978, Ralph got to know many of the race team owners and drivers. He became aware of the fact that they needed help in acquiring and managing corporate sponsors, as there were little or no professional sports marketing operations at the time.
In 1985 Ralph was introduced to the highly respected IndyCar team owner, Carl Haas, by his good friend Jack Safro. During the first year of Ralph's involvement with Carl Haas and Paul Newman, he conceived of what is now the most successful sponsorship acquisition concept today. Still referred to by many as the "Kmart concept", it was the idea of a major retailer working with it's vendors to support a major sponsorship program, and it had never been tried before its introduction by Ralph and Pegasus Marketing Group.
Many years later and hundreds of millions of dollars in sponsorship raised, the concept is still valid and in use today around the world. Ralph has innovated other major creative programs for prominent companies like Eli Lilly and Company, McDonald's Corporation, as well as many others. Believing in and following "The Golden Rule" has been the standard that Ralph and his firm continue to live and do business by today.
William McEssy / Partner
William McEssy began his distinguished business career as an attorney in 1964. He actively practiced law until 1980 and still serves on the Marquette Law School Board of Directors. In 1980, he began his career as an owner/operator of McDonald's restaurants. He currently operates 42 of McDonald's top producing restaurants in Illinois and Wisconsin. He assisted Ralph Hansen in creating the business relationship with Newman's Own salad dressing and McDonald's Corporation. This alliance has produced tens of millions of dollars for charity. Mr. McEssy is Chairman and CEO of McEssy Investment, Inc, the owner of Eagle Oil and Gas Enterprises LLC, and is also a major stockholder in the Andretti Winery in Napa Valley, California. Mr. McEssy, and McEssy Investment Inc, are the recipient of 232 various awards from McDonald's Corporation.
As an active philanthropist, both he and his wife Lois, through their private foundation, have benefited many religious based organizations. They endowed the McEssy Theological Center / Library at St. Mary of the Lake - Mundelein Seminary. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of St. Mary of the Lake - Mundelein Seminary, the largest Catholic seminary in the United States.
Michael R. Swearingen
Mike’s broad background in healthcare includes extensive management experience with increasing responsibilities at Eli Lilly & Co., and Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care. He is currently Managing Director of Blackbriar-LLC International Consulting.
Mike’s leadership and analytic ability have been demonstrated in strategic thinking across International healthcare advocacy, policy, and KOL identi cation-categorization. He has worked with key thought leaders, professional medical associations, grass roots organizations, elected o cials, and government agencies, to create major enduring initiatives such as “Diabetes Awareness Days,” numerous national and international medical education conferences, advisory boards, state and federal advocacy training workshops, and national sales and management meetings. His global experience includes North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
William Hansen / Director of Sponsorship & Corporate Relations
William Hansen is often the face of Pegasus Marketing at the track. Dating back to 1997, he has a wide range of experience working with many different company's products, services, challenges and needs. William is passionate about creating and maintaining sponsorship programs that aid in taking care of personnel, encouraging corporate growth and advancing the company's culture. This strategy is executed through a close, personal relationship with a company's executives and employees.