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Francie Gottsegen Named President of North Carolina Football Club

January 14, 2022 - United Soccer League One (USL1) - North Carolina FC News Release


CARY, NC - The North Carolina Football Club announced today it has expanded its club leadership, naming Francie Gottsegen as Club President and Curt Johnson as Chief Soccer Officer. Joanna Holder has also been hired as the club's Chief People Officer.

"I'm thrilled to join the North Carolina Football Club and lead the growth of this best-in-class organization," Gottsegen said. "It is an honor to guide the club's front office in elevating the experience for our players, fans and partners. I'm also looking forward to further strengthening the club ties to our community and to our successes ahead."

A Durham resident and alumna of Duke University, Gottsegen brings a wealth of business development and sports marketing experience to the club, as well as a valuable perspective on sponsorships and relationship building. Most recently, Gottsegen served as the Chief Executive Officer of Sports Systems, a TicketManager Company, delivering guest management and accreditation solutions to numerous Fortune 500 companies. Prior to working at Sports Systems, Gottsegen served as the Senior Vice President of Sports and Entertainment Marketing at JP Morgan Chase, which followed a similar role at Wells Fargo. Gottsegen has also worked at notable professional sports organizations including the PGA of America, the National Basketball Association, and Major League Soccer.

In her role as Club President, Gottsegen will lead business operations and revenue generation. Simultaneously, she will lead front office operations, focusing specifically on marketing, communications, broadcasting, and human resources, and will also serve as one of two board representatives on the North Carolina FC Youth Board of Directors, as well as on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Taskforce.

Curt Johnson will transition into a role focused on oversight of the technical and team side of the club, as well as strategic projects and board work. As Chief Soccer Officer for North Carolina FC and the North Carolina Courage, Johnson's responsibilities will include oversight of team performance, player and coach development, player experience, and enhancing the youth to professional pipeline.

Johnson will continue to serve on the NWSL and USL Board of Governors, North Carolina FC Youth Board and the club's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Taskforce, in addition to other community focused boards. Johnson has been with the club as President and GM since 2011, and his role expanded to also oversee the NC Courage in 2017 when the team relocated from Western New York. Previously, he served as the General Manager of the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City) of Major League Soccer and the Richmond Kickers (USL).

"This is a great day for the club," Johnson said. "I am thrilled to welcome Francie and Joanna, and I look forward to working alongside them. The addition of two talented senior leaders is something Steve and I have been working on for a few years. Personally, I'll now be able to spend more time focused on working directly with our players and coaches, while also serving on the NWSL and USL Boards. I want to thank Steve for again providing us with the resources that will help us reach the full potential of the club."

In addition to the hiring of Gottsegen, the club has also hired Joanna Holder as its Chief People Officer. Holder brings over 20 years of experience in human resources to the club, as well as a strong track record of partnering with organizations to create engaging work experiences and measurable outcomes. She also holds several professional certifications, including SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) and Six Sigma Green Belt. The Texas native earned her degree from the University of Texas at Austin and later received her MBA from Wake Forest University. She now resides in Holly Springs, where she is an active member of the community and sits on the Planning Board.

In her role, Holder will focus on providing strategy and oversight of the administration of compensation, benefits, and talent practices, and will spearhead the implementation of training and wellness programs for employees, players, and coaches. She will also serve on the DEI Taskforce and act as an active member of the organization's Leadership Team while leading the company's organizational culture, diversity, inclusivity, and growth initiatives.

"I am excited for the opportunity to contribute to the transformation of this organization and to elevate the workplace experience for all those involved with the NC Football Club," Holder said. "The team and our fans have experienced a lot of change in this past year. I'm here to empower the voices of the staff and players, and help guide the culture, creating a world class place to work."


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