State Champs! Team Contacts

Marketing, Business and Media Relations

Lou Bitonti

Lou Bitonti, President

State Champs! Network

Lou, a 30 year veteran of corporate marketing, advertising, promotions and sports enterprise management, is President of the State Champs! Network. Lou served in many executive marketing management positions in his 28+ year career at Chrysler Corporation, including Senior Manager, Global Brand Events for DaimlerChrysler Corporation, where he directed programs across the Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth and Eagle brands.

Lou has driven promotions and well recognized advertising programs on both the corporate and agency sides, across the Automotive and Sports and Entertainment industries. He has been featured in periodicals such as Promo magazine and Event Marketer magazine where he was named one of its “Event Marketing Superstars”. His book entitled, “The Cosmic Spiderweb: How to Capture Any Customer Through Event Marketing” provided a blueprint for success in promotions, and his renowned Camp Jeep loyalty program was awarded “Best Event in the World” in 2005 by Promo Magazine. His Go Anywhere Do Anything Tour helped present thousands of cars to tens of thousands of people across events that included concerts with Tim McGraw and the B-52.

Lou has been an owner/investor in State Champs! for several years, and as President is now leading efforts to help expand the State Champs! Network into a regional sports network, focused on the development of student athletes and scholars and their ultimate connection to college and professional athletes, sports leadership and success in life. A long-time fan and sponsor of Southeast Michigan sports, Lou is on the board of directors of Brother Rice Catholic in Birmingham, Michigan where he has also served as assistant football coach.

Lou served as COO of award winning event and production agency MVP for several years, before becoming President of the State Champs! Network and still serves as President and CEO for LD3, a regional marketing, brand management, and event consulting corporation in Southeast Michigan. He is on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Opera & Lyrics Society, and enjoys collecting fine wines, classic cars, and guitars.

Jim Weissenborn

Jim Weissenborn, Partner/Advisor

State Champs! Network

Jim, a partner and advisor to the State Champs! Network, is a longtime sports enthusiast and sports community supporter. As co-owner of the Varsity Shop Training Center, Jim helped establish Oakland County, Michigan’s premier 11.000 indoor training facility for youth baseball, softball and athletic development. Jim’s has been very active in area sports; through his company, Mackinac Partners, he has sponsored many little league teams across Oakland County as well as being a booster for the Oakland County Summer Baseball Travel league. Jim also helped organize and support Brother Rice’s first home football game last year in Birmingham.

As a professional, Jim helped coordinate financing for the development of Commerica Park among other sports and entertainment related ventures. Jim played baseball as an undergrad at the University of South Florida in Tampa, and remains a longtime University of Texas Longhorn fan and booster, his graduate school alma mater.

Mark Rottenberk

Mark Rottenberk, Production and Sales

State Champs! Network

Mark is a Production and Sales Director for State Champs! Network who has been in the production and marketing industry for over 22 years. His expertise centers around concept, creation and the production of materials that open markets and generate sales. His sports marketing experience includes working with NASCAR's Dale Jarrett and Robert Yates Racing, Grand Prix Hydroplane Racing, North American Lacrosse Invitational, Warrior Sports and the Motor City Open International Squash Tournament. He bring his video production and advertising expertise to State Champs! by developing unique marketing programs that deliver results to all our sponsors. Mark also runs his own Marketing and promotions firm: http://chooseignite.com/

Patrick Shannon

Patrick Shannon, Design and Marketing

State Champs! Network

Patrick is a creative designer for both the State Champs! Network and Choose Ignite and assists in creative asset development across print, web and multi-media channels. He has been designing websites, marketing products, branding and assisting in multi-media creative development for over 8 years and his fresh approach transcends well with the State Champs! High School Market. He has worked on projects for large international corporations like BASF, PPG, GST Autoleather and Sherwin Williams. His strong organizational skills and creative abilities have been a strong asset to the State Champs! marketing and production teams.

State Champs Media and Production

Lorne Plant

Lorne Plant, Host, Co-Producer

State Champs! Network

Lorne is a Host and Co-Producer for the State Champs! Network. Having been with State Champs! since 2002, Lorne's presence and on-air professionalism have been a cornerstone of State Champs! program quality and success, and our Emmy award winning Sports Highlights! show.

An all CIF soccer and baseball player in high school in California, Lorne attended the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts in Michigan where he was awarded the 2002 MCA-I Gold Award for Student of the Year for his work on the PBS children's show "Daedal Doors". His broadcasting career began as an intern with the weekend sports department on WDIV Local 4 in Detroit, followed by a reporter/producer role on Fred McLeod's Saturday Night Local 4 High School Sports Show. Simultaneously, Lorne served as an intern and radio news reporter for public radio's WDET 101.9 FM.

In the Fall of 2002, Lorne and Fred joined the new State Champs! Sports Highlights Show. From 2002-2006, The Game Of The Week, Flashback, and The Student Reporter were all part of Lorne's signature segments on the show. From 2001-2006, Lorne also worked as the Matrix operator in the scoreboard room for both the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions, a position he held during the 2005 MLB All Star Game, and Super Bowl XL.

Lorne also served as producer for the Emmy Award winning women's fitness reality show "X-treme Warrior" in 2006 and as on the call broadcaster for over 150 play-by-play programs as "Voice of the Golden Grizzlies" for men's and women's basketball at Oakland University. In January of 2007, Lorne took over as full time host and co-producer, a role that he continues to love to this day. Winners of three Michigan Emmy Awards over the past four years, State Champs! continues to be the longest running, and most successful network high school sports franchise in Michigan history!

Lorne can also be heard as host of State Champs! Radio - High School Football Report in the Fall and High School Basketball and Recruiting Show during the Winter. Both programs can be heard Friday nights on WDFN 1130 AM The Fan.

Jonathon Kidd

Jonathon Kidd, Co-Producer and Videographer

State Champs! Network

Jonathon Kidd is a Co-producer and Videographer for the State Champs! Network. Having attended Specs Howard School of Media Arts, Jonathon joined the State Champs! team in August of 2002. He is instrumental in State Champs! Network show planning, filming and production/scheduling, a career path that emanated from his early passion for sports when watching the 1984 Olympics as a young child.

Jonathan’s career achievements have been well recognized with three Emmy awards for State Champs! where he has served as our primary producer and videographer. Jonathan prior career experience includes work for other media outlets including Fox Sports Detroit as a production assistant during the Red Wings and Tigers seasons in 2006. You can follow Jon’s thoughts on sports, videography and productions on twitter@jonkidd.

Kiara Lancaster

Kiara Lancaster, Co-host and Associate Producer

State Champs! Network

Kiara is currently the co-host for State Champs! She began working for Yellow Flag Productions in 2015 primarily on the no-sports side, but was happy to join State Champs team in 2016. Kiara Lancaster graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts. If you have a story idea that you would like to be featured on State Champs! send her an email at Klancaster@statechampsnetwork.com

Amanda Bitonti

Amanda Bitonti, Associate Producer

Yellow Flag Productions

Amanda grew up in Rochester Hills and went to Notre Dame Prep high school. She graduated from Colorado University with a Bachelors Degree in Communications and worked at a Marketing and Publication company for 3 years following graduation, where she learned how to create magazines and other print creative productions. She also worked at the advertising agency Universal McCann for 4 years as a digital and media planner on the Chrysler account. Amanda currently works as a Producer, Editor, and Videographer at Yellow Flag Productions. She loves spending time with her friends and her awesome dog named Lola!

Steve Weissenborn

Steve Weissenborn, Media and Technology

State Champs! Network

Steve is a partner as well as media consultant and webmaster for State Champs! Network and Yellow Flag Productions who manages web media and video integration, video and web hosting services, web design and architecure, content management, journalism, and social media integration. Steve is a longtime sports fan who played intramural football, baseball and soccer while growing up in Miami, his hometown. He spent his early career as a management consultant and Associate Partner with Accenture, a global business, strategy and technology integration firm. He also served as VP of Technology for Enthusian, a Spherion/Accenture venture ASP HR/Staffing company, and as CIO for World Fuel Services, a global energy supplier. Steve is the CTO of Mackinac Partners, a financial services and restructuring firm based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Steve received his BA in Communications/English from the University of Florida and his MBA from Barry University in Miami. He resides in Hollywood Beach, Florida.

Media Partners and Writers

Tom Markowski

Tom Markowski, Senior Editor and Analyst

State Champs! Network

Tom is Editor of State Champs! Network's High School Sports journalism, including game coverage, analysis and feature stories. A long time journalist with Gannett and the Detroit News, Tom has covered all sports across the State and serves as Editor to our other media journalists in addition to being an on-camera media analyst for various State Champs! programs including the Highs School Sports Show, Recruiting and Signing shows, and our online sports analysis segment "The Buzz". An accomplished sports journalist, Tom grew up on Detroit's east side and has been following sports throughout his career, including career stops in Ann Arbor and Southern California along the way. While Tom has covered college and pro sports, his main beat is high schools - an area he started out with early in his career and continues to have a passion for. He has also provided college coverage as a beat writer for Detroit Mercy and Oakland University men's basketball teams, as well as covering professional sports. He's been a part of radio broadcasts, including State Champs! HS Football Report and our Basketball and Recruiting Radio Show, as well as television work, including a Prep Ticket, local Sports Shows and STATE CHAMPS!. Tom can be reached at tmarkowski@statechampsnetwork.com.

Scott Burnstein

Scott Burnstein, Sports Correspondent and Media Analyst

State Champs! Network

Scott Burnstein is a freelance sports writer and true crime author based out of Metro Detroit who covers recruiting, analysis and sports news for the State Champs! Network and also assists in event coverage for State Champs! Gametime Live! . Mr. Burnstein has worked for newspapers such as The Detroit Free Press and the Oakland Press and has had two books published on the American mafia. Born and raised in West Bloomfield and attending high school in Birmingham at The Roeper School, Mr. Burnstein received his undergraduate degree in political science from Indiana University and earned a law degree from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. You can follow all of Scott's sports commentary on Twitter at @burneystweets.

Sean Baligian

Sean Baligian, Media Analyst

State Champs! Network

Sean is a Sports Correspondont and Media Analyst for State Champs! Network. A long time sports fan, Sean began his career in Toledo in 1995 hosting a nightly sports talk show. Sean also served as color analyst for University of Toledo football and basketball early in his career, occasionally serving as the play-by-play analyst. Sean has called Hockey games for the CCHA, Ontario Hockey League, International Hockey League, and at the High School level, providing both Play-by-play and analysis, and has covered the Michigan High School Hockey Finals for over a decade. Sean is also in his 6th year as the "Voice" of Wayne State University Football. In addiiton to covering sports for the State Champs! Network, Sean is also a part of the "Fox 2 Football Sunday" show, Fox 2 "Roundtable", and is a hockey analyst for Fox 2 in Detroit, including the Wings Cup appearances in 2008 and 2009. Still hosting a radio show in Grand Rapids for ESPN 96.1, Sean also serves as a guest analyst on other Detroit radio shows, including State Champs! Radio. A former employee of 760 WJR and 1130 WDFN, Sean and his wife reside in Northville with their two children and their dog Carey. You can reach Sean at State Champs! Network, ESPN 96.1 or on twitter at: @SeanPBali

Jeff Dullack

Jeff Dullack, Sports Correspondent

State Champs! Nework

Jeff Dullack is a sports media correspondent and writer for State Champs! Network. Jeff and has been covering high school sports since 2008, writing across both boys and girls sports for media outlets that include The Oakland Press, MI-Prepzone, State Champs! and several sports blog sites. An avid, lifelong sports fan, Jeff was born and raised in Commerce and went to Walled Lake Northern High School where he played football, baseball and was a thrower in Track and Field. Jeff covers a variety of different sports and topics ranging from game coverage to feature stories on teams and players from across the state of Michigan. You can tweet Jeff @JDeuceDullack or contact him here at State Champs!