Thunder Executive Staff
Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
An NBA executive since 1997, Danny Barth has served in his current position of executive vice president and chief administrative officer of the Oklahoma City Thunder since the team’s inaugural season in 2008. In this role, he oversees all aspects of the team’s business operations, driving its emphasis on building community partnerships and creating a first-class fan experience.
After overseeing the moving of the franchise’s business operations to Oklahoma City, Barth shifted his focus to the team’s growth and development, including overseeing the remodeling of Chesapeake Energy Arena to not only meet NBA requirements, but also to provide a strong fan-focused environment. The facility upgrades, which were completed in 2013, included new hospitality areas, enhanced seating and sightlines, modernized common areas and concourses, and the team’s permanent corporate office.
Under Barth’s leadership, the Thunder has become regarded throughout the industry as a leader in sports business and a model for best practices. The Thunder currently ranks number two in the NBA’s Net Promoter Score and overall game experience and has been consistently the highest or runner-up for many years. Within its first five seasons, the team was recognized by ESPN The Magazine in its Ultimate Standings as the No. 1 professional sports franchise in North America and awarded Sports Team of the Year by the Sports Business Awards, presented by the Sports Business Journal. The national Make-A-Wish Foundation has honored the team with a Chris Greicius Celebrity Award, and Leadership Oklahoma has recognized the team with its Statewide Community Leadership Award.
Prior to his work with the Thunder, Barth served as interim president and CEO for two seasons with the Seattle Supersonics, having previously held positions as chief financial officer, vice president and controller for the team. He began his career with Price Waterhouse LLC, spending six years in the audit division in the corporation’s Seattle and New York offices, where he specialized in retail and investment banking.
A graduate of Seattle University, Barth resides with his wife Julie and their two sons in Edmond.
Brian M. Byrnes
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Brian Byrnes joined the Thunder organization in April 2005 and developed and executed the strategic sales and marketing efforts to launch business operations in Oklahoma City in 2008. Byrnes’ current responsibilities include oversight of revenue platforms including corporate partnerships, ticket sales, retention and operations; luxury suites, terrace lounges and unique inclusive experiences; game theatre, event planning and corporate hospitality; brand architecture and marketing disciplines.
Capitalizing on the unique platform of being Oklahoma’s first permanent major-league sports team, Byrnes continues to foster programming that extends the reach of the Thunder brand to fans throughout the region.
Initiatives such as Thunder Alley and the Thunder Rewards Zone make the game-day experience accessible to all Thunder fans visiting Chesapeake Energy Arena. Year-round, the Blue Alliance and Thunder Youth Basketball activities connect fans throughout Oklahoma, while the OG&E Thunder Bolt brings an interactive Thunder experience to regional fairs and neighborhood celebrations. In 2018, the Thunder Launchpad, fueled by MidFirst Bank, opened as a platform to support the growing startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Oklahoma. The Launchpad also hosts year-round programs to inspire growth in STEM education and computer science and innovation.
Previously, Byrnes served as executive vice president of business operations for the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, guiding the organization through an organizational rebranding in conjunction with a transition to a new venue. Prior to joining the Coyotes, Byrnes built nearly 10 years of experience with the NHL’s Dallas Stars and MLB’s Texas Rangers.
Byrnes is actively involved in the Thunder Cares Foundation, Allied Arts, Leadership Oklahoma City, Leadership Oklahoma, National Sports Forum, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Oklahoma City Sports Consortium. A graduate of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Byrnes and his wife Ashley reside with their three children in Edmond.
Vice President, Community Relations
Christine Berney joined the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008 and currently serves as vice president of Community Relations and executive director of the Thunder Cares Foundation. She is responsible for overseeing the programs and partnerships that help the Thunder make a positive impact on the community.
During her tenure with the Thunder, Berney has helped establish the team as a leader in the Oklahoma City community and as a partner with nonprofits across the state. She oversees the more than 20 ongoing and annual community programs that the Thunder administers, as well as directing the fundraising and day-to-day management of the Thunder Cares Foundation, whose mission focuses on building and refurbishing community basketball courts across the state of Oklahoma.
Berney’s professional background includes public relations and community relations positions in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Before joining the Thunder, she served as the manager of public relations for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. Prior to that, she was the manager of community relations for Sonic Corporation.
Originally from California, Berney earned her B.A. in English from Oregon State University and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Vice President, Ticket Sales, Retention and Database Operations
Scott Loft is an industry veteran with more than 25 years of professional sports leadership experience in the National Football League, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association.
Loft joined the Thunder in 2010 after three seasons with the Miami Dolphins and is responsible for the Thunder’s overall strategy and tactics for all ticket sales, retention, database operations and business intelligence including season ticket sales, group ticket sales, executive suites and Club Level memberships. Loft’s sports career started with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, where he spent nine seasons, culminating as the director of ticket sales. After his stint with the NBA, Loft became one of the first employees with the NHL’s expansion Nashville Predators, where his ticket sales team became the first NHL or NBA franchise to qualify for expansion by selling more than 12,000 season tickets before the NHL franchise was awarded to the city of Nashville.
After five seasons in the NHL, Loft joined the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars as executive director of ticket sales and marketing. Loft was chosen to be the Jaguars’ sole attendee at the inaugural NFL Management Program at Stanford during the 2003 season, and his five years in Jacksonville were highlighted by the local oversight of the ticketing functions for Super Bowl XXXIX, which was played in Jacksonville in 2005. Loft then continued his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins, where he stayed until he joined the Thunder.
Prior to his career in sports, Loft received his undergraduate degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and his master’s degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. Loft currently lives in Edmond with his wife Cathy and their son, Josh, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma who works in the oil and gas industry.
Vice President, Broadcasting and Corporate Communications
Dan Mahoney joined the Oklahoma City Thunder in August 2008. In his role of vice president of Broadcasting and Corporate Communications, he oversees the Thunder business public relations efforts, website (okcthunder.com) and broadcasting operations.
Previously Mahoney served as a public relations consultant for the Professional Basketball Club, LLC and the New Orleans Hornets. From 1995-2003 he was director of communications for Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating. He later worked with Gov. Keating as senior vice president of communications and public affairs at the American Council of Life Insurers in Washington, D.C.
Consulting with Gooden Group of Edmond, Okla., Mahoney coordinated public relations efforts for the Skirvin Hilton Hotel, a historic Oklahoma City landmark which reopened in 2007 after being closed for 18 years. He also assisted the Hornets during their relocation and two-year stay in Oklahoma City from 2005-07.
As director of communications for Gov. Keating, Mahoney was responsible for public information coordination for the State of Oklahoma and the Governor's office. That included public information efforts during the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Following that tragedy, he consulted for businesses and other government agencies on crisis communications.
Mahoney spent 18 years in radio and television as a news director, news reporter and sportscaster in Richmond, Va.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Oklahoma City. He is a native of Philadelphia and attended Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of New Mexico.
Mahoney served on the 20-year anniversary committee for the Oklahoma City National Memorial. He has two adult daughters who live in New York City
Vice President, Corporate Legal
Hakeem Onafowokan joined the Oklahoma City Thunder in May 2021. In his role as vice president of Corporate Legal, he advises on a broad range of corporate matters including intellectual property, and transactional and operational matters.
Prior to joining the Thunder, Hakeem served as Corporate Counsel for NASCAR. At NASCAR, Hakeem was responsible for a wide range of general corporate and competition legal matters in support of NASCAR, IMSA, ARCA and related properties. Prior to his career in sports, Hakeem was a staff attorney at the League of Minnesota Cities.
Originally from Minnesota, Hakeem is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Law School. He currently lives in Edmond with his fiancée, Tammy.
Vice President, Human Resources
Katy Semtner joined the Oklahoma City franchise in January 2003. She serves as the team’s vice president of Human Resources. Semtner’s responsibilities include oversight of payroll, benefits, employee relations, recruitment, selection, orientation, performance management, compensation, policy creation, employment-law compliance and employee development. She takes pride in the organization’s people-centric culture. Semtner also provides oversight to the organization’s highly regarded Guest Relations department.
Prior to joining the franchise, Semtner worked in human resources in the hospitality and nonprofit industries. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources and SHRM-SCP.
Semtner is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, the Oklahoma City Human Resources Society and the Women’s Executive Board. She currently serves on the Leadership Oklahoma City Alumni Association Board and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Talent Council. The Seattle native is a graduate of the University of California at San Diego and an alumna of Leadership Oklahoma City.
Vice President, Corporate Partnerships
Will Syring joined the Thunder in 2019 and leads the organization's business strategy to optimize sponsorship sales and brand activation. He and the Thunder's corporate partnerships team leverage the Thunder and NBA's global platform to elevate and optimize brand awareness for new and existing corporate partners. He also guides efforts to establish unique marketing and business opportunities for the Thunder, the Oklahoma City Blue and the Thunder Launchpad. The Thunder's diverse portfolio of corporate partners includes nearly 100 unique brands.
Syring joined the Thunder after five seasons with the Chicago Bulls where he served in various corporate partnership roles, most recently as head of global sales. In Chicago, Syring guided a sales strategy in key markets to develop and secure innovative global partnerships in China, Poland, Germany, Mexico, Finland, and the Philippines. Utilizing a collaborative approach to partnership activation and sales, Syring and his team were consistently recognized by the NBA for account development, retention and new business growth.
Prior to joining the Bulls, Syring represented Learfield Sports at the University of Tulsa and Oregon State University. He was recognized for new business and existing account growth each year at the respective Learfield properties. He started his career near Melbourne, Australia working for the Kilsyth Cobras basketball team as an assistant business development manager in the team's front office.
Syring is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Leslie (a native of Owasso, Oklahoma) and their son, Wilder.