PODCAST: S4:EP37– Dedan Brozino & Charlie Firestone, Rose Bowl Institute

Join us for S4:EP37 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as Dedan Brozino, Chief Development Officer & Charlie Firestone, President, of the Rose Bowl Institute sits down with our host Roy Kessel to discuss the great work being accomplished at the Rose Bowl.

Charlie Firestone is President of the Rose Bowl Institute, which champions sportsmanship and promotes the power of sports to unite people everywhere. Previously, he was a Vice President and Executive Vice President of The Aspen Institute, and for 30 years was the Executive Director of its Communications and Society Program. Firestone was Director of the Communications Law Program and  Adjunct Professor of Law at UCLA Law School. He was also the first President of the Los Angeles Board of Telecommunications Commissioners. Firestone argued two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and many before the U.S. Courts of Appeals as an appellate attorney at the Federal Communications Commission, director of litigation for a public interest law firm, and in private practice in Los Angeles. Firestone graduated from Amherst College, where he captained the wrestling team, and Duke Law School. He resides with his wife, sculptor Pattie Porter Firestone, in Santa Barbara, California.

Dedan Brozino is the Chief Development Officer of the Rose Bowl Stadium and Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, bringing over 17 years of sports administration experience with a heavy background in fundraising, resource acquisition, sales, and marketing to the position.  As a member of the organization’s senior leadership team, Brozino has led efforts resulting in over $24 million in new gifts and pledges since his arrival in mid-2015 in support of the venue’s future. Mr. Brozino is primarily responsible for developing a strategic long-range fundraising plan for the stadium, including its upcoming centennial in 2022, through increasing philanthropic resources and financial support through the Legacy Foundation.   In 2017, he secured the largest gift in organizational history, a $10 million non-corporate commitment to privately name the Stadium’s iconic playing surface.  Prior to coming to Pasadena, Mr. Brozino served on the Senior Administrative Staff at Long Beach State as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Relations, with oversight of all revenue-based activity. During his time at The Beach, he managed record volumes of revenue production. His involvement in fundraising included short- and long-term major gift solicitations, stewardship and planning for more than $27 million in capital projects. Brozino also provided direct oversight of the operational and budget components for the Marketing (19 NCAA Division I sports programs), Sponsorships (Learfield Sports Properties), Ticket Sales, and Media Relations departments. During his tenure at the Beach, LBSU’s fund development and marketing initiatives were nationally-recognized on 13 different occasions, winning major awards from the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) for grassroots resource initiatives. In addition to his fundraising and revenue directives, he also continued to develop and maintain the external communications strategy to elevate visibility and exposure for the Beach brand, which became nationally-recognized during his tenure. Brozino also volunteers time with several community and professional organizations, including the Orange County Youth Sports Foundation (board member) and the First Tee of Greater Pasadena (advisory member). He is also an adjunct sport management instructor at USF and CSULB, while serving as an Advisory Committee member for the Long Beach program. A graduate of DeSales University in Center Valley, PA where he was born and raised, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Sport Administration and is a member of its Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the school’s only College World Series team. He earned his master’s degree from Long Beach State University. A native of Pennsylvania, Brozino resides in Santa Clarita with his wife and two children.

The Rose Bowl Institute champions sportsmanship, leadership, and citizenship. Through educational programs, focused dialogues, and awards, the Institute leverages the power of sports to unite people everywhere. More than any other venue, The Rose Bowl Stadium is associated in the American imagination with the highest qualities in sports competition, sportsmanship, leadership and healthy entertainment. It is therefore fitting that this venue would serve as the home of a classical “Hellenic” program for development of the well-balanced individual and a healthy community. The Rose Bowl Institute, which combines the iconic Rose Bowl venue with the convening of sports and civic leadership, is the logical forum for public discussion and promotion of sports values, civic virtues, and the betterment of society. Center Court at Wimbledon, Augusta National Golf Club, The Rose Bowl: all known as the most famous natural grass competition surfaces in the world. The Rose Bowl sod provides a breathtaking location for inspiring instruction in how the elements and values of sport can lead to more enriched lives and vibrant communities. Paired with the many other inspirational spaces at the venue, including the press boxes and renowned 1922 Locker Room, the Rose Bowl acts as an ideal platform to encourage engagement on key life values. 

Dedan Brozino & Charlie Firestone join our host Roy Kessel on S4:EP37 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast


  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 01:08 Developed Passion for Sports
  • 05:40 Charlie’s Career after Wrestling
  • 09:10 Sportsmanship
  • 12:05 Dedan’s Preparation throughout Career
  • 19:00 Charlie’s attraction to the Rose Bowl
  • 25:40 Impact of the Pandemic
  • 38:11 How to Support
  • 39:00 Commissioner of a Sports League
  • 42:30 Closing Remarks


Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson

Sports Philanthropy Network

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