Valparaiso University Director of Athletics Mark LaBarbera announced today that the university has added a pair of hires in the area of athletics development. John Kuka joins Valparaiso University as an Associate Director of Athletics, while Matt LaBarbera has been brought on as the Associate Director of Annual Giving - Athletics.
"We are excited to be adding staff with the background and skills that John and Matt possess," said Mark LaBarbera. "They are individuals that can help us achieve the goals set out in the Athletics strategic plan."
Kuka comes to Valparaiso from DePauw University, where he most recently served as the Director of Athletics Development. In his role, Kuka was responsible for the administration of a campaign to secure more than $70 million in commitments to support DePauw athletics, and coordinated the solicitation of athletic gifts totaling more than $24 million in the first year of the campaign. Prior to that role, Kuka also spent time as Major Gifts Officer and Director of the Annual Fund in his six-plus years at DePauw. At Valpo, he is responsible for improving the Athletic Department's communication with core constituents, as well as the development of a new Athletics fundraising model.
Matt LaBarbera, a 2008 (bachelor's) and 2009 (M.B.A.) graduate of Valparaiso University, returns to Valpo after most recently working for Neulion, Inc. LaBarbera worked with Neulion’s Ticketing, Donor Management and Email Marketing solutions, helping support athletic departments of Neulion partner schools with annual fundraising efforts and donors services. Prior to working at Neulion, LaBarbera worked for a year at the Wolfpack Club, the athletics fundraising organization for North Carolina State University. At Valpo, he is responsible for all fundraising efforts related to the Crusader Fund.