Meet the CAC Board Members
———————— EXECUTIVE BOARD OF DIRECTORS ————————
Brian Blair, President and Chief Executive Officer
Known simply as “B” to family and close friends, Brian was tagged with this “nickname” by his mother and younger siblings. After growing up from very humble beginnings, Brian fell in love with Championship Wrestling from Florida, where he lived since the age of 10. Brian played football on an athletic scholarship at Saint Leo College in Florida and the University of Louisville, and trained for three long summers with Hiro Matsuda and other wrestling superstars. Only three out of 100 people that tried out during those three summers went on to wrestling fame: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, Hulk Hogan and Brian Blair. Brian’s wrestling career has taken him to about 40 countries and he has had over 5,000 matches, including appearances at Wrestlemanias 2, 3, and 4 as a member of the famed Killer Bees tag team alongside “Jumping” Jim Brunzell.
As Brian’s in-ring career began to slow down, he opened the first Gold’s Gym in Tampa, where he and his wife Toni grew this entity into a multi-location, multi million-dollar business. Brian decided to sell the business to pursue politics when he was nominated to sit on the Citizen’s Advisory Board in 2002 through 2004. In November of 2004 he became the Countywide Commissioner in Hillsborough County Florida, a position he held for 4 years. Brian Blair still manages to wrestle a few times each year, and he is currently the Director of Distribution and minority partner in a company called Celebri-tea. Celebri-tea is an Organic RTD (ready to drink) bottled tea. Brian also hosts the bi-monthly “Legends Lunches” in Tampa which are attended by greats from the past. Honored in 2002 by the CAC, Brian says he is both “humbled and honored to be selected as a board member to an organization that is a ‘perfect fit’ for me”.
Teddy Speas (Morgan Dollar), Executive Vice President
Born (and still residing) in North Carolina, Morgan became a wrestling fan at a very young age. As a fan in the early 70’s, he enjoyed Carolinas’ Jim Crockett Promotions of the NWA. Some 20 years later, he became associated with Jimmy & Angel Valiant and, with the knowledge Valiant provided, Morgan became Referee Morgan Dollar. Morgan promoted indy shows under the Southern Wrestling Alliance banner with Partner Garry Stevens. Morgan owns and operates the successful, award-winning Rural Hall Taxidermy studio in his home town of Rural Hall, NC. Morgan’s artistic skills has prompted Surry community college to hire him as the Lead Taxidermy Instructor.
Morgan received the 2012 Speedy Hatfield Referee Of The Year Award from the Gulf Coast Wrestlers Reunion in Mobile Alabama. An award he holds very dear to his heart. He is a life member of the CAC, elected to the general board in 2004 then elected to the Executive Board in 2008, He negotiates all contract signings with the host Hotel for the annual reunion, designs the annual Banquet program, co-hosts the very popular CAC Radio show with board member David Buckler.
Dean Silverstone, Treasurer
Dean is the former Pacific Northwest wrestling promoter and currently holds two positions within the Cauliflower Alley Club – Secretary and Treasurer. Dean began working in the Northwest area in 1958 and left the business in 1976 after promoting in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia and Alaska. Dean became a CAC Director in 1995 and was named to the Executive Committee in 1999. Dean and his wife, Ruth, were the co-editors of “The Ear,” the official newsletter of the Cauliflower Alley Club, for many years.
Royal Duncan, Newsletter Publisher
Royal Duncan was born and raised in Illinois and received a Bachelors Degree from Bradley University. Royal has owned and operated the Peoria, IL based Royal Publishing Company, the nations leading producer of sports program books, since 1979. In 1984, Royal joined with Dave Coker to form Mania Productions which syndicated professional wrestling and roller derby television shows throughout the Midwest. Mania Productions also promoted live wrestling events in coordination with the World Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling, and the American Wrestling Association including the St. Valentines Day Massacre of 1985 and the first closed-circuit Wrestlemania on March 31, 1985. Additional activities include publishing two pro wrestling books: Wrestling Title Histories (editions 14) and Wrestling Real Names and Aliases. The former has been called the Bible of the sport (New York Times Magazine), the ultimate argument settler (Cliff Ducey of Boston Herald), and the greatest reference work ever published on pro wrestling (Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer). Royal publishes The Ear, the official newsletter of the Cauliflower Alley Club and also donates our Reunion program every year. In 2004, Royal was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame.
Gloria Lovell, Executive Secretary
A wrestling fan since the age of 5, Gloria and the Cauliflower Alley Club seemed like a good fit. With over 25 years of event planning/managing experience, she brings a wide array of knowledge to the club. She has promoted events for Starz Entertainment, the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, numerous musical artists, and even a stint with the WWF. Growing up in a military family, traveling is in Gloria’s blood, and she and her husband, Dennis, have traveled the globe, and they are always looking for new destinations. She has been involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for more than 25 years, and joined the CAC board in 2002.
David Buckler, Webmaster
Professional wrestling has been a part of David’s life for the past 30 years. He became a fan in the mid-80’s after attending live events at the old Hershey Park Arena. Since that time David has dedicated himself to learning about the history of the sport, and in turn has gained a tremendous respect for the performers he grew up watching. Serving on the CAC Executive Board of Directors allows David to give back to this industry. David co-hosts CAC Radio with Morgan Dollar, works on the club’s website, and is the emcee of the Tuesday night awards ceremony. David is a Senior Project Manager for CACI, Inc. in the Northern Virginia area. Focusing on business process improvement and simulation analysis, David teaches, speaks, and consults throughout the country. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Gettysburg College and a Master’s Degree in Operations Research from George Washington University. In addition, David is a ring announcer, member of the Screen Actors Guild, and an Advanced Toastmaster.
———————— CAC BOARD LIAISONS ————————
Dick Beyer (The Destroyer)
An outstanding amateur athlete before turning pro, Dick was a member of both the varsity football and wrestling teams at Syracuse University and played in the 1953 Orange Bowl. After graduating with a Master’s Degree in Education, Dick went on to pursue a long, successful career in wrestling. Debuting in 1954, Dick donned a mask in 1962 as “The Destroyer” and made his first tour of Japan in 1963. In addition to his “Destroyer” persona, Dick also wrestled as “Doctor X” for the AWA from 1967 to 1972. Dick is a legend in Japan and still makes annual tours of the country. Dick retired from the ring at Tokyo’s Budokan Hall on July 29, 1993. He spent 11 years teaching Physical Education in New York where he also coached football, wrestling and swimming. Dick is on the CAC Benevolent Committee and is also active in the CAC’s Scholarship Program, working with the Ilio DiPaolo Scholarship Committee to ensure that outstanding wrestlers from the New York area have the opportunity to pursue their education.
Scott became a pro wrestling fan at a very young age and this interest prompted him to join the CAC, where he ultimately became a lifetime member and currently serves on the Board of Directors. In addition, he has promoted many independent wrestling events in the Las Vegas area, working with several professional wrestlers that includes former legends and current superstars. Scott currently promotes sports collectibles and celebrity conventions, including autograph sessions with many professionals. In the past 20 years he has promoted more than 300 events and has hosted many celebrities, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the National Sports Collectors convention.
Charlie Smith was born in Atlanta, GA in 1930 and was first exposed to professional wrestling by his father who used to take him to the matches. Before too long, Charlie got a non-paying job as an usher so that he could see the matches for free and then was offered a job selling Coca-Cola. He continued this, trying to break into the business until being invited to the Lakewood Boys Club in Atlanta one night where he ended up breaking into the business. Charlie bounced around refereeing from one group to another, until, in 1957, when he got the call from ABC Booking in Atlanta. Charlie began carrying the ring and refereeing for $25 per night ($15 to referee and $10 for setting up the ring). Charlie continued to referee in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee for over 30 years. Charlie has been married to Louise for 52 years and travels throughout the South to sell t-shirts and souvenirs at college football games. Charlie first became active in CAC in 1990 and was elected to the CAC Board of Directors in 2007. You’ll see Charlie each year at the CAC Reunion, near the registration desk selling t-shirts.
Ron Hutchison is a retired Canadian professional wrestler, trainer and promoter who competed for Canadian independent promotions such as Grand Prix Wrestling and Maple Leaf Wrestling as well as a brief stint in the World Wrestling Federation during the mid-1980s. The owner of the Ron Hutchison Wrestling Academy at Sully’s Gym and co-owner of Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchison’s School of Wrestling, he is credited as one of the leading trainers of professional wrestlers in Canada. His students include Christian, Edge, Trish Stratus, Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix, Traci Brooks, Tiger Ali Singh, Johnny Swinger, Mad Dog Rex, David Diamond, Joe E. Legend, The Original Sinn and Asylum. Ron is also the promoter of the Toronto-based Apocalypse Wrestling Federation and the head trainer of Carmen Electra’s Naked Women’s Wrestling League. In 2014, Ron was honored with the first ever CAC Trainers Award.
Born in Russellville, AR Matt Riviera got hooked on pro wrestling at age 12 when scrolling through the channels. WCW Pro was syndicated in the Little Rock/Pine Bluff market at the time and when a 6’6″ white-suit wearing over-the-top southern colonel gimmick worn by Colonel Robert Parker (Robert Fuller) led Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck to the ring, Riviera was sold. Riviera has warn many hats throughout the years in the wrestling business. He started as a ringside photographer and published programs for various independent companies in the mid-south region. At age 17 he promoted his first pro wrestling event, a fundraiser for a local FFA chapter. That same night he made his managing debut and got enough heat to “melt the venue” with fans throwing trash and coke bottles as Riviera aided the top heel team to victory. From then on he would wear the striped shirt as a referee for various promotions and aided in booking different companies.
The youngest CAC board member, Matt graduated from Russellville High School and went on to graduate from Harding University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His in-ring debut came in 2004 and he again drew so much heat that local law enforcement had to escort his opponents uncle out of the venue to keep from attacking Riviera while at ringside after the match.
Matt would go on to create TCW (Traditional Championship Wrestling) which ultimately would see the creation of over 80 1-hour HD episodes, a feat not many have been able to obtain. At its’ height, the series was in over 50-million homes on The Pursuit Channel, Soul of the South, and various syndicated affiliates across Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The series is currently being syndication internationally in Africa, Cambodia, Canada, and parts of Asia.
Matt officially retired as a wrestling promoter in July 2014 to focus on his own in-ring career. Soaking up knowledge from wrestling greats such as Buddy Landel, Squire Dave Taylor, and others, Riviera is 100% focused on perfecting the art of wrestling.
———————— PAST PRESIDENTS ————————
Nick Bockwinkel, President 2007 – 2014
A second generation superstar, Nick Bockwinkel was one of the most respected professional wrestlers of his era. Starting his wrestling career in 1955 after being trained by his father, Warren, and Lou Thesz, Nick traveled all over the country wrestling for various promoters until capturing the Georgia Heavyweight Championship in 1970. Nick soon ventured to the American Wrestling Association (AWA) where he formed a legendary team with Ray Stevens and captured the AWA World Tag Team Titles on three separate occasions. The first of Nick’s four AWA World Heavyweight Title reigns began in 1975 and his in-ring skills, mic work and ability to present himself as a World Champion kept Nick on top of the Association for most of the next 12 years.
Nick retired as an in-ring performer in 1987; however, made a return to the ring in 1993 to wrestle Dory Funk, Jr. at WCW’s Slamboree PPV. Nick has been inducted to the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame (class of 2003), is a member of the WON Hall of Fame (inaugural class of 1996) and was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007. He served on the CAC Board of Directors for several years and was elected to the Presidency in 2007, serving until 2014.
Red Bastien, President 2000 – 2007
“He’s a great guy!” is the most common response you will hear when people are asked to comment on Red Bastien. Many people will talk about how good Red was in the ring, others will mention what a tough guy he was and still others will talk about his time promoting; however, the one thing that everybody agrees on is that Red was just an all-around great person. Red has a long history in wrestling, starting out as a carnival wrestler taking on all comers before moving into the professional ranks. He built a reputation as one of the smoothest workers in the business and one of the original high fliers. Red held belts all over the country including the NWA US Tag Titles (Capitol version) with his “brother” Lou (the late Lou Klein) and held the AWA World Tag Team Title with Hercules Cortez when they were involved in the fateful car wreck that claimed Cortez’s life and caused Red to adopt a stiffer, more mat-based style. As a promoter, Red introduced Konnan and Rey Mysterio Jr. to US rings, and, as a trainer, broke Sting and Ultimate Warrior into the business. Red was inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame at the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in 2007. Red served as the CAC President from 2000 until 2007.
Lou Thesz, President 1992 – 2000
Lou Thesz (Aloysius Martin Thesz) was born 4/24/1916 in Banat, MI, and raised in St. Louis. His father, Martin, taught him the fundamentals of Greco-Roman wrestling and took him to watch professional matches, and, at age 15, Lou began to wrestle semi-pro, turning full professional at 17. He was trained and mentored in the arts of submission wrestling and professional wrestling performance by outstanding wrestlers like Ad Santel, George Tragos, the legendary Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis, and Ray Steele, and in 1937, at age 21, became the youngest world heavyweight wrestling champion in history, capturing the National Wrestling Association world heavyweight title for the first time. He would hold it twice more, and after serving as a dog trainer and hand to hand combat instructor in World War II, would become a silent partner in the St. Louis promotion and hold the National Wrestling Alliance title three more times, the first reign lasting over 8 years, the final reign ending in 1966. Lou traveled the world and was instrumental in the establishment of professional wrestling in Japan, where he was known as the ‘Eternal Iron Man’. Lou continued to perform at top form well into his 60s, and had his final match at age 74 in Japan, losing to his protege, Masahiro Chono. After retiring he continued to represent professional and amateur wrestling as a spokesman, and in his final years made a connection with a new generation of wrestlers and fans via the Internet and his association with the Cauliflower Alley Club. Lou stayed in peak condition his whole life until his heart failed him and he passed away in 2002. He is and always will be remembered as one of the top legitimate wrestlers and performers in the history of the professional wrestling business, and perhaps its greatest ambassador.
Archie Moore, President 1991 – 1992
Born Archibald Wright in Benoit, MS, Archie Moore fought for 27 years and had a career record of 194-26-8 with an amazing 141 (or 145, depending on your source) knockouts. Moore turned pro in 1936 and in 1952, at the age of 39, won the Light Heavyweight Championship which he held for nearly a decade. Nearly unbeatable as a Light Heavyweight, Moore also boxed several men in the heavyweight division, including being the only man to fight both Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali. Moore passed away due to heart failure in 1998 in San Diego, CA. One of boxing’s all-time biggest stars, Moore was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2002 and the California Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006.
“Iron” Mike Mazurki, President 1965 – 1991
Mike Mazurki was born in 1907 in the area now known as the Ukraine. Mike was a successful professional wrestler, but was probably best known as an actor, having appeared in over one hundred movies between 1930 and 1990. His acting credits include both the 1945 and 1990 versions of “Dick Tracy,” “Some Like it Hot” and several appearances on TV shows such as “Fantasy Island,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Gunsmoke.” Iron Mike held a Bachelor’s Degree from Manhattan College and played minor league football in the years before wrestling. It was over 40 years ago that Iron Mike started the Cauliflower Alley Club as a weekly luncheon where wrestlers, boxers and actors could gather and enjoy fellowship. Today, the CAC’s highest honor is named after him and is given, yearly, to an individual who has found success not only in wrestling, but also in another field. The “Iron Mike” award is one of the most respected awards in the world of professional wrestling.
———————— DIRECTORS EMERITUS ————————
Karl Lauer, Executive Vice President
Born in Chicago, Illinois on August 1938, Karl. K. Lauer has spent his lifetime touching many people around the world. Lauer’s family moved to Los Angeles California in 1940, where he would make his home until 1994. His father Karl Lauer Sr. founded Karl’s Equipment Co. in 1947. Lauer Sr. built specialty refrigeration cases under the trade name Flot-Aire (pronounced “Float Air”), which is the system he designed for “Custom” Floral Refrigeration. Karl joined the company in 1962 upon discharge from the Air Force and found success when he took the job of President and CEO of Flot-Aire from 1965-1994, MFG Commercial Refrigeration equipment. The company today is owned and run by his son Wayne Lauer with the main office located in Rolla, Missouri. It is now called Flot-Aire Mid-America.
At the age of twenty years old, Lauer would serve his country as a member of the United States Air Force from 1958 to 1962. For 12 years from 1980-1992, Lauer also served on the United States Congressional Advisory Board under United States Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. This was a non-paid appointment but Lauer said it was an experience and a pleasure to meet President Ronald Reagan, someone he greatly respected and enjoyed learning from him. He does not talk politics very often and said he has never voted a straight ticket but for the candidate. With a business mind, he had a idea to team up wrestling with stock car racing early on with “Wrestle Race”. Mike LeBell the NWA promoter for So Calif turned down the idea, so Lauer just booked his talent from Mike for a flat fee per wrestler and went on with the plan. The team up with be short-lived team up, but the fact that Karl Lauer had a mind for promoting earned the respect of future partner wrestler Gory Guerrero. Gory was one of the most respected and knowledgeable men I have ever known and was a fantastic mentor for me regarding wrestling. Lauer joined the prestigious Cauliflower Alley Club in 1979 when he was sponsored by two very old friends Leo Garibaldi and Red Bastien, back then the only way for someone that did not have the credentials to be a member to join was at the sponsorship of two members.
In January of 1980, the then-President and founder Iron Mike Mazurki of the CAC phoned Karl Lauer and asked him if he would consider become the CAC business manager. “Sure,” Karl said, “how long do you want me to be the business manager?” Mike Mazurki answered: “No time limit.” It has lasted over 30 yrs. In 1983 Lauer became the business manager until 1988 he was asked to be the Vice President while wrestling great Lou Thesz was the president. In 1988 and Chairman of the board in 1989 until finishing up as the CEO starting in 1989 till the present, a total of 35 years with the club with 25 year tenure as the club CEO.
During his life Karl Lauer has been a successful business leader, a Military Veteran in the United States Air Force, a wrestler, a manager, a announcer, a promoter and a key component for the success of the Cauliflower Alley Club. When he started with the CAC they had an estimated 368 members, throughout the years a little over 8,000 have been a part of the organization. Today the CAC is honored to boast an active number estimated of members around 1,000 living. Outside the ring, Lauer enjoys a successful marriage with his wife Barbara. The two were married on June 7, 1960 after meeting each other while both were in the Air Force. After 53 years the two cherish their time with the family. Karl and Barbara enjoy spending time with his son and daughter in law who also adopted two foster kids on the ranch and his three grandsons and 3 granddaughters in Missouri, and 4 more in California.
Karl retired from the Executive Vice President position in April, 2015.
Bill Bowman (Bill Sky)
Bill Bowman was born in Mobile, AL on July 1, 1933. His father ran the local YMCA and, through this connection, Bill was introduced to wrestling in the mid-1950’s. After training with Charlie Carr and Buddy Fuller, Bill had is first professional match, wrestling as a heel, in 1958 against Ken Cooper. Bill enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1959 and was stationed in Southern California at Camp Pendleton for two years. Upon being discharged, Bill returned to wrestling in 1961 and spent the next 14 years traveling throughout the south including stints in Louisiana, Mid Atlantic for Jim Crockett, Florida for Cowboy Luttrall and Eddie Graham and he was in Georgia during the infamous split and worked with Ann Gunkels promotion there. Most famous for his tag team with Joe Turner wrestling under the names Bill and Joe Sky, Bill also had a tour of one year working for the Mobile office as an Intern under the guidance of manager Dr. Jerry Graham. Bills last match was in Ponce, PR in 1975 and, after retiring from the ring, Bill worked in management for auto dealerships in Atlanta while wife Ann worked in property management. Both tired of Atlanta and moved on to Pensacola, FL where Bill opened and still operates a full-service Janitorial/Lawn Maintenance company. Bill and Ann were active in the Gulf Coast Wrestlers Reunion from the time of its inception and one can hear the passion Bill has for the organization when talking to him. Bills wife of 38 years, Ann, passed away on December 24, 2006 after a battle with cancer and she is sorely missed by all those who knew her. Bill continues to serve as Secretary for GCWR and is one of the organizations most ardent backers. Bills involvement with CAC began when the reunions were moved to Las Vegas and he was elected to the Board in 2004.
Juan Hernandez is an international karate champion, a five-time national karate champion and holds a 6th degree black belt. After a very successful career as a martial arts competitor, Mr. Hernandez turned his attention to professional wrestling. As a wrestler, he defeated Ivan Koloff for the CIW United States Heavyweight Championship and also held their version of the world title. After breaking his neck in a February 1993 fall, Juan took the time to examine life’s priorities and rededicated his life to God and is now an ordained minister. In 2001 Mr. Hernandez and his wife, Stella, started Alicia’s House, a non-profit food pantry, in honor of their late granddaughter, Alicia. To date, Alicia’s House has fed over 50,000 people and distributed over 1 million pounds of food. In September 2004 The United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) honored his community service by naming him on of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans. Today, you can find Juan Hernandez sharing his testimony at churches, youth groups, schools and various other community and corporate events throughout the country.
Born in San Francisco, Kurt started watching wrestling in 1978 with the Roy Shire promotion. Kurt’s father (nearly 60 when he was born) was a wrestling fan dating back to the 1940s, and would give him historical insight that only added to the experience. Kurt started doing camera work and assorted odd jobs (ring crew, office work, gimmick tables, etc.) for Roland Alexander’s APW promotion in the late 1990s, and eventually was trained in the ring, though his bad back prevented him from ever furthering this end of things. Kurt created many wrestler web sites over the years for stars such as Percy Pringle III, Plowboy Frazier, Playboy Buddy Rose and others. He also is developing the animated series Ned Noodlebody, which looks at the wrestling territories in the mid-1970s.
———————— PAST BOARD MEMBERS ————————
Art Abrams (RIP)
Irv Abramson (RIP)
Al Baffert (RIP)
Penny Banner (RIP)
Maria Bernardi (RIP)
Fred Blassie (RIP)
Lord James Blears
Ray Borucki (RIP)
Vic Christy (RIP)
Don Curtis (RIP)
Ilio DiPaolo (RIP)
Chris Drake (RIP)
Tom Drake (RIP)
Verne Gagne (RIP)
Leo Garibaldi (RIP)
Bert Goodrich (RIP)
Frank Hurley (RIP)
“Cowboy” Bob Kelly (RIP)
J Michael Kenyon
Walter “Killer” Kowalski (RIP)
John Philip Law (RIP)
Bob Leonard (RIP)
George Luckman (RIP)
Billy Mahoney (RIP)
Al Mandell (RIP)
Robert J. Marella (RIP)
Bob Massick (RIP)
James C. Melby (RIP)
Michael Neporadny (RIP)
Lou Nova (RIP)
Joseph Palumbo (RIP)
Willie Pep (RIP)
John Peterson (RIP)
Timothy O’Sullivan (RIP)
Russell Rodriguez (RIP)
Archbishop Jason Sanderson
Ida Selenkow (RIP)
Gordon Solie (RIP)
Charles Tuzzolino (RIP)
Ella Waldek (RIP)
Harry Warren (RIP)
Stanley Weston (RIP)
Marshall L. Wright (RIP)