MEET THE TEAM
Gary Pollakusky is rapidly becoming one of America's leading Media gurus. He is an accomplished executive with a broad scope of multimedia production, marketing, & communications experience. Pollakusky has produced and directed high-profile celebrity projects for best-selling author Deepak Chopra, actor / comedian Jim Belushi, and actress Lisa Kudrow to name a few. Many of the spoken word audio programs Gary produced have won industry praise, including Audie awards, Publishers Weekly Listen Up and AudioFile Earphones Awards.
With sports talk entertainment activity reaching fever pitch across the country after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized wagering, Mr. Pollakusky believes fans need intelligent and relevant conversation about sports as it relates to the everyday decisions they make regarding their own fantasy leagues to legally placing bets. Pollakusky crafted Sports Garten Network to fill this need.
Sports Garten Network is a brand new sports entertainment network with radio programming on LI News Radio (103.9), Long Island's only FM news station. The new programming will provide listeners with up to the minute sports news, updates and commentary with scores, highlights, wagering intelligence and more, live from Islip's MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma. It's flagship program, Wanna Bet?!, with Tom Barton, will feature interviews with major sports figures and discussions that provide relevant & credible sports wagering intelligence. Pollakusky acquired 22 year sports talk veteran and champion handicapper, Tom Barton in early 2018. Barton had a show on Fox Sports in Las Vegas for the past decade and has been a prominent voice across the country as a sports analyst. Tom is also a native New Yorker who worked at 1050 ESPN Radio, WLNY TV 55 and ABC Radio before becoming one of the top sports handicappers in the country. He has been called "the honest handicapper" by Gaming Today and representing Sports Garten LLC, became the first man to ever place a legal sports bet outside of Nevada. Gary's eye for talent is key to his continued development of world class sports wagering talk programming.
Pollakusky holds a bachelor's degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and is an active member of SHRM, LICVB, and LILA. Additionally, Gary serves as the founding President & Executive Director of the Rocky Point Sound Beach Chamber of Commerce & North Shore Community Association, Board Member of the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency and Local Development Corporation and was honored with the Long Island Business News Corporate Citizenship Award in 2016 and the 2017 Long Island Business News Forty Under Forty Award.
Tom Barton is a world class sports analyst who has conducted sports programs on national radio stations, and helped build ESPN radio, the nation's premier sports radio network. Tom has been a fixture in Las Vegas radio for over 10 year as a sports talk host on Fox Sports.
Barton was the first person to legally wage a bet in the U.S. outside of Nevada, when he beat out the Governor of Delaware and others vying to be the first and bet on the New York Yankees to win the World Series.
Tom began his career working as a sports talk host. After starting as an update man on a new college sports show, eventually his drive and leadership helped bring the show from an hour a week to a daily 2 hour show. Soon after that he started interning for the top rated sports show in the country where he was discovered by another station and offered his own morning show. ABC Radio was so impressed that they hired him and he began a ten year career with them as a writer, host, producer and sports analyst. After being at ABC for so long he started yearning for more and as luck would have it, ESPN Radio in New York was in creation and Tom was called on to help build the station. After his time there, the TV side of the business called and he left and pursued a television career. It wasn't long before he became the head writer for TV 55 WLNY as well as a sports host that he soon transformed into his own cable show.
Throughout this time he was always very profitable handicapping sporting events on his own. His many trips to Vegas and wins became the talk of radio shows. After making a consistent profit for years and getting the word out on his shows he was contacted by a few high profile tout services to come on as a handicapping consultant. It didn't take too long to realize that for them winning was secondary to selling, so he made the decision to go out on his own and clean up the business. He opened the doors of Tom Barton Sports in the fall of 2010 and in just a few years, he took the airwaves and sports handicapping world by storm. During this time, he was offered a show in Las Vegas, which now has been the longest running show on Fox Sports, as well as being asked to be a guest analyst on hundreds of programs. From national weekly shows, television, live remotes from the floor of the Westgate Casino, Hooters Hotel to hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers post game show in Las Vegas for 3 seasons, and giving handicapping advice at Heinz Field for the pre game show of the Pittsburgh Steelers , Barton has been a pioneer in sports wagering media. Tom has received awards from reputable sources like Pro Football Weekly, and has been highlighted as "the honest handicapper" in Gaming Today.
Gina Mingoia started with Sports Garten Network as our Update Reporter. Now she runs special SGN assignments and interviews.
Gina is also an accomplished singer-songwriter. Mingoia combines country and pop country influences to bring her music to life. Having spent the last ten years performing alongside her father, Mingoia's music was impacted heavily after the death of her father in October of 2017. She bounced back when, in 2018 she was named Long Island's Best Country Artist and has since performed in front of thousands, opening for top acts like Brett Eldredge.
Chuck T has been playing & analyzing fantasy sports since before Hot Stove became a MLB idiom. From the days of overvalued closers and saves to the emergence of Sabermetrics and Statcast, Chuck has played & won in every fantasy format imaginable for all major sports. Chuck began his career in public accounting and transitioned to corporate finance, demonstrating success in building profitability & value. He embraces new measures, new methods and new thoughts in all facets of fantasy sports. T has the technical aptitude, the analytical and investigative chops, the results-driven focus for picking talent and fostering high performing teams. Daily on Wanna Bet?! Chuck offers his best plays in Daily Fantasy, format specific guidance in drafting, roster composition, winning strategies and scouting. A graduate of St. John’s University, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Chuck resides in Suffolk County Long Island with his wife and two sons.
Ryan Ye is Sports Garten Network’s resident Canuck and board operator extraordinaire. His experience includes play-by-play, host and beat reporting for WRHU, covering a wide variety of sports including the CAA Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament, the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Semi-Finals and the Belmont Stakes.
Ryan comes to SGN with a strong passion for sports. His expert analysis in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and rugby is widely recognized. He was a member of the Men’s Varsity Rugby team as an undergraduate at Western University in London, Canada where he received a BSc. in Biology. Ryan is currently completing a Master’s in Journalism at Hofstra University.
Dylan comes to SGN as a lifelong avid sports fan and as an exceptional audio engineer. From football to ultimate fighting and professional wrestling in between, Dylan is the consummate fans fan, which means our listeners are always benefitting by his attention to detail.
Conners has degrees from Suffolk Community College and Recording Engineers Institute on Long Island.