Mariah Stackhouse, LPGA Player

The LPGA Tour is slated to launch this summer, and major women’s golf is returning to Georgia in 2021. Atlanta Athletic Club will host the 67th KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, June 22-27, 2021.

To talk about this along with her career and golf in general, RIck is joined by LPGA player, Mariah Stackhouse as she shares details about this high-profile championship’s Georgia debut.

There is also a unique pop-up fan experience set to debut later in July.

The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship pop-up fan experience set for July 16th from 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Avalon in their outdoor Living Room space near Crate & Barrel. The pop-up fan experience will celebrate women’s golf with information about the tournament – set to be played at the Atlanta Athletic Club from June 22-27, 2021 – with chances to win prizes and tickets to the event. Golf fanatics are encouraged to cool off with a sweet treat, test their tee-rific swing with putt-putt golf and take photos with the trophy – celebrating women in golf and the local golf community. The pop-up is free and open to the public.

Mariah Stackhouse at a glance:

2019 in a Nutshell

  • 20 events, eight cuts made, $127,365 (100)
  • Recorded a season-best finish of T5 at the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer

Career Highlights:


  • 26 events, 20 cuts made, $273,260 (67)
  • Recorded two top-10 results including a career-best T7 finish at the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer


  • 15 events, seven cuts made, $81,678 (114)
  • Recorded a career-best T8 finish at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic


  • Finished in a tie for 21st at the LPGA Qualifying Tournament to earn Priority List Category 17 status for the 2017 LPGA Season
  • Has competed in five LPGA events with her career-best finish coming at the 2016 Cambia Portland Classic where she finished T47


  • Graduated from Stanford University in 2016 with a degree in Communication
  • A four-time All-American at Stanford who helped lead the Cardinals to the 2015 National Championship
  • Played on the victorious 2014 U.S. Curtis Cup team

Eric Malafeew, Co-Founder of VR fitness and gaming company VirZOOM

Rick is joined by Eric Malafeew this week on “Tech of Sports.”

As Co-Founder of VR fitness and gaming company VirZOOM, Malafeew is bringing gaming and working out to a whole level, just like he did with gaming and music. The VZfit product allows users to use any cadence sensor that attaches to any stationary bike in seconds, all through the Oculus Quest. Though its VZfit Play App, users can experience flying a pegasus through the air, battle tanks, race in an F1 car, lasso old west bandits and more — all while biking through the experience. Users can also download any map from Google, bike the world and travel to any country, theme park, historical site, hometown, or even somewhere you’ve never had the chance to go, through its VZfit Explorer App. In the last 12 months, users have burned over 10,833,608 calories exploring and playing games with VZfit.

This is groundbreaking technology, much like Malafeew had years ago as Chief Architect of Guitar Hero. Malafeew, made an unorthodox decision to create a controller only for that game — which turned out to be a massive success. Now he’s betting on the VR industry, taking his creativity to a whole new level.

It all starts with recumbent bikes.

Malafeew and is team are using the power of virtual reality, and any stationary bike, you are transported to worlds where you must pedal to move. Explore the world, battle tanks, race a F1 car, fly a Pegasus, or lasso bandits in the old west.

All these experiences and more are included with VZfit. While you are fully immersed in a way that is only possible in VR and focused on your game, you forget that you are exercising. VZfit is the motivation you need!

A great conversation with Eric, including some Guitar Hero stories.

Get your VZfit membership here.


Ron Laikind, CEO/Founder/Inventor of Extreme Mist

Rick talks with Ron Laikind this week on “Tech of Sports.” Ron is the CEO and founder of Extreme Mist and has a great story to tell about what he came up with during COVID-19.

Extreme Mist Personal Cooling System:

Extreme Mist Portable Sanitizing System:

He also loves extreme endeavors. Ron has hiked the globe from the Sahara to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, Siberia, Turkey, the Himalayas, India, Cashmere, Pakistan, Thailand, Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia, South America, Patagonia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Yosemite and more. He’s hiked tens of thousands of miles.

In addition to hiking, he enjoys sky diving, motorized paragliding, motor sports including motorcycling, and open-air vehicles among his loves as well as gold mining and collecting arrowheads and antiques. He also owns a paint ball studio in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Laikind was challenged when on the trail. He wanted to stay hydrated and cool without carrying a tremendous amount of extra weight on his back. He invited the Extreme Mist Personal Cooling System (PCS) to beat the heat and keep cool while exercising (hiking, fishing, camping, cycling, running, etc.)

Then, during COVID-19, he pivoted and retrofitted Extreme Mist to the Extreme Mist Portable Sanitizing System to disinfect cars, gyms, homes, offices and more.

Ron is an awesome guest and great to have him on “Tech of Sports.”

Lindsay Flanagan, American Marathoner, Great American 5000

Rick talks with American distance runner, Lindsay Flanagan, this week on “Tech of Sports.”

Lindsay is one of the runners participating in the virtual race, Great American 5000, which started this week to raise money for charity. Lindsay finished 9th overall (3rd American woman) at the 2019 Boston Marathon in 2:30:07 2020 Summer Olympics Qualification standard by finishing top 10 in a World Marathon Majors. She also competed in the 2017 World Championships. She had a stellar collegiate career at the University of Washington.

Ten female runners who participated in the Feb. 29 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta will run across the United States, virtually. They, as a team, will participate in the Great American 5000 – a brand new event on Flag Day, June 14, 2020.

The Great American 5000 will be made up of teams (up to 12 or 24 runners) running 5,000 km (3,107 miles) virtually from the Pacific near San Francisco to the Atlantic near New York City. Teams will collectively run for 24 hours each day and send in how far they covered. An online map will track their virtual progress across the country. A leaderboard will show how they compare to other teams. First team to the Atlantic Ocean near New York wins! The Great American 5000 is presented by Sports Backers, a nonprofit active-living organization based in Richmond, VA.

Feeding America will serve as the event charity partner of the Great American 5000. Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, and thanks to donations, their network of food banks, pantries, and meal programs serves virtually every community in the United States. Along with making a donation to Feeding America during the registration process, participants can also fundraise on their behalf.

Lindsay represents ASICS and also serves as an online coach for up and coming runners here:

Great talking to Lindsay and see more about the Great American 5000 and Sports Backers here:

Bob Venero, Future Tech CEO on eSports

While traditional sports have come to a screeching halt amid the pandemic, eSports has become a welcome alternative for millions of sports fanatics.

Reports estimate that eSports will grow to a $1.1 billion industry this year. And in light of the pandemic, it may be on track to surpass this figure.

Many schools like colleges and high schools are now taking a harder look at eSports as well.

According to the National Association of Collegiate Esports, more than 170 U.S. colleges have varsity eSports programs and are offering around $16 million per year in scholarships. College eSports tournament organizer Tespa notes that its competitions attract more than 1,350 schools and more than 40,000 players. It has also awarded more than $3 million in tournament winnings. It’s a trend that has been growing for years.

With no guarantee that schools will reopen in September, how can eSports be a viable replacement for traditional sports?

Future Tech Enterprise CEO Bob Venero talks with Rick this week about trends he sees emerging that will change eSports and school sports forever, new safety measures that institutions can implement to keep students safe (e.g. sanitizing practices, etc.), how eSports can be a cheaper option as schools seek to cut sports budgets (e.g. eliminating home/away game travel costs, etc.), as well as security concerns and best practices.

Bob also discusses the social benefits of eSports for students, namely how it encourages diversity, inclusion and education.

Margarita Ventura, Building a Power Body and a Power Life

A return guest this week on “Tech of Sports” and it’s been a while as Margarita Ventura joins Rick.

As the Senior Project Manager of Global Creative, Digital & Content at bareMinerals, Filipino-Spanish fitness model, dancer, actress and competitive athlete rolled into one – Life can get REALLY hectic! In the midst of it all, Margarita went on a journey with the Iron. She co-hosted the show Sex, Love & Bodybuilding on the Generation Iron Network. Then went to train in CrossFit, Olympic Lifting and, of course, strength & bodybuilding. She started dancing and acting again to tap into my artistic integrity and creative expression. So far it’s been so much fun and has served as a great outlet when combining methods.

Not having completed since 2015, I decided to step on stage again for my Pro Show Debut at World Beauty Fitness Fashion Worlds 2019 where I placed Top 5 in the World WBFF Diva Bikini 35+ and just recently Top 4 at WBFF Atlantic City. Not too shabby for my first time at WBFF Worlds where the line up was the best of the best from around the globe.

As a former professional dancer and gym rat since a kid, being healthy and active has always been a source of strength for her through any adversity. However, after years in the advertising world, like many others, she neglected to make my health a priority.

Balancing my professional and personal life was time consuming enough that it almost felt selfish to take time to take care of myself. Being unhealthy can come in various forms, from being too skinny to being overweight or yo-yoing between the two by leaving your nutrition, sleep and exercise regimen to chance. Meanwhile also enduring mental and emotional stress that can affect your physical and hormonal health too.

Margarita joins Rick and talks fitness, life and doing it all!

Check her out on online at