Week of October 18, 2010
It is not often that an event of such significance as the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Annual Award Presentations honors an athlete in field hockey. But, it happened last week. One of our own, Katie O’Donnell was honored as the Women’s Sports Foundation’s 2010 Sportswoman of the Year. Winning of this annual prestigious award is huge for the sport of field hockey. Katie joins past recipients Jessie Vetter, Hockey-2009, Jessica Mendoza, Softball-2008, Monica Abbott, Softball-2007, Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh, Beach Volleyball-2006, Cat Osterman, Softball-2005, Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh, Beach Volleyball-2004, Lisa Leslie, WNBA -2003, Sue Bird, WNBA-2002, Lisa Leslie, WNBA-2001, Serena & Venus Williams, Tennis-2000, Mia Hamm, Soccer-1999, Cynthia Cooper, WNBA-1998, Mia Hamm, Soccer-1997, Teresa Edwards, WNBA-1996, Rebecca Lobo, WNBA-1995, Lisa Fernandez, Softball-1994, and Sheryl Swoopes, WNBA-1993 as award winners. Nominees are judged on new records achieved and world championships won. Candidates are selected based on the number of votes received and by a panel of judges. Katie, congratulations from all of us at USA Field Hockey for your well deserved selection, and thanks to all of you who voted for Katie in the lead-up to this year’s ceremony.
Katie O'Donnell, 2010 Sportswoman of the Year
Photo Credit: Jemell Countless/Getty Images
It is mid-October, and we seem to be experiencing a new reawaking of sorts in this organization. Here is why. When I arrived in January, I noted we had generally a great staff within USA Field Hockey, but there were some holes that needed filling. We began the process of filling our needs several months ago, and we are now complete. It has been an arduous process, but we are now complete with our new look staff (albeit, some members are still the same). This new staff (and, oldies as well) all have the potential to be world-class, and they are beginning to prove that they are headed in that direction. They are a competent, inquisitive crew, and are thoroughly examining all programs to freshen and bring them into a contemporary format. I am impressed with all of them, and wanted to take a little time to re-introduce them to you.
Laura Darling has been promoted into the new role of Managing Director of Olympic Development and Partnerships. Part of Laura's role is to oversee divisional programs with a primary emphasis on the development of new members, new clubs, sustaining existing clubs, and the operation of a self-sustaining infrastructure that leads to the development of new competitive opportunities and more sanctioned events for players at all levels. Laura played collegiate FH at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. She is extremely busy. Laura is terrific and has served USA Field Hockey more than 20 years. She is one of three people in the organization who is a walking fountain of information pertaining to the past and present of USA Field Hockey. Laura is charismatic and caring. Any time day or night she is available. She is super.
Caitie Tornes, Coordinator of Athlete and Olympic Development, is new to USA Field Hockey and will soon graduate from the University of Colorado with a degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing. Caitie is responsible for the data management of USA Field Hockey’s Olympic and Athlete Development programs. Her primary emphasis is on providing a premier program, which provides athletes with high quality training venues, quality coaches, and a professional delivery system. Caitie earlier served as an intern with USA Field Hockey. She is a high tech whiz and is becoming quite familiar with the back-office of all of our software products. She is wonderful on the phone with our members (and, others) and is just a pleasure to have around.
Karen (K.C.) Collins, Director of Event Logistics, is another of our fountains of information. She has served USA Field Hockey for over 20 years. In college, she played FH for Southern Connecticut College. In my travels around the NGB block through the four NGBs I have served, I have seen many event producers, but none as capable as K.C. She hits every deadline, and never forgets a detail. What a champ and we benefit as USA Field Hockey events are normally flawless.
Katelynn Nerbonne, Marketing Coordinator, a graduate and former collegiate FH forward player at Colgate University, serves alongside Simon Hoskins in the Communications and Marketing Department. Katelynn started in her new role several months ago. She services our sponsor partners making sure sponsors receive what we have contractually obligated USA Field Hockey to provide. Katelynn is a bright new face with bright new ideas and a fresh perspective. She is a real plus.
Janet Paden started with USA Field Hockey in the late fall of 2009 as Director of Finance. She is a lifesaver. Her accounting/booking-keeping talents are robust. She is the eternal optimist (unusual with bookkeepers), and always objective in her presentations. She has put smiles on the faces of our Board as she regularly reports in easy to understand terms. She is a great believer in total transparency.
Ann Underwood, Finance Manager, started during January 2010 as an associate of Janet’s. Ann is solid in her financial knowledge and readily questions expenditures to be sure they are necessary and proper backup is received. We will end the year with a positive net, and much of that outcome is due to both Ann’s and Janet’s dedication, and their close scrutiny of our funds as money flows in and out.
Kate Reisinger is a former collegiate FH player from the University of New Hampshire, and has been in her role with USA Field Hockey for the past 11 years. She is another walking archival with comprehensive knowledge of USA Field Hockey. She advocates for all things associated with our national team program; she spends much time developing relationships within the USOC so we can better explain our programs (and, seek increased funding). And, she advocates..and advocates effectively…and strongly…for all things to help progress our national team program. If she ever leaves USA Field Hockey she could be an incredibly effective lobbyist in Washington, D.C.
Christine Battcock serves as Junior High Performance Manager/Marketing Manager, lives in Norfolk, VA with her husband Martin, and is on maternity leave. Christine and Martin recently welcomed twin girls into the world. Christine is a former collegiate volleyball player from the University of Connecticut. She is a key component of our junior development programs and in that role she works closely with Kate Reisinger . When she is not busy with athlete development, she is engaged with sponsor development and in working with Simon Hoskins , USA Field Hockey Communications and Marketing Director. Christine developed our relationship with Asics and maintains the relationship.
Ashley Meunier, Communications Manager, is a former collegiate FH player and graduate of Endicott College. Ashley is new (just started two weeks ago), and in her capacity she will be involved in maintaining all of our platforms of communication including the USA Field Hockey website, our magazine (working with editor Chip Rogers and others), and in the development and circulation of news-releases. She will also be hugely involved in new media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, et cetera). Ashley is a skilled writer and we will soon be seeing a new dynamic in media exposure through non-endemic magazines such as fashion, news, and general lifestyle publications. She is all about taking new approaches to spreading the word into the media mainstream about FH.
Simon Hoskins is an ex-patriot Brit and is now a USA citizen (he also earned his graduate degree from the University of Oregon so you can legitimately call him a Duck). Simon played FH in England for Loughborough University, played rugby for the University of Oregon club team, and taught soccer, volleyball, and tennis as a graduate assistant at Oregon. We are lucky to have him. Simon serves as the USA Field Hockey Director of Communications and Marketing. We also use him as our ongoing entertainment center. His humor (or, was that humour?) is contagious; sponsors..and staff love him. Simon is effective and is big fun.
Jaime Carpenter, Manager National Teams-Medical, serves as a trainer for the national teams. Jaime is located in the San Diego area and works with the team(s) training at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center, and she also travels with teams to domestic and international competitions. Jaime is recently married. She has been a positive addition to the support provided to team members. Jaime joined the National Teams program earlier this year on a full-time basis.
Lee Bodimeade, National Women’s Team coach, is from Australia and is an Olympian who represented Australia in field hockey during the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.His team earned a silver medal. He is considered a top-flight coach and globally is an up and comer on the international scene. International sports is a cut-throat business, and the competition intense. Competing internationally is far beyond the pale when compared to domestic competition, and Lee has put into place a competent team that will continue to rise in the FIH rankings. His calm demeanor and his driest of dry humor serves him well in progressing our national team.
Nick Conway is another ex-patriot Brit and now a USA citizen. During his athletic career, he represented England often in international FH competition. He recently earned his MBA from San Diego State University. Nick serves a National Men’s team coach and he is largely responsible for the development of the men’s game in the USA. It is a difficult task to say the least, but Nick has laid out a program we intend to initiate in 2011 which has promise (Nick created a successful prototype in San Diego earlier this year). Nick is driven, and I am convinced the program is headed for success due to his passion and zeal for men’s development.
Paula Conway is new, and, yes, married to Nick Conway. She serves in the newly created position of Manager of Athlete and Olympic Development. She is a past English teacher, coached for eight years in several universities, and was a collegiate FH player at Providence College. Paula is driven (must be endemic in the Conway family), enthusiastic, fully attuned to the game and knows almost every collegiate coach across the USA. Paula works alongside Laura, and her portfolio is to both solidify the quality of Futures, create consistency across the board, and generally help in growing the sport. Paula offers terrific promise toward our future development.
Joe Wagstaffe, National Teams Manager, is located in San Diego and serves national team support needs at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center and on the road during domestic and international competitions. Joe is a former employee of the United States Olympic Training Center at Chula Vista and is a graduate of Minnesota State University. His services are crucial to team success as he is involved in assisting Kate Reisinger in logistical support of teams while they are in training and in competition. It is a huge thankless job, and Joe is a detail guy who gets it done
Terry Walsh, Technical Director of High Performance, is a consultant and lives part of the time in his hometown of Perth, Australia, and in his remaining time circulates about the USA and the globe. Terry is a three time Olympian and an Olympic silver medalist from the sport of field hockey representing Australia. He is not on the organizational chart presented below as he serves in a consultancy role. There is just no doubt of the depth of knowledge Terry brings to the fore for our teams as they prepare for international competition. His comprehensive data collection leaves no stone unturned, and through his collection of metrics we know precisely where improvements need to be made.
To view the organizational chart click here.
Who should be given credit for the new fresh look? Not me. This has been a collaborative staff effort. First, we determined where our holes were, and what talents were needed to fill them. Second, we redesigned existing job descriptions if need be, or developed new positions. Third, we solicited candidates on a wide-scale basis through many networks. Fourth, we had interview teams conduct many levels of interviews before decisions were made.
This new staff is your new staff. It is a staff that consolidates through many of the long serving members the positive attributes of the past and today’s present, and through the infusion of new members brings a promise of new thinking and a rush of enthusiasm. I have been around almost every sport NGB staff that is under the Olympic wing in the USA. This staff promises to be one of the best, if not the best, I have seen.
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: ‘Starting in January, couples can actually get married at McDonald’s in Hong Kong. I’m not saying those marriages won’t work, but when have you been to a McDonald’s and not regretted it one hour later?’
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: ‘For the second year in a row, people on Social Security will not get a cost of living increase. So more bad news for Brett Favre.’
Have a great week!
USA Field Hockey