OKLAHOMA CITY --- The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and USA Softball Board of Directors announced today the selection of Craig Cress (Edmond, Okla.) as the next Executive Director for the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States. Cress, who currently serves as the association’s Director of Membership Services since May 2002, will begin duties as Executive Director effective November 15, 2013 at the ASA/USA Annual Council Meeting in Oklahoma City.
“I am very humbled, honored and excited for this tremendous opportunity,” said Cress. “ASA/USA Softball has a storied history and there are many individuals who helped build and maintain this outstanding association. It has definitely been my privilege to have served ASA/USA Softball for over 35 years in many different roles and I look forward to being part of the future by serving as its next Executive Director. I appreciate the support and confidence of the ASA Board of Directors, the Membership and the National Office Staff - we will need everyone as we create the next chapter of this historic organization!”
Cress has been involved with the ASA for over 35 years serving in several roles as a player, umpire, district commissioner, Umpire-In-Chief, league administrator, as a council member, and National Office staff member. A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Cress started his involvement with ASA Softball as a player and spent many years behind the plate umpiring at all levels including National Championships and International Softball Federation Women’s and Men’s Fast Pitch World Championships. He served on the ASA National Umpire Staff for four years and in 2005, he was nationally honored for his years of expertise as an umpire by being inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame in the umpire category.
“ASA is honored and proud to name one of its own as the next Executive Director of ASA/USA Softball,” said current ASA/USA Softball President ET Colvin (Mississippi ASA Commissioner). “Craig has come from the local ranks as a district commissioner, local umpire-in-chief to one of the best umpires in the nation. He came to the ASA National Office as Director of Membership services and has led that department and the ASA umpire program. He has the experience and knowledge at all levels to be a very successful Executive Director. Over the past few years Craig has been involved in the grass root programs of all 76 local associations and worked closely with all of ASA's local Commissioners. He will provide the leadership and guidance that will continue to move ASA forward and keep us as the leader in the sport of softball.”
In the interim, Cress will continue his duties as Director of Membership Services and will work alongside current Executive Director Ron Radigonda who announced his retirement in December of 2012 after 14 years leading the organization.
"Craig will bring a wealth of knowledge and softball expertise to his new role in ASA,” said Radigonda. “He has progressed through various levels and roles within our association and has excelled in all of his endeavors. He has gained valuable experience in his most recent role as our Director of Membership Services and has had direct contact with our 76 local associations for the past decade. He is well versed in all aspects of softball and our association and will provide outstanding leadership to ASA for many years to come.”
Prior to his work in Oklahoma City as Director of Membership Services, Cress served as the Executive Director of the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. and supervised over 20 employees who provided services to over 2,000 members and volunteers. He conducted several fundraising events annually that generated revenue and exposure to the Sports Center in Indiana.
In May of 2002, Cress began his tenure with the ASA National Office in OKC overseeing the Membership Services department who supply services and benefits to all members of ASA. In addition, the Membership Services staff oversees the ASA Hall of Fame four-field complex that hosts over 30 events annually including the NCAA Women’s College World Series and the World Cup of Softball. He coordinates and leads the ASA Equipment Testing and Certification Committee who regulate equipment for the game of softball. Cress works closely with staff in budget preparation and operation for the association and has been an integral aspect of ASA’s success over the past decade.
Cress and Karrie, his wife of 28 years, currently reside in Edmond, Okla. and have two sons, Rich and RJ, who also reside in Oklahoma.