USA Volleyball Announces 12 New Board Members

May 08, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 8, 2008) - USA Volleyball has announced 12 of the 16 people who will make up the new USA Volleyball Board of Directors following the conclusion of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In January 2007, the USA Volleyball Board of Directors voted to restructure itself, reducing its size from 30 voting members to 15 voting members and one non-voting at-large member and eliminating the Executive Committee. Four more new Board members will be elected by their constituents over the next several weeks.

"I am pleased that we were able to put together a group with significant and varied backgrounds from areas that are important to our sport," said USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal. "I think every member has the experience needed to lead USA Volleyball in the next quadrennium."

Adam Rymer from Universal Pictures, David Schreff from Bedare LLC and Steve Simpson from Fox Sports Network (FSN) WEST and FSN PRIME TICKET will serve as independent directors on the new Board. Kevin Twohig, the Executive Vice President of the currently seated Board and the general manager of the Spokane Arena, will be the non-voting At-Large Director. Jeff Benz, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) will serve as the National Beach Tour Director. Ted Leland of University of the Pacific will be the Indoor High Performance Director. John Dunning of Stanford University has been selected as the Coaching Director. Three-time Olympic volleyball gold medalist Karch Kiraly will be the Elite/Development Beach Director. AVP and international beach volleyball players Tyra Turner and Sean Scott will continue to serve as the Athlete Directors for the beach volleyball discipline. U.S. indoor national team members Reid Priddy and Sarah Noriega will be the new Athlete Directors for the indoor volleyball discipline.
The four Board members still to be elected are the Officials Director, the Junior Elite Indoor Director and the two Regional Volleyball Association Directors.

Director Profiles Independent Director Adam Rymer: Rymer grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and started playing volleyball on the beach. He continued playing indoor volleyball in high school and on a USVBA club team. Rymer attained his BA in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard and his MBA from The Wharton School. Currently, Rymer works at Universal Pictures as the Senior Vice President of Digital Platforms. In this role, he determines how to exploit all of Universal's assets across a range of new technologies.

Independent Director David Schreff: Schreff has served as a senior executive with world-class entertainment, sports and consumer products companies for over 25 years. Presently, he is the owner and president of Bedare LLC, an Intellectual Property development, consumer products and patent licensing company that develops new IP-backed products and crafts innovative marketing partnerships (sponsorships and alliances) worldwide in the entertainment, sports, publishing, fashion, education and music industries. Schreff graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in government and the University of Connecticut with an MBA.

Independent Director Steve Simpson: As the senior vice president and general manager of FSN WEST and FSN PRIME TICKET, Simpson oversees all production, programming, advertising sales, marketing/communications and business operations of the 24-hour regional sports networks. Simpson spearheaded the launch of "DiG", a weekly volleyball lifestyle show designed to support the telecast partnership with the AVP and develop a non-event platform for beach volleyball, which aired for four seasons.

At-Large Director Kevin Twohig: Twohig has a long history with USA Volleyball dating back to 1979 when he played on a USVBA men's club team in Washington. He was appointed to the Evergreen Region Board of Directors in 1985, becoming a regional referee in 1983 and a regional scorekeeper in 1988. He capped off his regional participation when he was selected as the Evergreen Region Commissioner from 1991-1996. Twohig has served on the USAV Board of Directors since 1994 in the capacities of Treasurer and Executive Vice President. Professionally, Twohig has worked in the business of operating public assembly facilities for nearly 30 years, and is currently the General Manager of the Spokane (Wash.) Arena and the Executive Director of the Spokane Public Facilities District.

National Beach Tour Director Jeff Benz: Benz was named Chief Administrative Officer, Secretary, and General Counsel for the AVP in February of 2008 after joining the organization in early 2007. Before joining the AVP, Benz was a senior executive at A2 Holdings, LLC, a venture-funded startup committed to improving the sport of boxing at all levels. Benz also served for five years as the general counsel, secretary, managing director of legal and government affairs, and acting ethics officer for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). Benz is a member of the panel of arbitrators for the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the boards of the Sports Lawyers Association and the National Sports Law Institute. Benz received his AB and MBA from the University of Michigan, and his JD from the University of Texas.

Indoor High Performance Director Dr. Edward "Ted" Leland: Leland became Vice President for University Advancement at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., on Jan. 1, 2006. Leland oversees fundraising and alumni relations on all three of Pacific's campuses. Leland earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Pacific and a doctoral degree in sports psychology from Stanford University. Prior to taking this position, Leland served as Stanford's athletics director. Under his leadership, Stanford won 50 national team championships, the most under a single athletic director in the history of intercollegiate athletics. Leland also served as athletic director at Pacific (1989-91) and at Dartmouth College (1983-89).

Coaching Director John Dunning: In the fall, Dunning will enter his eighth season as head coach of the Stanford women's volleyball team. In 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007, Dunning's squads reached the NCAA national championship match and captured the title in 2001 and 2004. Dunning spent 16 seasons at Pacific before taking the Stanford position. He led the Tigers to the school's only two NCAA Championships in any sport in 1985 and 1986. From 1993 to 1994, Dunning served as President of the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Dunning earned his BA in mathematics and economics from San Diego State in 1973.

Elite/Development Beach Director Karch Kiraly: Considered by many to be the greatest volleyball player of all time, Kiraly is the winningest player in the history of the game. He is the only volleyball player to win three Olympic gold medals-with the U.S. Men's indoor team in 1984 and '88, and with partner Kent Steffes on the beach in 1996. Kiraly has been named the Most Valuable Player by the AVP six times and was named"Best Player in the World"in 1986 and 1988. He was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame Class in 2005. In 1992, Kiraly was inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame and had his jersey retired. In June of this year, Kiraly will be the first volleyball player inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Beach Athlete Director Sean Scott: Scott joined the USAV Board of Directors in 2006 as the international beach player representative to the Executive Committee. A native of Kailua, Oahu, Scott started playing volleyball at age 15 and continued to play collegiately at the University of Hawaii where he graduated with a degree in Sociology. Scott was named the AVP's 1999 Rookie of the Year and in 2001 he played in eight AVP events with four top-four finishes. In 2004, Scott won his first career title at the Tempe Open with partner Todd Rogers. In 2007, Scott finished second at the Manhattan Beach Open while playing with Dax Holdren.

Beach Athlete Director Tyra Turner: Turner joined the USAV Board of Directors in 2006 as the international beach player representative to the Executive Committee. Turner joined the AVP Tour in 2003 and had a breakout year in 2007, more than doubling her career earnings and playing in 11 AVP semifinals, including four title matches. In addition, she and partner Rachel Wacholder won an FIVB bronze medal in the 2007 Grand Slam in Paris. Turner was all-conference all four years at the University of Central Florida (first-team in 1995-97). In 1997 she was the conference Player of the Year as well as being named to the all-Academic team. In 1998 she was named the UCF Scholar Athlete of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year.

Indoor Athlete Director Sarah Noriega: Noriega joined the U.S. Women's National Team in January 1998 after a stellar career at Loyola Marymount University. She made the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and played in 25 sets, posting 21 kills, 17 digs, seven blocks and three aces while the team finished fourth. She continued playing with the U.S. National Team through 2005 at which point she devoted herself to playing professionally overseas and coaching high school volleyball in the off-seasons. In 2007, she accepted a USOC Management Development Trainee position with the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs. She rejoined the U.S. Women's National Team in January 2008 and is working to earn a spot on the 2008 Olympic Games roster.

Indoor Athlete Director Reid Priddy: Priddy joined the U.S. Men's Volleyball Team in 2000 and was a member of the 2004 Olympic men's team that finished fourth in Athens. In 2008, the 6-5 outside hitter helped the U.S. Men qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics at the NORCECA Men's Continental Olympic Qualifier in Puerto Rico, where the U.S. Men did not lose a set. Reid has been the team's leading scorer for the last two seasons. He played collegiately at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, where he was second-team All American as a sophomore and junior and first team as a senior. He graduated in 2000 with a degree in communications studies.