Work Begins on Formation of Beach Assembly

Sept. 01, 2011, 1:33 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 1, 2011) – An organizing committee of leaders in beach volleyball gathered on Aug. 27-28 in Manhattan Beach, Calif., to begin formation of the USA Volleyball Beach Assembly.

USA Volleyball assemblies are the foundations of USAV’s governance structure, providing broad-based constituencies the opportunity to gather, discuss and provide recommendations with respect to the direction and operation of USAV’s programs in alignment with USAV’s mission.

Once formally approved by the USA Volleyball Board of Directors, the Beach Assembly will meet on an ongoing, regular basis to advise the USAV staff and Board on a full range of beach issues including events, membership, championships… etc.

"It was great to be in the room with so many people interested in addressing, improving and integrating the various interests of stakeholders in beach volleyball,” said Steve Lindecke, founder of the Elevation Group, which produces the Corona Light Wide Open beach volleyball series. “Everyone was focused on making sure that this assembly properly represents the sport."

“I was really impressed by the progress made by the task force,” added USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal, who attended the two-day meeting, held in conjunction with the Manhattan Beach Open, part of the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Tour produced by USA Volleyball and IMG. “Not only did the group get a lot of work accomplished, but it was clear that it had the best interests of the sport at heart. They wanted to make sure that the USAV Beach Assembly represents all of the sport’s constituencies.”

From those in attendance, the organizing committee named seven people to form a leadership group to represent the identified beach volleyball populations.

Retired pro beach volleyball player Hans Stolfus will represent the players.

Laura Ratto, director of player development and community outreach for the National Volleyball League (NVL), will represent the owners of national beach volleyball tours on behalf of Albert Hannemann, founder of the NVL.

Steve Owen, chairman of the International/National Beach Officials Commission for USA Volleyball, will represent officials.

Chris Colgan, president of Exclusive Sports Marketing, which runs Florida’s Dig the Beach tour, will represent zonal tour operators. 

Michelle Goodall, the Iowa Region’s director of membership development, will work for USA Volleyball’s member organizations with beach programming particularly the USAV regional volleyball associations; as well as others that program beach activities.

Eric Hodgson, marketing director of the Arizona Region, will work with Goodall on youth and junior beach volleyball issues. Lindecke will work with Goodall to represent adult recreational players.

“The meeting was awesome,” Colgan said. “I think we did good work in there.”

The next step is to determine voting delegates on the Beach Assembly. The tentative date for the organizing committee’s next meeting is at the AVCA Convention on Dec. 14-18 in San Antonio, Texas.

Those who attended at least one day of the task force meeting:

Robyn Barlow (USAV - Executive Director North Texas Region)
Brian Boyer (USAV - Outdoor Program Director - Puget Sound Region)
Chris Brown (President – California Beach Volleyball Association Board of Directors)
Scott Buss (Volleyball Sports Manager – Special Olympics)
Dan Casillan (Beach Official)
Chris Colgan (President – Exclusive Sports Marketing)
Gino Ferraro (Florida Region Beach VB Tour)
Troy Forte (Vice President of Operations – Exclusive Sports Marketing
Audie Gonzalez (USAV – Arizona Region)
Michelle Goodall (Iowa Region Director of Membership Development)
Gino Grajeda (National Chairman – AAU Beach Volleyball Committee)
Albert Hannemann (Founder of the National Volleyball League)
Eric Hodgson (USAV - Arizona Region)
Steve Lindecke (Founder – Elevation Group)
Molly Menard (Chief Financial Officer – National Volleyball League)
Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer (USAV Board member - Elite Beach Development)
Steve Owen (Chairman of the USAV International/National Beach Officials Commission)
Sante Perelli (NCVF and Lakeshore RVA)
Laura Ratto (Director of Player Development and Community Outreach – National Volleyball League)
Andy Reitinger (USAV Board member; Commissioner-North Texas Region; Chair - USAV’s Jr. Assembly)
Hans Stolfus (Pro Beach Volleyball Player)           

Doug Beal (USAV – CEO)
Dave Williams (USAV – Managing Director, Beach Volleyball)
Ali Lamberson (USAV – Director, Beach Volleyball Programs and High Performance)
Margie Mara (USAV – Senior Director)
Melissa Weymouth (USAV – Manager, National Team Events and Marketing)
B.J. Evans (USAV – Manager, Media Relations and Publications)
Jonpaul Roepke (USAV – Coordinator, Beach Events)
Brady Compton (USAV – Technical Coordinator, Beach National Teams)
Amber Scott (USAV – Assistant, Beach Office)